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How to get rid of the pacifier

Updated on October 11, 2011

Lots of parents rely on the pacifier to soothe or comfort their babies - it is a matter of personal choice. Some babies only have a pacifier for the first few months of their lives, while others have theirs until the age of 2, 3 or beyond. Pacifiers have all sorts of names including: dummy, binky and bo-bo.

When you do decide that it's time for your child to part with the pacifier, there are lots of ways to get them to stop. Lots of parents have different views and stories to tell on how they managed to get rid of the pacifier. These are just some of the ways that parents managed to stop their children being reliant on their pacifier:

A "broken" dummy!
A "broken" dummy! | Source
  • Snip the rubber part off completely - the child will assume that the pacifier is "broken" and may accept then that it has to be thrown away.
  • Put pin pricks in the teat - when the child sucks on the pacifier, it will go completely flat and will not work.
  • Limit its use - Only allow the child to have it at bedtime and not at all during the day. Gradually the child will come to rely on it less.
  • Post to santa - If the child was old enough to understand about Santa, you could ask them to post it to them and in return they would get a special or extra present.
  • Leave it for the fairies - Leave it out somewhere for the fairies to collect for the little babies who need it more.
  • Build-a-bear - This is my favourite one. One little girl I heard of was 3 years old and her mother spoke to her about giving up her pacifier. The girl didn't want it thrown away, so her mum took her to a Build a Bear Workshop and she had it put inside a teddy bear.
  • Let the child be part of the decision - Talk to your child and tell them that they should start to think about giving up their comforter - they may just want to give it up themselves.
  • Swap for a toy - It is another kind of bribery, but by giving up their pacifier, they can choose a toy instead.
  • Leave it out for the birds - Tie it onto a tree for the birds to take to a new baby. (Just remember to put it in the bin before you go to bed!
  • Cold turkey - Some parents just wait until the child is out of sight and collect up all the pacifiers around the house and throw them in the dustbin. I did try this when my daughter was 18 months old without any success. She ended up looking everywhere for it and got herself into such a state that I ended up going to the shop to buy another one. She eventually gave it up when she was just over 2 years old.

Leave out for the pacifier fairy or the birds!
Leave out for the pacifier fairy or the birds! | Source

It can be upsetting for a lot of children when they come to give up their pacifier as they rely on it mainly to soothe them, comfort or help them to sleep. Once the decision is made, it's best to stick to it and carry it through - be patient and understanding with your child. Distractions help take their mind off their pacifier, so once it has been taken away, keep them active with activities that they enjoy doing and perhaps give them a few treats during the first few days. After a week or two without it, they will settle and not give it a second thought. Many children will not even miss it and carry on happily without ever asking for it again.


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    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      @ consentino - I totally agree with you that the pacifier can be a mothers savior. I know what you mean, it's not nice to see older children with pacifiers in their mouths. My daughters didn't seem to bother once they gave up the pacifier. Thanks again for taking the time to read my hub.

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      consentino 6 years ago from GLENDALE

      The pacifier is a mothers savior. Some children need it longer than others, especially if they use it as security. I don't like when I see 5 year olds still walking around with one in their mouth. But, we took our son off of one at about 2 years old. Took it to garbage and let him put it in. Took a few nights, but he was fine.

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      @ randomcreative - Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I gave my daughters pacifiers as they both suffered from gastric reflux as babies. If they cried or got upset, the pacifier helped a lot. Best wishes.

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      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This is a great resource for all parents! Thanks for all of the helpful suggestions.

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      @ ardnaxela - Thanks so much for your comment. Both my daughters had a pacifier until just past their second birthday. It wasn't too difficult to get them off it. Once they had posted it to Santa, they never seemed to miss it. Best wishes.

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      ardnaxela 6 years ago from United States Of America

      This is a good post. Thankfully, neither of my children really needed a pacifier when they were infants, and even when I did try to give it to them they never took it because they didn't like it.