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oratio's avatar

How did you get your child off the pacifier?

Asked by oratio (8905points) May 12th, 2009

His mother wants him to stop using the pacifier. He just turned three and I am not sure I see the urgency. But he’ll have to come off it sooner or later.

As it’s a comfort object, I thought I might try to replace it with another, like a doll or something that he can sleep with. Did you do something like that or did you just take it away?

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28 Answers

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oratio's avatar

oh.. isn’t it called a pacifier? Is that slang for a gun? What’s it called otherwise? :S

ragingloli's avatar

it is called a pacifier. the word itself has the same literal meaning as peacemaker (from lat. “pax” for peace)

Divalicious's avatar

When my daughter started preschool, she learned through peer pressure that pacifiers are for babies. We had started limiting her pacifier use when our second child was born, but nothing we did had the same effect as seeing one of her classmates sitting in the car sucking on a pacifier like crazy before going in to class. Our daughter wanted to identify with the “bigger kids” after that.

MissAusten's avatar

When my daughter was three, we finally got rid of the “binky” for good. She only used it at bedtime and naptime, which I think is a good habit to get into. We had a little basket in her room, and when she woke up she had to put the binky away before getting out of bed. Anyway, one day we told her about the Binky Fairy. We said that if she got all her binkies and put them next to her bed, the Binky Fairy would come and take them, but would leave her a cool toy.

She said she’d only do it if the Binky Fairy gave her a bike and a candy bar. My husband and I decided that she was ready for a little bike anyway, so that’s what we did. She did OK sleeping without the binky at home. She already had a favorite stuffed toy to sleep with, and at bedtime I’d spend a little extra time sitting with her and rubbing her back to help her get used to sleeping without the binky. Her nap at daycare was harder for some reason—I think she went to daycare expecting that binky to still be in her cubby, and was upset to find it gone too. After a couple of days though, she never mentioned it again.

Whatever you do, make sure the binkies are actually gone so you don’t give in to the temptation to give them back to the child. If you want to substitute another comfort object, start using it a couple of weeks before you take away the pacifier. Good luck!

cookieman's avatar

When we went to China and adopted my daughter, she was already traumatized from the upheaval in her one-year-old life.

you quickly realize that to you it’s an adoption – to her, it’s a kidnapping

We figured, what’s one more thing at this point – so we took it away from her and never looked back. By the time she was used to us (in about four days), she had forgotten all about the binky.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m amazed that there are so many three year olds running around with pacifiers. My daughter was two when we took hers away. Cold turkey is best. You may go through a few stressful days but you’ll be surprised how quickly they forget.

cak's avatar

Yep…we’re like @jonsblond and @cprevite, cold turkey. We just needed it to end. I forget what was going on, but it was in the midst of some other bigger issues and the pacy just went away. Gone. 3 days of “where?” – to no more.

Jack79's avatar

Mine is 4+ and still uses it. It’s the only thing she’s kept, and I know it soothes her, so I’ve decided to let her have her way. At first I was against it, and people keep telling me she’s too old for it and that it’s bad for her teeth and so on, but the psychological need for it is much greater than any of that. And she’ll grow out of it when she’s ready.

sandystrachan's avatar

Sandy took my oldest childs dodo when she was 1 . As of yet we can’t get the dodo away from the 2nd child

MissAusten's avatar

Each child is different, and basically it’s the adults and society that look down on older toddlers and preschoolers still using pacifiers. If the pacifier isn’t over-used to the point where teeth or speech development are being affected, then there’s really no harm that I can see. I think most parents will know when their child really doesn’t need the pacifier anymore and can decide for themselves when and how to make it disappear. If left on their own, most kids would probably give it up in time.

My two other babies never wanted anything to do with a pacifier. One of my boys was colicy and miserable, had a really hard time sleeping, and absolutely hated pacifiers. I would have given anything to make him a binky baby if it meant we’d both be happier! He eventually cheered up (when he learned how to crawl), but that was a looooooooong seven months!

knitfroggy's avatar

I was lucky, my daughter didn’t take a binky. My son did, but when he was about a year old we “lost” it. I just told him it was gone and I didn’t know where it was. He accepted that. He went to bed that night and it took him a little longer to get to sleep, but there was no big deal.

elijah's avatar

both of my children were done with bottles by one year old, and paci by one and a half. At a year old the paci was only allowed in their beds, within a few months it was time to put them in a box and give them to the new babies at the hospital (wink wink). IMHO it looks silly when a toddler is running around with a paci or bottle. It’s bad for their teeth, it limits speech, and it just makes it look like the parent would rather keep the kid happy and not deal with the problem. The longer you wait, the harder it is.

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ubersiren's avatar

I was really lucky. My son wouldn’t take it anymore at 6 months. He just didn’t want it anymore.

Since he’s 3 and may be able to understand, explain that he can have any other toy or snack, or watch a movie, but the binky is no more. OR- I hear this method somewhere (perhaps right here on fluther, so apologies for plagiarism)- Take him to the dollar store and tell him he can pick out any toy he likes and has to “pay” for it with his binky. Then if he asks about it, you can remind him that he traded it for something better.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I knew that pacifiers are no good so even though I used them a little with both of my children I tried hard to not use them…with my second we barely use it and it’s harder, perhaps, but at least we won’t have to go through hell getting him off it

casheroo's avatar

My son rarely used a pacifier, and around six months he just stopped wanting it, so we stopped offering it. When we tried to get him off the bottle, we thought we could replace it with a pacifier, but he had no clue what to do with the paci! lol

My son is 22 months, and still on the bottle. We’re about to try weaning him off of it. He only uses it for nap time and bed time. I find it funny when people are disgusted or disturbed, yet it’s the same thing if they were still breastfeeding, the child on a bottle just gets their source in a bottle, not from the breast. And the WHO recommends breastfeeding until age 2. Extended breastfeeding is actually past the age of 2.
I’m not sure if it’s any different, but we plan on replacing the milk in his bottle with water, so he can still have it but the milk won’t be on his teeth at night. My husband has to get on board though, he never helps with any of the transitions, which makes the transitions even harder.

casheroo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir why doesn’t my husband help me? probably because he’s lazy and doesn’t want to deal with it. I’m home and do the majority of the parenting, and had to transition our son into the crib after cosleeping for 13 months, I now want to get him off the bottle, I tell my husband “Make it half water half milk” he says “No, he sleeps better with milk” Uhhh, the whole point is to get him to sleep better with NO milk. He apparently can understand that concept.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@casheroo I’m sorry, that must be hard – I would think he would want to be more involved and not want you to do all the parenting

wundayatta's avatar

I think that it’s a risk not using a pacifier. Children might start sucking their fingers instead, and you can’t take fingers away. Well, you can, but you’d probably end up in jail. I was still sucking my fingers in second grade, and I wouldn’t have stopped, maybe ever, except that my finger got infected, and it hurt to put it in my mouth, and when it go better, it didn’t taste the same.

On the apple not falling far from the tree principle, I was all in favor of binkies. My daughter had one, and when it came time when she was about to go into kindergarten, we wanted her to stop. We resorted to the binky fairy, too. I’m not sure what the binky fairy left her, but it worked.

My son used a binky for a year or so, and then just didn’t want it any more. That was easy.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@daloon the sucking hands is supposed to be a short phenomenon and the child should be discouraged not have hands substituted with something else that should be discouraged

wundayatta's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: The best laid plans….. I’m just sayin’.

elijah's avatar

@casheroo I think the reason seeing a kid with a bottle is more disturbing is because you never see a kid running around a playground with a breast in his mouth. Having a bottle while playing, or having a bottle just to keep the kid quiet is bad. I never put my kids down to sleep with a bottle, so I don’t know anything about dealing with that. I think cold turkey is the best way. Maybe you could tell Cash that the little babies at the hospital need the bottles, and make a big production out of packing them up. Then let him pick out a few new sippy cups to use.
Good luck with the process, I know you will find whatever is best for you and your family!

casheroo's avatar

@elijah I think cold turkey for us would result in him screaming in his crib for 12 hours straight, and no sleep :( He is too young to be reasoned with, so we’re thinking changing it to water should help. I’ve tried giving him a sippy instead, but he was furious and ripped it open and threw milk all over his room. He’s got quite a temper.

Supacase's avatar

We took it away from our daughter at 18 months. The pediatrician said to do it at her 1 year appointment and a friend who is a dentist agreed, but I just couldn’t do it. This girl has the biggest sucking need of any child our pediatrician has ever seen. She is three and still sucks on her bottom lip or her arm if she is upset or very tired.

We did it by tossing all but two pacifiers and limited use of them to nap and bedtime. She bit a hole in one, so we showed it to her and said it was broken. We had her throw it in the trash so she knew it was gone. We told her she only had one more left. When she bit a hole in it, we did the same thing but told her now she didn’t have any left. She asked about it for a couple of weeks, but we reminded her that it broke and she threw it away. She got over it pretty quickly.

YARNLADY's avatar

My son has a very strong compulsion to have something in his mouth at all times. He never was “weaned” as such, but went from a pacifier to chewable leather objects, and plastic straws.

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