How do you wean your child off a pacifier?
A pacifier can be a lifesaver at times, but at some point all kids will need to learn to live without one. What are some tips for weaning your child off their pacifier?
We gradually worked down to the pacifier only being in the crib and car, then just the crib. On their 2nd birthday, we took them each to Build-a-Bear and let them pick out a stuffed animal. My sons watched the employee put the pacifier in (we used one with a cover and made sure to send it through the dishwasher first). The employees there did a great job both times. At bedtime when he asked for his pacifier, we reminded him that it was inside the stuffed animal. Our older son actually accepted that and went to sleep. The 2nd and 3rd nights were a little rough, but then he was fine. There was a bit more of a transition for the 2nd son, but he accepted it and went to bed without much trouble within a week. If you try this method, just make sure you throw away all of the other pacifiers in the house first so a) your child won't find one and start using it and b) you won't be tempted to give in to their crying and just give them a spare.
I started by limiting it to bedtime only. Then I cut the end of it off so that it was not appealing to suck on anymore. All 3 of my kids were over 2 years old when I did this so they could be reasoned with. It did not take very lon for them to realize that they could fall asleep without it.
My eldest just knew the word "gone" from a very early age so as soon as he knew it, the dummy/pacifier was now "gone" too. He was just coming up to 18months old. My 2nd son was a little bit trickier, we tried the same method with him at a slightly older age and it didn't work so well. He had a rotten cold which kept waking him up and then 1 night he had insomnia for reason for 2 hours so we brought it back in to play little by little it crept back into every sleep time (he was in a cotbed early as he wanted to be in a bed like his big brother!) as he kept coming into our room and waking us up every night (I don't do well with sleep deprivation so we had to regress!). Then when he was just over 2 and a half we had lots of adverts on the telly about donating to Africa for the severe drought and they were showing children and babies crying. I said to my youngest that they didn't have enough food so it would be lovely if we sent your dummies to them so they didn't cry anymore! He agreed so we actually did put them in an envelope and then into the mailbox! He asked for them now and again for about a week and I just reminded him that we sent them to the babies on the telly. He seemed ok with that and just got on with things as usual just without the dummies. He's now 3 and a quarter and doesn't really remember having them at all. :-)
One way is to have them pick out a new stuffed animal from the store and open a seam up, put the pacis in, then sew it back up. They can still have them safe and close when they sleep :)
we started slowing down his oppotunities for a passy, just in general. then we would only give it to him going to sleep. Taking it out of his mouth when he was good and asleep. Eventually he just didn't even need it and didn't ask for it
I've seen a lot of parents try the so called 'pacifier fairy' -- In which children put the pacifier either in a mailbox to mail it to the pacifier fairy or dig a hold and put the pacifiers in the ground for the fairy to come and get them. Then the next day encourage the child to come and see if the pacifier fairy took the pacifiers and of course the fairy would leave a toy/present/candy for them as a reward for giving the pacifiers to the fairy.
There can be as much detail as possible - I told my child (who is 3yo now) that the pacifiers were given to babies who don't have any pacifiers and they need them from the big kids who don't need them anymore. She perked up when she heard that she was helping little babies out!
he decided on his own at 6 months.
My best advice is at a year (or sooner if you feel they don't need it) hide the pacifiers so that they don't see them during the day and if they need it for bedtime keep one only in their crib. We did that with my daughter and she never cried for it, I think older than a year they may notice it too much and it will be harder. The only hard part was when we completely got rid of the pacifier meaning no more using it for naps or bed time and that really only took a week, that part was hard but once you get through it they adapt very quickly.
A few weeks before he hit 2 I only gave it to him at bedtime. Then when he was two the 1st week he only had the pacifier for 6 nights. The next week it was 5 nights. Each week we shaved off a night because he was having a hard time when we originally tried just taking it from him. After there were no more nights of having the pacifier we put his pacifier in a paci box and it magically turned into a car. We did this with each pacifier he had because he loved playing with cars.
we limited pacifier time to bed/nap time only. as soon as our child woke up, we hid the pacifiers and kept saying things like, "I dont know where your bink is... here, play with this...." she was easily distracted and at times when she was really tired or hungry or mad, or whatever, we didn't give in no matter what. we also didn't automatically offer the pacifier at bedtime. i waited until she asked for it, then said, "are you sure you want your bink? big girls don't need binks...." but i didn't argue with her. eventually, she stopped asking for the pacifier at night and we kept them hidden.
with my son! i was struggling! i was trying to wean him off slowly and it wasnt working and then i had my daughter, and that was it if he didnt have his he would steal hers! then i moved! and his dummy got thrown into a box last minute as it was on the floor! we couldnt find it anywhere! and guess as he was distracted by the move and all he just didnt ask for it! and we didnt mention it! when he finally asked for it i said oh no i havent seen that for ages u dont need it! and he accepted it! but my daughter still had one and after about 3 months he suddenly started stealing hers again! so just after she turned one i think it was i looked her in the eyes and said oh yuk you dont want that its yukky and threw it in the sink! when they were in bed i threw it in the bin! The key thing was throwing it in the bin! If u havent got a dummy to give them then you cant cave in when they get a little bit stressfull! thow them away people! the kids might go on and on about it for a week just say oh i dont know where that is! and they soon forget about it especially if you keep saying you dont need that yukky thing its dirty! i only have my experiance of my two but it seemed to be the same with both of them! if i didnt have it i couldnt give it to them! and my sister convinced her daughter that there was a little girl that needed her dummy and she was upset every night as she couldnt afford one so they talked about it for about a month or so while my sister slowly threw away other dummys and there was only one left! and when they had that one they gave it to some one, it was a woman at a dance group for toddlers! they went and asked if she could give her dummy to the little girl who didnt have one! it was just quicker to tell my two id lost it and thow it away so i wasnt tempted to cave in!
Like Tania, we cut the end off our our little boy's paci. It took a few days of some crying at bedtime, but now he could care less! :) He only used it at night, so I think that helped a little too.
We started by telling my son that he could only have his pacifier at home, not outside. Once he had accepted that, we told him that he could only have a pacifier at night, not during the day. It took a few days but he quickly accepted it. Then we gave him a few weeks and we tackled night time. We told him that he was such a big boy now and he didn't need pacifiers at night, and the first night was met with tantrums for about 20 minutes after lights out, but we persisted and he eventually drifted off without it. He woke in the middle of the night, so we gave it to him then. The second night, he was a little teary eyed at bed time, but he fell asleep without it, and this time, slept through the night. After about 4-5 nights, he proudly exclaimed that he was too big for pacifiers and hasn't looked back since!
My daughter is a little over 2 and has been loving on a paci since she was born. We knew that we needed to get rid of it especially when she started stealing the other children's pacis. So I came up with an idea to get her a new blanket or stuffed animal and call it pluggie, her nickname for her paci. So we took her to the store and said honey do you like this blanket and she goes okay and i said well baby that's pluggie. She didnt really understand and first, but it's been almost a week and no paci at daycare and no paci at home. She calls the blanket paci and uses it like a security thing.
Sometimes substituting works!
For my oldest we used the "paci fairy" right before he turned 3 and that worked great..with my daughter, who just turned 3, I don't know if that method will work for her, so i'm trying to figure out how to go about it..she's very stubborn.
My oldest we told her she was a big girl turning 3 and she handed it over. The rule is also firm for #2, but we are getting ready to move in about 2 months so she will get it past her bday just to help the move then its gone. #3 hated them and never used it.
Our 2 1/2 year old uses one only for night time sleeping. We have tried a few times to get rid of it, but she cries until she makes herself vomit (EVERYWHERE)...I have gotten rid of all but 2 (she like like 9)...I tossed them all a few months back. I just don't know how we can get rid of these 2..we have anew baby on the way (in 8 weeks)...I have asked her if she would give them to her brother since he doesn't have any....she said, "I will give him one." UGH!
Cold turkey. I had a friend over one night. After my daughter went to sleep I went to her room and got all the binkies I could find- which was 5 at the time. Then when my friend left she took the binkies with her to throw out so that if my daughter wanted one in the morning I couldn't give in to her. Over the next month we found 3 more, and made sure that my daughter didn't see them. We haven't had a problem with her even wanting one when she sees them in the store or other kids having one.
I used the fairy. We put the pacifiers in a bag and the next day they were replaced with tiny toys. She only ever used it at night. The first night was rough but that was it. She never cried again. Even now, at 4, when she plays with the little animals she reminds me that the dummy fairy (pacifiers are called dummies in the UK) gave them to her. My only advice is to get rid of then so you have no choice but to follow through.
With my 2 oldest (3rd refused it) I took it once they got into crawling. They were so busy learning their new skill it didn't bother them if they didn't have it. The first 2 nights were a little rough but with some comfort from mommy and of course a little fight they were able to get to sleep an within a couple nights you wouldn't have even known they had em. They would even occasionally find then around the house and play with them but then dismiss it. Both were between 6 and 9 months (depending on when they started crawling).
My daughter is 17 months old. She mainly only has her pacifier when she sleeps. Once in a while, I will give it to her if we are out and she is ultra cranky, but that does not happen much. She knows she cannot have it in the house except for the crib. I pick her up, clear my throat, and she takes her pacifier out of her mouth and throws it into the crib. It's pretty cute. LOL!
First take it away before 6 months old. If its too late for that this is what I did with my oldest at 20 months old. Start by not giving a pacifier at naps, once they nap with out fussing for it then put them to bed no pacifier. But if they wake up for it then give it to them. The first night they go all night with out a pacifier then take it away all together. This process worked for my son and my nephew. It took 2 full weeks but we haven't looked back since. My youngest never got use to a pacifier so at 4 months old just took it away and he did just fine.
My first only had it for sleeping once he was 18 months. It didn't leave the house except for car rides over an hour. We "mailed them to some babies who needed them" just after his 3rd birthday. We would have done it sooner but we were in the midst of a move & starting school so we waited. My second never took a liking so yay! I have a rule in my house for the 2 kids I watch (who are 18months & 2) "No passies at play time" works great. They can do what they want at home but at my house you don't get a passy unless you're napping or sick! Helps them speak instead of point & talk more clearly because they don't have anything to talk around.