When to wean the binky?? Please help!

Amanda - posted on 07/21/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I am new to Circle of Moms. I actually joined because I really need some advice and support. I am a new mom with an 18 month old son and I feel like I am failing! I'm really worried that my son is too dependent on his binky. I've tried to cut back, only allowing him to have it for nap time and bedtime. It works some of the time. As he gets older he seems to cry and ask for it more.

My husband tried to take it away from him a few nights ago. My son screamed for what felt like forever. He was so upset he almost threw up. I couldn't take it anymore so I gave in and gave it to him. I'm sure that was wrong but I couldn't stand to see him like that.

Another other issue that has just started is he's fighting us to get in his car seat. He's always enjoyed riding in the car, now it's a huge tantrum. He throws himself out of his seat and stiffens so we can't buckle his seat belt. Once we have him in the car he just screams for his binky.

Are we wrong for trying to wean? Any advice on when or how to wean the binky?

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Serene - posted on 07/22/2014

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I agree with Briava, I would take it away from him cold turkey. My son dropped his paci when he was 20 months old behind the bed and thought it was funny to see me getting it. The third time he threw it back there, I left it back there and he cried all night for it and finally went to sleep without it. The next day he was fine without it because he couldn't find it.
Get ready for the tantrums, they are going to be around for a while. At least until he is 3 years old. Its normal behavior.

Chet - posted on 07/21/2014

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The reason that toys with small parts say "not suitable for children under three years of age" is because it's normal for children to retain their urge to suck and to put things in their mouths up 36 months. In the grand scheme of things, 18 months is still very young, and I wouldn't rush the process of weaning your son off his pacifier. Not unless it's causing some specific issue that needs to be addressed.

One concern is that pacifiers can interfere with speech development. People worry the children who have soothers in their mouths all the time will be too busy sucking to practise talking. If you have a child who has a significant speech delay who never takes the pacifier out I would definitely limit pacifier use during the day.

In general though, the current thinking is that pacifiers are reasonable up to 24 months. After the age of 2, paediatricians and paediatric dentists will usually tell you that you to start limiting pacifier use, and that you want the pacifier gone by the time your child is about 4. After the age of 4 pacifiers can cause dental problems. The vast most children will give up their pacifier on their own before they turn 4 though.

Personally, I would be fine letting an 18 month old have a pacifier for naps, bedtime and in the car. He'll very likely give it up on his own before he's 2.5 or 3. If he doesn't, it's much easier to have a rational conversation with a three year old or cut a deal regarding pacifier use and pacifier limits.

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