22 answers

How to Get Rid of the Pacifier?

My 2 and a half year old loves his pacifier, and sometimes he carries around more than one. I really want to break this habit. He is a very strong willed little boy. I don't let him take it outside and have tried hiding them during the day but he is very demanding... I tried one night to have him go with out it and he cried all night long. If any of you have suggestions it would be much appriciated.
Thank you, C.

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I too, have a "strong-willed" child!! I talked to him about the "Binky-Fairy". This wonderful fairy comes in the middle of the night and replaces the pacifier with something else. A favorite toy, much wanted basseball glove etc. then the fairy takes the pacifier back to the other babies who have just been born or are in need of a pacifier. This helps him to transition into the "big-boy" mode and understand that only Babies NEED to have pacifiers. I started talking to my son about this wonderful fairy on 2-days before she came!! I didn't want the anxiety to build too much or for him to be afraid. He had some tears, but re-adjusted just fine within the week!! The trick is to NOT give in! Get rid of all the pacifiers so he won't "accidentally" find one and all should go well!

Good luck and I hope this will help!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello C., I saw something on tv a few years ago, showing how they told the child that the pacifier fairy was collecting for needy children on the other side of the world. They did a cerimony then tied the pacifiers to a bundel of ballons and released them into the sky so that they would float to the babies who had no pacies at all. And then the big boy gets to go celebrate his being able to grow up with a trip to the dollar store or dessert. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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I too, have a "strong-willed" child!! I talked to him about the "Binky-Fairy". This wonderful fairy comes in the middle of the night and replaces the pacifier with something else. A favorite toy, much wanted basseball glove etc. then the fairy takes the pacifier back to the other babies who have just been born or are in need of a pacifier. This helps him to transition into the "big-boy" mode and understand that only Babies NEED to have pacifiers. I started talking to my son about this wonderful fairy on 2-days before she came!! I didn't want the anxiety to build too much or for him to be afraid. He had some tears, but re-adjusted just fine within the week!! The trick is to NOT give in! Get rid of all the pacifiers so he won't "accidentally" find one and all should go well!

Good luck and I hope this will help!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

I had the same problem...

IF yours is hollow and the is no kind of filling inside, this may work for you. I worked great at our house.

I cut off a little bit of the tip every couple of days. It just got smaller and smaller and didn't feel so comfortable anymore. My daughter was very attached to hers. She did complain about it. I just said she a big girl and used it so long, it was tired and worn out. When it was down to a nub, one day she got mad at it, went to the trash and threw it away.

Obviously, avoid the area of the stores that sell more of them. If your child asks to go buy one, go to a store that doesn't carry your style of pacifier. We did do that once. It sounds stupid to play that game, I know. I just thought it was easier than being the bad guy, arguing, and everyone in the house frustrated. Choose your battles.

We had a few around the house...find as many as poss. ahead of time and get them out of sight. We did find one here a there weeks later and had to go thru the process again, but it was much easier...she was pretty much out of the dependency of it.

Hope this helps. These pacifiers and thumbs are very comforting. This is hard on them. I stopped sucking my thumb around five...I remember, very well, the difficulty giving it up. I wanted to be a big girl, but I found it SO comforting. This is probably why I wanted her to toss hers out herself vs. me forcing it. I probably remember too well. :)

Good luck,

C.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello C., I saw something on tv a few years ago, showing how they told the child that the pacifier fairy was collecting for needy children on the other side of the world. They did a cerimony then tied the pacifiers to a bundel of ballons and released them into the sky so that they would float to the babies who had no pacies at all. And then the big boy gets to go celebrate his being able to grow up with a trip to the dollar store or dessert. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a nurse on the Mother Baby Unit at my hospital. One day when I was working in the nursery, a visitor came up to the door with her son... the mother said that her son had something for me. The little boy proceeded to hand me a large zip lock bag full of his pacifiers & he said "these are for all the babies so they won't cry." Right away, I knew what was going on as the mom smiled and winked at me. I then thanked the little boy repeatedly and told him that I would wash them up right away and give them to the babies (not really) and that it was so nice that a big boy like him would give those up to make the babies happy!
The visitor told me later that she told her son that big boys don't use pacifiers, they use cups and that he got a very special cup to mark the event. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

In an earlier posting today, I talked about the bink fairy coming to our house - she took the bink to a child who needed it and left a wanted toy for my son. It works!

S.

1 mom found this helpful

If you have a friend or family member with a new baby, have your child take it to them, as the new baby will need it more. Of course, they will throw it away for you once you leave. Depending on timing, you could also leave it out for Santa, so that he can deliver it to babies who don't have binks. Both have worked for us. Either way though, it has to be forced by the parent. Children are resiliant, they will overcome it. Have faith! :)

Cold Turkey!!! I have a 5 yr old, 3 yr old, and 1 yr old, and I never let them have a pacifier past age 1. I realized that at age 2 yours is a little more attached, but it's the best way to go. You will have a rough couple of days, but before you know it, your child won't even realize it's gone. In fact, I just took my sons 2 months ago and we had a rough week...the car was the worst, bedtime was a breeze! He was actually the hardest to cut off, but I am very happy to be sans it now!

My 3 yr old daughter had 2 favorite blankets...I hate "lovey's, but they were the only blankets she'd sleep with. She was not allowed to take them in ANYWHERE, except the car as they'd help her nap if we were in there for an extended period of time. Anyway, I just took them COLD TURKEY 3 days ago. She was very attached to the blankets! The first day she cried at bedtime for like 30 minutes, then then next day she just asked a few times, and yesterday she asked once. She didn't get upset when I told her they were gone, I think she was just making sure I wasn't going to magically change my mind and give them back.

You'll make it, you just have to realize that they won't die without these items, and in the end it's the best for everyone.

At 2 1/2 years we had a "graduation" ceremony in which my daughter threw *all* of the pacifiers in the trash. We praised her and told her she was a big girl now. At bedtime we had to remind her that the pacifiers were gone [that night wasn't easy!]. After that we just had to remind her that she didn't need them and they were all gone anyway.

Not nearly as bad as I'd feared, but you have to stick to the fact that they're *gone*. And be prepared for some tears. Good luck!

Two idea's that have worked. First one, I told my son that when he turned 3 that he was too big and we had to cut them and the extra ones he carried we cut the nipples right off. He didn't like them anymore and threw them out. Then one day he just asked me to cut the only one he had left. When we did it, he looked at it and said it was broken and I told HIM to go throw it out. When he cried for it that night I reminded him we cut it and it was in the garbage. HE didn't cry after that as HE was the one that threw it out and it was gone. Second, tell them the pacifier fairy is coming to take it to the babies. Put it on a string, hang it on a tree and write a letter to the Pacifier Fairy to take the pacifier to the babies in need as your child is now a big boy now and let your child know he will get a toy in return for the pacifier. Purchase a toy as a replacement. ( night-time snuggly bear or something he can hold at night in place of the pacifier). You might have one night of crying but remind them the babies needed it and remind him that he is a big boy now and big boys don't use pacifier's. Make sure you start talking about it a week or so before you do either one so they are prepared for the trasition and that they understand that the pacifier will be gone. Good luck!

Another mom told me her daughter gave all of hers to a new baby that was born to one of her (the mom's) friends. My cousin explained germs to her daughter, and told her they were sometimes on her "nu-nu." That worked, too. Good luck.

I am a path of least resistance kind of parent... my daughter has never had a pacifier attachment, she does have a stuffed dog that she sleeps with every night (and that is fine with me).

Here is what Dr. Sears has to say:
What about the three-year-old who is addicted to his "paci"? Consider these tips:

Trade it. If the child is old enough not to be sucking on a pacifier, he is probably smart enough to settle for a better toy. Take him to the store and make a deal with the toy salesman. Let him pick out his favorite toy. Let the child pass over the pacifier to the toy salesperson, who in turn presents the alternative.
Encourage the child to use his plug in private. Mention that older children doing things that babies do bothers some adults. "If you really must use your pacifier, please use it in your room." By approaching it this way and making the pacifier less convenient to use, the child will soon wean himself.
Use relaxing substitutes. Teach the child to put on a favorite tape and start singing as soon as he gets the urge to reach for the pacifier. It's difficult to suck and sing at the same time. Keep yourself relaxed and peaceful, and offer a lot of quiet connection, such as reading books together, blowing bubbles together, and "just-being" time.
Just say "all done" and take it away, with the explanation that it's not helping the child be a big boy or girl. Attachment-parented children living in a peaceful home should give it up fairly easily – if you expect them to.

C.

We just went cold turkey with ours at 1 1/2 and I'll tell you it was a rough week but once they adjusted they were fine.

My son turned 2 last month and we just went through this. He was down to 1 paci (his beloved Detroit Tigers paci) and two days after his second birthday, it got a hole in it!
It was his only comfort object and he was very upset. I decided I would hold out for a few days to see how he did without it. Naptime and bedtime were rough, it would take him an hour to fall asleep, he did a lot of crying plus he wanted me to hold him until he fell asleep.
It's now been 15 days and I think he's actually forgotten about the paci. He stll wants me to hold him while he falls asleep but it only takes about 20 mins and he is no longer crying.
We made a big deal about him being such a "big boy". We told everyone in our family about the "big boy at our house", and we even went to the toy store and he picked out a new big boy toy.

Tell your son that he can only have his paci when he is in his bed and then when he gets out, he has to put the paci in its 'house'. The house is a jar of water that you will make up from a tupperware container or old pickle jar or something. Everyday, without your son seeing, add some vinegar to the water. Within a short time, he won't want the paci anymore and will get rid of it himself. I never had kids who depended on pacifiers, but this worked like a charm for my niece.

I have 3 children and am in the midst of my 3rd successful pacifier erradication using the snip method. The only choking hazard is if you give your son the snipped off piece! The snipping merely breaks the suction effect of the pacifier, in a sense, making it no fun to suck on. With my first 2, they were more stubborn and required additional snips over several weeks to shorten it so they couldn't keep it in their mouths at all. The real trick is to make ANY and ALL other remaining pacifiers disappear so they are only left with the "broken" one. If you are seeking to reduce to only naptime or bedtime, he will know that there is an intact pacifier SOMEWHERE and will attempt to wear you down in order to get it. That will just take intestinal fortitude on your part to out-stubborn him!! If you are seeking to completely do away with it, the snipping method has proven results in my family and I believe in it whole-heartedly. My third, who is only 13 months old, is COMPLETELY off her pacifier during the day because the only pacifer she has access to is the "broken" one that is attached to her bib. Her intact one, for naps and bedtime, remains hidden on the kitchen counter and is only given out for sleeping. It is becoming a kind of cue, that when she gets the pacifier its time to sleep. She is actually going down for naps A LOT quicker now and I think its because she is associating the real pacifier with sleeping times. Good luck and remember, no matter what method you choose, it is going to ultimately come down to whether or not you can out-stubborn him and NOT GIVE IN!! He may act like he is dying but that is just his last ditch effort at winning you over!

C.-

I can SOOO RELATE.. My daughter was 2 weeks shy of her 3rd birthday before we finally got rid of it once and for all. I tried several times well before that to get rid of it [ cutting the tip off the paci, dipping them in lemon juice, hiding them,throwing them away, etc etc]. I finally set boundries for the paci. I told her "binkys are for bedtime", and told her if she wanted her "bink" she needed to lay on her bed. When she was done with it, she had to leave it in her bed. I would just set simple boundries.. he needs to leave it in his bed.. he can suck on it till the timer goes off [ set it for like 2 minutes], etc etc. Take all of them and set them out of sight so he does not know where they are other then the one in his bed. Then " out of sight, out of mind". If he asks for one, hand it to him and remind him he needs to [ sit on the couch, sit on his bed, or whatever]. Eventually this tactic worked for me because my daughter did not want to spend her day laying in bed. It is hard, and listening to a screaming toddler at night is just not worth the hassle in my opinion. He will not go to kindergarten with it, eventually he will give it up. Its just hard waiting it out.

S.

What did you do with the older boy?

Try taking the pacifier away during the day, endure the crying and give it only at nap or night for awhile, then eventually take it away for nap , then nightime. It is hard , but YOU are the parent and in control.
He will get over it.

Don't want to sound harsh, but there it is.
Good luck.

ps.. I love the idea of the 'binky fairy'.

We made a rule that the pacie had to stay in her room or it went in the garbage. She eventually threw all of them away. Each time she put one in the garbage I praised her and told her she was such a big girl and that she didn't need that pacie any more. It was rough the first 24 hrs with out the pacie but she is now pacie free. I also bribed her with a new book if she didn't cray anymore about her pacie:)
Good luck, K.

Again, Thumz brushed on the pacifier will aid in helping to break the habit. It helps break thumb sucking. So brush some Thumz (any pharmacy will have it), and when he pops that in his mouth it will taste awful.

Hi C., My name is M., I am a mother of 3. My children also really loved their binkies. I let them have it anytime until the age 2 then they were limited to only nap and nighttime. Before they got out of crib the binky was pulled from mouth and left behind. As they got closer to age 3, I started snipping the end off and reducing the size of binky until finally there was nothing left for them to suck on. I told them their binky was broke and had to be thrown out. I let them throw the pacifier away themselves and that way there was no fussing. If you have several laying around the house,each week start snipping a new one and eventually they will all be broke and thrown away,. Good luck, you may have a couple of restless nights but that should resolve shortly.

Well, we just said our final goodbyes to the pacifier and our daughter turned three in April... I had plans to lose it at 2 but it was such a source of comfort at nighttime and naps that we talked about doing it at age 2 1/2. We never allowed it for other times of the day or out of the home. SO at 2 1/2 we went one night without it. I slept with her because it was so uncomfortable and painful for her. The next day i did more research and determined that the risk of tooth problems really isn't proven unless you go into later years when the real teeth come in--i just felt in my heart that this was not a reason to take away something that continues to bring so much comfort at sleeptime. Ideally, its not great but we kept the pacifier to sleeping only. We were sure that at age 3, we would call on the pacifier fairy and be done for good. Of course, at her third birthday she didn't want to say goodbye to her pacifier. Due to a change in babysitter and then more working hours for me, we did not feel up to the challenge ourselves. We did notice her trying to get her pacifier in her mouth during daytime hours more and more as i think she knew it was time to say goodbye to her pacifier. That frustrated me and i knew we had to do something. As luck would have it, she got a cut lip, which turned into a canker sore on the inside of her lip and using the pacifier was not only painful, it was gross thinking of all the germs, etc. This was our chance! We 'reasoned' with her and went the first night without her pacifier. It really was not easy but because of her lip, it was easier to stick to the plan. The next morning we packaged up her pacifiers and sent them off to the fairy who sent her some very nice toys--which she was thrilled about. It was still a struggle for her, but after 3 nights, it was pretty easy. A few times she wanted her pacifier back but she settled for me singing to her. Overall, i'm thankful that the transition went as it did. This is getting to be a really long story... my point is, try not to beat yourself up over this. At some point, he will be over it. Limiting it to nighttime or naps seems like a fair compromise or i am sure that cold turkey works as well if you can get thru the first few nights. I do believe that some children are extremely soothed by pacifiers and it becomes a very hard habit to break. Why we are so hard on children about breaking things that give them comfort, i just don't know... i know i probably come across as a big pushover--which i'm kinda pretty strict and firm on somethings. I'm learning to pick my battles and the pacifier just didn't seem like that big of deal in the big picture. I always felt that getting good sleep is the priority for the whole family. My second daughter has very little interest in a pacifier and that just confirms that there is not right or wrong things to do across the board. Different kids need different things. Anyways, best of luck! Sorry this turned into a book! You're definitely not the only one to agonize over the darn pacifier!

when he's awake and settled in talk about how yucky and dirty the pacifier is and he'll eventually get on board and throw it away himself... don't fight with someone who is tired, cause we all know the moms and dads are very tired... Get Dad on board with this too. You can double team the little guy. It really works!

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