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???

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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!!!

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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.

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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!

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