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Weaning Baby off the Pacifier

Updated on July 24, 2009

It is difficult to cut the pacifier out of the life of a baby who has come to depend upon it to soothe, lull to sleep or to otherwise keep him or her busy. Many parents do not like the rather vacant look that their babies face assumes the minute the pacifier is popped it. So it had its uses but now it is time to bid it farewell.  The rule of thumb is, try and get rid of it after the child turns two.

Alter the Taste / feel: Sometimes it works to make the pacifier taste reasonably yucky to junior. Bitter coffee, or any other taste that the child may reasonably be expected to reject may work. The child may respond by demanding that it be washed. You can duly wash it, but surreptitiously reapply the yucky tasting object before reoffering it, thereby making a convincing show that the pacifier has lost its taste for ever.  You can also cut off a piece of the pacifier so that it feels different to the child inside the mouth so that the child feels that this is not going to work anymore.

Decrease Use:  Limit use of the pacifier to the bedroom or perhaps only the cot or bed of the child. Adopt this method to gradually limit use of the pacifier and remove it completely from your child’s life. Thereafter you can alter the bed time or nap time routine in a way that does not include pacifier use. Introduce a new activity to soothe the baby to sleep which will preclude pacifier use. Singing together, praying, or reading a story book can all soothe a child and may take the toddler’s mind off the pacifier enough so that you can cut it out altogether.

Lose it or donate it: One fine day you simply cannot find the pacifier. You try and hunt for it everywhere, even getting your child to help with the task, but it is not to be found! But then he or she is now a big boy or big girl and doesn’t need a pacifier anymore! Or you can tell the child about sending some clothes and other items to the needy children and how those kids need the pacifier. See if your child’s generosity of spirit will permit such a donation.

Set a Deadline: Tell your child in no uncertain terms that when he or she reaches a land mark such as a second or third birthday, he or she has to give up the pacifier; that children are not allowed to have a pacifier beyond that day.

So armed with these tips, perhaps you will meet with some success to lose the pacifier!


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    • cloudy_cool profile image

      TheCraftyPens 7 years ago from London, UK

      Well, I knew this day would come when I'd crawl the net for advice on getting rid of the dummy, and here I am...

      I'm already practicing the 2nd tip of decreasing the use of the dummy and its working somewhat, given the fact that my 13mo is on her toes whole day, trying to discover new things! So I'm good for now...

      Useful tips and a well written hub...thanks for putting this together!