54 answers

4 Year Olds and Pacifiers...

Any moms out there with kids around 4 or older that still have their pacifiers?

If your nearly 4 or older child has a pacifier, when do you plan to take it away or have them give it up? Any ideas for how you plan to do it?

And what are your reasons for allowing your child to have the pacifier to this point?

And for any of you who had 4+ kids with pacifiers that have since gotten rid of them, how did you do it? And how did it go? Any suggestions for a successful and non-traumatic way to do it?

My son is 4 1/2 and still has his pacifier. We have talked for some time now about him giving it up when he turns 5. And he talks like he is on board with that, but as his 5th birthday approaches (January), I see him dreading his birthday - which I DON'T want. I have told him that he doesn't need to worry about it, and we'll talk about it some more when he's 5. He says he wishes he could stay 4.

It doesn't help that pretty much EVERYONE in his life (except me and both of his grandmothers) tell him constantly that he's too big for a binky, or tell him to get rid of them. I wish people would just leave him alone until the decision is made to get rid of it. Until then, it's only torturing him to keep pestering him about it, and probably making him even more protective of it. It's counter-productive to say the least, but no one gets it.

Anyhow, I'm not looking for anyone to tell me that I should have gotten rid of the binky when my son was 6 months or a year. I had my reasons for allowing him to keep it. They are personal reasons, and I do not regret it one bit. His teeth are fine. I'm just looking for other moms who have 4+ year olds with binkys, and how/when you plan to take them away. Or IF you plan to take them away... and for those who already have, how you did it and how it went.

Thanks for any info you can share.

AGAIN, NOT asking for WHY I should have taken it away at 6 months, or WHY I should take it now. Just looking for stories from other moms who have 4+ year olds with pacifiers and their experiences. Thank you, Denise.

One last edit... we do limit it to sleep/relax time, and the car (where he often falls asleep). Rarely has it other times, but is VERY attached to it, and does not and has never showed any interest in simply handing it over.

Boy, people just really can't resist telling me he's too big for a binky... ??????????????????????

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

So what do you say to your child after you've cut the tips off the binkys, and he discovers they're no longer 'suckable', and he tells you to buy new ones? I can see being at Walmart and having an all out war to get new binkys...

Every time someone says to cut the binky tips off, and the kids won't suck them and get rid of them on their own, I can't help but wonder why the kids aren't just asking for new ones! My kid definitely would!!

***ONE LAST EDIT***
I did talk with my son about not having to give up his binky on his 5th birthday. I could see that this was obviously something he was stressing over, saying all the time that he doesn't want to get big, he wants to stay little, he wishes he could be/stay 2, he doesn't want to have a #5 birthday, etc. So I asked him if he wanted to forget about giving his binky up on his 5th birthday, and of course he said yes. So I told him we could talk about another time that would be good to let his binky go, and he was ok with that. I feel better about it too. May be before his birthday, or maybe a little after, but I don't want him worried about the day he turns 5, and making that a big traumatic day for him.

Again, thank all of you for your thoughtful responses.

*******EDIT*******
I have to respectfully but VEHEMENTLY disagree with J L. Big shock, huh? I do have to say, that I answer a lot of questions on this site, and I NEVER feel the need to INSULT anyone, regardless of how much I disagree with them. Not sure why some people feel the need to do this. J L. could have said everything she said without insulting me and my son throughout the entire response. And this is not about me disagreeing with her position or about me not gettting all responses that say it's ok to let my son have his binky. I fully expected to have some responses telling me to just get rid of it. But there is no reason whatsoever in a forum like this to insult people in your response to them. Additionally, I would like to say that there are many parts of her response that are true in theory, but I must tell you that they don't describe my relationship with my son, or my attitude toward parenting. I understand that not having control of our children at a young age sets the stage for bigger and more difficult battles as they grow. But because I've not taken his binky, does not mean that he walks all over me, or he disrespects me, or that I don't have a spine. But I won't go into any further detail or argue her point by point as it's just not necessary. Again, while J L. makes some valid points about parenting, she is totally off the mark with regard to my relationship with my son and the way I parent. Be that what it may, I am most disgusted with the insulting tone of the response. Whatever J L.'s need is to post such a response and repeatedly insult me and my son throughout it is her need. Not for me to understand, I guess. To each her own.

Featured Answers

I had a friend who's son has a paci until he was almost 4. They ended up getting a helium balloon and tying the paci to it. They told their son it would just float away to someone who needed it more. Don't know what the person thought who had an old paci tied to a balloon land in their yard, but their son had fun watching it float away and was fine afterwards.

3 moms found this helpful

Hmmm...I specifically remember reading that you DIDN'T want "anyone to tell me that I should have gotten rid of the binky when my son was 6 months or a year"!! Helllooooo? Do people actually read these posts? Sheesh.
L., I understand and agree that you don't want his bink removal negatively affecting his 5th birthday...
Christmas is right around the corner. What about a little good, old-fashioned bribery? Is there something he REALLY wants? If he hands over the bink, maybe he can get it....NOW?

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter agreed to trade hers for some toys on her 2nd birthday. We put them ALL in a gallon size ziploc bag and went to the store. (It was actually the grocery store, where I had prearranged with the bakery clerk to let her trade them for some of the cute toppers they put on the kiddie cakes). SHE chose to trade the whole bag for a couple of plastic Winnie the Pooh/piglet on a seesaw and plastic Dora toys. She is 9 now, and thinks it is hysterical that she gave away her beloved paci's for some tacky "Dora" toys! lol

She felt SO grown up and proud of herself at the time. :)

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I dont have an answer for you, but I bet its gonna be hard, lol. It would be like someone taking my cigarettes away. Ask your pediatrician if they have a PATCH for that, haha.
I'm interested to see what other moms have done.
Mine both gave there's up on their own when they were close to three... it interfered with them wanting to talk so it just sort of morphed away on its own.
Rather than waiting for the birthday trauma deadline, it might be best that it just gets lost right now and after a few days, I'd guess 4 or 5, he'll realize the bink ain't comin back and it will soon be forgotten. Cold turkey is harsh, but it would only be a few days and he'll figure a different way to self soothe, honestly. Good luck
ADD ON:
Have him trade it for something.... and a deal is a deal. He would learn something from that transaction.

4 moms found this helpful

I had a friend who's son has a paci until he was almost 4. They ended up getting a helium balloon and tying the paci to it. They told their son it would just float away to someone who needed it more. Don't know what the person thought who had an old paci tied to a balloon land in their yard, but their son had fun watching it float away and was fine afterwards.

3 moms found this helpful

Hmmm...I specifically remember reading that you DIDN'T want "anyone to tell me that I should have gotten rid of the binky when my son was 6 months or a year"!! Helllooooo? Do people actually read these posts? Sheesh.
L., I understand and agree that you don't want his bink removal negatively affecting his 5th birthday...
Christmas is right around the corner. What about a little good, old-fashioned bribery? Is there something he REALLY wants? If he hands over the bink, maybe he can get it....NOW?

3 moms found this helpful

I would get on those that give him a hard time about it. My son is a thumb sucker and I have people that pull his thumb out of his mouth! It puts the focus on the fact that he does it, that I don't want! I tell people that this isn't a big deal for us, and to leave him alone about it, don't mention it, or even comment on it.

Granted, my son is younger, and we seem to no longer have an issue after a mouth injury that hurt when he sucked his thumb. If it was me though (again, NO prior experience), I would do some of the thinks I have read on here - make a cut in the pacifiers that break the suction, maybe if they are phased out before his birthday, you can just say, "see what a big boy you are, I told you that you didn't need it after your birthday!" You can also have him only use it at night and naps so that he isn't dependent on it all day, and may end up forgetting about it during naps.

3 moms found this helpful

My oldest two children kept their binky's until they were 5 and 4 (they are 11 months apart). My younger of those will always say that she had to give up her binky b/c her big brother took them all. When we really took note of the use of the binky at night, it started out in the mouth but when we checked on them later at night, they both just held them to their cheeks. Sweet vision in my mind now as they are 12 and 11.

I am the first to admit, it wasn't worth the fight. They wanted a binky and that was all it took to get them to bed? We were all for it. They slept and we slept.

I can't even tell you when the binky went away or how it happened. But those two are now in middle school and don't take their binky with them. I think that the oldest came home from Kindergarten and took his for a few minutes, but it was gone before he finished K.

Our younger son NEVER took a binky and life would have been much easier if he had. Our youngest daugther took one for about 12 months and broke herself of the habit on her own.

Good luck and I am sure others will post the horrors of the binky. You just have to do what works for you and yours. He's not going to go to college taking his binky.

A.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter is 10 now but she used a pacifier until she was 4. She had some serious health problems her first couple of years and that was her security object. I talked to her pediatric dentist about it when she was about 2 and I was getting pressure from family to take it away and he said "Give it time. Teeth are easier to fix than psyches." I'm so grateful to him for that advice. She's getting braces now, but I'm confident that she would have needed them anyway since both her dad and I did and we've been told since she was a baby that she has a small mouth. In any case, she was only allowed to have her binky in her bed (or occasionally on very long car trips). Then, a few months before she turned 4 we started telling her that 4 year olds don't use binkies. We let her keep it for a week or so after her birthday, then told her that when she was ready it would be time to let it go. She threw it out with great fanfare, feeling proud of herself and very grownup (of course, I retrieved it when she wasn't looking and kept it stashed in my dresser for months just in case). The first night or two she woke up a couple of times but it really was much easier than I had anticipated. You'll figure out what's right for you and your child. The heck with everyone else. It's very unlikely that he'll bring his binky to college! Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

mine worked out BEAUTIFULLY my daughter was on one til about 4. we were moving from a small house to a bigger one, and just told her we had to leave it there for the next baby that came in the house. it worked so well, she was EXCITED to leave it behind. i went in after getting her in her car seat, and "snuck" it out just in case. i revealed later that i had it, she wanted to make a special trip to the house we moved out of to get it to that baby...of course i threw it away in their trash can after visiting the new family that surprisingly had a baby while they preoccupied her.

never wanted or needed binki after that

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter agreed to trade hers for some toys on her 2nd birthday. We put them ALL in a gallon size ziploc bag and went to the store. (It was actually the grocery store, where I had prearranged with the bakery clerk to let her trade them for some of the cute toppers they put on the kiddie cakes). SHE chose to trade the whole bag for a couple of plastic Winnie the Pooh/piglet on a seesaw and plastic Dora toys. She is 9 now, and thinks it is hysterical that she gave away her beloved paci's for some tacky "Dora" toys! lol

She felt SO grown up and proud of herself at the time. :)

2 moms found this helpful

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