Trying to Get Rid of the Nuk

Updated on May 27, 2009
A.G. asks from Saint Paul, MN
16 answers

Hi everyone. My daughter is going to be a year in June, and I want to lessen the use of the nuk. We hardly ever use it except for when she goes to sleep. We usually give her a bottle before bed, she's either wide awake or half asleep. I did the whole crying out thing, she cried for 20 min. I felt horrible. She's been cranky in the p.m. I don't know if it's teething or what. But my question is how I can slowly get rid of the nuk for bedtime? I'd rather her go to bed w/out it so I can chuck it when she's 1. What can I do? Thanks everyone, it got a little lengthy.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Hi A.,

IMHO, it sounds like you've missed the window on taking it away "easily". If letting her tough it out is not an option, then you might need to wait until she either gives it up on her own, or can understand the "pacifier fairy" or giving it to another baby.

You could try snipping the end of the pacifier to make it less appealing to her, but she might just scream at that, too.

At 6 months, my son was only using it at naptime and bedtime. It was starting to be counterproductive, though, because he would "lose" the nuk in the middle of the night and start screaming. We actually lost his last nuk, and I said there was no way I was replacing it. It was 2 nights of fussing and then it was over.



answers from Minneapolis on

I think my son was about 18 months when he got rid of his - my 2nd child was due any day and we talked about giving his pacifiers to the new babies in the hospital. We talked about it for awhile until one day he decided he would give them up, and he handed them over. My 2nd child ended up not liking pacifiers and preferred the thumb. It took until first or second grade to get rid of that! And he definitely used it for soothing himself.

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answers from Eau Claire on

I've heard that 18 months is a good age to start getting rid of the nuk, but my daughter is 20 months old and still uses hers for sleep, basically for the reasons listed in the pp's - it helps comfort her and soothe her to sleep. However, her pediatrician gave us a tip for when we do decide to get rid of it - trim the tip of the nipple with scissors. She said you can do this just a little bit at a time, once every week or two, and eventually they won't get the same satisfaction from it and will give it up voluntarily.



answers from Duluth on

We had a lot of lucky waiting until 12 mo molars were in (my kids were "on time" teeth wise, so that came right after 1st b-day) and when we weren't transitioning much. My first was very attached to his pacifier, and we waited until after we returned from travel when we could be home for a while. Both my boys gave it up pretty willingly after a year--when they weren't sucking as much on things. Also, if you have one bad day of 20 minutes, the next will probably be a ton better.



answers from Minneapolis on

I think you're doing a great job limiting it to sleep time. We did the same thing and only let our girls have theirs when sleeping after they were one and we found it pretty easy to take it away between 18 months and 2 years.



answers from Madison on

All our children were 2-2 1/2 before we took away the nuk. What we did was cut the tip off of each of the nuks. The kids never liked the "broken" nuk and it didn't take long for them to stop asking for them. I found this much easier than "cold turkey".



answers from Minneapolis on

If it helps her sleep, why are you trying to get rid of it? My opinion is that it does no harm, it's just like having a special blanket. I prefer to do whatever helps my kids be calm at bedtime, and the paci has helped both of them (We took it away from our older kid cold-turkey style when he was 2 1/2 and I was pregnant with the 2nd, he cried for 2 nights and was over it but I'd feel too bad doing that to such a little one...) I hope you find what works for you and your family. Good Luck!



answers from Rochester on

Dear A.,
I agree with everyone else. Why take something away from her that gives her a sense of security. If she only has it at bedtime, that's not a big deal in the big scheme of things. It won't hurt her teeth because she doesn't have it in all day long. She' too young to understand and believe me.....she won't go to school with it.



answers from Minneapolis on

Babies/Kids like having a security item to sleep with. So if your getting rid of the pacifier then you need to get her hooked on a blankie or stuffed animal etc. Not very easily done either.

Your lucky it's just a pacifier. My baby needs: ME, My Bed, Formula Bottle to go to sleep. Wanna Trade?

I personally would keep the pacifier for bedtime only and worry about chucking it around 3 years old when you can reason with them.



answers from Duluth on

you know, in all honesty, the nuk is not a bad habit, and since you already limit her use of it, i wouldnt worry so much. im not sure if you want rid of it because it bothers you or because you think you should... if you think you should, you can relax because its not going to hurt her to have it, especially if she only uses it to go to sleep. im going to assume that she doesnt have it in her mouth all night even, no kid does. so really, theres no harm done with the limited use she has of it.

you are the mom. only you have the instincts to raise your specific child. just go with your gut. some kids need to suck more than others.. an unfulfilled need turns into an undesireable habit. she might start sucking her thumb or grinding her teeth to replace or fulfill that need to suck. soooo.... might be a great place to look for some info!



answers from Appleton on

We actually just got rid of the nuk a few weeks ago, right before my daughter's 1st birthday. She was using it mostly for naps and bedtime. But she started losing it at night so I would have to get up and put it in. I did not want to do that every night.

We heard that if you get rid of the nuk before they turn 1, it is only up to 3 'bad' nights. If you get rid of the nuk around the age of 2, it is at least 1 week of 'bad' nights.

My husband and I realized it was more of a convienence for us than her. If we went shopping we would just put it in so she wouldn't put anything in her mouth she shouldn't, etc.

There were only 2 nights when I put her to bed that she cried for more than 5 minutes. (It was the longest 5 minutes of my life) But I knew she had to learn I wouldn't come running every time she cried. By the 3rd night she wimpered a little bit but that was it. Now she goes to bed just fine. Hope that helps.



answers from Minneapolis on

2 words....cold turkey! You may have a couple rough nights but after the 2 or 3 nights. its done. I do everything with my kids cold turkey and it has worked out great every time!



answers from Duluth on

My daughter decided when she was done with her stopper (as we call them - it "stops 'er from crying...") One day, she decided she didn't need it any more and she stopped using it. Cold turkey. I think she was around twenty months. My son is fourteen months and still using his and I plan to let him do the same.

As it is a comfort thing, I like the idea of letting the child choose when they want to make a transition to another comfort thing. My daughter now has a blanket she uses and her "Thomas Train" pillow. I expect my son will do the same.

I have heard about the trimming of the nipple working for other people, but I guess I'm curious of your motivation behind removing the stopper. Why do you need to have it gone when she is one? If you are deadset on it being gone, what do you plan to have in place of the stopper?

A bottle is not a good substitute for a stopper, because a bottle leaves behind sugars on the teeth that weaken the enamel and can cause cavities, so if you had to choose between bottle and stopper, I'd go with stopper, since she only uses it at night...

just my two cents'...



answers from Sheboygan on

Why take it away when she is still so young? Medically, there is no reason to take it away until she is 3 or 4. It provides her with security and comfort. Pretty soon you will be taking the bottle away. Let her keep this for awhile longer. My son chewed through his when he was shy of 3 years. That was the end of them.
Good luck and relax!



answers from Minneapolis on

What's the rush?? If she's a good sleeper and goes to bed fine with her Nuk, why ruin a bad thing? Seems like you want to get rid of it for yourself, not for your daughter. There's no medical reason to take it away.

The kids I know that transitioned away from the Nuk very well were old enough to understand why they don't need it anymore.

Just my 2 cents.



answers from Milwaukee on

We didn't pull our sons until after he was 2 years old. I kept saying I was going to do it when he was 1 year old, but he just seemed so little.

When we did do it -- it was "cold turkey". We even threw away every one in the house so us parents wouldn't give in ---- it was a good thing we did.

It was about 1 REALLY tough night and then 2-ish cranky days/nights. But then it has been done. It is funny -- ocassionally out of the blue my son will ask for one now, but it isn't a big deal.

Good luck.

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