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Tips on Breaking the Pacifier Habit

I have an 18 month old who loves his pacifier for sleeping and car rides. Our pediatrician recommends breaking the paci habit asap. The doctor's concern is that the pacifier will cause palate occlusion (sp)?. He referred to some recent studies which confirm that pacifiers are problematic for the developing mouth. Also, the Dr. says it will only be harder to break later. Has anyone else broken an 18 month old of the habit? I've heard cutting the tip or the entire rubber part helps. I just wonder how big of a battle I'm in for...and when you break them of the paci, do they attach to something else (another transitional object). Thanks for your thoughts.

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UPDATE - DAY THREE AND NO PACI: Thank you all for your great advice. We are on day three and I'm amazed at how easy it has been. We cut the tips off of several of his pacifiers and he seems puzzled or humored by it - but so far not angry or sad. Naps and nighttime have been no problem at all. This morning he was a little fussy when he saw a full (uncut)pacifier on the kitchen counter. (I haven't had the heart to cut them all nor the wisdom to hide the uncut ones). I'm hopeful that this will work. I think a few of you wisely captured the problem I'm having - apparently, I'm more attached to the pacifiers than he is. :) I do think if he starts sucking his thumb, I'll give him the pacifiers back. But hopefully, that won't happen. Thank you again!

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I started only letting my son have his pacifier in his bed at 18 mths. Then around age 2 I cut done the middle of the rubber part and when he put it into his mouth he immediately removed it and never used it again. Suprisingly he did not cry or do bad with it. I hope this helps.

I've had two children who have used pacifiers well beyond what they probably should have for car rides and sleeping. Both broke the habit about 3 years old. They are now 9 and 5 and they haven't had any dental problems. It is a difficult road to break it so young because you can't really explain it to them. At least later you can talk to them. It is up to you but if he is ok right now why not wait until they see some problem.

my 18 month old is also addicted. We tried to take it away when he was one and he cried until he threw up. We decided then it wasn't worth it. You could give it a try and see how upset she gets. My sister has a child with autism and it was really hard for her to give it up. Since she was only taking it at night the doctor said it was ok and the dentist also agreed. She sucked until she was 4 and there is nothing wrong with her mouth. I think the car is going to be the biggest challenge.

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Hi M.,
Im sure you will get some great advice on here. I have some things to try for a older kids that can understand a little more, however for this age its hard. All 3 of my kids were big pacifier babies. My Dr told us the same thing, to end it as soon as possible because of problems with speech, teeth alignment and other problems. Our son was a little over a year when we learned this and so we just took it away. The first few days were really hard, but he eventually moved on. With the girls, we took them away cold turkey as soon as we saw the first tooth come in. That was our guideline. We just threw them out. Trust me, the first few nights are rough, but they will get through it. I thought something my Dr said was so true... you never talk to an adult that feels like they are traumatized for life because their parents took the pacifier away cold turkey. WE always remember that, especially when we see a toddler that stills walks around with a pacifier in their mouths. Paci's are to help soothe babies, not quiet toddlers. Whatever creative way you come up with, just rememeber its better in the long run... you'll need to keep telling yourself that when he is crying for it! Good luck!

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I did a few differnt things with my son and my nephew my nephew I took sissors and cut just the tip off of all his pacifers just enough to make it not work the way they want them to . after a few days if they are still sucking on it you did not cut enough off . the first time I did this my nephew put his paci in his mouth and sucked and pulled it out and looked at it so funny I wish I would of taken pictures . he gave it up in a day time he had a few restless night but he did well be strong . now my son we told him that the paci fairy needed his paci for new babies we tied it to a helium balloon and let him ship it away to the paci fairy for other babies we kept reminding him when he cried that his was abig brave boy but now the paci fairy had his paci . he got over it in a few day. good luck which ever one you choose to do .it is tough but they do adjust.

What I did when both my boys were about 2 or 2/12 was tell them that this is the last paci that you have and if it gets all yucky or you lose it that I wasn't aloud to buy anymore that the stores had to save them for the new babies. With my oldest he was very careful about not losing it and both of them were only aloud to have them at night or naps, so I eventually had to cut the tip off. I put it back where we kept it until nap or bed and when he found it he was very upset, but he had a blanket as well and that night I think that I was more upset than he was, he totally didn't even cry. We put his "broken" paci in his baby box together and kinda of had a little ceremony for it. As for my second son the dog ate it and I did the same thing as with my first as far as doing a ceremony. It all worked out. As far as what your pediatrician told you I have never heard of that and I have to say that unless your child has it in their mouth all day that it shouldn't be a big deal. I waited until they were at least two because I hadn't taken it away before they were one like I should have and I felt that I needed to wait until I could at least kinda of talk about it with my kids to where they understood and maybe it wouldn't be so tramatic for them and it worked for me. I think the whole pacifier thing for me was I was so worried about what everyone else would say when they found out my two year old still had one that I worried way too much. Now 4 kids later if they want it to help them sleep until they are 3, big deal the boys are no worse for the wear. I hoped I helped. :)

Hi M.,
A few ideas that have worked in the past include giving the paci to a new baby you know telling them how big they are and how the baby needs a paci. Another idea is to give the paci to a favorite character somewhere. (A friend's daughter gave hers to Minnie Mouse when they went to Disney and never asked for it again.) It sounds like you have the situation well under control if your son only has it in the car and bed...that is a huge start! Keep up the good work and I hope something works!
J.

I know the feeling! My son loved his pacifier, and I kept putting off getting rid of it because I thought it would be horrible. People suggested cutting the tip like you had said, but I didn't really think that sounded like the safest thing to do. I prolonged the whole thing, like I said, because I thought it would be horrible, and because I knew I would feel so bad when he cried for it- but you know what? I just decided one day to get rid of it- or them- rather, and to my surprise, he did wonderful! Now maybe I just got lucky, but I'll take it! I try to remember this with things that have came up since the pacifier. It seems like it will be so hard, but it really doesn't turn out to be so bad! I think I saw on a show- maybe Super-Nanny, that they took their child and pacifier or bottle (not sure which one), to the beach and set sail to it. They had written a cute note to send with it, that these pacifiers where going to other babies that needed them now, or something like that! I think they even had a cute new toy or something for the child afterwards. Just to encourage and stear their minds to something new and exciting. Obviously it's too cold now for the beach, but you could try mailing it and letting your son recieve his "new" toy or whatever in the mail. It's always fun getting stuff in the mail anyway. Or you could try the whole tooth fairy aspect! Put the pacifier under his pillow, tell him the paci fairy will come take it and make sure it gets to another child that needs it, and let him find his new toy in the morning! I know this all sounds kinda, no, really corny, but hey- whatever works and whatever makes things a little easier- right?! Hope this helps! And remember, it probably won't turn out to be as bad as you think! My son didn't really turn to anything else right away that I can think of, but a little while after, I'm not sure how long, he did start to carry his little toys everywhere. Just one little play person. That beats a pacifier, it won't do any harm to their teeth or anything else!

My girls were a little older when we broke them of the Paci habit, but this idea may work for you as it is close to Easter. When my youngest daughter was about 2 we talked her into leaving her Paci for the Easter Bunny. She left it out the night before Easter and was rewarded with a special gift from the Easter Bunny. She never asked for it again, and really didn't attach to anything else.
We had tried cutting the tip, but that didn't work as she looked at it and then told me it was broken then put it back in her mouth!

I am not sure what the deal is with people cutting the tips of pacifiers. I babysit for a friend of mine and when her daughter was about 10 months (maybe 12 months I don't remember)she just took away the pacifier. It took a couple fo days but after that she was fine. It wil possibly be miserable for you for a couple of days, but 18 months is way too old for a pacifier.
Jenn

I didn't have a pacifier baby, but I love Super Nanny's way of doing it. :)
She makes this envelope (those bigger ones) and decorates it for the paci fairy. She leaves a letter in the envelope; she says the paci fair takes the big boys paci's and cleans them and gives them to babies who need them. So you gather ALL the paci's in the house and put them in this envelope. You put the envelope in the mail. After the child goes to sleep you switch the envelope he mailed with a new one that has something in it he likes and a letter saying thank you so much. They become so proud they helped out babies that they don't think about not having the paci anymore.

At 18 months is about the age my son did become attached to something. He got this blanket, it was found in a keep sake box of his Great Great Great Grandmothers (on dad's side). It was her lap blanket one of a kind, quilt done by herself, but she passed before I ever got to meet her. We recently retired it 2.5 years later. We hung it from the shelf so his stuff animals had something soft to sit on. This is right above his bed so he can see it every night, but it's out of his reach. He only asked for it once. We replaced it with a new bigger blanket for his bed. So yes, I would say replacing it with something else would be good. Best of luck! :)

I started only letting my son have his pacifier in his bed at 18 mths. Then around age 2 I cut done the middle of the rubber part and when he put it into his mouth he immediately removed it and never used it again. Suprisingly he did not cry or do bad with it. I hope this helps.

We weened our daughter from her paci gradually to where she only got it at naptime and bedtime and then scaled back to bed time. When she turned to, I had her help me pack her pacis up in a box and we went to the post office to mail them to her baby cousin.

This worked for us. It made her feel like a big girl and she knew that they weren't in the house anymore if she asked for it. We just had to reminder her that baby Alex needed them now.

Good luck!

My oldest daughter was a major binky girl. We relied on it a lot (as parents), so I think it may have been harder for us to give up than our daughter. She left hers for the Easter Bunny when she was 2 1/2. (I thought this might be a good idea for you since Easter is coming up.) The first night was a little rough, but she got over it very quickly. I was surprised how easy it was, and she didn't attach to anything else as a replacement. Good luck!

Hi there. I just want to tell you that my daughter sucked her thumb until she was nine years old. The dentist told me that the habit needed to be broken, but I am such a softy that I just couldn't bring myself to make her stop. I guess I thought it was her sense of security and she needed it. She is twelve now and I am having to spend thousands of dollars fixing her mouth with braces and other appliances. She is happy and well adjusted, but I'm out some serious cash! I wish I would have tried something to make her stop. Sorry I don't have any ideas for actually helping him quit! Just a heads up on future problems it causes. Good Luck!
C. R.

My daughter went binky free at the age of 15 months. So it has been about a month of NO Binkys at our house. I was worried that it was going to be hard and up all nights again. But nope it was nice. She was looking for her bink one night and she could not find it. I told my hubby that if I found it before her I was going to throw them all away. Well I found them and I kept my word! They all hit the trash can that night. Yes she was a little fussy falling asleep. All I had to do was get her a soft blanket and her Rabbit fur (real rabbit fur my mother bought her, (long story)) to hold onto. She only gets the rabbit fur or the soft blanket when it is bed time or at nap time. After the first night it became so easy to put her to bed.

Just about 3 days later she found a bink I wanted to freak out inside my own skin! But she suprized us all she threw it away in the trash can!!! As she was throwing it away it sounded like she was saying "Yucky!"

Good luck!! and don't give up!

I've had two children who have used pacifiers well beyond what they probably should have for car rides and sleeping. Both broke the habit about 3 years old. They are now 9 and 5 and they haven't had any dental problems. It is a difficult road to break it so young because you can't really explain it to them. At least later you can talk to them. It is up to you but if he is ok right now why not wait until they see some problem.

I am speaking from a Mother, Grandmothers point of view. Right now that pacifier is your childs security blanket. I would not take it away, not while the child is so attached to it. It has been my experience that as they get older , they will loose the need of it. You can start helping by making sure that it is only available at sleep time, not carried around all day long. Let the child help you put it up every morning after they get out of bed. then get it out at night for sleep. Go into the childs room after they have gone to sleep and quietly take the paci out of their mouth and lay it in the bed. that way they get used to not having it in their mouth. I hope that I have given you some ideas.

My son didn't have a problem. He was about 18 months when we started to take it away from him. I was going to do the cutting of the tip becasue my cousin had done this and it had worked out very well for her. But, one night we couldn't find the pacifier (he only had one - we had gotten rid of all the others). I told him that I would look for it and when I found it, I would bring it up to him. He said OK and ended up falling asleep without it. I did find the pacifier but, not for 2 or 3 more days! (It had fallen under his bed and was "hiding" behind something) He has not supplemented anything else in it's place and has done fine without it ever since.

Also, when he was about 15 months I took him to the dentist and the dentist actually said that they were not worried about the use of a pacifier. It is thumb-sucking that causes the most damage. She said that the way the pacifiers are made these days doesn't really effect the development of the mouth all that much. And it's a whole lot easier to take the pacifier away then the thumb!

Hope this helped and good luck!

Hi M.,
My son just went for his first trip to the dentist (she's a pediatric dentist) and I was freaked out about the paci. It's our only real vice...anyway, I was prepared for the big lecture...
...she didn't give it. He's 3 and she said she was fine w/ his having it for a while longer (he only uses it at night). It's not hindering his speech. She said that yes, his teeth will stick out a bit farther, but that when he decides to give it up, the lip pressure will push them back.
She said when you take a paci away from a kid who's not ready to give it up, they will self-comfort with something else (usually a finger/thumb) and that's a harder habit to break.
Everyone's situation is different...but wanted you to know...
Good Luck!
M.

Hello. Did you see the episode of Nanny 911 where the child still had a paci? I thought her idea was totally wonderful.
They had a large envelope and sent it to the paci fairy for other babies who would need them. They addressed it to the Paci Fairy and put stickers on it. The whole kit and kaboodle thing... They put it in the mail box the night before and made a big deal. The next morning the child was able to see what the paci fairy left for him.
I thought that was the best idea and wish I knew that years ago when my girls had paci's. Good Luck!

I broke my son of the paci habbit by cutting the tip. A little slice off every other day for about a week and he totally lost interest in it. The best part, no battles!! Good luck!!

I truly beleive some children need pacifiers and some do not. My daughter had one and my son spit his out at 6 months. My daughter kept hers until 3 years old. Her teeth are beautiful (without braces), she is currently 16. One way that I was able to break the habit once she entered pre-school. She thought she was a big girl going to school and big girls do not need pacifiers and she did not want the other kids to know she had a pacifier (2 1/2 years old). Therefore, she went the entire day at pre-school without one. However, once she got into the car that was the first thing she ask for. Eventually I told her Mommy dropped in the snow and I could not find it. She had a couple of rough days but eventually she forgot all about it. If Doctors do not think children need pacifiers (some do not), then why do they still sell them?
A pacifier is much better than a thumb which a child can suck until eternity. I always thought I would not give my children pacifier could not stand seeing a big kid with a pacifier in his mouth. However, once I had children I realize the need my daughter needed to have one to help her calm down and feel comfortable...nothing wrong with that. I say enjoy the pleasant time with child with the binky because time goes so fast.

I had posted the same question last week about getting rid of the pacifier. I have an 18 month old that is in the same situation. I tried cutting the tip of the pacifier...he just threw it and wanted another one. I am slowly removing it from his life. I started with the pacifier only at nap and bedtime (crib only) Not in the car, or anywhere but crib. That seems to be going well. I make him take it out of his mouth in the morning and throw it in the crib and then we clap. I have a few more days of this, then onto removal during nap time. I will let you know how that works out. Most responses I received said let them cry it out.

Any flavors, etc he/she dislikes? Lemon juice, dill pickle juice, a little water w/ a dash of cayenne pepper (an excellent blood purifier) grapefruit??......dip the end in it before they take it. They may decide they REALLY don't like it any more pretty quickly.

In addition to causing dental and mouth structural problems, pacifier use at that age can cause language/speech problems. Kids with pacifiers either tend not to talk or to talk with the pacifier in their mouth (as opposed to kids who suck ther thumb who tend to take out the thumb to talk) which can lead to speech problems, such as not being able to form many of the letters properly with the tongue and mouth. So it's best to ditch the pacifier as soon as you can!

I was lucky none of my kids would even bother with a pacifier. My sister in law broke my nephew when he was 18 mo. and it wasn't too much fun. He cried and cried for his pacifier and she wouldn't give it to him. She would just let him cry himself to sleep. She took all of his pacifiers and chucked them into the trash. What the doctor is saying about the palate occlusion is that if you don't break him of it soon his teeth can become buck like. The top teeth in the front will stick out. It may be a big battle or it may not be that bad. My nephew did not attach to anything after he was broke from the pacifier but it does not mean your son wont. Definitely get him broke from that pacifier asap so he doesn't have issues with his teeth. Good luck!
D.

I am 31 yr. old mom married for going on 12 yrs. in Nov.. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7 and 4.

Hello! M daughter was 2 when she gave up her paci. At 18 months, she would have been to young to understand not having it. I read in a baby book, by Dr. Sears that you let your child have their paci(s). All of them. They eventually dwindled down to just two or three because she would loase them. When she began asking me to where her bink was, I simply told her to find one. After a few weeks of losing and looking she actually weened herself off of them (I would hide or toss them in the trash when I would find one). She just understood that it was gone. Cutting a hole in them may work. My daughter would chew thru them and tell me. Then I would simply explain to her that it was broke and we had to throw it away. She was okay with that. Kids are all so different, so hopefully you find a way that will work for you!! As far as dentists go with binks and when to quit.....everyone has something different to say. I always heard 3. It should be gone, but our pediatric dentist knew my daughter was a binky taker by looking at her teeth on first glance. She has an over bite. If I had to do all over again, I will not be giving a bink!! Hope this helps!

Both of my children were pacifier babies..When my daughter was just shy of 2 we had just about broke the habit and then she fell and knocked her two front teeth back into her gums...the oral surgeon that repaired her mouth said to give her back her pacifier because the sucking motion would gently bring her teeth back down and it did! She did not lose the teeth and she threw out the pacifier on her 3rd birthday. My son just kept losing his and after awhile I quit buying them, and he just forgot about having it. He also had a blanket elephant that we were pretty sure he was going to take to college with him, but he phased that out too around three. So my advise would be l to take the cues from your child. If they ask for it give it, but don't offer it until it is asked for. When your child loses one don't replace it. Although I think that at 18 months your child is still too young to understand that concept. Good luck!

I tryed with no success at that age to break my oldest son of the paci habitt. My doctor told me the best way to get it away from a child whom is very much attached is to slowly take the paci away. We began by taking it away except for naps and night time for 3 or 4 weeks then once that stage was conquered, we moved to only allowing the paci at night time. A little harder but all in all not bad. We just had to replace it with a favorite toy or animal or sometimes a comforting cuddle. With in 2 or 3 weeks we began to not let him have it at all and substituted it for a last minute half cup of water or milk. Also it helps inthis stage if you keep them awake until they just can not keep there eyes open anymore. Our son did not seem to miss it as much when he became to tired to care. All in all he was almost 2 before it was completely gone for good. But much easier on us and him in the long run.

I was going to try also at 18 months and my child kept getting high fevers every six to eight weeks, well past age two. Her pacifier was a comfort to her when she was ill so we didn't take it away at that time. At age two when she wasn't fighting fever, we only let her have it at naptime and bedtime and eventually only at bedtime. She was extremely attached to it, but wouldn't attach to any other object in its replacement. The only thing that worked for us was telling her several weeks in advance that when she turned three, the "Binki Fairy" was going to take her binki and give it to another baby girl who didn't have a binki and needed one. It worked. I think her age and her ability to understand more helped. I never wanted to cut the tip for fear of her choking on a piece that could come loose. I also tried "washing" it in vinegar, to no avail. Someone also suggested putting hot sauce on it but I couldn't bring myself to put her mouth on fire.

Fortunately, my other child never really took to the pacifier and does not use one now. I would definately try to let your child hold a favorite toy, especially while in the comfort of your arms. Then, they may associate the toy with comfort also and it may help the transition. Best of luck to you!

I had two paci lovers and this past summer I was told by the dentist how awful they are for their teeth. So the next day We found all the paci's and put them in a bag for the "paci fairy" (this is a suppernanny technique). We hung them out on our tree for the fairy to pick up and in return she leaves a special present for the kids. My son (who was 14mnths at the time) got a pooh which he loves still. I got them something snuggly so they could sleep w/ it in place of the paci. I thought it was going to be horrible for the next couple weeks but after the first night they were fine. Occassionally they would ask for one but I would just explain again abt the paci fairy. Then whenever the kids found a stray paci that was left behind they would run to me and say we forgot one lets go put it outside so the paci fairy can come get it! It is a scary thing for a parent but it really wasn't bad. I had a friend who did the same thing and had the same results. Hope that helps.

Neither of my kids took a paci past age one - but that wasn't because I broke them of it - they both fell in love with their thumbs before then. My niece who I take care of used one until around age 2. Her mom was terrified about taking it away. She used to chew on them - so one day when I put her down for her nap and noticed that the paci was chewed through I told her her paci had to be thrown away. She was sad and cried for a little while - I gave her a sippy cup of water to suck on and she fell asleep in about an hour. She didn't cry the whole time - she was just used to sucking to fall asleep. I gradually lessened the amount of water in the cup(I had to because she pees through everything), and then just let her get a dixie cup of water before laying down. Unfortunately - she shortly thereafter took up thumb sucking. If your child uses it a lot during the day, start by limiting it's use to the bed (nap time, bed time, and if they really need it they have to sit on their bed). Then make it only for bed time, then there are a million ways to get rid of it all together. Take them shopping for a special new toy to sleep with and they can "pay" with their paci, or if you know someone with a new baby you can mail it to them so your child can feel like they're helping someone else. The biggest thing is to not move backward. Once you've established a new rule about it - don't go back and once it's gone - it's gone. Good luck!

I am a mother of three boys, now 9,10 and 11. At one time all three boys were pacifier children. Everyone thought they were going to go to school with the pacifier... My husband and I made several attempts early on to try to break the pacifier habits, with alot of failed attempts. One attempt we found ourselves dring to the local store at midnight getting more pacifiers because we too cut the tips off. I would highly recommend talking about it directly to your child. (In their language of course - telling them the pacifier has to go bye bye.) I would also highly recommend doing the transition on a weekend or when you know you are not going to get alot of sleep. The first night was the worst for us. Trying to break 3 boys at once was probably the hardest thing we had to do other than potty training all three. I just want you to know that your child will be able to handle it, and if not you are going to be the best judge of that. Don't let others tell you when to do the transition. I believed the pacifiers were security to my boys and I would have rather them felt the security they needed than worry about the doctor or (mother-in-laws) family telling you what you are doing is wrong. Hang in there! By the way, we finally got the pacifiers out of the house when they were 1,2 and 3 years old. None of them have dental issues or scaring from using or breaking them of the pacifier.

We used that same strategy with a little twist. I clipped off the end of the paci and then when my son (just a little younger) tried to use it, he pulled it back out and looked at it funny. I just explained that it was broken, that we better just throw it away. I encouraged him to throw it in the garbage himself. Later when he asked for it, I just explained, "Remember, it was broken, you threw it away." I think it really made all the difference that he threw it away himself. He asked for it a few more times, I just kept reminding him that it was broken and he threw it away (real matter of fact). He never cried for it, etc. Within a few days, it was forgotten and never brought up again.

I broke my son about that age and he was a foofoo lover too. I did what your dr. said and cut the rubber off all of them and just let them lay around as I did before, he would pick them up and put them in his mouth, look at it throw it down and say its broke. lol Now as far as their favorite times with them like bed time and naps that was very hard, my son didnt sleep for 2 nights and was a bear them first 3 days, if you can get through that then you will do fine. Good luck !!!

When taking it away from my son at nearly that age I found out I was the one dependent on it, not him. He had no problem adjusting, it just took a little more effort on my part to distract him. After two days, he never thought of it again.

Hello MJP,

I had my son (2 1/2 at the time) Throw his into the lake. He cried for a couple nights and that was it. It is harder for the parent then it is the child.

My son turned 2 in January. We broke him of the pacifier when he was about 21 months. I cut a little bit off of the pacifier, then I would wait a couple of days and cut a little more off of it. When he put it in his mouth he would take it back out and say "broken". I said "If it is broken then throw it away." He thought about it, but didn't. After I cut part of it off he used it less. The more I cut off the less he used it. After 2 weeks he hardly used it, except for at bed time, so I put them up where he couldn't see them and he never asked for it again. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I figured he would scream for it, but he didn't. He never attached to another object. He chewed on his fingers a little, but I would take them out of his mouth and tell him no. It lasted a couple of days.

One week after my daughter's 1st birthday, we planned a Binky Party. We invited her 2 and 4 year old cousins over (who also still had a paci) and we swam in our little plastic pool, they got pizza and pop and picked out a movie to watch etc... The party was all about them. Then they each had a bunch of balloons in their favorite color and we tied their last binky (we discreetly threw out all others throughout the week leading up to the party) to the balloons and we told them that since they didn't need them anymore we were sending them up to the Angels to give to the babies in Heaven. They let them go and never asked for them back. I think the trick is that we, in a fun way, TOLD them they didn't need them, we didn't ask them. I have friends whose 2 and 3 year olds are still on the paci and I truly beleive that- all tooth/mouth issues aside- they have not developed their speech as well simply because their mouth is always full of that paci. They grunt and groan through that thing instead of speaking. My advice- don't wait- get rid of it soon! They'll get over it!

Re: Megan's idea from supernanny....I saw that too, it was a really cute idea. When my kids turned 2 I just clipped the tips off like some others suggested. They would put them in their mouth, look funny, then bring it to me. I told them they were broke and had to be thrown away (and let them throw it away) It worked great for my kids. On the other hand, my friend tried it and the second her daughter cried, she ran to the store to buy more. Kind of defeated the purpose. :)

Hello, I am a mother of 2 little girls. My youngest just turned 3. She also took a pacifier. She was about 2 1/2 befor we could get her to give it up. We just encourged her that she was a big girl and that she didn't need it any more and when she was ready to throw all her binki's (pacifiers) in the garbage. And that day she went around gathered them all up and threw them away. I think that it is important for them to make the decision (with encouragement from us) to get rid of them.

Personally...I wouldn't try to take it away from an 18 month old. They aren't going to understand it at all!!! All she knows is this is what soothes her and now you're taking it away from her. The other reason I wouldn't do it yet is...more than likely she will start sucking her thumb at those times she's used to having it. This is much worse for speech development than a paci could ever be. The only reason I would worry about speech and a paci is if she has it all the time and she is talking with it in her mouth. This will definitely make for problems with speech development. Have a neighbor whose daughter had a paci all the time and she's in kindergarten now and no one can understand a word that comes out of her mouth. Otherwise, let her have it for now. When the time comes to get rid of it you'll know.

Talk with a pediatric dentist instead of your pediatrician. Most ped dentists say even age 3 is fine for the pacifier. It's better than fingers/thumb as far as the mouth/teeth are concerned. If your child likes to suck on something for comfort and you take away the pacifier too soon, he might start thumbsucking. We took away our daughter's pacifier a few months after she turned 2. Two days later she had it back because we were constantly catching her with a finger in her mouth. After 4-5 months, we tried again and this time it wasn't an issue - no fingers in her mouth at all. She's had a blankie she's been attached to since she was about 8 months old so that helped, too. You want them to get attached to something to replace the pacifier - it's healthy coping skills.

I worked for a pediatric dentist for almost 12 years before quitting to stay home with my kids. It is very important at this age to stop. The upper teeth and roof of their mouth (palate) will develop too narrow because of the binky being in their mouth all the time. You could then look at having to use fixed expanders in their mouth to correct the damage at a later time in life. Both of my kids used them. We took two weeks to get them off of them. We started out by only using them to sleep. Then a week later we only used them for night time not naps. Then we explained that they were big girls and didn't need their binky anymore. They may complain and cry a little but if you can hold out, it will be over soon. Just toss them away and don't give in. I promise they will be fine and you will save them from unneeded dental trouble in the future.

In my opinion, 18 mo. is not a time to worry and a hard
time to take the passy away. Limit it to when he's in his
bed. No walking around with it! If he needs it he can go
and lie down for awhile with it. Around 3 we told them the
passy fairy needed them for the poor little children who
didn't have any. We told them what night she was coming.
They wrote notes to her. In the morning they found notes
from the fairy thanking them and promising she would find
little bables who needed them. Our kids were so sweet and
pleased that they barely mentioned them that night. Once
in a while one would mention their passy but reminded
themselves about the babies they helped! Good Luck.

This was not my strong point! I have been told the same thing about the hole in the paci. I actually had to go out of town and had my babysitter break one and my husband the other. They finally broke at 4 and 5 yr. old. I was a thumb sucker and I have a high palate, but never any problems. I did it well into double digit numbers. Just needed braces for an overbite.

J. R

my 18 month old is also addicted. We tried to take it away when he was one and he cried until he threw up. We decided then it wasn't worth it. You could give it a try and see how upset she gets. My sister has a child with autism and it was really hard for her to give it up. Since she was only taking it at night the doctor said it was ok and the dentist also agreed. She sucked until she was 4 and there is nothing wrong with her mouth. I think the car is going to be the biggest challenge.

I am an orthodontist (the specialist that treats any teeth and/or jaw problems with braces) and I have never encountered any development problems of the jaws due to a pacifer. All orthodontic research will also support this. As long as it is an orthodontic pacifier, I would allow your child to have it until the front two permanent teeth start to come in. This will be around the age of 5. Most likely your son will give it up on his own long before then. Also, sometimes giving up a pacifier causes a child to suck their thumb, which can cause significant problems with the teeth and jaws.

I am sure your pediatrician meant very well and is certainly trying to look out for the wellfare of your child. However, the jaws and teeth are truly the realm of the dentist and orthodontist.

If you have any questions you could check with your general dentist or an orthodontist.

I am a dental hygienist and I have a daughter who LOVED her binky. As long as you try to break them by age 4 you shouldn't have any developmental problems w/the arch of the mouth. After 4 you begin to have permanent narrowing of the palate which would later require a palatal expander and possibly ortho. My daughter is 3 1/2 and we just gave all her binks to Santa in a pretty box and he delivered them to other kids who needed them. My advice, don't worry if you take the pacifier too early you run the risk of them sucking their thumb and that is a much harder habit to break. My daughter had a large opening from her binky and within the 2 months since Christmas her teeth are perfectly straight and the open football shape area closed! Good luck, Binky fairy is a good idea too when your ready to try to get rid of it.

I have three children myself. My daughter was nearly four before I could get the pacifier away from her. When she gave it up it was really hard for about three days. She would cry herself to sleep and many times I wanted to give into to her. It will be very hard for around 3-4 days but if you stick to your guns and not give in you would be surprised how easy it will be. Also my daughter did not attach her self to anything else, but then agian all kids are different. I have also heard of kids taking their pacifiers to Build A Bear and putting it in one of the bears. That way they no longer get to use the pacifier but they always have it with them. It is worth a try. Good Luck!

My son was a little bit older when he got off his. I basically told him that the baby animals at the zoo need binkies and wanted to know if he can give them to the zoo. So we collected all of us binkies and took them to the zoo. He was so excited about it. Then later at night, he asked for it and I reminded him about the binkie is with the zoo baby animals.

I have been in your shoes. We limited how many pacifiers he had at first. We had him help us find them all (he had some hid under his mattress. Then we we to the store together and he got to help pick out a timer. We set times for pacifier in, and pacifier out. We gradually set the timer for longer period without the pacifier. Also, when sleeping, we only let him have it until he went to sleep, then we removed it from the room. He had to ask for it before sleep time. Car rides are tough, but you can play games with him and work on communication (lets look for cows, water towers,etc. This keeps his mouth active and his mind preoccupied with finding other things. It will take some time, but CONSISTANCY is the key. Once you give in, he's won the battle, but you CAN win the war. Good luck, hope this helps.

Hi:) Before you get too worried and let your doc scare you, I'd take your son to a pediatric dentist and see what they have to say. They might also have some sugestions on how to do it for you.
Let us know what you find out or what works...lots of us have to deal with it at some point!

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