Will Not Be Pacified: How to Ween Your Child Off A Pacifier

Need help to ween your child off a pacifier? Here’s how we helped our stubborn two-year-old kick her pacifier habit.

Pip is big for her age, and it was getting embarrassing to go out in public with that thing hanging out of her mouth. Pacifiers are truly heaven sent when your child is an inconsolable infant, and you have no idea what else to do, but it can be so hard to ween kids off their pacifier.

I got lucky with my oldest daughter who just decided one day she didn’t want it anymore — actually she chucked it at me when I was trying to tuck her in for nap and would never take it back.

This time around getting rid of the binky has been much worse. Yesterday afternoon when she asked for her pacifier, I told her she was too big for it and there was going to be no more binky.

Things really hit the fan at bedtime, though, as I tried to tuck her in, she began bawling hysterically since I wouldn’t give her a pacifier, and the crying continued for a full hour. She really was in agony — I swear it was like a drug addict going through withdrawals. I obviously felt terrible, and I almost caved, but I remembered from sleep training that I wasn’t really doing her any favors by giving in to her tears.

I had to keep reminding myself that to we simply had to get rid of the pacifier eventually, and if I gave in now, we would just have to start all over again. Sure the crying would have stopped for tonight, but how much worse would it be next time?

How To Ween a Child Off The Pacifier

I have heard of parents cutting off the tips of the pacifier and giving the child the “broken” binky. It really started to sound like a good idea when we were an hour in and she showed no signs of calming down anytime soon. I am happy to report that it did work — kind of.

When we handed her the clipped pacifier, she hushed immediately. It was both heartbreaking and fascinating as she took it into her hands, and poked her little finger into the hole, trying to make sense of what had happened to her precious pacifier.

I explained to her that it was all used up, and she was a big girl and didn’t need it anymore. She eyed me warily, but didn’t start up the hysterics.

I explained to her that it was all used up, and she was a big girl and didn’t need it anymore. She eyed me warily, but didn’t start up the hysterics. She tried to suck on it a few times but didn’t like how it felt. She insisted on holding it as she laid down for bed. I finally thought we were in the clear, but every few minutes she would whimper and start crying, still mourning her lost friend. We were up half the night and eventually had to let her sleep with us, which meant I had her heel crammed into my chest, and I nearly rolled off the bed.

The important thing is that we stuck with it, and the next night was way better. She still asked about her pacifier at nap and bedtime but no more tears.

Getting rid of the pacifier is just another one of those tough parenting milestones like weening a breastfeeding baby, potty training and even teaching your kiddo to drive, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves just yet! Although I’m told almost incessantly that it will be here before I know it, and I’m starting to believe it.

I’m just here to tell you Super Mamas to just keep going. Parenting is rough, but we totally got it!

Bettijo Bridges

Administrator at Paging Supermom
Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares creative ideas for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and holiday entertainment. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local TV. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. She enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Mom of 4 kids.

4 thoughts on “Will Not Be Pacified: How to Ween Your Child Off A Pacifier”

  1. I went through the same thing. When my son was 3 we were getting up with him more then when he was an infant because he was waking up because he lost his binky and there we were, with the lights on crawling around on the floor looking for it. He wasn’t allowed to have it during the day, only at naps and at night (and on the airplane). But we got fed up. And we used the “binky fairy”. The binky fairy was going to come and take all the binkys to all the babies that needed them. So on the day the fairy was “scheduled” to come, we had him decorate a gift bag and we went around and collected all of the binky’s we could find. We had him put all of them in the bag and then choose a place where we should leave it for the fairy. He did this and I was so impressed, but 5 minutes later he pulled them all out of the bag and wanted them back. But we talked him back into putting them in there. Going to bed was tough but he only asked for it once. The next morning the binky fairy took the binkys and left him a present. He never asked for a binky again. I have a daughter who is 18 months and who doesn’t seem as attached. So I hope getting rid of her’s is as easy.
    Good luck tonight!

  2. I had it pretty easy with my first too. I’m hoping for an easy transition with the second, but one can never be quite sure. For our son’s first birthday, a friend gave him a glow worm. We just replaced one security (the pacifier) for a new security (the glow worm). Sure he’s 3 1/2 years old and carries this disgusting, dirty glow worm (named baby) around, but I rather it be the doll than the paci. It’s not like he’ll be taking it to kindergarten…right?

  3. I just received another good suggestion from a friend. I wish I’d asked for more advice — I’ve heard some really great ideas that I never would have thought of:

    We tied Isaac’s to his bed rail on with a REALLY short string. In order to suck on it he had to lay down and practically kiss the rail which usually ended with either him asleep or realizing that he wasn’t that into it. Needless to say, he lost interest after a week or so.

  4. AHHH! We are on night #4 with no pacifier and my poor baby girl just can’t relax without it. I mean, she is really mad. She has not asked for it the last 2 nights, BUT can not settle down and I feel like I have a newborn again. I don’t want to not comfort her, because we feel terrtible for taking her paci away BUT she is so mad, she doesn’t want me to pat her or rub her back or anything! Maybe I will be buying a glow worm tomorrow, even though she already has a pillow, blankie and baby that she takes to bed! I did not give her anything “new” though, which I think is where we failed! Help with ANY suggestions at this point so my little angel can relax again and dher parents of course! :)


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