How to Help My 3 Years Old to Sleep After Taking the Pacifier Away

Updated on May 22, 2019
A.P. asks from Charlotte, NC
12 answers

Hi. We have been getting ready for this for a while now. My daughter proudly gave away her 'tete' on the day we have been talking about since weeks. She already sleeps with her teddy. She has a little star light and always had a water bottle. She was awake all night. In bed eyes wide open. Looking at the ceiling or talking to herself.... I do not understand it but she is doing the same thing for her nap time. She had 1h of sleep last night.....what do I do ?

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answers from Atlanta on

It can't last forever. I agree with the others that she will probably get really crabby, however as long as you say nothing about the pacifier or give it back because you feel too anxious about her not sleeping, she will adjust. The soft music and reading a book to her sound like good ways to help her relax, too. Good luck with it!

8 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

Actually, I'm kind of encouraged that she just talked to herself and stayed put. She didn't panic, scream, or come get you or demand her pacifier. It sounds almost like she's self-soothing with the talking and staying in one place. Maybe that's a good thing.

Are you sure she was staring at the ceiling the whole time? Maybe she dropped off a bit? I suppose if you have a monitor and watched her yourself, you're sure. Which means you are both exhausted.

In any case, she can't keep this up for long. You'll have a crappy day or 3, and so will she, and then it will resolve itself. It's the 3-year-old version of Ferberizing or teething or any other transition that babies go through.

Let her work it out herself with her own coping methods. Just don't plan anything major for a few days, so you can give in to the exhaustion. Praise her for doing a good job in her bed, but don't go overboard and make a huge deal out of it.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

welcome to mamapedia!!

She's fine. She's not screaming for it. She's laying there talking with herself. She's self-soothing and that is fine.

DO NOT talk about the "tete" again. Let it be.

She will go to sleep.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

I was all ready to read a post about your daughter screaming and throwing a fit, and then giving you the advice to let her have it at bedtime but not any other time. I tend to err on the side of a peaceful bedtime at almost any cost lol.

But your daughter is doing great! Keep doing whatever you're doing, consistancy is key at this stage. And never speak of *it* again ;)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Oh, this is not going to be a fun day! You poor momma! Hang in there. She is going to be tired, well, over-tired, really. This could be a really rough day, and naptime could be a real challenge (because of the over-tired).

As much as possible, try to treat this like any other day. Try to keep her active until her regular naptime. If you get the sense that she is fighting her nap, read her a book or play some soft music or do something relaxing that will help her settle down to go to sleep. Same thing tonight. Try to keep it as normal as possible, and be prepared to assist her in falling asleep.

She's bound to be crazy tired, and your biggest challenge could be helping her to relax and allow herself to fall asleep. If you aren't able to get her to sleep at her regular times, try not to worry too much. She will settle back into more of a routine in a day or two. Just hang in there.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Just keep up exactly what you are takes time. It took my daughter 3 weeks without the paci to finally start going to sleep normally.

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answers from Portland on

What else can you do? :) At least she's not crying (that's the typical concern here).

So she has a little adjustment period/phase of learning to sleep without it. I would only put her to bed or down for nap when she's ready to konk out - eyes closing, yawning.

We just got help from child psychologist who suggested this for kids who have trouble falling asleep.

I doubt you'll have a problem if she's going on 1 hour of sleep. A day or two and she'll be zonked. Good luck :)

*When we got rid of ours, we just said they were gone (no lead up time) and kid fussed a bit, but settled. Maybe the lead up made it more of a big deal than needed to be? Not sure. I'd downplay. Kids respond to us, follow our leads. Psychologist said "What's worst that can happen? They're tired next day ..".

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Wait it out. She will eventually get tired enough and sleep.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

She'll sleep eventually.
She'll be cranky in the meantime.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on's been one day?

it sounds as if she's actually doing really well. unless you were in there staring at her, you really don't know that she had her eyes wide open all night. she probably got a little sleep. tonight she'll get a little more.

give it some time.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

What do you do? Be patient. Let nature take its course. Don’t talk about the pacifier. Be loving with her, even if she becomes a little beastie. Don’t go to bed with her or take her into your bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

3 years old is a bit too old to take away pacifier. It should have been done a while a go. Transition would have been so much easier. Didn’t Dds tell you guys?!

For bed time -play with her so she is physically tiered and follow a nice warm bath. That should relax her. Nap time might need to be dropped.. this way bedtime is easier.. she will be exhausted.

And maybe reintroduced when her nights become more stable. If you don’t want to, take her to playground. If you introduce sports it’s a great way to socialize and get physically exhausted! Lol for both parents and kids!

Lots of luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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