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Best Age to Wean from Pacifier??

What is the best age to wean from the pacifier? My son is 8 months old. He uses it at night and while in the car only. Should I think about taking it away now? Should I wait till 18 months? Should I wait till age 3?

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Both of my kids (one girl, one boy) were off the "binky" between 10-11 months. The longer you wait the harder it gets!

My son Coale is almost 20 months old and still wont go down at night without it. The doctor told me it is ok unitl he has all of his teeth. Every one else said he will give it up on his own eventually?????? Good luck I am right there with ya!

Start NOW by just letting him have it at night ONLY! And then slowly wean it. As you probably know, as I see you other kids, the longer you wait the harder it is on them and you to get rid of it.
I have a friend who has a 3yr old that still has his! The poor thing is going to be traumatized by the time she finally gets going on getting rid of the thing. He is completely addicted to it.

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My son Coale is almost 20 months old and still wont go down at night without it. The doctor told me it is ok unitl he has all of his teeth. Every one else said he will give it up on his own eventually?????? Good luck I am right there with ya!

That was about the age when I weaned all three of my kids from the pacifier (8 months). It was hard at first. I found I was using the pacifier instead of meeting the real need (like feeding or changing a diaper right that second). So really, it was I that needed to be weaned from the pacifier. None of the kids seemed to notice.

Hi C.,

Since your son only uses it at night and in the car, what is the problem? It isn't like he is walking around with it all day long. My daughter is 13.5 months old and uses hers for naps and bedtime. I only let her have it in the car if we are going on an extended drive and I know she is tired and will fall asleep. But then not even all the time. She asks for it during the day, but I remind her it is for bedtime and naptime.

That being said, I've done some research as well, and most dentists will say that paci use WILL NOT harm the teeth if they are rid of it by the time their permanent teeth come in, which is around 6 or 7. So really, the thought that it is going to permanently deform their teeth isn't true. Also, if you take the paci away and they REALLY want something to suck ... they WILL find something ... like a thumb, which has a greater potential for doing damage.

My sister is 12 years younger then I am, so I remember her baby years quite well. She was 7 when she gave up her paci on her own. Now, she didn't use it every day at that point ... but when she was hurt or sad or needed comfort she had it. I think she was around 4 or 5 when she stopped taking it every night. Now I know... I can almost hear the gasps and such resonating through the online community as others read this. HOW could my mother let her have it so long. Simple... it gave her comfort and she only had it in her room.

Now, she is 23 years old, going to graduate from UofM in December with her Masters degree, spoke at her undergraduate graduation ceremony, is married and is a healthy, wonderful, contributing to society lovely individual, with no speach impairment.

I seriously do not understand the phobia so many people have with letting their kids have a source of comfort.

Hi C.~
Don't stress, and do go with your gut. Everyone has different opinions and you can't get away from that. But with my personal experience, my girls never got overly attached (done with it before age 1, I think.)- I don't know if it was more just how they were, or something I did. I always tried to make a point of casually just taking it out of their mouth during times I could tell it wouldn't bother them much- while playing, or when I could tell they were in a good mood, etc. I know this may not apply to you since it's only in the car and at night, but maybe! Also, I did the same thing at night sometimes, too... when they were sleeping I would take it out- if it was just 'hanging' there and there was no suction with their mouth. I know some kids wake up and cry for it; I didn't have an issue with that (probably just got lucky? who knows.) Now my baby boy has a pacifier and I plan to try the same thing when he gets older as well. You may have heard of the idea to cut the tip of the nipple off- I would maybe try that. But your son is still young...it's good to think about how you may want to wean him from it so you are prepared, but you never know, he may choose to do it on his own as well : - ) Good luck!

My opinion is to take a pacifier away before teeth grow in. But since you are past that point. Take it away now. The sooner the better. The longer you wait the more dependent and the more of a fight will be to take it away. Not to mention some kids end up with speech impairment from using one all the time and trying to talk around it. Good luck to you. Taking a way a pacifier is not fun and for like three days the whining will take a toll.

I agree that earlier is better. I have 3 children, and the first two had nothing to do with it, the third however, loves her pacifier. She is 15 months old now, and last month I started not letting her have it when we went out in public. (I also can't stand to see a little kid with a pacifier, trying to talk, or not doing so because of it). after a week of that, no pacifier in the house,except to sleep. She has gone right along with it so far, she was maybe a little cranky the first two days, but not devestated by any means. Now I need to take the last step and get rid of it all together...I hope it goes as well as the rest of it has so far. But to answer your quest, sooner is going to be better...for everyone. Good luck!

I took my son's pacifier away right around 7-8 months. He seemed okay with it and I was so relieved. Taking it away early I think helped prevent a thumb sucker too.

I stopped it at a year and he barely noticed. The longer you wait, the harder it will be. Good luck!! :)

I always use their first birthday as a magic date... No more pacifier. Poof, gone just like that. It is a little hard on you the first few days only because you are used to the paci being used as a magic bandaid... But at the younger ages their memories are shorter and they are so into doing new stuff they don't worry about it for long...

I do think 1-2 yrs is good. The older they get the harder it is? We did it around 18 months. It was tough at bedtime for a couple weeks but I am glad it is done now. He will be 2 in a couple of weeks. My nephew comes over with his and it doesn't even phase my son. I didn't think I'd ever see that day. You could look at it like that or don't stress because he won't take it to kindergarten. My son loved his so much I felt cruel denying him of it but we made it through and I am happy it is over now.

My daughters pedi told us 18 months. She just turned 3 and we decided that was it. She did ok with the transition, woke up for a few nights and cried for it. I wish we would have done it earlier though...seems like it would have been easier. I think it really depends on the child, I feel like the longer my daughter had it the more she depended on it.

I think it's a bit early to TAKE it..you could try the don't offer/don't refuse. If he sleeps well with it, rides well with it...what's the hurry? I'm sure everyone enjoys good sleep and a quiet ride in the car! He is still a baby...it's OK to still have the pacifier. I only had one (of three) that took a pacifier. We eventually "lost" all of them. I think she was about 2 1/2.

The sooner the better! Good luck.

I was able to wean my son at around 12 months. I figured it was the time we were converting him from a bottle to a sippy cup and the transition would be easier than when he was older. All kids are different, he was pretty easy going. I distracted him and kept them out of site....offered him alternatives for naptime/bedtime/car rides (lovey - stuffed animal, blankie, favorite toy) and if that didn't work, I tried singing songs/playing or offering a sippy cup. I do think it's easier to do it when they are still young - before they get too attached to it as a comfort thing.

I took my kids away at 10 months old - cold turkey. The longer you wait to take it away, the harder it will be.

Good luck!

Indeed the earlier the better as most have mentioned. I do want to add that there are some children, my oldest daughter for example, who find much comfort in the pacifier. We always limited it for naps and bedtime which I never had a problem with. As she turned two i thought okay, lets get rid of it. Long story short, it just wasn't worth it for us and after some research and much thought, i decided that taking away something that brought so much comfort just didn't make sense for us. I also wasn't really concerned about dental problems because that seems to apply to extended use beyond age 3. Shortly after turning age three, it was definitely time and we were helped by the fact that she got a lip sore/canker sore inside her lip--which hurt her to use the pacifier--so we jumped on the opportunity and did the pacifier fairy thing which worked well. It still wasn't easy for our daughter, but she was able to deal with it and after a few nights, it was fine. My second daughter, has always shown minimal interest in the pacifier so we never really used it. I guess my point is that every child is different. If you find your child is really comforted by it, I would not worry about using it. My daughter was an intense baby and sucking was great comfort for her all along--i am forever grateful to the pacifier for being a sleeping aid. I do recommend night or nap only. If you can use other comforting measures instead of the pacifier than go for the removal of it. I don't think any parent likes the pacifier in general or especially in public, but hey,whatever works for you and your family is all that matters!

do it when he is ready, my daughter finally stopped at 3 and it was because we got a puppy that chewed them all up untill she had no more. otherwise she might have continued to use it longer. which we didn't want to have happen(she didn't use it outside of her room when she got older)

I can tell you this much. My son was the same way with his paci at 10 months sleepy time only or in the car. so I almost took it then but sometimes they will start sucking their thumb and you dont want that. I took my sons paci away from him in Feb he was 28 months. it was hard but NOT as HARD as everyone told me it would be. I found that if I talked about it after he was done with it (Like sharing with my friends and family that he was done with it) he cried for it more. So I stopped talking about it and we started sending him to bed with water sippy (about 1-2oz w/ a drop of juice for flavor) You will have a few rough nights/naps but just comfort him/her and its up to YOU and your family when you take it away. any age is hard. I felt that waiting like I did (it wasnt on purpose) you can at least explain to them that the paci needs to go bye bye. just some thoughts. good luck

Hi C.,

I have two children and I tried it both ways with them. I took my older son's paci away when he turned 1 and he did very well without it. My second child I decided that he could have it a bit longer and that was a HUGE mistake. First of all I can't stand seeing kids walking around and trying to talk with a paci in their mouth and that was my kid. He got so attached to it that I basically had to wait until he was ready to give it up just before his third birthday. For a while he would only use it at night and naptime, then he started wanting it all the time and it turned into a constant battle. He would try to sneak around with it and he would climb anything to get it. We tried several times to take it away but after a week straight of no sleep with a 2 yr old roaming around the house crying until 1 or 2 am we had to give in and "find" it again. I know everyone says to give it a few days and it subsides but we tried for a week at a time and it just didn't work. He finally decided to give his binky to a new baby in the family just before he turned 3 and he only cried for it for a couple of nights. It was on his terms so he was able to deal with it. So all in all....I am long winded, I know....my advice is to get rid of it by the time they turn 1. Hope this helps.


Both of my kids (one girl, one boy) were off the "binky" between 10-11 months. The longer you wait the harder it gets!

The earlier you do it, the easier it will be.

I took my son's pacifiers away from him at 18 months old and it was a battle for a few days. I hate seeing toddlers and older children with paci's.... I just want to yell at the parents "THEY DON"T NEED THEM ANYMORE!" :-)

Find another 'lovey" type thing for your child.... My son's pacifier was ultimately replaced with a blanket at home, but he doesn't travel everywhere with it like he did with the paci.

Good luck!

I have four children and the first two both used a pacifier. My daughter until about one and my son until two. They also only used it for sleeping or the car and I found that eventually they just stopped asking for it. My son lost his and it didn't bother him. As long as he is only using it for sleep I wouldn't worry too much about it.

If he is only using it at night i would say keep it until you are ready. If you take it away to soon he or she might find his thumb and that is much harder to break. I took my sons away when he was a little over two years old. I took him to his first dentist appointment and he said his teeth are misaligned and if i took him off the pacifier now they will realign themselves. he only used it at night so it wasn't really a big deal. The only issue that i see with pacifiers is when they have them in there mouths constantly. 8 months is a good age for them to start just using it at night. I wouldn't worry about it right now he is so young that he might still need that comfort at night. After all it easy to remove a pacifier from his reach but its impossible to remove a thumb from his reach. To answer your question yeas i would wait until age three. Maybe 2 and a half but yes i would wait.

Start NOW by just letting him have it at night ONLY! And then slowly wean it. As you probably know, as I see you other kids, the longer you wait the harder it is on them and you to get rid of it.
I have a friend who has a 3yr old that still has his! The poor thing is going to be traumatized by the time she finally gets going on getting rid of the thing. He is completely addicted to it.

Traditionally the suggested age to wean from a pacifier was by age 3, although I have been hearing word from certain health professionals recommending earlier (I don't recall the reason). As a mom, I appreciated having that pacifier for my three children through ages one and two.... we probably could have quit before three, but we stopped just before three. Anyway, my most important point to make is that I am an orthodontist, and I want to assure you that I have not seen any negative effects of children using a pacifier up to age three. During pacifier use the front teeth will be affected (the teeth will not meet in the front typically) -- but at this age the teeth will naturally return to their proper position. To this day I have not examined a child with alignment or bite problems attributable to a pacifier! However, I have seen many thumb-sucking children with problems. Unfortunately I have often seen the thumb habits linger on through age 7 (much too late!)... and this can be more difficult to get the child to quit, especially at this point!
Good Luck! Do what works for YOU, but don't worry about the teeth!

C., Orthodontist

My daughter is 17 months and see only gets hers in bed and the car too. However we are starting to ween her from the car thing and then soon it will on be a bed thing. But I defenitly wouldn't want until 3 that is way too long.
Slowly start taking away the amount of time that he get it... I haven't figured out the whole bed thing and ween that yet, but I hope it all works for you.


Get rid of it ASAP. The longer you wait the harder it will be. It will be a few nights of hell but well worth it in the long run!

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