How can I get my toddler to give up the pacifier?
Real Mom Problem
“My son just turned three and he still sucks on his pacifier. I have tried to take it away but he just screams and I don't have the heart to take it away.”
- 1. Consider choosing a set date to give up the pacifier
- 2. Try taking it away in stages: play time first, followed by nap time, and finally night time
- 3. Check with your pediatrician or dentist to decide if your child needs to give up the pacifier
- 4. Avoid distractions while driving and observe speed limits and traffic rules
- 5. If there's no medical need to stop using the pacifier, consider allowing your toddler to keep it
Real Mom Solutions
Some kids hardly noticed when mom took their pacifiers away, but some toddlers have a really tough time giving up the comfort of their binky. If you're determined to stop your kid from sucking on one, try these tips from moms who've been in your shoes.
Lie a Little
When my daughter gave up her pacifier we gathered them all up and put them under her pillow for the pacifier fairy to pick up and take to all the new babies in the hospital. The fairy left her a new big girl present under her pillow in its place.
With my daughter we told her that Santa didn't want milk and cookies but he was collecting binkies and that in order for him to make his visit she had to collect all her binkies and leave them in a box for Santa to collect. Even now, 4 years later, when she finds one she stashed she sets it aside to leave for Santa.
Simply Take it Away
My daughter was two-and-a-half years old when I got rid of all the pacifiers. One day I just cleaned my apartment from top to bottom until I found all the ones she had hidden. She didn't even notice when I was throwing them away. She is three-and-a-half now and paci free.
My son was addicted to his binkie but from about 18 months he was only allowed to have it for sleeping. We thought of all the tips most people give (giving it away to a baby who needs it, cutting a hole in it, etc.) but none worked. We finally just asked him to throw it away right at 3. That first night he woke up about 4 times to look for it and then went back to sleep after we soothed him for a minute. 2nd night he was totally fine.
I just took my 2 year old's away one night and said "no more pahpahs". He cried for 15 minutes I said "that's enough" and it was done. He didn't sleep as well for a few nights but, everything was okay within a week.
I took my daughter out to the dumpster, took the binky out of her mouth, and had her throw it in. She said goodbye, then cried for awhile. She was fussy for a couple days, but it was over and done with.
I just had to take my son's away. I had to tell myself over and over it would do more harm than good and we would no longer rely on the nasty thing any longer. After 3 nights he was off of it and like he never even used one.
We talked for months leading up to her 3rd birthday that 3 year olds were not allowed to have them. We told her when she was 3 she was able to turn them in at Toys R Us for any big kid toy in the store. When we got to the store I let the manager know what was happening & he talked to the gal who would check us out. My daughter picked a bike & proudly gave her all the pacifiers (while I slipped her my debit card). The 1st night she did say she wanted to take the bike back but I told her that couldn't happen.
I had this problem with my daughter. When she turned 3, we took her to Build-A-Bear and made a "binkie bear." Instead of putting the heart in, we put her binkie in. The first night was a little rough, but after that she didn't even ask for it. She could feel it in the bear and slept with it and seemed content.
I have twin 4 year olds I was amazed it worked for me but we tied them to a bunch of balloons and sent them up in the sky to the binky fairy to take to the babies. They were so excited they loved seeing them fly away and they never asked for them again!
Don't Worry About It
My daughter was born when my son was just about 2 years and 8 months and I was worried about the shape of his mouth. My dentist advised me not to worry about it because of the change in the home (with the new baby). I would give it some time if there are new circumstances.
My daughter is 4 and is still on the paci. She cannot take it out of her bedroom! When I did this, it stopped her walking around the house with it. If she wants it now, I tell her it's bedtime - Nevermind, I don't need it that bad. Also, when she wants to have a sleep with mommy night, she also has to give it up, sorry, no babas in mommy's room - Nevermind, I'll sleep in my room. If it gets her to sleep all night, in her own room, Woo Hoo!
Two of my children used a pacifier, and it was hard to get rid of them but my doctor told me not to worry - that when they were ready to get rid of them they would and with a little encouragement it was sooner rather than later.
More Tips & Strategies
My twin daughters were very attached to their pacifiers. I had been telling them about the Birthday party they were going to have for months. Then one day I told them that they had a choice between the party and the pacifier and they chose the party. They only asked for it a couple of times but after a week they were fine without it. Snipping the pacifier didn't work for me since they didn't mind that the pacifier had a hole in it. Sometimes they would bite it off and make holes in the pacifier themselves.
With my son we told him that other babies need them and we put them in a bag and he never saw them again. He was upset for 2 nights then forgot all about them. He was 1.
We cut the tip off. My son spit it out & never wanted it again.