Tips for Getting Rid of the Pacifier


Pacifier. Paci. Binky. Sucky. Whatever you and your child call it, chances are that at some point it will occur to you that it just might be impossible to separate your child from it. It’s a source of comfort to them, much like a blankie can be.

All three of my children took a pacifier when they were infants, however only one of them had no problem giving it up. One of my twins, Lila, just handed it to me one day when she was about a year old and said “No”. And that was it. The other two weren’t so easy.

 When Do You Get Rid Of The Pacifier?

The older the child gets, the harder it may be for them to let go of. Some peditricians suggest 12 months as a good time to start weaning them off of the pacifier. But really, there’s no hard and fast rule.

A good rule of thumb may be when they start to learn to talk. Take into consideration that the pacifier can actually interfere with speech development, so you may want to get rid of it sooner rather than later. According to Patricia Hamaguchi, a speech-language pathologist and author of Childhood, Speech, Language, and Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know, sucking on a pacifier locks a child’s mouth in an unnatural position, making it more difficult for him to develop his tongue and lip muscles normally.

 How Do You Get Rid Of The Binky?

Well, that’s a good question and it is probably going to be different for every child. In our house, I made the kids give it up cold turkey after they turned a year old (about the same time they gave up the bottle during the day). It was a hard couple of days, but it worked for us.

A friend of mine talked to her pediatrician about how hard it was trying to get her daughter to let it go. So her doctor actually wrote a prescription saying that he didn’t need to use the pacifier any more, and it worked! Her daughter handed it over to the doctor and took the prescription home with her. Whenever she asked for her pacifier, her mom showed her the prescription and her daughter went on her way.

My sister poked holes in her daughter’s binky so that it wouldn’t work. Although my niece was frustrated and not happy about it, she did end up throwing it in the trash.

In Denmark, at the Frederickberg Park, they have the Eternal Pacifier Tree  (seen pictured above) where children can go to donate their beloved pacifiers to the tree. When they do this, the pacifier fairy gives them a present. While we can’t all fly to Denmark to see this ritual through, perhaps this can offer some inspiration for your own Pacifier Fairy idea. 

Fellow author Jeannie Fleming-Gifford here on EverydayFamily shared her story Bye Bye Pacifier. Her advice is consistency and not to give in to pleads, whining, or tears.

You may have to try a few different options before you find one that works for your child – there truly isn’t a surefire way to solve the attachment some children have with their paci’s, but at some point, it’s important that they eventually work to give them up. 

If you have already gotten your child to successfully give up the pacifier, what worked for you?

Photos via Flickr @Boetter/ Hunter-Desportes

What do you think?

Tips for Getting Rid of the Pacifier

Natalie is a wife, mom of a five year old son and three year old twin girls, wannabe foodie, lover of wine and of all things social media. She is the author of Mommy of a Monster and Twins, her personal blog where she writes honestly about the good, bad, and ugly of parenting. She also authors Have Wine, Will Drink, a site for women who love wine and want to learn more about it in an unintimidating way ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Neo Neo says:

    with my son now 6 years we went cold turkey when he was 12 months and he went into thumb sucking which he still does. now my daughter is 18 months and still sucks the PACI iam scared that if i take it off she will resolve to the thumb just like the brother. please advice me.

  2. Profile photo of Aubrey Aubrey says:

    I was lucky, none of my 3 boys would take a pacifier (though there were days that I wish they would have!) My best friend’s 3 kids all had paci addictions, but we threw bye bye binky parties for them. Set the date, and slowly throw all but one away. The last one, the kid gets to tie to a helium balloon and set it free. Worked for all of her kids. Another friend’s sister has a 12yo that still finally kicked the binky habit when she got braces. There was absolutely no reason for said child to have one that long. when she was little, you could take it from her (her grandma and auntie did it all the time) and she was fine. That case was an issue of a parent who wouldn’t put her foot down. Always remember, you have to be the parent first, the friend second.

  3. Profile photo of KRISS KRISS says:

    with my first child i told her on her 3rd bday binky goes by by ..she was cool with twins at 4 i said one day no more binky and we went cold turkey daughter cried but after 15 min she was son was ok wth it,

  4. Profile photo of belinda belinda says:

    I have four kids three boys and a about to be one year old girl. My two older boys never sucked anything. My third boy sucked his thumb which I hated. My daughter takes her paci the Dr wanted me to get ride of it at 6months but having a previous thumb sucker I just wasn’t ready. We use the soothe kind and one did get a whole in it so she just put her thumb in the sucker part to make the paci work. So I’m almost sure if I took the paci she would suck her thumb. But we have been off the bottle completely for about a month. Which I much rather be done with the bottle than the paci.

  5. Profile photo of Jeanetta Jeanetta says:

    My daughter has a pacifier, doesn’t mean I like it but I’d rather her suck a pacifier than her thumb…after all I can throw the pacifier away.

  6. My son never like pacifiers he would spit them back out lol

  7. Profile photo of MissTK MissTK says:

    I am not positive I want to go the Pacifier route. I would rather eliminate an issue before it starts. BUT who knows.. if may end up a last resort to help baby be calm. So i guess i cannot say i will or wont because this is my first. But if he or she dont need it. Im not going to take that route.

  8. Profile photo of Jennifer Jennifer says:

    I’m not certain if our son is going to have one. I mean, my wife and I have bought several different types of pacifiers without knowing if our son is going to have any interest in using one. I am hoping he will not be overly attached to where it will become a problem when the time comes to take it away from him.

  9. Profile photo of LaKristen LaKristen says:

    I am 25 weeks pregnant today and I am trying to decide if I want my son to suck a pacifier. I really do not want him to suck a pacifier. I don’t want it to be a crutch. I definitely do not want him to be 5 or 6 years old still sucking a pacifier. I just don’t know what to do. Sigh!

  10. Profile photo of Elyse Rose Elyse Rose says:

    My whole life I have never been one to be able to keep track of things. I told myself from the beginning that my child could never get incredibly attached to anything because I would almost 100% of the time forget it. We used the nook on occasion when he was born but due to my lack of ever remembering to carry it, he didn’t get too attached to it. My husband was more of the nook man because it was easier to shove it in his mouth and get him to be quiet. It was a weak of weaning off around 5 months but it wasn’t too bad and he never wanted it again.

  11. Profile photo of sheenaholman sheenaholman says:

    I havent reached this stage yet, but Im not looking forward to it because my daughter loves her binki!

  12. Profile photo of Alison LeeAuthor Alison Lee says:

    My first never took to the pacifier. My second, now 8 months old, weaned himself at 6 months. He just decided he didn’t want it anymore. :)