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Need Help Breaking Pacifier Habit in Two Year Old

Hello. My soon-to-be 2-year-old daughter uses a pacifier at nap and bed time in the crib. I want to break this habit, but she is hooked (I know I should have done this long ago). I have begun taking it away at nap time first, but this results in hysterics until she eventually falls asleep from exhaustion. Should I wait until she is old enough to reason with better? Take it away cold turkey and let her scream until she's over it? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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I have 4 kids and broke three of them this way (the 4th didn't take a pacifier). All were at least 2 when we did this. We talked to them for a week or two about how this is the only pacifier they have and when it wears out, it is gone. My daughter constantly left hers all over the house on the floor. We told her that if someone stepped on it, it may break and since it was her only one, that would be her last one. AFter talking and reminding her of this for several days, on a weekend (incase she couldn't sleep without it), we cut a little bit off of the top and put it back on the floor. The next time she picked it up, when it got in her mouth, she noticed that it was "broke". She said yuck, b/c it didn't feel good in her mouth. I told her she would have to throw it away. She went right to the trash and put it in. Later in the evening and at night, she would ask where it was. We would make HER tell us what happened to it. She would and then she was okay. She did fine that night. With my boys we did the same type of thing (cutting the tip off when they weren't looking after prepping them) and they did fine also. I think the key to breaking them is to prep them and talk about what happens when they "loose it" or "break it". We just helped them to do that. Good luck.

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I have two children, both my children had a pacifier until they were about 2 or 3(teeth and all.) One day my daughter chewed it up so bad I just took it because I was scared she would choke on the rubber. I understand completely that was an outlet for me, my kids could not live without it. My son still had a bottle in preschool! The teachers actually got him off the bottle and pacifier. He had it so bad his grandmother nick named him "Binky Boy", he use to hate it! Just give it some time, kids have their own behavior and attitudes so when she is ready it will be easy.

I used the binky fairy with my daughter and it worked. My daughter was 3 and I told her that other babies needed her binky so the fairy would come and leave her a present for being a big girl and giving it to a baby who didn't have one. She said she really wanted a doctors kit so I bought one and wrote her a note from the fairy. It said how proud she was of her and what a big girl she was. It worked and all she has is her blanket and that is fine with me. Hope this might help you.

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I have 4 kids and broke three of them this way (the 4th didn't take a pacifier). All were at least 2 when we did this. We talked to them for a week or two about how this is the only pacifier they have and when it wears out, it is gone. My daughter constantly left hers all over the house on the floor. We told her that if someone stepped on it, it may break and since it was her only one, that would be her last one. AFter talking and reminding her of this for several days, on a weekend (incase she couldn't sleep without it), we cut a little bit off of the top and put it back on the floor. The next time she picked it up, when it got in her mouth, she noticed that it was "broke". She said yuck, b/c it didn't feel good in her mouth. I told her she would have to throw it away. She went right to the trash and put it in. Later in the evening and at night, she would ask where it was. We would make HER tell us what happened to it. She would and then she was okay. She did fine that night. With my boys we did the same type of thing (cutting the tip off when they weren't looking after prepping them) and they did fine also. I think the key to breaking them is to prep them and talk about what happens when they "loose it" or "break it". We just helped them to do that. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there. Hope things are getting better for you. This may sound like a silly question, but do you happen to know anyone who is currently pregnant? If you do, you could always explain to your older child that binky's (or whatever they prefer to call it), is for baby's and what would you think about cleaning your passy and giving it to the baby so you can be the first one to give him/her one. That worked for two of my neices, but then again we know a lot of pregnant women hehehhe. Good luck I hope this can at least give you an idea of where to begin. Let us know how it goes.

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My neighbor just had a baby and I told my son-who was almost 2 also-that now we have to give his "binky" to Alex. We brought them over in a cute little bag and gave them to Alex. Of course he didn't use them. We made sure that he had new ones that looked the same. My son has never asked for one after that day.

I also heard of using the binky fairy. Binky under the pillow and a surprise in the morning.

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Hi Laury-
I have a two and a half year old girl who looooves her binkies, too. She takes them at naptime and at bedtime only. I hate to say this, but why make her stop? If she was a thumb-sucker, you wouldn't be able to take it away from her, right? At least with the binkies, you and I have it under "control" by basically having them use it at bedtime only. I just feel like there's no reason to rush them into something they're not ready for...aren't there enough things like that in life? My pediatrician told me she's not concerned with binky use/thumb sucking until well into the third year, so I decided there are enough hurdles we moms have to jump with two year olds. Also, I see that you have a little one, too. I have a five month old at home. Gaining a sibling is so traumatic and stressful to these little beings; more than we realize. If the pacifier helps with the adjustment (which believe me, takes longer than a few months) than so be it. I may be totally wrong, but I think there are so many other more important things to stress about, and I've never seen a twenty-year old walking around with a binky, sooo....contact me if you want to talk more about it!! Hope that helps!

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There is another response like the one I'm going to give you. You do have to do it, cold turkey. She has to see you get rid of it. Throwing it away should work. That is how it worked for one of my attatched children. Once she saw it go in the trash, she never asked for it again.

hi laury,
I had the exact same problem with my daughter she is 2 1/2 and used it at nap, at bedtime and sometimes during the day when she got really irritated or tired, it got to point where we would have to make sure we had her bink bink to leave the house, i tried many times to take it away and everyone told me to just let her go and she will get rid of it on her own, but i thought it was time to let it go she will be in pre-school next year and i didn't want to have her taking that bink bink with her, and one day at the mall she put it down and left it in the store we lokked for it but had no luck finding it, i told her the bink bink princess came and took it away cause she is a big girl now, we got her a big bed and told her bink binks are for tiny babies only, she cried and fused and screamed a few nights then she just forgot about it she still has her moments but all in all she doesn't ask for her BB anymore.

I can tell you how I rid my baby of her ninnie and bottle with out so much as a tear. Children in this age hve a deal object permanance, so once they see something go away its gone forever. I got up early on a morning that the trash men came and I had my baby, when she was ready throw her bottle or her ninnie in the the trash truck. She stood and watched the trash truck crush it up with the other trash, she waved good bye to it and never asked again. You must make sure you throw all the ninnies awawy because if you have a few then the child will know this, plus if you have them around the house and the child asks for it later, you may be tempted to give it to them. I hope you try this and it works, let me know!! Good luck!

Honestly, you DO have to cold turkey it. What I would do though, because of the new little one in the house, is give her a special stuffed animal for now. Get her use to that going with her to bed as her little friend and then take it away. Just because of an added little body she has to share life with, she does need something given as a substitute, rather hten it just ripped from her with nothing else to turn to. We cold turkeyed both of ours at one. he oldest chucked it in the trash himself and KNEW he threw it away. the youngest got left and grandma's house at 9 months nad we said dont send it and we arent buying a new one. he was fine.
Good luck, H., 24--wife to Dave, mommy to Eann,3, Kieran,1, and Angel Hope, the little one who never made it here, 7/13/06

Hi. I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old son. When i had my second son, my first one was 2 and still had the pacifier. We kept telling him he's a "Big Boy" now, and his brother is the baby boy. Big boy's don't use pacifiers, only babies do. I told him "look daddy doesn't use a binky", after about a month of telling him he's the big boy and binkies are for babies (we took the pacifier out of his mouth every time we told him), he finally gave it up and started giving it to his brother everytime he cried. Now he's 3 and hasn't had it for almost a year. We've even gotten the pacifier away from our 1 year old too. Now neither of them use it. It was easy to take it from the 1 year old. when he cried, instead of giving him the pacifier, we gave him a soft book, blanket, stuffed animal......anything to re-direct his attention and stop crying. Give it a try. See if it works for you too. Good luck.

Oh, and once i put a TINY drop of hot sauce on the pacifier and told him don't put it in his mouth because it was hot. Of course he did......but didn't go near it for about a week. It was funny at the time, but now I think it was kind of mean. But, it worked a little. I don't recomend this though. Just thought i'd share my experiences.

You have to go cold turkey. I threw my daughters away the first 3 nights were horrible but buy the 4th night she was okay. Out of site out mind. She didn't see it so after awhile she didn't miss it.

I used the binky fairy with my daughter and it worked. My daughter was 3 and I told her that other babies needed her binky so the fairy would come and leave her a present for being a big girl and giving it to a baby who didn't have one. She said she really wanted a doctors kit so I bought one and wrote her a note from the fairy. It said how proud she was of her and what a big girl she was. It worked and all she has is her blanket and that is fine with me. Hope this might help you.

Hi Laury!

My daughter never took a pacifier so I'm not sure how well this works, however, I saw something on one of those nanny shows a while ago.

The nanny talked to a little girl about the "binky fairy". She told the little girl that the binky fairy was going to come to take the binky's to give to another little girl who needed them more. She had the little girl put all her binky's into a bag because the binky fairy was coming that night to take them and leave a special little gift for her being such a big girl. The little girl was so excited. She took all her binky's and put them into a bag. They hung the bag on a tree in the little girls backyard. The next morning there was a gift in place of that bag and the little girl was SO excited!!! I'm not sure if she was older though.

I told my sister-in-law about that story also. She was going to try it if her son wasn't going to give them up after she took all the pacifiers away from him (she just took them away when I told her). He turned 3 about a week or two after she took them away. He hasn't missed them yet. Good luck.

S.

I have two boys and in my experience every kid is different. My oldest, who is now 4 I stopped cold turkey and he didn't even seem to notice, but my two year old is just like yours. He has it at nap time and bed time. The good news is that she doesn't need it during the day. My opinion is that when she's ready to lose it you'll find that taking is much easier, and medically, there is no reason to take it from her. Anyway, Goodluck with what you choose.
K.

With my daughter I took it away cold turkey - it was a rough 2 weeks but then she never asked for it again! She was 2 1/2!

Hi Laury,

I feel for you. I was in the same boat with my little girl. Here is my story..
I enrolled her in an older toddler program at a local daycare so she can interact with other kids more and It also gave me a break to get things done at home too. No one in her class had a pacifier not even the younger ones. I was too embarrassed to give it to the teacher in case my daughter got cranky so I didn't and left. She goes from 9:am to 3:pm but they nap from 1:pm to 3:pm. When I picked her up at three o'clock all the other kids were napping and she was in the dark playing quietly. I told the teacher she didn't nap because she didn't have her pacifier. The teacher said why didn't you leave it? I said because I am trying to wean her off of it and she said there is no weaning, either you give it to her or you don't. So I decided that day it was going to be the last day. That night instead of putting her to bed with her pacifier and walking out I rocked her to sleep. I told her that it broke but realized that she wasn't buying fully so I cut it and showed it to her and she immediately stuck it in her mouth and took it right back out obviously it wasn't the same so we took it to the garbage together and said goodbye. The next time I picked her up from school she had no problem napping there without one. So I said to myself "oh yeah?" well then she should have no problem going to bed without one either. So what she did was before I left the room to say goodnight she would ask for her juice in her sippy cup instead. I gave it to her and she just held it and when she fell asleep I would take it away. Now we are at the point where she asks for it and I say ok I'll get it and by the time I get downstairs she's sleeping. The day I took it away she turned 28 months and she'll be three in October. She is just fine now without it. Cold turkey is the way to go. Have a closing on it though like we did by throwing it away so she knows what happened to it. I do hope this helps. Let me know how it works out.

Laury wow shes good if she only takes it at nap time and bed that is awesome i wouldnt worry about it at all both my girls were attached to there binkys and my ped said no worries it dont hurt for them to have it they will get tired of it and they did i would let her take it for nap and bed time it is hard on them when i new baby is around too and has one my sil just had a baby last friday and her 21 month old has a binky well so does the new baby and she tries to steal his binky at times its alot on them just keep letting it only at bed time and soon your daughter will let it go my daughters were both alittle over three and my younger one i told her it was broke she was a big girl and didnt need it she cried for a couple nights but did fine and same with my other daughter there 11 and 5 so no worries your baby girl is little yet let her have it ...less stress all the way around just at bed time is fine though...

Santa came and took my daughter's binkies away when she was two. We had been warning her for at least a month. She has never asked for them after that Christmas. She found two since that day and laughed and said the Easter Bunny would come and get them. Gave them right to me and never thought twice about them. We told them all the good little boys and girls whose mommies couldn't buy them binkies needed hers. No problems.

Good luck!!

Hi!

I think the fact that her use of the pacifier is limited to crib time is a huge advantage. I have done this with my first two children. When my son who is now 3 1/2 was 2 1/2 we started talking about getting rid if his pacifiers ~ the talk lasted only about 2 weeks and after a week at the beach he walked down to the water and tossed them all in for the baby dolphins. Never asked for them again! My soon to be 2 year old daughter is not ready to even discuss the idea of getting rid of the pacifiers. I tried it a few months ago when we were at the beach again but she just wasn't ready. I think if you just wait it out and test her comfort level with it, you'll be surprised how non-traumatic it can be as long as she's involved in the timing. An additional reason why I've never gone cold turkey with either one of them is because there has been a new sibling each time and I didn't want it to seem that the baby was being favored in the pacifier realm. I have a 2 1/2 week old and can't really reason with the 2 year old that she can't have the paci and that the new baby can.

Good luck!

She will grow out of it, it better than the thumb that can cause teeth problems... My daughter gave it up when she was about 3 1/2, the only way I could get her to get rid of it is I tell her there was a "binky fairy" and would leave her a supprise for her when she put the binkys under her pillow... it took a week to find them all, but was the best $20 I ever spent, then I took her to toys r' us to spend her "binky fairy" money...Smooth...
As a child my self I gave mine up at 2 1/2 when I went to swimming class and my dad told me there was going to older girls and they did not use binkys, so I went and threw it in the garbage, and never asked for it...
I hope this helps...
N.

My almost 2 1/2 year old son also has a pacifier only at nap and bedtime. He since has given up his nap so only has has it at bedtime. I have always been told by relatives and my son's pediatrician that the pacifier should be gone by about 3 years old. I wouldn't fret it until your daughter is almost 3 years old. Who knows, maybe she'll be more able to give it up by then. My sister-in-law told my nephew the garbage man took it...he didn't like the garbage man for quite some time, but it worked.

I have two children, both my children had a pacifier until they were about 2 or 3(teeth and all.) One day my daughter chewed it up so bad I just took it because I was scared she would choke on the rubber. I understand completely that was an outlet for me, my kids could not live without it. My son still had a bottle in preschool! The teachers actually got him off the bottle and pacifier. He had it so bad his grandmother nick named him "Binky Boy", he use to hate it! Just give it some time, kids have their own behavior and attitudes so when she is ready it will be easy.

hi! i just left my job as a toddler teacher. i worked with children 15 months to 2 years 9 months for 2 years, so i've dealt with similar issues. i had the most success with getting rid of the pacifier this way: ask your daughter if she wants to be a big girl and do some big things with you, like taking care of the baby. most likely she'll respond with a yes. then you can tell her that pacifiers are more for babies instead of big girls, but to help you as a big girl, she can give her pacifier to the baby. i used to have my toddlers walk to the baby room and had the pacifier to the infant teacher to give to a baby (of course the other teacher never gave it to another baby, they just handed it back to me when the child wasn't looking.) at nap time, when the child would ask for the pacifier, i just reminded them that they were a big girl/boy and helped the babies by giving to them. if they brought in a new pacifier the next day, i repeated the process. the child was sad at first for the first few days, but then they kept telling me, their parents, and other teachers that they were a big girl/boy.
try having your daughter give her pacifier to the baby at nap time and explain that the baby needs it and she will be big girl helping mommy if she gave it the baby.

I wouldn't really worry about it since she's not even two yet and only uses it at nap and bed time. I see so many children walking around in public with a pacifier in their mouths and they are so obviously three, four or even five. I think she's doing wonderfully. My son was the same way at that age, he only used his pacifier at naps and bedtime and when we moved him out of is crib a few months later, he gave up the pacifier on his own. The bed was such a big deal for him that he just forgot the pacifcer and never missed it. I wouldn't push it yet, she's still young. It will probably be easy when she's ready. Good luck. I hope this helps.
D.

What about having her help clean them and wrap them up to give to either your new baby or another relative or friend's new baby? Talk about how she's a big girl and how the little baby will be so happy and won't cry now that she is sharing.

H.

Hi there. My best suggestion is to start cutting the nipple of the pacifier away. Just the tip for a couple nights, then more and more until the whole nipple is gone. Does she understand the concept of "broken?" That's what you tell her it's "broken" and you don't have any more.

Some toddlers/babies don't want it once it's cut the first time because it loses a great deal of it's suction power. Others use it broken and don't care.

The only hitch is if the 3 month old is using one as well. Then she may be jealous and try to take her's away and make it her own.

Also, you will have about a week's worth of sleep issues. It will be more of a challenge for her to fall asleep and to put herself back to sleep if she wakes during the night. All I can say is she WILL eventually get used to it. Be strong, and don't give in - it will work better and faster that way. Good luck!

About me: I'm a happily married mother of a son who just turned 4 and a daughter who's 16 months. I am also a labor and postpartum doula.

I would wait till she is 3 - I waited until my son was three and honestly- it was easy. We talked about before we bit the bullet and then we talked about being a big boy and then one night he came down said he was ready and that was it

My son is ADDICTED to his pacifier. We started off only allowing him to have it during naps and bed but then he wanted it all the time. Now he always has it. He's not allowed to take it out in public, it stays in the car. I would love to get him over it, but I don't want to stress him (he has a bad oral fixation. Everything still ends up in his mouth and it's either crap or the binky). I've read in several places that it really doesn't make a difference in their dental "future" until they turn 3. We've decided that as the binkies get lost or broken we are not replacing them. When their gone their gone.

I think the older your child gets and the MORE they can reason with you, the harder it will be to take the pacifier away. Take it away, but get her ready for it, by saying "starting Monday (or whenever) we're putting away the pacifier." and say it each night/nap before bed until Monday comes. Also discuss with her an alternative "lovey" to use for bedtime once the binky is gone. Say "what would you like to go to sleep with when your pacifier is gone? Mr. bear? Your blankey?" or whatever. Keep bringing it up as Monday gets closer. Another idea I heard is, when the promised day arrives, have the child toss the pacifier herself, or "donate" it to a baby she knows who you can say needs one (you don't have to actually give it to the baby, just maybe have your daughter help you get a package ready to mail). That way you aren't just suddenly taking the pacifier away with no warning and no explaination. And then just don't have any in the house to temp her or you into using them!

ugh i know the feeling, my son is three and still has his binky or his "blue" as he calls it. He only has it when he sleeps as well but i asked at his preschool and they dont give it to him and he goes to bed fine without it sooooo im thinking cold turkey is the way to go, just like we did with the bottles. I know having a 3 month old it might be hard to let the 2 yr old scream but it will more than likely only be a few days then she will be over it im sure.. good luck...

My daughter, now five, was completely attached to her pacifier also. She even talked to it like a friend sometimes! My husband and I tried many ways to get her to give it up from cold turkey to phasing it out- all ending with a great deal of crying and tantrums on her part (and some on ours). Finally, I started popping it out of her mouth when she fell asleep and putting it next to her. Sometimes she woke up and put it back in but sometimes she didn't. When she had only two left in the house, one of them "started to get old and break" (the nipple got cut off) and she wasn't allowed to use that one anymore. When the other one "broke" too, she just held it to fall asleep since there was nothing to suck on. Just remember it is a process and if all else fails, relax and let her give it up in her own time. Hope this helps.

My son also used a pacifier at nap and bed time. I read a lot about breaking the habit. Most of the professional advice said to just wait, your daughter will give it up when she's ready. I told my son that there is an increased risk of ear infection with pacifier use, which is true, but that it would be his decision as to when to give it up. He quit right then.

Good luck.

If anyone knows what you're going through, it's definately me. I used to call my daughter the "binky queen." She literally had a secret stash of binkies and she would have one in her mouth, and one in each and hand and switch them around every so often. She would talk with it in her mouth, kiss me with it, if she would have been able to eat with it in her mouth, believe me she would have lol. I couldn't take it anymore. I started taking it from her during the day and giving it back at night (when she was about 2 yrs. old and that was like hell on earth. Then I gave up. I asked the doctor, and he said that it may harm her teeth, but other than that it would not emotionally damage her in any way. He told me that she would give it up when she was ready, and he was so right. One day my daughter was at my grandparents house and she was there for a while with out it. When she finally did ask for it, my grandfather told her that he couldn't find it. So when I picked her up I saw it as the perfect opportunity not to give it to her as well. When she asked me for it I told her the monster ate it. I know that sounds so mean, but it worked. She is so smart though, the next morning she came down stairs with one in her mouth (from her secret stash lol) and I asked her to give it to me and she did. I threw it in the trash. A little while later she had it again; yes she got it out of the trash lol. Then I threw it away again and she didn't ask for it. When she began again, I told her it was for babies. That didn't work either. This all happened three months before her 3rd birthday. I told her if she gave it up she would get a bike for her birthday. I know bribing children is not the best alternative, but after basically going crazy over the stupid issue, you gotta do what you gotta do. Plus I was planning on getting her a bike for her birthday anyway, so I figured I would use it to my advantage. You could also try telling your child that all the babies need the binkies. It didn't work for my daughter, but it has worked for some of my friends. So good luck, and be patient. Think of an incentive that your child can look forward to.

We have just about cut off my 18 month old. We tried the cold turkey method. He had gotten it down to just nap and bedtime and then we just stopped letting him have it. The first 3 days were tough because he didn't realize it was time to go to sleep and just keep talking and playing in his crib. After about 1/2 hour he figured it out he was supposed to go to sleep. There are still a few hidden around the house that we have not found yet and when he finds one himself, he starts sucking and won't give it to us but within a week or so, they will be all in the trash.

My grandaughter took the pacifier till she was 4yrs, it was like a security. she also had to have one in each hand, then one day she was losing a tooth and I told her if she didn't give them up her teeth were all going to fall out, That was the last time she used a pacifer, but a least your daughter
is only using it to go to sleep, it all maybe due to having a
new baby in the house, just give her a little bit of time to adjust to not be the baby anymore.

My 27 month old son just had a visit from the binky fairy about a week ago. So far, so good. The first 2 nights he wined and cried a little, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be. He still occasionally asks for it, but we tell him the binki fairy gave them to little babies that needed them. The binki fairy came while he was sleeping, took the binkies, and left a teddy bear and a few trucks for him to play with. He was so excited about the trucks, he still doesn't care about the bear. We let him pick a toy to take to bed with him, and that seems to work. We prepared him by telling him that big boys don't need binkies anymore and the binky fairy would be coming soon. I've also heard that having the child use to pacifiers to pay for something they want works really well, too. Just make prior payment arrangements with the store and take her with you to pick something out. Have her pay with the pacifiers. I hope that was some help. Just make sure when you take them away, you take them away for good. Giving them back will only make it harder the next time. I hope I helped. Good Luck!

H.

i am not sure if this will help, but my 4 yr old had her "ga-ga" until she was 3... i was petrified at the thought of taking it away from her. we started prepping her by telling her that the "ga-ga" fairy will be coming soon to take her ga-ga to the other new babies that need one. we spoke about this for a few months, then one night (after her newborn nephew was here) we took it, she asked if the ga-ga fairy came, we said yes, she cried for 5 minutes... we also had bought a gift, from the ga-ga fairy, then she was fine... it has also fixed her teeth too... good luck!

My son got rid of his when he was 4 months old, LOL, so this suggestion is from a friend of mine. My friend, who has 3 children, threw the pacifier away when her youngest turned 1. It was only 10 minutes of crying, and her daughter adjusted. Sometimes we are afraid of what the outcome will be of something, and we tend to give in to our children, but if you really want to break the habit, just do it cold turkey, and help your child find other ways to fall alseep. Maybe its soothing music, or being rocked, which isn't a bad thing. Hope all works fine...

Hi!
I went through all of this...I was convinced that my daughter was going to end up with a binky in her mouth on her high school graduation day! I knew what happend when I tried to take it away and that was not something I wanted to put her through or go through myself. My mother (you really should listen to them!) told me that I needed to calm down-she would let it go when she was ready. Whatever anxieties I had about binky use were irrelavant to her development, they were about me and the perception from other parents. My mother was 100% on target. One day the binky stayed on the couch at bedtime and she never asked for it. I think alot of my problems as a mom is more about what kind of mother other mothers will think I am rather than the most important thing - what kind of mother will my child think I am.

I was able to pry my daughter's away before she was 2 but at the time someone suggested cutting off most of the rubber part so there is really nothing to suck on. I was told the logic is that you are giving them the pacifier but they figure out on their own that it doesn't satisfy them. That way it is their choice to give it up. But, make sure you keep extras just in case it doesn't work and HIDE them.
Good luck!

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