8 Ways to Help Your Child Get Rid of the Pacifier

toddler with pacifier

You may have to take a trial-and-error approach to find out which method of paci-cessation will do the trick for your little one.

A pacifier can be a life-saver for new parents early-on. Once inserted into the tiny (but unbelievably loud) mouth of a newborn, the ear-piercing cries cease, and peace is restored in the home once again—nothing short of a miracle right?


Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and when your newborn transforms into a toddler right before your very eyes, and begins demanding the pacifier on a 24/7 basis, often chewing it rather than sucking on it, and producing a non-stop stream of drool, then it may be time for the binky to go bye-bye.

{ MORE: How I Weaned My Baby From the Pacifier }

As many a parent has discovered, this is something that is much easier said than done.

toddler with pacifier

If your toddler or (gasp) preschooler is still reluctant to give up his oral security blanket, don’t despair—there are a myriad of tricks to make relinquishing the “paci” a little easier, for both you and your big kid.

Try the Slow and Steady Approach
Just like any other addiction (physical or psychological), your child’s dependency on the pacifier may be best dealt with by taking it away a little at a time. This might make the process a bit easier, for both you and your youngster, even if it takes a little more time than some other methods.

{ MORE: Tips for Getting Rid of the Pacifier }

Go Cold Turkey
The tried-and-true method of turning your pacifier-sucking toddler into an independent big kid, going cold turkey, is effective; but it takes a great deal of patience and determination on your part. Simply take the pacifier away, and don’t give it back – no matter how much your little one begs, pleads, and screams for it. Stand your ground, and in a week or two, you and your child will be free from the pacifier once and for all.

{ MORE: What to Do About Blankets, Pacifiers, and Thumb-Sucking }

Appeal to your child’s sympathies. 
As long as you don’t mind telling a little white lie, appealing to your child’s sympathies might just work. Simply tell her that pacifiers are for babies, and since she’s a big kid now, she’s in the perfect position to make a charitable donation to an infant in need.

baby with a pacifier

Enlist Some Supernatural Help
Parents have a long history of telling little white lies to ease their children’s fears and incorporate a little magic into their childhoods. Recently, the Binky Fairy has taken up ranks with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny as a popular night-time visitor. Prepare your child beforehand for the Binky Fairy’s arrival and be sure to leave a thank-you note when you (um, I mean the Binky Fairy) snatches the pacifier while your child is sleeping.

{ MORE: What You Need To Know About Your Baby's Pacifier }

Snip It. 
Snip the end of the pacifier with a pair of scissors. Then, explain that the pacifier is broken and has to be thrown away (don’t give it back as it may cause your child to choke). If he or she is young enough not to demand a trip to Wal-Mart for a replacement, this method just might work.

{ MORE: Must-Read Expert Advice: Pacifiers, Sippy Cups, and Speech }

Give advanced warning. Let your child know exactly when you plan to banish the binky. Usually, a week’s notice is enough time as long as you continue to remind your child daily of the upcoming transition.

reaching for a pacifier

Don’t Offer the Pacifier. 
As your child gets older and no longer needs the pacifier as a soothing device, stop offering it to her. If you’re lucky, she may forget about it for longer and longer periods of time, effectively weaning herself.

{ MORE: Happy and Healthy Weaning }

Limit the Quantity of Pacifiers in the House
Many parents make the mistake of stocking up on pacifiers because they are so often misplaced. Once your child becomes old enough to do without it (between 12-18 months), explain that you are no longer purchasing replacements, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Period.

{ MORE: The Pros and Cons of Pacifiers }

Every child is different, and there’s no guaranteeing that all of these methods will work for every kid. You may have to take a trial-and-error approach to find out which method of paci-cessation will do the trick for your little one. With a little patience and determination on your part, however, your child is sure to be pacifier-free in time for Kindergarten (hopefully)!

Read More

What do you think?

8 Ways to Help Your Child Get Rid of the Pacifier

Tell us what you think!


  1. Profile photo of Timothy Timothy says:

    Thank God our Daughter never liked them and She does NOT use one now.. She will be 1 on 1-29-15.. whoop whoop

  2. Profile photo of Sarah Sarah says:

    We did the warning but we told him that the binky fairy was coming on such a such a day, then counted down the days till she cam and threw out all of his paci’s and she left him a big boy item( truck, book etc in their place). He was SO excited to see what she left that the only time he asked for his paci was right before bed but once he realized he could take his new stuffed animal to bed with him he had no problems. Did the same thing with his bottles but replaced them with big boy cups.

  3. Profile photo of DESIREE DESIREE says:

    I will see when the time comes what I will do..

  4. Profile photo of LadyAnneJT LadyAnneJT says:

    I nursed my children and they would never even accept a pacifier. I only tried it once or twice with either of them. I assume they didn’t associate the taste of rubber with food, so something. I get rather “annoyed”, for lack of a better word, when a child spits out or drops a pacifier, and mom stuffs it back in the poor kid’s mouth. Heavens, lady! The kid doesn’t want the thing! Leave it and be done with it.

  5. Profile photo of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    i had to give my little one a pacifier when i weaned her. She can now let go and get it when she wants to. It is very useful to put her into sleep.

  6. Profile photo of Timothy Timothy says:

    We are going to use these..

  7. Profile photo of Lynette says:

    When I went to visit my bio mom my daughter forgot about her paci and totally let it go and now she is paci free.

  8. my daughter has two pacifiers and can go days without really needing one. i just give one to her to calm her down at times and that’s basically it

  9. Profile photo of gfeld gfeld says:

    My daughter is very attached to hers for sleeping or when she needs to calm down. Dreading taking it away but she definitely needs to since she is drooling.

  10. Profile photo of Marilyn Marilyn says:

    My brother never liked them.

  11. Profile photo of MAMASEXXY MAMASEXXY says:


  12. I don’t know if my daughter will ever give up her binkies. She must sleep with not one, but 2 every day.

  13. Profile photo of breezy breezy says:

    Tell your baby to throw it in the trash after nap time and contiue till there gone and remind them they threw it away themselves and tell them it is ok give them kisses and hugs along with a house full of aplozies

  14. Profile photo of meredith meredith says:

    We just use it for nap time, not nighttime sleeping, but I’m still dreading when we have to stop.

  15. Profile photo of bo_lynn1506 bo_lynn1506 says:

    i have tried all of the above and it ti hard u have to be really consistant

  16. Profile photo of FatzMommy FatzMommy says:

    I went cold turkey with mine at 10 months and it only took 3 days and he hasnt even fussed for it since..

  17. Profile photo of sayhola sayhola says:

    Glad this article included the age a child is old enough to go without a pacifier. My son has only ever used one for sleeping, and I hope that will facilitate its elimination.


Send this to a friend