At age do you think parent's should try to wean a child from their pacifier?

Michele - posted on 11/07/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )




Also, if a child does not want to be weaned what are some ideas for doing it with the least amount of trauma to the child. I don't think it's appropriate before the age of one to one and a half myself but after that there is a wide margin of opinion. What is yours?


Julie - posted on 11/07/2010




My son never really used one, so I'll have to default to what his speech therapist said when I asked him (in regards to his cousin). He says by about 1 year of age. After that, the sucking muscles get too strong and can make speech more difficult, especially when it comes to causing a lisp. I don't think I need to say how I don't think a child speaking in complete sentences should have to "unplug" before (s)he can say something, but we've all seen that.

Having never had to go through "binky withdrawal" I know it is easier said than done...

Aicha - posted on 11/07/2010




have you tried placing limits on the pacifier like the child can only have it at home but not in public then place limits on it at home like only before bed ect then one day just take it away


View replies by

Ernestina - posted on 11/12/2010




My daughter was 11 months when we took her binkie away. We were eating at a resturant and saw a newborn baby crying. I told my daughter the baby was crying cuz' she didn't have a binkie and asked her if she would like to give the baby hers. She agreed and gave it to me to give to the baby. I just put it in the diaper bag and didn't show it to her again. Later that night when she asked for it i reminded her that she gave it to the baby at the resturant. She was only fussy for that one night and that was it no more talk of the binkie.

My opinion is that the binkie should be taken away at no later than 1 year. Then it seems like they become dependent on it.
If you are going to try to wean off the pacifier try changing the type of pacifier. Go from the one shaped like the bottle nipple to the one NUK or the other way around.

[deleted account]

BTW, I have a friend who used the "give it to another baby" technique with his then-2 year old to get her to give up her pacis. Her parents then took her to the store to buy a stuffed animal to replace it. The girl is now over 4 and STILL talks about how her Daddy "made" her give away her pacis. She gave them up, but she obviously wasn't ready to and it obviously still bothers her! And the stuffed animal sits on the shelf. I figure when my boys are ready, they will give them up on their own. I certainly don't want them to have the memory of me taking away a cherished object like that.

[deleted account]

I think it depends on your kid and how attached they are to their paci. If your child is really sensitive and attached to their paci, telling them to give them away to other babies just doesn't work. Also, some kids like sucking more than others. Some kids don’t need and would never want a paci; for some kids, it’s a lifesaver. It’s better to have your child sucking on a paci than a bottle non-stop. Or on a thumb or a finger (which has happened to my friends who refused to give their kids pacis – then try getting your kid to stop sucking their thumb!). My twins (now 2 ½) both gave up their bottles at 12 months but both love their pacis. Their pacis are their comfort object. They actually have names for them (scooter, seal, glowie, car, pinky, baby, orangey, etc.). They’ve been giving them names since they were about a year. They are only allowed to have them during naps, at bedtime and in the car. They occasionally ask for them during the day when they are feeling stressed as well and, depending on the situation, I will let them suck on them for a few minutes. They don’t have any problems with their teeth at all. They don’t have any problems with their speech and are speaking better (in terms of pronunciation and vocabulary) than most four year olds. Do I love the concept of my 2 ½ year olds still having pacis? No. But these are their comfort objects and I’m not just going to take away their comfort objects based on some arbitrary deadline. I would like them to give them up by 3, but if it’s going to be a big issue, then they will have them for a little longer. I doubt it will scar them for life.

Kristen - posted on 11/12/2010




I agree with you 12-18 months. Like the other mother mentioned, I would set limits to when and where he can have it. and just gradually cut back on that if he seems too attached yet. Hopefully he just gives up for ya! Good luck!

[deleted account]

i weaned at ten months for the simple fact that it was easier. For 2 weeks before i only let him have it for naps and bedtime. then after those two weeks i just threw them all out. he didnt seem to even notice. my nephew and niece still have theirs at 3 yrs old and 23 months they both had named their pacifier by age one so i felt like weaning before that happened would be easiest on my son and i think it was. i plan to do it again with my youngest.

Chelsea - posted on 11/11/2010




When my baby became a passie user i said to myself by 6 months she will be weaned off of it, then she developed some medical problems and had to have lots of tests and xrays so i let her keep it longer, but she only had it at the dr. and in bed. by 1 she did use it anymore, the way we did it was by replcing it with a blankie so now when she needs comfort she gets her blanket instead

Christine - posted on 11/11/2010




If it's possible when a baby is born to never start them on a pacifier.. I think that's best.. then it's never an issue.. not to mention that when a baby cries or makes sounds.. it's communication.. they're saying.. I'm wet, I'm cold, I'm hot, I'm hungry, I don't feel good, I need some love... etc.. but point is.. as newborns and babies under the age of 1.. listening and responding to them rather than using a pacifier is always better.

For babies in daycares where the caretaker insists on using pacifiers.. (and yes, I've seen that).. but by the age of 1 is a good time to get them off it.. but the best time would be at 18 months..
the reason being is there is a huge change in babies between the 1 year mark and year and a half mark.
During that 6 month window.. babies start to really understand things..
So explaining to your 18 month old, that he/she is now a big girl or big boy.. and then tell them another baby needs their pacifiers.. ask them if they would give their pacifiers to another baby.. most toddlers will say yes.. then you only need to find another mom with a young baby.. talk to them and ask them if their toddler can give them your pacifiers.. (tell them on the sly they can throw them away).. and then let the toddler give them to the other parent.

After that.. when they ask for their pacifier.. remind them that they are a big girl or big boy and have given their pacifiers to a baby. Then distract them into an activity from there.

Another version of this ploy is.. telling them that they're a big girl and big boy and that pacifiers are for babies.. and ask them if theyr'e willing to throw their pacifiers into the garbage.

My daughter never did pacifiers.. but with bottles.. right before her second birthday.. we did the thing where we told her bottles were for babies and she's a big girl going on 2.. and she agreed to give her bottles away. I told her I was going to mail them to her cousin.. and so I put them in a box by the mailbox.. she was satisifed with that.. later I took them in the house.. thinking.. she's going to want these later.. since she's still under 2.. but I held onto them for 6 months.. she never asked for her bottle but maybe two or three times.. and I'd remind her we sent them to her cousin in Florida. She would be like.. "Oh.. yeah." and the I was quick to offer a special distraction.. painting, or going for a walk.. or a special snack.

But yep.. that's what worked for us.

Nikkole - posted on 11/08/2010




my son will be 3 in December and HE is EXTREMELY sensitive he gets his feelings hurt very easily and he just is emotional! We almost had it gone till my daughter came along and he wanted his back so we give it to him at nap times and at night and when hes really upset but thats it! It hasn't affected his speech at all he actually talks better than most almost 3 year olds I personally know! And i have talked to his dentist they said that his binkie should be taken away by 3 that as soon as we take it away his teeth will straighten back to normal (which they are not bad at all) they said the bottle is the worst to keep!

[deleted account]

I let my son get rid of his on his own. He was maybe a month past his 2nd birthday when he tossed one in the garbage and said "bye bye" to it. He knew that what went in the garbage went away and stayed gone because I always used to give him his dirty diapers and ask him to throw them away. So when he tossed his paci I asked him if he wanted to throw them ALL away and he got so excited. I will admit that I saved one, just in case. But I got lucky and he never shed the first tear over it. I think it all depends though, on how attached a child is to it. Not that it's my place to have an opinion, but I will admit that it kinda bugs me to see a kid 3ish or older with one. But since I don't walk in any other mother's shoes but my own then I don't judge. I do know that the longer a child uses one, the better the chances are that he/she will have dental issues, as well as possibly speech issues. Talking is hard with a "rubber sammich" (as my uncle calls them) in the mouth.

Corinne - posted on 11/08/2010




Also, my other sis but Marmite on her son's dummy and he never went near it again. :)

Corinne - posted on 11/08/2010




6 months, if they have them at all. The teeth start to come through from then-ish and dummies can wreak havoc on dental structure (my sis is a senior dental nurse and has showed me pictures), and can affect speech. I also think it becomes more of a habit than a neccessity as they get older, my mates kids used to come home from school, switch on the T.V and stick their dummies in. Thankfully she made them give them to Santa last year but both have buck teeth and the younger one has speech issues. :(

Jessica - posted on 11/08/2010




I would say about 3 yrs is the limit, but it depends on each child. My son gave his up at 22 mos and my daughter never used them so it wasn't an issue for me. A friend of mine had a child who was very attached and finally had to give then up at 3 yrs. She didn't want her kid to go to preschool with her pacifier.

[deleted account]

my son is two and a half. he is a VERY sensative boy. easily over stimulated. and so I have allowed him to conitnue to use the binkie a lot longer than I probably would have.
when I felt he was ready, i started to limit the binkie. We made a special binkie box, and each mornign after he got up he would put his binkie in the box. That way he knew where it was, and could come back and get it whenver he needed it. We made it so that binkie's are for bedtime.
yes, occasionally, we make exceptions, allowing the binkie out of the bedroom. but this has worked really well for us. he is 32 months old.
Oh and we have the rule - he has to take the binkie out of his mouth to talk. otherwise we can't understand him (even if we can, we didn't want him to think we could).

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms