22 answers

How to Get Rid of Pacifier

My pediatrician recommends that all children are off the pacifier by 18 months. Well... my son still sleeps with his "Binky" and he is almost 19 months old. I would like to get rid of it completely, but am not sure what the best approach is. He does not take it out of his crib AT ALL, so I don't see it as a huge problem, but do know that we need to wean him from it. Any advice???

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you SOOO much for all of your wonderful advice. I greatly appreciate hearing that I am not alone in this feat. I know that we are on the right path to a "Binky-free" life and look forward to trying some of your suggestions. My son is just getting over an illness, then we are traveling for Spring Break, so I think I will attempt to get rid of it in about a month. Thanks again for taking the time to respond!!!

Featured Answers

My daughter had a visit from the "paci fairy" on her birthday. It was a mark of growing up. It was difficult for a couple of days but by the end of the first week, it was a done deal. My girlfriend used the "paci fairy" for both of her daughters. The first was a breeze, the second more difficult. All of the pacis were gone and a simple conversation reminding them that they were too big and the fairy had taken them (to a smaller child or whatever you want to say) help. As i stated, my girlfriend's youngest was very difficult, but within 1-2 weeks, she too was broken of the habit. It is hard on the parent and requires that you stick it out, despite the tears and tantrums. Good luck!!

I followed the pediatric dentist's advice with my twins, and it worked. I think it was shortly before their second birthday. I cut a hole at the tip of each pacifier. One of my twins could tell the difference immediately, and quit using the pacifier within a few days. The other didn't seem to mind, so I kept cutting a little more off the tip every few days, until the weight of the handle would pull the pacifier out of her mouth. Then she quit sucking on it. Neither one substituted a thumb, but each did have a strong bond to their blankets after that.

More Answers

I followed the pediatric dentist's advice with my twins, and it worked. I think it was shortly before their second birthday. I cut a hole at the tip of each pacifier. One of my twins could tell the difference immediately, and quit using the pacifier within a few days. The other didn't seem to mind, so I kept cutting a little more off the tip every few days, until the weight of the handle would pull the pacifier out of her mouth. Then she quit sucking on it. Neither one substituted a thumb, but each did have a strong bond to their blankets after that.

My daughter had her pacifer until 2 and a half and her teeth are fine. I don't think you really have to worry until it's closer to time for the adult teeth to come in. We stopped letting her walk around with it around 13 months. Then it was only for sleeping or in the car. Then it stayed in the crib. I did the cut the nipple trick. I cut the tip, then every few days cut a little more off. She sucked on it until there wasn't enough there to keep it in her mouth. Then she slept with it in her hand for a while. I didn't care about that. When she was out of the crib, I kept the pacifier in her top dresser drawer. She asked for it at night, then eventually stopped asking.
Just make sure you don't try to take it away if something is wrong or different. Like he's sick or teething or you're going on vacation.
Good luck.

I cut the very tip off of all of the pacifiers. All is the important word here. Then when your child shows you that there is something wrong, you can say, "wow look they are all like that. It must just happen as you get to be a big boy/girl". They can still use them as a comfort item, but the sucking won't be as much fun. I was told to do this and it really worked for both of my children.

Good luck

Hi K.,

I remember when I had my second child 26 years ago, he loved his pacifier. I know he was walking with that pacifier in his mouth. I am not sure how I got it away from him, but just give him a little more time, and if I was you, I would just keep it out of his sight. Hopefuly, that will help wean him away from it.

First, don't stress too much. Your pediatrician's number is a goal, I suppose, but not a hard and fast rule. If your son is only sleeping with it, I wouldn't be too worried. I had my daughter off hers by three -- that was my goal. In Europe, kids have them longer than that. You mostly don't want your son's sucking habit to affect his teeth. Nighttime pacifier at 19 months is not a problem.

If you do want to wean, try first taking it away for naps for a week or two and then taking it away when you go to bed (so he doesn't have it if/when he wakes in the middle of the night) for a couple of weeks and then have him trade it in for a new toy or something like that. (Incentives work great for little people -- and big people...)

I did the same with my son, once he only had it in the crib I then took it away at nap time. It was a little harder to get him to take a nap, but he go used to it. Once he did I told him one night it was bye bye forever and never gave it again. He did ok, he has a blanket and little bear he sleeps with as well and he became even more attached to them. He still uses them at night and he is nearly four.

If that is the only time he takes a paci, I would not be concerned. I have a 17 month old who takes a paci also. It is a comfort item (some kids have blankies, ours have binkies). From what I have read, most children will give it up between 2-3 years, and that is a natural time for them to do so (from what to expect toddler). But if you want to get rid of it sooner, a friend of ours had their children give their paci to Santa at Chrstmas time. They left it for him with the milk and cookies and the next morning it was gone - and they were fine with that. I think the important factor was that they understood that it was gone (they were closer to 3). So you may be able to come up with something similiar (easter bunny, birthday fairy, etc). But I wouldn't stress over it! Have a great weekend!

Ok so my baby is 18 months as of this week. And he LOVES his Binky! We call it Big Blue now because when we say binky he knows exactly what we are talking about. We are trying to get him to just have it when he is going to sleep. He wants it all the time. We put him in his high chair to eat and I have to take it from him and he cries and fuss but he gets over it. I have started the process of taking it from him a number of times because I have to special order his Binky online when he loses it and it was just becoming too much of a burden. And we will be doing great until he starts teething and I feel so bad for him that I give it back. But now we need to chuck it all together because his teeth are coming in great but the front two look like they would be further down if he didn't have that binky in his mouth all the time, and because he needs to work on enunciating his words better and he can not do it with that thing. So I am only going to let him have it when he sleeps and then I will start to nip at it so that he doesn't want it anymore. This probably isn't advice as much as it is my venting! Sorry! I wasn't even going to give him a binky when he was born, but he had jaundice and had to be under these lights and he was in this little suit. He used to suck his fingers in the womb and I felt so bad for him when he couldn't have his fingers that I gave in. Let me know what you decide to do. I moved from the westcoast three years ago, I am still getting my barings here in georgia. These tornados are something I don't think I will ever get used to! Good Luck!

I have heard this advice but have not tried it yet since my daughter is only 4 months old...start cutting away at the nipple and it becomes less fun for them to suck on and they will wean themselves. Try just cutting the tip a bit with scissors and every couple days cut a little more off. I hope that works for you!

K., as a mother of 3, don't worry about his pacifier. If you are keeping it away most of the time, he will give it up on his own one day. he won't go to kindergarten with it and he obviously needs it right now for comfort. He will out grow it, they all do. So, my advice from a pacifier - sucking mom of a 2 year old, let them be...they won't be a baby forever and he will stop when he's ready. limit the use and the rest will take care of itself!

Soooo, my advice...don't worry! Every child is different and the time will come when they are ready. My daughter had her "vava" until she was nearly 5yrs. She gradually needed it less and less, then only at bedtime (we would ask if she was ready to stop having it...never making it a big deal, but letting her know, now and again, that she was getting to be a big girl. Nearing 5, she decided that she was a "big girl" and when the time was right and we suggested that we should think about donating her "vava" to another child that might not have one. She thought that was a great idea and gathered her few that were left and gave them to us to "donate." She never made a big deal of it after that and only said later that same week, "I hope the new child loves my "vavas" like I did" and that was the end of it. Keep in mind that if you take it early (every child is different), the thumb might become the new pacifier and that you can't remove!! Good Luck!!

I just went through this with my daughter. I wanted to try to have her off it by age 2(she just turned 2 last week). She too was only using it at night, and I was very nervous about how to wean her from it.

So one night before bed I took her upstairs and we got it, brought it downstairs, and told her that she was a big girl now and the binky had to go in the trash, because it was broken and big girls didn't need a binky. So she threw it in the trash, and walked around telling us "binky go trash" for a few minutes. At bedtime she did ask for it, but then remembered that we put it in the trash. She actually did whine for about 30 minutes, but then went to sleep. The whining only lasted for about 2 nights, then she didn't even ask for it anymore. When she would see another baby with one, she would say "my binky go trash".

It was actually much easier than I anticipated. Good Luck!

I have a 15 month old - and will be in the same situation very soon- One of my friends suggested cutting the pacifiers in half - I also know some people who just go cold turkey all together- either way it will take some adjusting- it may be rough for a week or so, but hang in there ..

HI K....

If he understand that something is broken you can cut the rubber part of his pacifier and let him find it ...with my daughter she
did try to suck it few times and she showed to me and we told her:- Oh no it is broken what do we do when something is broken?...and she took it to the trash ....
She was very attached to her pacifier specially a night time..the whole process with her took a day...she would find a broken pacy for a day here and there and finally at night time there was none left...she never cried for it ..it was pretty easy process...
I hope that helps
Elaine

My daughter had a visit from the "paci fairy" on her birthday. It was a mark of growing up. It was difficult for a couple of days but by the end of the first week, it was a done deal. My girlfriend used the "paci fairy" for both of her daughters. The first was a breeze, the second more difficult. All of the pacis were gone and a simple conversation reminding them that they were too big and the fairy had taken them (to a smaller child or whatever you want to say) help. As i stated, my girlfriend's youngest was very difficult, but within 1-2 weeks, she too was broken of the habit. It is hard on the parent and requires that you stick it out, despite the tears and tantrums. Good luck!!

This may be the last thing you want to hear but....My daughter will be 3 in a few weeks and still uses a pacifier (she calls it a poppy) So, first of all, take the pressure off yourself. I did the pacifier b/c I did not want thumb/finger sucking, b/c at least you can take the pacifier away. My son (who is now almost 6) did the pacifier until 3 as well. We had a rule, once they were 2, poppy stayed in the crib, we could only have it at nap time and bed time. It worked well with him. At 3 we gave the poppy to the doctor at our check up. Not too traumatic. We slept without it and he only asked for it when he was REALLY upset further down the road. I already know it will be harder with my daughter, she uses poppy all the time, and I hate to admit, we let her b/c she is a non stop chatter box. I know that does not sound good, but she fully understands and will tell everyone "when I turn 3 I give poppy to the doctor" so she knows it is coming, she turns 3 in April, so we will see how it goes. I can tell you I have friends with MUCH older kids still sucking fingers and thumbs, which you can't take away. So, I guess my overall point is, take the pressure off yourself. A very good friend told me take these thing the Dr says as suggestions. Like with the bottle, my kids were not off the bottle at 1, closer to 2, but they are both fine. You worry, are they going to go off to college still taking a bottle, binky and blanky, the answer is NO~ I have another friend with an almost 3 yr old giving the pacifier to the Easter Bunny next week. So, that or Santa I have heard. I liked the dr because it was "medical" and the Dr lent a note of seriousness to the issue (warn the dr ahead of time and they are all on board to help) She explained that they needed the poppy back to give to another baby?? I hope some of this helps, cut your self some slack. If you kid was 5 and still taking a poppy, I might worry, but not even 2, you are fine! I live in Johns Creek too. Take care and best of luck.
C.

My son is now 8, but I had the same question when it was time for him to come off of the pacifier. I asked around and the best advise I was given was just to cut the nipple off. I got rid of every one we had except one. My son was taking it with him in the car on the way to daycare and then he could have it back when I picked him up. That morning he had it as normal and then, while I was at work, I cut the nipple off. I left it in his car seat for him, as usual, and then when he went to put it in, he said "its broken". He tried to put it in his mouth, actually he turned it around and tried using the "ball" side of it for a little while. After about 3 nights of him sleeping with it in his hand, he was ready to just throw it away. He never fussed about it at all and it really was an easy transition. It was like he realized that it was just "broken"

Hey K.,
This worked for me.

For my son's binky, Santa had a new baby elf that needed his binky. Don't know if you celebrate the Christian holidays, but with Easter right here next week, the Easter Bunny could have a new baby bunny that needs it.

OR: For my daughter, the Binky Fairy came. Gather up all his binkies and put them in a basket and replace the Binkies with a lovie or a toy truck or something along that line.

I had a customer where I work come into my store and "bought" a pair of shoes like her son's favorite basket ball player wore. The player had black Nikes... the child had Black velcro sneakers.

I very discretely passed the binkies back to the mom for safe keeping.

the last method, is cold turkey. Just take it away and tell him its gone.

You may try replacing the binky with a shirt you have worn during the day to help him sleep at night. It will have your scent on it and that will comfort your child.

My daughter had hers until she was 2.5 yrs old and we did speech therapy for a year. No problems now, but this may help your son in the future. My daughter has no speech problems at 12 yrs old.

Hope this helps,
Barbara
deaffmommie

My friend had luck breaking the pacifier problem by making her son not want it any more. She got advise that she should start changing it little by little by cutting it up. First she sniped off the very tip and little by little cut it down bit by bit. Before long her son didn't want it anymore because it wasn't the same. Just make sure your pacifier doesn't have any type of gel etc inside it to use this method. Good luck

Get rid of the pacifer! Your child is going to have problems with his teeth the formation of his mouth. Yes its true I can have my sister email you and tell you that her child's dental bills were crazy at the age of 10. All because of that pacifer until he was 2 years of age.

To get rid of it, tell your son that it is time to give him a replacement like a teddy bear or some other type of security he might need. Let him pick it out.

Hi K.!!! What I did with my daughter, she's 6 now, I cut it, but not in half, you cut today a little chunk, give it to him, in a couple of days cut some more and so on, and he's going to feel it weird, because of the holes, and he's going to leave it by himself, but you need to cut a little piece every two to three days, you'll see!! You don't take it away from him, he leaves it by himself.

My daughter is 27 months old, and last month I saw a book in the dollar section of Target called "Bye-Bye Pacifier." I bought it, read it to her for 3 days, and on day 4 decided to give it a try. It suggests giving the pacifier to a younger baby who needs it. I asked her who she thought would need it, and she quickly decided my best friend's daughter. We saw them the next day, and she handed her paci and the book to my friend. She asked about it twice afterwards, and not another word since! We were a little amazed at how easy it was, to be honest!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.