What are some tips for taking away a pacifier?
Michaela – I have no actual experience with this. Emma never took a pacifier. I’m thankful we’ll never have to take it away. But man, there was a lot of screaming early on that a pacifier would have been wonderful to help.
I know my cousin had the pacifier fairy come. Basically the binkie fairy collects binkies from big kids and gives it to babies who need them. My cousin talked to her daughter for a couple of days about it. They put the binkie under her pillow and in the morning there was a thank you note and a present. It worked well.
A friend told me that she sent her son’s binkie to a new baby. They talked about how this new baby needed it and how he was a big boy. Then Logan got to pick out the card and wrapping and sent the binkie to the family friend’s new baby. In return, the baby sent a present (I think a DVD). He thought it was so cool that a friend got his binkie.
Liz F – It may sound crazy, but do it during a time when they’re out of their normal routine, like a vacation. When my husband and I vacationed in Mexico last year, my son stayed with his grandparents for over a week, and he was having so much fun, he didn’t even think about his pacifier (that we forgot to pack!) When they’re out of their normal routine at home, it’s easier for them to forget about it! And when all else fails, tell them the Paci Fairy is coming to your house tonight, and when they wake the next morning, they have a big surprise waiting under their pillow!
Missy Rogers – My answer is this. Take it away cold turkey as soon as possible. The doctor may recommend that your baby keep it for a while as they need the sucking. As soon as the doc gives the okay take it away. The longer you wait the more screaming you are going to hear when you take it away. That’s the honest truth. I know it is hard. It is like taking the bottle away. A warm bath Rocking them to sleep and singing them a lullaby might help at bed time. Get them into a new routine that does not require a pacifier. Although that is my answer. It is not that easy. My son and daughter both suck their thumb and I actually thought of giving them a pacifier to break them of thumb sucking so I could take the pacifier away. You can’t take their thumb away! 🙂
Meredith – YES!! This was my question. HELP!!! My son just turned one and it seems that he’s becoming more and more dependent on it, especially when things don’t go his way!
Janette – Omigosh, I wish I had the answers because we are dealing with this too. My 2yr old daughter uses her to sleep and sometimes just to calm her when she’s having a meltdown. She literally bites a hole in them so that they are unusable. I thought this was the ticket– she doesn’t want it if its damaged. I know when we send her to school they don’t give her one there, so I know she can handle it without- but its really a matter of ME being patient enough to give her the chance to go through withdrawls and teach herself to self-soothe. I am very impatient, so I have been buying paci’s in bulk to replace the ones that she’s ruined… plus, I have a younger baby girl who takes one– and my 2yr old will rob my 9mo old of hers. So its like I have to take it from both of them to make it work and suffer a few days, or just go broke buying them.
Liz – I wish I had more experience. Unfortunately, I have two thumb suckers at home, and I can’t cut those things off! Or at least not without some serious reprocussions. I’ve heard good things about packing the pacis away for “new babies.” My oldest has quiet the “mommy gene” so I think that would have worked with her. Sadly, she does not want to give her thumb away to new babies. Being a cry it out mom, I would also be tempted to go cold turkey. The first few days would stink, but over time, the absence would become the norm.
Tricia – All of my kids have had (or still have) pacifiers. With the older two kids we took it away when they were about 2 1/2. We cut the nipple off and told them that it broke. (And that’s what happens when you are too big for a binky.) We offered for them to hold the handle part if they wanted (neither did). Of course both thought we were the dummies and that we should go to Target and get new binks…which we made sure didn’t happen. 🙂
Kristine Foley – Cold turkey – and stick to it! Get rid of all of them so you aren’t tempted to just give it back “just this once” YOU CAN DO IT!
Pamela – There are many ways to take it away, but for me I had to take a different approach with each of my children. My oldest was the one that really LOVED the pacifier, and he was almost 2 and still had it in his mouth, I told him we had to find all the pacifiers around the house and give them to the new babies that I was expecting (I had twins 1 month later) and he did just that, and never asked for them again, even when he saw the twins with pacifiers. With my last baby, when I told her it was time to throw pacifiers away, she was upset, would cry, I wanted to give in but I didnt, it worked but then she started carrying a blankie which is fine with me, better than walking around with a pacifier.
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Barefoot Hippie Girl says
3 of my 4 took pacifiers. The first and the last gave them up on their own. The middle, she was different. We let her have it full time until she was 2. At 2, she could only have it for naps and bed. She was okay with that. Ironically enough, when we took it away full time, it was like we took the stopper out of her mouth. She hasn't stopped talking since.(she will be 5 in 2 weeks.=)) We prepared her before her third birthday that when she turned 3 it was all over. She would be done. And she was fine with that. We threw them away together on her third birthday, and there was no tears or problems. So, maybe, that sounds horrible-up until 3 years old. But it worked. And the more kids you have, the more you learn not to sweat the small stuff. The small stuff being, when to break them of the pacifier habit. I mean, they do all eventually give it up. Just like potty training, how many 10 year olds do you see sucking on a pacifier?
My now 7 year old HAD to have his paci to sleep until he was about 4 and a half. At the age of 2 we said no paci except at bedtime and that worked reasonably well. There were a couple of odd occasions that he'd end up with one when he was upset (like when he had to have blood drawn after a very very long day bouncing around between doctors). We tried several times to take it away, and sometimes we'd be successful for several days, but then he'd have two or three days in a row that he'd be awake still crying for his paci hours and hours past bedtime. I gave in each time and gave it back because to me, a good night's sleep is more important. Perhaps part of his dependence on the paci was his Sensory Processing Disorder. He's always been an extraordinarily orally sensitive kid. But then one day at Tae Kwon Do lessons, he decided to play Superman off my lap and landed teeth first on the floor. He knocked both of his front teeth so loose we thought he was going to lose them. And he was in so much pain, he could barely put anything in his mouth. He tried to use his paci the first couple nights and cried in pain. So I took it away and never gave it back. About six months after, he said to me “You know I never wanted to give up my paci for good.” I told him I knew, but he was a big boy and he didn't need it anymore. I don't think he fully agreed with me, but he let it go and never mentioned it again.
Neither one of my kids took a paci but, I'm sure this is really helpful for some Mommas! That would be a hard thing to deal with!
My little boogers wouldn't take a paci and wouldn't suck their thumbs. And trust me, I wanted them to! LOL
had a hard time with my second child…but she threw it away right before her second birthday! long story…all I can say, it was hard!
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I agree with Missy. The earlier you do it the better. They'll forget about it quicker at 6 months old than a year.
April S. says
Around 2 is a good time because they are old enough to understand a little more and “want” to be big kids. At age 1 she only got it for bedtime & if she asked we said they were only for sleeping & she didn't need that. My daughter really did not like them if they weren't “springy” so we ended up poking holes in them and she would find they were flat and tell us they were yucky so we told her she needed to throw them away. She proceeded to find every one in the house and decided they were all yucky and she was a big girl and didn't need those. Whenever she saw one after that she looked at it wistfully and then looked at us and said “those are for babies” end of discussion. My son was similar – he only got it at bedtime or when he was really upset. We started talking about it weeks before his 2nd birthday and when we came home from his birthday trip we let him pick out a new stuffed animal to sleep with and had him throw them all away because he was 2 and a big boy and only babies need those. He never really asked for it after that because he knows his sissy doesn't have one and he wants to do everything like her. I try to make sure my kids understand the “why” of things because I find its less traumatic and they go along with it better. If they are too young to understand then I question if I am doing it for my benefit or theirs.
I wished my little guy didn't like them if they weren't springy. He suck on the darn things if half the end was missing. Thank goodness that's all behind us now.
Love these tips! I think after this round of teething is over, I may just try to have little man quit cold turkey. Thanks mommies!!
My son would never take one so we haven't gone through this, but I read an account on another blog once where the mother took her boys to Build-A-Bear and they sewed their binkies inside of their new bears to transition away from the habit. I think there were still some tears involved when the bears didn't open back up at bedtime though.