25 answers

Taking Away the Nuk

I have a 2 year old that is really attached to his "pukie" or nuk. Now I only give it to him at bed time and nap time but I would like to get rid of it all together. I have tried cutting the tip of it and it didn't even bother him at all. Any suggestions?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

The only thing that I've seen to really work is to just not give it to him. He will cry about it for a day or two, but then it's over.

I would try to talk to him about being a big boy and only babies use pukies. Then you should take it away at nap time and eventually bedtime. It will be hard for him and you to adjust at first but think about his teeth and how important it is to get rid of it. I would say now is a good time because he will be a big brother soon.

Out of Sight out of Mind. I have 3 kids. my 2 boys really liked the bink and when they switched to a sippy cup I just threw away the bink at the same time I got rid of the bottles. It took a few days but after they realized they didn't need it they were completely happy. Now with my girl it will be very easy to get rid of it cause she doesn't use one. Try just hidding them or throwing them away when he is sleeping. He won't miss it

More Answers

The only thing that I've seen to really work is to just not give it to him. He will cry about it for a day or two, but then it's over.

I have a couple friends who have used this technique with success which is why I used it too. Since you are expecting and you want to include your son in on the family excitement, pose it to him this way. He could give his pacifier to the baby as a special present when she arrives and then he can move into the role as big brother. Talk about how the baby will need one, and how it will help her feel secure (or whatever word he can relate to for this), how it will be extra special to her if he were to give her HIS pacifier. And then tell him when she is coming and start the countdown. We did this it was fun. My daughter thought it was so awesome to be the big sister who gave such a special gift to the little baby sister. And then she got a special stuffed animal to sleep with instead as a growing up gift. We also used this technique in the same time frame with getting her out of the crib into a big girl bed. She was so thrilled to give the baby a crib and a pacifier when she came home from the hospital that it was very little trouble for her to let go of them. She continues now to be a giving big sister too, because we started her relationship with her sister in a giving way. Hope this helps. It is certainly worth a try. Good luck.

Keep trimming it away. We had the same scenario... eventually there wasn't enough left and we had to throw it away "because it was broken". Just make sure he can't find the back-up nuks that are probably hidden around! :-)

Both of our girls were about 21 months when a new baby was born, and both were very attached to the nuk. We didn't want to get rid of it during a trying time with new baby in the house, so we waited. With #1, she got so whiny about the nuk that when she was about 2 1/2 we cut it, and she was crabby for a day and then it was gone. With #2, she lost it and so we just said it was gone, and she did fine. #3 is 3 months and a thumb sucker - I'm a bit more worried about that since we can't cut it off :)

Funny thing is, we were so relieved after we got rid of it...it really wasn't as big a deal as you think it will be or as people make it out to be. Good luck!

I have almost the same problem with my 29 month old daughter, except ours is the bottle. She also gets her bottle just at nap time (at home) and at bedtime. She is in a home day care for 8.5 hours a day and takes a good nap without the bottle there, however, on the weekends or at night she won't go to sleep without it. I have tried a couple of times however dad can't listen to her cry. I was talking to a co-worker about this and she said why take her off of it, it's just water, she isn't hurting anything she don't carry it around, why traumatize her, she will take her self off when she is ready. So I decided to give that a try and just smile when people ask me why she still has it. A little about me: I have three children, a boy 22, a girl 20, a stepson 16 a stepdaughter 9 and a girl 29 months. Let me know if you get any responses that work and I might have to give them a try otherwise I think I will just wait and see.
She is potty trained during the day, and hates wearing a diaper at night so that might just be my answer; however that won't work for the "nuk". Good luck

We tried bringing them to a baby cousin, but that didn't work for us. A friend put them in an envelope and mailed them to another baby who needed them.

For both of my children we had to go cold turkey. One weekend my daughter couldn't find hers, so instead of looking we told her it was time to stop. Bedtime wasn't fun and the time out the next day was horrible, but by the time Monday came around she had totally forgotten about it. We went to the store and bought a stuffed animal that she could cuddle with instead.

A. - I noticed that you are expecting a daughter in September and I think the timing would be awful to try and wean your son from the nuk at this time. If he is just weaned and then sees his baby sister using one, he is going to want the nuk all over again and it will be a constant battle. The experience will be too fresh and he won't understand why she can have one and he can't. My daughter (now a 3yo, weaned from the nuk at 17 mos) was 26 mos when her baby sister was born. There were 9 months between the weaning and the birth, which was enough time for her to get over it. She has been great up until about a month ago when she started having jealousy issues and began babytalking, wanting the nuk again, etc. Her baby sister is now 10 months old and a total flirt. I believe my 3yo is doing this to get attention, and it will pass.

However, if you are dead set on weaning him now, my advice would have been to cut the tip, not off, but from top to bottom so that the tip can be opened like a curtain. You might be able to trick him this way, because it might look intact but won't function. He won't understand it and just toss it aside because he won't ge the same results. This worked wonders for my daughter at 17 months. You could also try dipping the tip into something very untasty, like vinegar. He may not want it anymore if he is unsatisfied with the new flavor. Good luck, and let me know if you have more questions. Hope this helps!


My son is almost 21 months old and very, very attached to his nuk day and night. He was getting it through out the day when he would cry and get crabby and in the car, naps and for bed but at times of course during the day he didnt have it but he had it a lot. But now for the last couple weeks or so I have taken it away from him during the day to only at night and his nap during the day I take it out of his mouth while he's sleeping so he wont wake up with it so that way its easier to get it from him when he wakes up. Hes not to the point of giving it up to me yet, but we'll get there. Im not to worried about getting rid of it all together yet but I was worried about getting it away from him during the day and he was crabby for awhile and would reach for it but got over it. Its like he doesnt miss it but once he's in his crib he know's he gets it and he sure reaches for it he cant say binky but I know what he means.
But as for getting rid of it while a new baby is coming may be hard for him if you give your new one a binky. As for starting anything new when a change is coming like a new baby or potty training ect... they can or will revert back to what to what your trying to change or do. So I would wait for awhile after the baby is here that is what I would do anyways. But whatever you choose to do good luck we will be there in time but for now where working on potty trainig..... L.

1st ask yourself honestly, why you want to get rid of it. Barring any advise from well meaning nose butt-ers, what's the hurry? Children have a need to suckel that is normal. That need varies with different children. If that need is not met, a child will usually show signs of distress and may substitute the 1st object with a far less sanitary substitute. Children need less suckeling as they get older, thus they give up the pacifier. Your efforts to trick or coax him away from it prematurly may lengthen the time he needs it. Suckeling provides security and control to a child. You may have items that bring you comfort and calming like an hierloom, it may be a food or you may feel control or powerful driving your car. Whatever it is, imagine how you would feel if someone took it away-imagine how you would feel toward the person that took it. The fact is- you're having another baby and your 2 yr old may be feeling a change coming and will definetly feel that change once the baby gets here. Even if you get him to give it up now, he would probably revert back once the baby arrives. You are going to need for him to be able to find comfort once that baby takes his place as the baby of the house and you're going to have your hand full. Pacifiers are not a bad thing. They allow a child to have some control over their own comfort instead of always looking to you to provide it. Do the best thing for your child, ignore everyone else- and their horror stories- and let him have this until he gives it up on his own. If he still has it when he's 4 -write back- I don't think you'll need to.

we finally got rid of our daughter's nuk when she was 29 months old. What we did was we all went outside to the garbage Bin and did this big thing about how she is a big girl now and made a big game and dance out of it and then we helped her throw it away in the garbage bin outside. That helped for her. She would ask for it the first few nights but by the end of the week it didnt bother her not to have it anymore cuz she knew she was a big girl...

I personally wouldnt cut the nipple off. That doesnt always work. I personally would just throw it away all together and or throw him a big boy party and help him throw it away. Just dont GIVE IT if he wants it BACK!!

There isn't exactly a specific time period that you HAVE TO get rid of the pacifier. My daughter gave hers up at age 2 1/2 well, almost 3. She lost a pacifier outside AND we couldn't find any around the house. We were the ones more worried I think. It was miserable at first but such a blessing at the same time. That summer, we had a rabbit that just had babies. Since she knew that - we told her that the mommy rabbit needed them for the bunnies. It worked. I think she had two rough nights of getting to sleep but told her it was "so nice and thoughtful" of her to give the pacifiers to the bunnies. I think that since you'll be having another baby soon, your son may have a hard time adapting to the changes. I probably wouldn't focus too much on giving up the pacifier until a little while after. Maybe after the baby is born you can explain how he is such a BIG BOY and that babies use pacifiers. I've also heard of people giving it to Santa (in their stocking) as a token of their appreciation of all the wonderful presents. Just a thought. If you're worried about oral health and pacifiers - no need to worry TOO much. I have 3 dental professionals in my family and they'd rather see kids using pacifiers than their thumb. I know it didn't do any damage to my daughter's teeth. Good luck.

I would try to talk to him about being a big boy and only babies use pukies. Then you should take it away at nap time and eventually bedtime. It will be hard for him and you to adjust at first but think about his teeth and how important it is to get rid of it. I would say now is a good time because he will be a big brother soon.

Have him pack things that the new baby will need: diapers, bottles, nuks etc...And then tell him he gets to pick out a big boy toy since he is giving his baby things to the new baby.

Out of Sight out of Mind. I have 3 kids. my 2 boys really liked the bink and when they switched to a sippy cup I just threw away the bink at the same time I got rid of the bottles. It took a few days but after they realized they didn't need it they were completely happy. Now with my girl it will be very easy to get rid of it cause she doesn't use one. Try just hidding them or throwing them away when he is sleeping. He won't miss it

Don't take away his self comfort method now that there is a little sister coming so soon. That will be enough disruption in his life. If he is just using it for sleeping it really isn't a concern until he is a bit older. Once he is 3 you can do the nuk fairy. That method worked great for my DS, he even decided when to do it and had the power to get his pacis back if he wanted to return the toys the fairy brought him (which of course he never wanted to do :)

I wouldn't do it before the new baby is born. Since you are due in just a month, this is not a long enough time for your son to forget about it. My daughter needs to suck. She loved her pacifiers until she discovered her fingers were yummy(under a year old) and now is a finger-sucker. She is now 22 months old and we have a 7 week old as well. My toddler is now putting the pacifiers in her mouth again and it has been a real struggle.

we took the paci away from our 2 year old earlier this summer. we cut off the tip of the paci and for the first 2 days she didn't notice. (we hid all the others) then she started saying it was broken and she threw it away herself. we then let her pick out a stuffed toy (elmo) at target and talked it up how she can go to bed with elmo now! the first few days she missed her paci, but got over it. however, one thing we weren't ready for- early morning wake ups!! i think she had normally woken up early, but sucked on the paci to soothe back to sleep- without that tool, she was now crying out to us- at 5 am!!! just a heads up! (ps- you could also try cutting a more substantial bit of the paci off)

Hi A.,

Have him throw it away himself...then make sure that you have thrown away all the other ones, so that he doesn't accidentally find one. When they get rid of it themselves they usually understand better that it is gone. He might get upset a couple of times, but just explain to him what he did and let it go at that. You will be surprised how soon he will adjust.


Have him give all of his Nuks to the pluggie fairy and she will give them to kids that need them! I saw it on Super Nanny and it is the only thing that worked for my son! He felt like he was helping other kids and that he was a big boy!

I had to just take my sons away and go cold turkey. He was upset for a couple days, but after that it was like he never had it to begin with. It might seem heartless, but he didn't care about the end being cut off or the binky fairy or any of the other things that are supposed ot work. Tough love I guess ;) Hope this helps and good luck.

It is best if you just take it away altogether. I ran a daycare from my home and when a child would turn 1, I would no longer give them their pacifier same for the bottle. They missed it for about 2 days and then never asked for it again. Once he knows you are serious about him not having it, he will be fine. I was in the same boat when my daughter was 19 months old. I watched a segment on Oprah about this. They stated that once you decide who the parent is, it is easier to make these kinds of decisions. The child should have no say in it. I have lived by that for so many years now.
Another thing you could do is tie it on a balloon and have your son release the balloon. Tell him the babies in heaven need the pacifier now.

My boy sucks his thumb. He is 4 and went to the dentist last week. The dr. talked with him about protecting his teeth, etc. so he should try not to suck his thumb anymore. My boy has made the decision to stop sucking his thumb. I NEVER have to prompt him. He, of course, still sucks in his sleep.

Don't worry about kicking the habit at 2. I was a kindergarten teacher and I assure you, no child came to school with a nuk. He'll ween himself with gentle encouragement in time.

If you are certain you want it gone before new baby, suggest that your 2yr old 'give' the nuk to the new baby.

Good luck

Out of curiosity, why do you want to get rid of the nuk? The ADA says that nuks are fine as long as they are given up by 4yo.

Relax, and don't worry about it. My sons pediatrician and dentist said they need be off it around age 4. When my son was close to 3 he started chewing his. We told him there were no more left so when he chewed threw the last one he was done. He knew when there was only one left and didn't chew it for a few days, but then couldn't resist. Your son may not be ready to give his up yet.

Personally, I do not think you need to take it away. My kids never took to the pacifier, so I did not have to worry about it. But they do have their blankies. I asked the dr. if those should be taken away and she said that it was a comfort for them to have their "security" blankie. Taking it away could only tramatize them. She said that kids outgrow those security assurances (such as the blankie, pacifier, favorite stuffed animal, ie) on their own and the best thing is to let them decifer when they do not need it anymore. Granted, I have heard that pacifiers hurt their teeth, but as long as they are not permanent teeth, what is the problem? You are not dipping it in sugar!
Let him give it up in his own time. With a new baby on the way also, he might need it even more!
Congrats on your new addition.

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.