How Do You Help a 3 Year Old Child Give up a Binky/pacifier?

Updated on May 28, 2008
T.D. asks from Clearfield, UT
70 answers

Hello! I have a son that is turning 3 years old in less than two weeks and he is VERY attached to his binky. We have tried to limit it's use to naps and nighttime but he constantly asks for it if he is hurt or bored. I told him it needs to go soon. I asked him if he wants a big boy toy in it's place or to send it to a baby that needs it. He absolutely refuses. In fact, some nights he yells out for it. I'm actually dreading the nights he has to adjust without it. I know it can't be worse than bringing home a newborn. But the thought scares me. Does anyone have any ideas I can try? What worked for you?

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So What Happened?

I must say that I was initially overwhelmed with the amount of responses I received. But the ideas were GREAT and it made it worth reading every word. I loved the build-a-bear idea of placing the binky/pacifier inside. So we started talking to my son about it. He started responding well until we were at the store. So I decided to wait. Well, the night before his third birthday he lost it. We looked everywhere! He was really upset. I just hugged him and said it would be alright. He actually went to bed with a smile on his face since I made a big deal out of giving him extra stuffed animals. To my surprise, he slept ALL NIGHT! The next morning while making his bed, I found it on the quilt. I hid it in my drawer. But he has been sleeping just fine and doesn't even ask about it now. So I threw it away. Later I found his extra one on a shelf and I promptly threw that one away as well. I think someone was right, I was using it for my own reasons as well. It was easy to grab the binky when he was upset. I am finding other ways to sooth his emotions when he is hurt, etc. Thanks for all your support. This is a wonderful resource for moms looking for solutions. Enjoy your families!

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K.M.

answers from Denver on

I thought we would never be able to shake the paci!
I told my daughter that the paci fairy would come and leave a gift in exchange for her paci. We looked at the calender and told her that within the week the fairy would come and it was up to her to choose the night. She balked at the first 2 nights but conceded before the week was up. The night she declared herself ready we wrote the fairy a letter and set her paci on top after one final farewell suck.
I was stunned as she was a serious paci fanatic. ( It also helped that we discussed what she hoped the fairy would bring her...)

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S.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I know this is late and you received a lot of replies. My sister in law always has a bye-bye binky party. It is like a b-day party. at the end the child throws all the binky's away. The other thing that she has done, which I think is more effective. She takes them to the zoo and has them throw all of them to the baby monkeys. There is a trash can right out side the cage where they throw them into. Just a couple more ideas. Good luck!

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R.G.

answers from Grand Junction on

We did the pacifier fairy for one of my girls. She had 4 pacifiers. Different nights, spaced out, She put a pacifier under her pillow, and the pacifier fairy came and took it. The fairy left a small gift behind each time. It wasn't as hard as I had imagined it to be. I could tell she was sad, but she got over it quickly. Good luck.

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J.P.

answers from Pocatello on

I know this seems long but.....it will be worth it and can be used for blankeys too.

1) Understand that this may be harder on you than on them.
You have both become dependant on the binkey. It has become a diversion for dealing with situations that cause distress physically and emotionally.
2) Think all these situations through and plan how you can help them learn to deal with their emotions.
3) Make sure you don’t substitute the binkey with toys, with food, with a blankey, or any other substitutes.
4) The best way you can help them is to help them identify their feelings and walk through choices they have to deal with them. Let them know that it is okay for them to express emotion over their feelings as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone or anything. Sometimes talking the situation through with them causes them to change their feelings or the intensity of them.)
5) Giving them their Binkey at certain times, times of your choosing does two things. It reinforces their need and desire for it. It also sets up a power struggle. (Save the power struggles for things that really matter)
6) Eliminate all binkeys from your home, your car, your bags, and your pockets EXCEPT their very favorite. This is for your good as well as theirs. Don’t just stash them, take them out to the curb!
7) When he wants it, let him have it as long as he can find it. Be really nice and kind about it, sympathize with his frustration when he cannot find it and sometimes even pretend to help him look for it. Prepare to be too busy to help them too much and never ever be the one to find it for them.
When he is really distraught, question him a little. You could say, “Oh, do you know where it is?” Don’t tell them they cannot have it. Tell them they can have it but you can’t give it to them because you don’t have it. Don’t remind them to put it in a special place, when you see it, don’t pick it up or remind them to pick it up.
8) A child of three’s interest span is about 15 minutes max. When they are looking for it, many times they forget what they are looking for because they find something else they want to do while looking for the binkey. They also forget why they wanted it.
9) Pull the whole family in on this plan. They need to all have a heads up and participate exactly like you do.
10) You know your child and the day will come when you will see that old binky laying around and know it’s time to throw it away when they are not looking. This works because they get frustrated at always having to find it, they learn to deal with situations gradually and when it is really gone, they are okay and so are you.

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K.H.

answers from Denver on

We are actually going through this right now. We are on day 3. Although initially my son was really only using his paci at nap and bedtime, the older he got the more attached he was to it. He then wanted it everytime he was mad or sad or hurt....so, we just "sent it to the babies." Target had a little dollar spot book about this. I can send it to you if you'd like as we are through with it. The first day was awful, I won't lie to you. I think he told me over 1,000 times (literally in a row) SEVERAL different occasions---"I want my pacifier." Screaming, crying,kicking....you name it. I just kept saying, remember, we sent them to the babies.....you are a big boy now. So, long story short. We are on day three. Day 1 and 2 were VERY hard. But today, he woke up and when it wasnt in his mouth instead of screaming at the top of his lungs, he said " I'm a big boy now. I no need paci. Babies need it." I hear over and over again--- 3 days. Pick a fri/sat/sun and BEST OF LUCK!

Feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com if you would like me to send you that book. Take care!

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M.C.

answers from Denver on

Hello,

We had a similar issue with our 3 yo daughter. We restricted it's use to her bed, so she could go suck it anytime, but she had to sit on her bed to do it. This wasn't very fun, so she just used it at naptime and night, mostly.

A few weeks before she turned 3, we started talking about what a big girl she was going to be, how at 3, she would be smarter, braver, stronger and wouldn't need her binky anymore. We made giving it up such a positive that on the night of her birthday she didn't complain when we took it away, because she was so much, smarter, stronger, braver then she was when she was 2 yesterday. She asked for it once or twice, but that was it.

Hope it works for you!

M.

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R.M.

answers from Denver on

dear binky addict,
the truth about it is that you are more afraid of the crying and fit throwing than he is. and your not the only one. we all go through that fear as parents we feel as though we are hurting them but the fact is that we are not hurting them more than we are teaching them that there are things that come and go in life and it's part of growing up! your son if not already will be potty training and going to pre-school and how would you feel if he gets made fun of because he is doing things like a baby. and be reassured that it will only take a few nights to get him through it as long as everyone in the family knows to be encouraging and reminding him of what a brave big boy he is . and also to not keep the binky's at all. throw them out at a location that you can't dig them out of the trash at 2 a.m. BE BRAVE!!!!!

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I.C.

answers from Denver on

This is what worked for my husband's daughter...she was also 3 years old when she gave up her pacifier. We took her to Build A Bear and let her pick out her stuff animal and then we put the pacifiers (she actually got two animals and we put 2 pacifiers in each) inside the animal when it was being stuffed. Of course we prepared her for awhile beforehand so she knew that she was getting rid of her pacifier, but she was gaining a stuffed animal. When she asked for the pacifier after that we would tell her to hug her stuffed animal. After about a week she never asked for it again. Best of luck!

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T.C.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Boy this hits close to home! My daughter just gave up her passie this last weekend! Yeah!!! It's been a really long process - we've been working on convincing her to give it up for almost a year (she'll be 4 in July so it's HIGH time it happened!). My daughter is extremely strong willed, independent and smart beyond her years. We tried various tactics - "give it to a baby who needs it" (she didn't buy that) - cutting off the tips of the passies (she used them anyway) - the passie fairy will bring a toy (she thought she could give it to us for one day to get the toy, then get the passie back) - talked about all the "big girl" things she could do once she stopped using a passie (amusement parks, school, etc.), letting her choose what to do with the passies when she got rid of them (run over with a dump truck, throw in the river, etc.) I decided on a deadline (her birthday) and told her often about how she had to give it up by her birthday. We were down to mostly using it for naps/bedtime. We also started making her responsible for it - "put it where you can find it if you want it, because we're not going to continue to spend hours searching for it when it's time to leave the house!" This last weekend she misplaced it (we still haven't found it!) so when it was time for bedtime, she couldn't find her fave passie. We gave her the option of alternate passies (ones that the puppy had chewed most of the nipple off of!). She didn't want any of them so with a little talking we convinced her that she could do it, ("You're a big girl, we know you can sleep without it, we'll be so proud of you, etc.) She was still a little worried about sleeping without it, so we gave her the rubber top off her NUBY sippy cup. She used the sippy cup top the first night. The next day we made a big ceremony about calling all the grandparents to tell them and she threw the extra passies in the pond. When she asked about the passie fairy I told her the passie fairy wouldn't come until she stopped using the sippy tops, too. So she did! We made a really big deal about it, telling her constantly how proud we were. We took a special trip to Elitch's on Sunday - cause she's a big girl now. And when she gave up the sippy tops, she got a special toy from the passie fairy. After agonizing over it and cajoling her, it's really amazing how easy it was when she finally decided to do it. I think that was key for her too - she's so independent and headstrong, it HAD to be her decision to do it. Good luck!

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D.B.

answers from Denver on

I took my 3 year old granddaughter to the store and told her she could buy a toy and trade me for her binky. She picked out a Dora doll and gave me her binky right on the spot. We went home and cut all the other up and she put them in the trash with a little fairwell ceremony.

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J.P.

answers from Colorado Springs on

My daughter just turned 3 and we are going through this right now. We started with putting the binkie in the cave (I pick up her pillow and it makes a little space and she tosses it into the "cave" and we cover it up). A few weeks ago she was still using it everyday, all day and so I finally just said only at night. She screamed like I had never seen her scream before, and for a very long time. Sometimes she would walk around all guilty and we would find she was hiding it in her shirt. Our plan is to give her a little more time with it only at night. After my mother visits next week (this is why we are waiting because we know she'll flip out and we can't have house guests suffering because of it)we are going to build her up (over a few days) and tell her that soon, when she puts her binkie in the the cave, something else will be there for night time. We're thinking a stuffed squirrel or something...I mean, come on, it IS a cave. Since she hasn't died from not having it during the day, she won't die when she has a squirrel under her pillow instead of a binkie. We know it will be hard for a few nights, but totally worth it in the end. Our first daughter used hers until she was 3 1/2 and we gave her a stuffed hippo as a trade. She was mad at first but she's almost 8 now and still sleeps with Hippo. Just make a trade, deal with the crying, and you'll look back five years from now and it won't seem like it was a big deal. Hurray for no binkies!!!

I am now adding to this because I went through everyone's responses and saw a lot of "don't force him to give it up". In OUR case(of course not everyone's) my daughter's teeth we affected and we had not even noticed until a dentist REALLY pointed it out. Now we see how bad it is and how her teeth have formed to this shape. My oldest daughter had the same problem but we did not recognize it as this until we recently compared her teeth to my 3 year olds. What to you know, same exact formation and they DID use the same brand of binkie...my middle daughter has no problems and she never used a binkie. My 3 year old also has a VERY strong attachment to her 2 blankies which we will NEVER take away because they can't possibly do any physical harm to her. The binkie is another story and it is not good for her at this age and years of use have caught up with her. Not even worth it. I would have to say to ANYONE, don't feel like you're taking away a child's security by taking away a binkie. There are other things your child can use for comfort besides something that can "possibly" ruin their teeth. Blankies can be just as good, if not better. If you find there is an "empty spot" because of the loss of the binkie, figure out a healthy way to fill it instead of waiting until they are five to give up the binkie.

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K.Y.

answers from Denver on

I've had to do this twice, with 3 year olds, and 1 more to go!

Both times i got to the point where I was sick of it! my girls were trying to talk with it in their mouth and getting very demanding about it.

With my oldest, she forgot to put it away one day. We couldn't find it and it was bedtime. I finally told her it was time for bed, and if she wanted to go to bed without her paci she could have a special toy. She agreed! (I had bought a very small little doll for the day we got rid of the paci...) She loved her new doll and that was the end of the paci. Honestly! I found her paci the next day and promptly threw it in the trash. She asked about it once or twice, and I just shrugged my shoulders and reminded her that we lost it!

The SAME thing worked for my second daughter. Couldn't find her paci before a nap and I offered her a special doll instead. She was so excited about her doll. She cried a bit for that nap and at bedtime. It took her about 2 days to forget all about her paci.

It can be done!

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K.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

It looks like everyone has the same advise to cut the binky. That is what I did with my son and he didn't like it after a few times sucking on it. We did the same thing of making all but one disappear. I would maybe give him a blanket or animal that he can have for comfort when sleeping. My son has his blanket that he has to have when napping or sleeping at night. It really does work. Good Luck!

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L.S.

answers from Denver on

I know it will be hard but it needs to be done r it might affect hi teeth. My grandaughter used a binky and he teeth got so messed up she had to have braces. Here is how I finally took it away. I cut off all the nipples and showed it to her. I told her the dog got them. She carried it around for about a week. She asked for a new one at the store and I told her they only sell them to babies and your not a baby your a big girl. Would you like to shop for a big girl toy. She did fuss at night but it only lasted a few days. Then I had her throw them in the trash. Just try to keep him busy so he doesn't think about it so much. Good luck Rose

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S.T.

answers from Provo on

One thing that worked for us was to have the "Paci/Binky Fairy". We got a bowl and the kids put their binkys in it after nap time and after waking in the morning. You do this so that all of the binkys are in one place for the Binky Fairy to be able to find them. This was after having a discussion about how the Binky Fairy comes to little boys and girls houses who are growing up and becoming big girls and boys. She comes and gathers the old binkys to take for younger Babies who really need them. In return, she leaves a great prize for them and they can get an official "Big Boy/Big Girl" Binky-Free certificate, or whatever works well as motivation. My kids love to put things up on their wall, so that's why we did the certificate thing. It was easier for some of my kids than others. I just tried to make it very apparent to them that binkys were for babies and they wanted to be big girls and boys. I told them of all the things that just big girls and boys get to do and have. This may or may not work for you, but it worked well with us. Best of luck!

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K.G.

answers from Denver on

I had the same problem when my daughter was 2.5 I finally just had to through them all away. It only took two nights of screaming but after that she never asked for it again.

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A.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My daughter gave hers up at about 2 1/2. She was also extremely attached. What worked pretty well for her was to take all her pacifiers (she helped me find them all) and put them in a basket for the "Passie Fairy" to take to all the new little babies that don't have any yet. In return, the "Passie Fairy" left her a special toy for her to find the next morning. If he's involved in the process, you may be surprised and he'll willingly give them up for the prize. And you may find out that he's not as attached as it seems (as with my daughter). Now, this didn't completely solve the problem because she kept finding pacifiers around and would put them in her mouth. But she knew after giving them up that she wasn't supposed to have them anymore, so we would just take it away when we found her with one. This went on for a few months until there really were no more hidden pacifiers to find. Plus, we had our twin boys (who also used pacifiers) when she turned two, so she would occasionally take one of theirs and go hide to suck on it. For that, she would go to time out. But eventually, I guess she just figured it was too much trouble to sneak one and quit being interested in them all together.

On the other hand, a few months ago when my twins were about 20 months old, we decided to see what would happen if we took thiers away. We took them when they weren't using them. They didn't seem to notice much, or look for them or ask for them. But one of them would constantly suck on his fingers or hands. He obviously still needed it, so we decided to give them back to them for a while. At almost 3, I don't think he really "needs" the pacifier. The natural sucking reflex that pacifiers are designed to appease is long gone by that age. He's just using it as a coping mechanism or a comfort object. Maybe try to trade out a blanket or toy instead of the pacifier, or let him choose his prize for giving it up. Also, if you don't get rid of it soon, it may start interfering with the alignment of his teeth. Even though they are soft and designed for the mouth, it's not a good idea to let it go for too long because it has the potential to mess up his smile (not that it absolutely will for sure, but why risk having to get braces later if you don't have to?) Good luck. Sometimes the small things like pacifiers can be the toughest habits to break.

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K.M.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Just get rid of it. Just like with potty training, you will have a hard week or two but then it is over. You and your husband have to be on the same page with this and stand firm. Get rid of all reserve pacifiers and don't give in. You can draw out the process by cutting it or bribing him, but I would just do it. We did potty training the same way. One day after discussing it for a week with my son, we put cotton underwear on him. We had a rough week with urinating, but by the end of that week he got it. That week was followed by another week working on defecating but by the end of that week he was completely night and day potty trained.

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H.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

It looks like you have had a lot of response already, but I just went through the same thing a month ago. My son is barely 3 ½ now and he loved his binky. He never had a lovey or anything he was attached to and so I suppose his binky served as his comfort because he had it at night or when he was upset, but as he got older I had intentions to wean him when he was around 2 years old and so at that point I always made him leave it in his car seat whenever we went somewhere and also when he went to day care each day, but every day when I picked him up from day care the first thing out of his mouth was I want my binky. So I knew it was not time to give it up and I had several people tell me to not buy anymore or cut the tip off but I just did not do this – I guess each person has to find their own way and you have to remember that boys sometimes are not as mature as girls and so may not be ready earlier on. I also had another baby when my son turned 3 and so I did not want to pressure him due to the adjustment of a new sibling and also we moved from Florida to Utah – so there were a lot of adjustments. Finally I took my son to the dentist for his 2nd visit and the dentist asked me if he sucked his thumb or had a binky and I said he has a binky only at night and so the dentist said well at this age it will start interfering with their teeth and so it would probably be a good idea to have the binky fairy come. So that was pretty much the trigger for us and maybe because my son heard our conversation he felt ready. So for the next 3 days we talked about the binky fairy and I told him the binky fairy would bring him a toy and so I let him pick out a toy he really wanted and then the night before we wrote the binky fairy a letter saying he was ready to give up his binky. And the next night he left his binky in the window sill – now mind you he really struggled with this and I did not pressure him, I said if he was not ready then the binky fairy would just not leave him a present. Finally after 3 times of getting in and out of bed he gave it up. The next morning he got his big toy and was just so happy. The first night he did not even ask for his binky but he did mention the 2nd and 3rd night and I kept reminding him that he gave it away and he is a big boy now and I am so proud of him. It has now been a month and just the other day we were in the store and in the baby section looking for bottles for his baby sister and he saw all the binky’s and said to me – I gave my binky away and I am a big boy now and I said yes and I am so proud of you and so I said ok come on and he said I am just looking at them mom…and that was that…

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T.L.

answers from Denver on

Here is a trick that my sister taught me. It worked for her two boys and it worked beautifully with my first two and I'm going to use it soon for my third. The first thing you need to do is get down to one binky. Make all of the others disappear and make sure your son knows this is the last one. Stop talking about how it will have to go away soon. After a few days, sneak into his room at night and cut it at the tip straight down and leave it in his bed. In the morning, your little guy will discover that his binky is "broken". Feel bad for him. "Oh, I'm so sorry that your binky broke." Grieve with him and then (this is important) have HIM throw it away. Then, quickly get him busy with a favorite activity. He will soon ask for his binky. Feeling bad for him, tell him you are really sorry, but his binky broke and HE had to throw it away. He may cry. He may want to try to dig it out of the trash. Feel sorry for him so he knows you are on his side. This also makes it so that you are not the bad guy taking away his beloved friend. I did this with my first two kids. They each cried themselves to sleep the first nap time without the binky and then at bed time, when they asked for their binky, I reminded them it was broken and in the trash. They were sad, but accepted it and learned to sleep without a binky. It is hard to watch them cry, but DON'T GIVE IN and get another binky. If there really are no more left, then the matter is settled and everyone will have to learn to live a binky free life!
Good luck. We are about to go through this process again with our almost two-year-old. We are working on getting down to one binky at bedtime only.

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C.E.

answers from Denver on

T.-

We used the "Binkie-fairy" for my daughter. She was very attached as well. Basically, I went by the same notion as the Toothfairy. It worked great!!

She'd leave her Binkie either on a dresser or under the pillow and it would be replaced over-night with a dollar/50 cents, whatever. Just as a lost tooth would be. She was so excited to be getting some of her own money that she actually started seaching for them so she could give them to the fairy!

Good luck!
C.

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K.D.

answers from Denver on

hello there

I run day care i have a 2 yr old and a 2 month old my 2 yr old had a binky until the baby was a month old she was soo attatched had it all the time i wanted to get rid of it before she turned two and and i kept telling her that it needed to go in the trash she was a big girl and she would scream and cry so one day i took it and cut just a little off the top and that is all it took but you can do just a little bit at a time and eventually they will get rid of it themselves and she threw it away and never asked for it again
good luck

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N.P.

answers from Colorado Springs on

My oldest son was also very attached to his pacifier. At this age the cause and effect is beginning to work in their little heads, so what we did was, when he wasn't looking, we would slowly cut a piece off at a time. It would get shorter and shorter. We would say oh, no it is breaking. If it keeps breaking then we will have to throw it away. We were very careful to make sure we only had one at this point, and only when sleeping. Once it was all the way broken he put it in the trash and it was unbelievable, but it actually worked. He never thought of buying a new one! I know every child will be different, but good luck with the whole process. I am a mother of two boys, 5 and 2. Stay at home during the week and work weekends.

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M.O.

answers from Denver on

The binki fairy worked for a friend. The thing that worked for her other was Build-a bear. She got him down to one binki and had him give the rest to the "binki fairy" The prize he got in the morning was a gift certificate to Build a bear. The next morning she cut a little off the tip of the binki. When he found his broken Paci in the morning she told him that she could not buy anymore because he is a big boy, and you can only buy them for babies. She took him to Build-a-bear, broken binki in tow and made a special bear. When It came time to sew up the bear, he made a wish on the heart and put both the heart and binki inside. The bear got sewn up and dressed and that was it. Every time that he asked for it, she reminded him that it broke, but it was still safe inside his special bear. Cute huh? Try that.
My kid doesn't take a binki, she is a thumb sucker. Unfortunantly, I can't cut off the tip of her thumb and call it broken :) Good luck!

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K.

answers from Fort Collins on

A relative told me to go cold turkey and remove all pacifiers from our possession and show you son the last one when you throw it away and have him say bye bye. It will take time for him to adjust, but it doesn't take long if you don't give in.
Another suggestion i was given was to cut the tip of the pacifier so that when he sucks on it, it doesn't work and he won't like it, so you get to throw it out and use that opportunity to get rid of them altogether. The first idea worked for me.

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L.B.

answers from Washington DC on

My siste in law cut the tips off of the pacifier... They won't want to suck on them because they don't work as well, or trade him for something (a toy) he really wants.... and stick to your guns.

I am one to not want my children to grow up to fast but at three and a pacifier you could be looking at braces in the future if your not careful. My kids both gave up the pacifier fairly easy. My second however has not had one for months now and if he sees one he would use it... it about out of sight out of mind... I would allow him to have it for naps and bedtime and if he got hurt.... but as soon as he was smiling I would sneek it away from him and he would say "binki" when he noticed it was gone and I would just distract him witha game... or something.

Good Luck

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K.I.

answers from Denver on

I have never dealt with this personally, but I have heard that cutting a hole in the tip of the binky takes away the sucking satisfaction. The idea is that he just gets frustrated and quits - but you are not to take credit with "breaking the binkies" rather, It is a "strange and unexplained phenomenon."

I have also had friends who used the "binky fairy". With this strategy you and your child collect all of the binkies and leave them in a special place for the binky fairy "to take to a new baby". In their place is left a special toy or other gift. (I know you already asked him if he would give them away, but this is a little bit of a different take.)
Good Luck!

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S.L.

answers from Grand Junction on

We are going through the same thing. My little girl will be 3 in August. She does good during the day, but at nap time and bedtime she wants it. I have told her that she needs to give it to another baby, but she doesnt think its a good idea. I really dont know what to do either. I just figured that she will eventually give it up. If she doesnt, it will be a few long nights.

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S.N.

answers from Boise on

We are working through this right now as a matter of fact! And it really hasn't been as bad as I expected. My son was very attached to his pacifier, but was only allowed access to it at naptime and nighttime. We had all the backup pacifiers (in the diaper bag, in the cupboard, at each grandparents' houses, etc.) and so we had to slowly get rid of those first. Once we were down to one, we would help him find it when he lost it in the middle of the night...what a pain!!!! The next step was to talk to him about how mommy and daddy and all his big friends don't have pacifiers anymore. He was easy to agree with this, but then he was still inclined to disagree that he needed to get rid of his to be like them.
The final step for us (so far) has been that he really did lose his pacifier in his room and we can't find it! We have gone into his room with him and looked for it so he could have it, but when we have looked for several minutes he loses interest and will go to sleep without it...or not ask for it.

We have had some issues, don't get me wrong!!! a couple nights I have rocked him for 10 minutes or so at 2:00 in the morning, but all in all the gradual way really worked for us.

Good luck with it!!!!

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K.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Two ideas that worked for me: At the store, when he really wants something, tell him it will cost him the binkie. Then, make him "pay" it to the cashier. It helps with two lessons, things aren't free and he needs to let go of his binkie. The second idea is to cut off a small tip of the binkie. This will make it not be as soothing to him and he will give it up on his own. You must first rid your house of all but maybe two binkies, so he won't find any spares.

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N.G.

answers from Missoula on

you've had lots of responses, and good advice, so this may seem pretty redundant, but when my daughter turned 3, we had set that as the magic age to get rid of her pacifier too. (our dentist recommended to get rid of it by 3) We told her we would cut it off a little each day and she actually held the scissors and tried to cut it too. We literally just cut the slightest shavings off each night. THe night it punctured through she cried and said it "didn't work"... and my husband cried too- but she used it each night even when there was nothing left to hold in her mouth! Just a stub! (she'd place it on her pillow, then put her face on top of it! So I then put it in her box of things that we will keep forever and I kept telling her everytime she'd ask that it's in her box that we'll keep forever (we got rid of ALL the other ones in the house too) THey're young enough at 3 that they really forget after about a week and it's all OK. Good luck- it's hard and you feel so badly taking away something that gives them such comfort- but it's not good for them.

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L.S.

answers from Denver on

Hey T.,
With my daughter I wasn't quite sure how I was going to get her to stop taking a binky.She had developed a major addiction.It happened accidentally when I took her to the dentist.The dentist looked at her teeth and told her that she needed to stop using her binky or else her teeth would be crooked.It helped that it came from another grown up I think.When we got home we called daddy and I had her tell him what the dentist said. After we got off the phone we collected all her binky's. That night she wanted one for bed and I reminded her what the dentist said. She rolled over and went right to sleep.I hope this helps. Good Luck!!

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B.K.

answers from Boise on

Cut the very tip of the binky off of all of them. It is more difficult for them to get the suction they are use to. Every week or several days cut a bit more off. Finally they don't have interest. It really works!

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P.W.

answers from Denver on

I don't know if this will work for you, but...
My youngest was the same way. When she was about 3 and 1/2 years old, we had a party to celebrate that she was a big girl now, complete with a cake and candles. We even made up a song to the tune of happy birthday about how she was a big girl and didn't need her "binkies" anymore. Then I had her throw away her pacifiers and we all cheered and made a huge fuss. (Of course I took the trash out to the garbage can right away)! From then on, when she asked for her pacifier, I reminded her of the party and that she is a big girl now and we "don't have any more binkies". She actually did better than I thought she would, and we didn't have any screaming fits or anything. It only took a couple of days and she quit asking. Prior to this, she was hardly EVER without her pacifier. Hope this helps!

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K.G.

answers from Denver on

Ah, this brings back memories : ). One of my sons did this also. Don't stress, I guarantee that he won't start kindergarten with his binky. Let him keep it but tell him it is the very last one, you won't be buying another one. I took my then 3 year old son to tour a preschool that we were considering. The kids in the class asked him why he had it in his mouth and was he still a baby and why. He walked out of the classroom and threw his binky in the trash can and that was that. It will be much more peaceful if you let him decide to get rid of it when he chooses. Let peer pressure do its work : ) and try to ignore it in the meantime.

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J.W.

answers from Denver on

I had the same problem with oldest. I got rid of all but one pacifier. I told him every day for about a week that this was his last one and that the stores wouldn't let me buy another one for such a big boy. Then one morning I snipped a tiny slit in the end of the pacifier. It looked normal, but lost it's shape when he tried to suck it. He tried twice to suck it and decided it was broken. He just threw it away. And I think it made it easier to do it in the morning, so he had all day to adjust before bedtime. Good luck!!

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L.E.

answers from Pocatello on

Is there a specific place where the binkies go? With my first daughter we had them all lined up on a shelf. One day when she was out of the room I took them all and threw them in the dumpster outside. When it was time for bed she asked for it and pointed out that they were gone. She asked where they were and I said i didn't know they had gone bye bye. She seemed confused but laid down and went to sleep.

With my second daughter when she wasn't looking I cut all the nipples of the binkies. When she went to put it in her mouth she realized it was broken. She tried another and another and all of them were the same so she took them and threw them away in the trash. I think this worked great because it was her choice to take the binkies to the garbage and throw it away. She didn't want another one after that. Hope it works out well for you

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S.L.

answers from Provo on

I have 2 different ways the first one worked for me but my Mother-in-law swears by the second one. You cut the end off of the binky and get rid of the others. If he still wants it then you keep gradually cutting off more until there is nothing left. The second one is you let the binky get nice and fat and gooey. Then you switch to a new binky and they won't want the new one. ( My kids didn't care though).

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M.H.

answers from Denver on

Hi. I have a friend who had a great method for her kids. They would eliminate all but one binky. She would snip a small piece of the tip off every other day or so. Eventually, they would no longer be able to suck on it, because the nipple part would be all gone, and they would carry it around for a few days and then forget about it.

Good luck!

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A.S.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I actually read ALL of your responses, and I like the ideas of the puncturing the binky and the binky-fairy. I have not seen anyone say what my husband and I did for our grand-daughter. We babysit our g-kids 1-2 times a week. our grand-daughter was about 18 months old when we simply stopped giving her the binky and we just distracted her with other things (ie: play, go outside, etc...). My hubby found one that she found in her mouth and just plucked it right out. She cried, so they went to the trash can and they threw it in the trash can - saying "bye-bye" to the binky. She even told her mother later the binky went bye-bye.
Later her mother decided that after a sleep-over with us she would no longer have binkies at home either (she slept with binkies). She was fine until about 4 am, crying for her binky after she woke up. I got her a bottle and she was fine with that and went back to sleep.

When she was 25 months old, she would still cry for a bottle at nap and bed times. I would tell her she was a big girl now. I would let her have some milk in a cup, but no bottle. She still did continue to cry, so my hubby would say "I'll go get it, you stay here and wait for it". I felt like it was lying to her, but she always fell asleep waiting for it. Her parents have also weaned her off the bottle.

Any change is a process; patience and persistence is definitely required! Whatever you decide to do, make sure you stick to your guns and that anyone who takes care of him does as you wish.

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R.K.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Gosh, you know, I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. The fact that you are will make him think there's a big deal and he'll hang on even tighter. You know what I mean?

I'd suggest having it be a birthday landmark, or have the doctor tell him the next time he comes in he gets to trade it in because he's reached the level of bringing it in for someone else and leaving with a different kind of prize (you can supply the doctor with that prize), you can have him start looking for something he'd like in the advertisements and for his birthday he can buy it with his pacifiers. Remember he's three...so, while you may feel he's too old for the pacifier everyone loved when he was tiny, his negotiating and understanding aren't what we'd like when making life changes. You may also want to try offering a new comfort system prior to taking the pacifier away so that he's already conditioned to finding comfort in something else and then be able to turn to it when his main source of reliable comfort has been removed.

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K.K.

answers from Denver on

So, I have been lucky and not had to do this myself, but I have heard this works. A friend of mine said that if you poke some tiny holes in the paacifier, the child then won't get the same sensation when they suck and they won't like it as much anymore. Worth a try? Good luck!

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C.J.

answers from Provo on

Dear T.
Try cutting it up and showing that it is broken so he knows that its gone.
Hope that it helps C. J.

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K.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

T., I have a two year old and we just got rid of the whold binky thing as well. We tried everything! ONE thing worked...We cut a tiny slit in the end of it without him knowing about it and gave it back to him like normal. We didn't make an issue of it, didn't talk to him about getting rid of the binky at all. He decided on his own that the binky was broken and carried it around for one more day and then he threw it away by himself. I wish we would have tried this first. Good luck. Hope it works for you. K.,S.

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S.L.

answers from Fort Collins on

You have a LOT of replies, so I'll keep this short! I heard of one mom who took her daughter to Build-A-Bear, and they put her daughter's binky in the bear. That way she could sqeeze the bear and still feel her binky, but obviously couldn't suck on it.

Best of luck,
S.

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L.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Try putting a little snip in the binky ... the suction won't be so good (and comforting) anymore. Also, make him take responsibilty for his binky ... cleaning it, putting it in a safe spot where he can always find it, etc. It will soon become too much work and/or lost. Make sure you do not replace it!

L

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M.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have heard some people just cut off the end so it does not stay in and then they give it up on their own. I had another friend who attached it to a balloon and they both waived goodbye as it flew into the sky on vacation.

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K.S.

answers from Denver on

I gotta tell ya, T., I am not a big believer in forcing them to give up their pacifier (or pa fa/fa fa) as it's known in our house. When my daughter was 2 we were on tour with a Broadway show for a year. I had been told that at two we needed to wean her off the pacifier. But we were in a new place every couple of weeks, new hotels, new cities, I was not about to take away the one constant source of self soothing she had. When we got off the road and got our own house when she was 3 1/2, she eventually gave it up on her own as she realized the other kids her age didn't use one. There was no trauma, no crying, no issue. I know there's teeth issues with over use, but with all of the orthodantically correct pacifiers there are out there, I don't even think that's a big deal. He won't show up at his high school graduation with it. I'd give yourself and him a break and not force it.

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L.F.

answers from Denver on

If he is attached to just one binky you can try snipping off the end with scissors (out of sight of course). Once a tiny bit is gone the sucking doesn't work quite right, Then each day snip a tiny bit more off. The binky loses appeal and slowly disappears. Good luck!

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T.W.

answers from Denver on

Dear T.,
We had the same problem when my daughter was about the same age. We checked out books from the library about giving up the binky and a few weeks before her well child check up we told her that she had to give her binky to the doctor for all the other babies that needed them. We made it her idea and when she did give it to the doctor she got bubbles and stickers and lots of praise about what a big girl she was. She wanted it for about 3 nights after that but we reminded her that she was a big girl now and that some other baby who really needed a binky was using it. We are going to try this same technique on my son here soon so hopefully it will work the second time around! Good luck!

T. Wheatley
Westminster, CO

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K.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

cut off the nipple and tell him the binky broke

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M.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

This sounds cold, but cold turkey it. It may sound nice by trying to ease him into getting used to not having it around, but it's just prolonging "the end of the binki". It may make him more uneasy thinking is today the day? Is today the day? I did the same with sippy cups.

So, I sat the kids down, two kids close in age, and talked with them a little bit about it. I just basically said, Ok, today we are done. So say bye bye, ....and it was hell. For only about a day. :) And then we got over it. You just have to be strong and not give into the crying and asking. Diversions are wonderful. When my kids would ask for a "sippy" I would say "no, remember? we use big cups now..."I would get them a drink and then we would go play a game and I would focus attention on them for a while, until we were having fun and "forgot" about the sippy.

But really, cold turkey. Don't prolong it. Collect all the binki's and say bye bye. It will be hard, but be strong. It's do-able. Good luck!!

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S.S.

answers from Provo on

Hey, T..
We started by putting a small hole in the paci. It deflated it. We gave a choice as to which ONE the child wanted, and together threw the rest away. When it was realized that the pacifier didn't work, it was still used for a while. Then a bigger hole was cut into it. Then a piece was cut off. Bye Bye Binkie was read, and the child realized there was a "defective" binkie, and down the toilet it went. It was hard for awhile, but everyone got involved with the reminders of how wonderful the "big boy" was not to need a binkie anymore, how nasty it was and then we worked on distracting him to something else. Within days, there was no more desire. Hope this helps!

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J.D.

answers from Great Falls on

Hey there! I had a similar problem with my 3 year old son and a BOTTLE. He refused to drink milk from anything else, and would not go to sleep without it. It got to the point where he was also waking up in the night, yelling and crying for more milk. I had ENOUGH! I was also aprehensive about the adjustment time but let me tell you, it was not so bad. The first night was rough, lots of putting back to bed, offering a cup of water or juice instead, crying and eventually passing out. As soon as he was asleep, I bagged up every last nipple, ringer, and bottle and put them in the dumpster (to prevent myself, and especially my husband, from giving in). The second night was better, and by day 3, we were bottle free! He still refuses milk most of the time, but doesn't ask for a bottle at all.
Buck up Mom, and go cold turkey! :) He is old enough to be reasoned with (somewhat) and three days is better than another year of struggles!
Hope this helps!

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C.H.

answers from Missoula on

Hi there,
I just went through this with my 1 1/2 year old daughter. Her binkie was everything and comforted her for stressful times. One day, I lost her binkie (not intentionally and I had her help me look for it). Of course this was right before bed and I was worried but we didn't find it. I told her uh oh, we lost the binkie and you are going to have to go to bed without it. She said okay. Since then, when she brings it up I tell her to remember that we lost it and she does fine. The nights haven't been too bad.

I hope this helps-
C.

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N.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

With our first son we took his binky away cold turkey and had a horrible two weeks of crying. With our second son we cut the binky straight down the middle of the nipple, this made it loose its suction. Our son threw it away on his own after two days! Give it a try, it can't hurt!

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S.O.

answers from Denver on

I can sympathize - we just finally got rid of the pacifier for my 3 1/2 year old. He had been wanting a toy out of a catalog. We told him that we could mail in the pacifier for the toy. We got an envelope and addressed it to the toy and then went out and put it in the mailbox. Within the next hour we exchanged the envelope with the pacifiers for a package with the toy (I had already ordered it). Then we had our son go outside and "check the mail". Voila - he had his toy and was very excited. He called both his grandmothers to tell them that he had exchanged his pacifiers for a spaceship. Within the next few days - he did start asking for his pacifiers again. But I reminded him that we didn't have them anymore because we had mailed them away for a spaceship. He wasn't too happy about it but I told him I would give him a hug instead. (He really only had his pacifiers when he went to bed). It's been a few weeks now since he hasn't asked about them.

Good Luck - I know it's not easy - hopefully one of these suggestions will work for you!

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C.S.

answers from Denver on

Hi T.,

Though neither of my kids used a 'binky', my son didn't want to give up his bottle! No matter what we tried, like your son, he pitched a fit. The way we finally dealt with it, is by taking all the bottles, nipples, caps, etc. and the trash can...I then let my son toss every item into the trash, we closed it up and took it out for the trashman to collect. He seemed to understand that the bottle was ALL GONE and there would be no more. By letting him throw it all away, it drove the point home so to speak! (When he went down for a nap later in the day, I went out and rescued the bag with the bottles and passed them on to a friend that was in need, but for all he knew, the trashman took them away!) Might see if by having your son toss his binky away it shows him that its all gone. Good luck!

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E.S.

answers from Great Falls on

We had the same fears when my three year old daughter gave up hers. Eventually we got a doll that had a pacifier (reassuring her they were for babies and she was a big girl now) and then started out slowly by saying she could only have it in her room at sleep time. Eventually she tried to bring it downstairs on several occasions and we finally had to throw it away. She cried for less than an hour, and since then has only mentioned it once and that was to wonder, "is that the trashman who took my pacifier?" We were really surprised at how easily she gave it up and has not asked for it or mentioned it since and that was about six months ago. It might not be as hard as you are anticipating. Good luck.

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K.B.

answers from Denver on

T.- WE had the same challenge. I have come to learn that many of the events that seem challenging and worrisome on the front side always seem like just another milestone on the backside. My son was determined to keep his binky- and I was afraid that when we took it away it would cause problems and distress.

But it was really not a big deal. Here is what I did. We hid most of the binkys (he probably had a dozen) and with the few I allowed him to keep we cut off the tip so that he didn't have the comfort and ability to suck it. He immediately asked what happened. I told him the Binky was going away. Every few days I cut a bit more. Actually only made one more cut. He abandoned it on his own and I didn't have to do anything more. I could tell he missed his binky but it wasn't the same and that was the end of it! Hope this helps-- hang in there. Chances are, he won't start Kindergarden with it! :O)

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H.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi! I took my little guy's paci away when he was 2 and tried all sorts of things. The only thing that worked was I cut the tips and told him they were broken and we couldn't use them anymore so we threw them away. The first day or so he did ok. Then about the third day he went crazy, unable to sleep and begging for it. I read books about paci weaning and tried "nice" methods of staying in his room til he fell asleep, rocking him, but ultimately the only thing that worked was one night I just let him cry it out. It was so hard but I was desperate. He cried all night until 5 am (i read Harry Potter the entire time on the couch) It wasn't normal crying, it was more just like a tantrum crazy cry so I knew he was ok. He finally fell asleep at 5 am. Long night, but it WORKED! It felt like magic. From then on he has been able to fall asleep without it, by himself,sleeps all through the night, and it was never a thought again. I guess it was sort of a battle of the wills between him and I and he realized I wouldn't give in so accepted it. He is 3 now and sleeps great. Good luck! That is a tricky transition no matter how you do it! (PS - we had to take it away at that time because you could see his teeth were moving even though he only used it during sleep times)

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J.J.

answers from Pueblo on

We actually used the binky fairy who comes at night and leaves a gift or $ for each binky. Worked with our oldest. The youngest never used one.

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S.B.

answers from Denver on

I think this is a lot like what others said...
I think Playfair toys in boulder will do an exchange with your child (make a big deal out of it for you) if you bring in the paci or balnki attacments. I am fixing to do this with a blankie for my just turned four year old. I have also seen on Supernanny where she packages them up really pretty. They put it in the mail box (I think). then they went to the park with a hemifum balloon. Tied to the balloon was a short note they wrote together to the paci fary. It said somethign like: I am all grown up and don't need my paci any more. Then (your friend or neighbor does this while you are gone) you check the box when you get home and there is a nice gift in there from the fairy and note saying: I'm so proud.

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J.S.

answers from Denver on

I didn't have this problem myself but my neighbor did with her 3 year old son. I don't know if you know anyone that recently had a baby but what she did was tell her son that he is a big boy now and then had him wrap up is pacifers and bring them to my son. He was 6 monthes old. It was the cutest thing. He told my son( even though he didn't understand) that these were for him now because he didn't need them anymore because he was a big boy. We just happily took them. My friend just told me to throw them away after they left. Her son was so excited that he got to wrap the present and then actually give them so someone that he knew could "use them".

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L.R.

answers from Denver on

My daughter was the same way, she just turned two. A few weeks ago we decided to start the process and wanted to start with just limiting her ickie (we all call her pacifier an ickie, from day one) to sleep times. We told her she can have her ickie only if she is in her crib. So if she wanted it we'd put her in there. After awhile she realized that it was limiting her, as she had to be in her crib if she wanted it, and she wanted it less. Now we go pick her up after her nap time or night time and tell her to spit her ickie out, if she's not ready to spit it out we let her stay until she's ready. But she's become very used to only having it a nap/sleep time. Next we'll start with nap time, but I'm not quite ready for that step. Good Luck!

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N.S.

answers from Great Falls on

UUmmm...I'm confused.......Why does your son NEED to get rid of his binky???
My youngest had an old crocheted tablecloth that he appropriated for the bag I had them in. It used to belong to one of his Great Grandmothers. Of all things, it was purple and it was corcheted blocks sewn together. He carried that thing around with him forever, would have until it fell apart but I stole a good block and have it in his baby book. There is really No good reason for him to give it up. He will at some point realize the he can't take it with him everywhere, simply because he will realize that he doesn't want to share it with anybody. The only issue I foresee is when he starts school, (let him take it to preschool,if he goes, he will be MUCH happier) but he should probably leave home for kindergarten. He WILL eventually grow out of needing it, but why do you want to strip him of his security so soon?? My youngest was ready to leave his binky by the time he started kindergarten, and just left it in his bed for naptime and bedtime.
Best of luck and don't push him or it may get more frustrating for you.

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A.T.

answers from Denver on

I'm new at this mommin' thing, you're much more experienced than I...that said, I think letting him make the decision will ultimately be best. Why hurry him away from his security item?
Toddlers are all about independence, right? Turning the pacifier into a power struggle doesn't sound pleasant for either of you.

It isn't my place to decide when my toddleator (2) 'should' give up her favorite security item(s). I'm confident that she'll let them go when she's ready---how would I feel if someone told me I HAD to give up my mornin' cuppa-coffee? or one of those other solace treats that are important to me? Until then if I attempt to dissuade her from her blankie & bear, distract her, take them away, it always backfires and the items become MORE important rather than less.

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S.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Why take it away? Just let them be little for a while. My son just turned 5 and he has his "fuzzy". It used to go everywhere with us. But as he has gotten older, it gets put aside in the bed in the morning, and usually unless he is ill, he doesn't pay any attention to it until bed time. They will lay it down on their own. I'm a 46 year old mom, with 4 siblings and numerous nephews and nieces and I have watched all of them with their "security" item, and they all gave them up and no one took one to school with them. It should be ok to be little.

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T.K.

answers from Denver on

I guess my question is, why does he need to give it up? If it soothes him and it's not hurting him in any way, let him give it up when he's ready. The more attention you give it, the more he's going to want it. If you leave him alone, he'll let go of it when he doesn't need it anymore.

T.

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T.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

We tried everything with my daughter, but we had let it go too long and she was too smart for us. So I just threw them all away and told her she couldn't have them anymore. She called me "mean mommy" for two weeks every time she looked at me and had hard nights for those two weeks and then it was over. You might just have to bear it.

I certainly made sure that the rest of my children got rid of theirs before they were two so that I wouldn't have to face that again. LOL

Have fun.

T.

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