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?