little boy with pacifier in mouth

Pacifier, paci, binky and boo boo’s! The pacifier has been known to save the sanity of many families, however, it can be a nightmare to break the habit.

First of all, you haven’t done anything wrong!  The use of a pacifier is perfectly normal to satisfy a baby’s sucking instinct as well as decrease the risk of SIDS.  There does come a point where the use of a pacifier starts to deform the facial bones and the teeth, though. Some professionals say to discontinue the use of a pacifier around the age of one when sippy cups are introduced, while others say by the age of two. As we all know, the longer a habit is continued, it can sometimes be that much more difficult to break.

Here are a few tips to break the binky use from your child:

1. First, stay strong and stick with it!  Once you decide to start this process it is best to follow through with it. Know that there will probably be a few nights with tears and crying, but usually after a few nights the worst is over.  Make sure that once you get rid of the pacifier, they are all gone for good. Taking it away and bringing it back is nothing but confusing for the child.

little boy with pacifier in mouth

2. You can try to go “cold turkey” and discontinue use all of a sudden or you can start to limit the use. Some mothers try to limit the pacifier to only when the child is in his crib.  I have known some mothers that go in and remove the pacifier once the child is asleep.  For some mothers, you may already be here and you are trying to get rid of the pacifier so your child can fall asleep without one. If your child only uses the pacifier in the crib, you could try to limit the use only at nap time or only at bed time instead of during all crib times. Most pediatricians and dentists recommend gradually removing the pacifier over the course of a week or  two.

3.  Snip it! Cut off a little piece of the pacifier each night or every few days until there is nothing there. This changes the sucking sensation and makes it less enjoyable. Some mothers have simply cut the tip once and that’s it.  The child no longer likes it and no more are purchased.

4. Another creative idea is to have a Big Girl or Big Boy party! Have a few your of child’s friends or family over with a cake, balloons and a few gift bags and toss the pacifier! The kids get excited about having a party and then lose the pacifier! Why not make a fun event out of it?!

What pacifier busters have worked in your home? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!