Ah, the time has come and you’re attempting to ditch the pacifier. Every dentist and doctor my kids have had, have said to ditch it by age 2. Some people cut ties with the pacifier sooner and some wait until later, whatever works for you. BUT if you’re here, then you’re probably planning for the future, thinking about it, or you’re ready to take the plunge. I’ve only had 2 pacifier babies and they both were completely different.
Evelyn was about 18-20 months when we finally decided to get rid of the pacifier. She never really thought about it until she saw one or if it was bedtime. We were down to only one pacifier when we decided it was time to ditch it. One day we just cut the end off, had her throw it away and that was the end of it. It was ridiculously easy. Ellis on the other hand, is already 21 months and completely obsessed with it. Day or night she thinks she needs her pacifier. It actually turned into a joke about how any minor inconvenience and she would be screaming for her pacifier. We knew it was time to at least cut back. We decided to go a little more gentle route with Ellis since she was so obsessed.
We had about 3 pacifiers left when we decided to cut back. We also just got a puppy recently so I cut the tip off of one of them and handed it to Ellis and told her the puppy got her pacifier and had her throw it away. She did it without hesitation so I thought this was a great sign. Absolutely wrong. She still saw the other ones and wanted those and we weren’t quite ready to take the full plunge with ditching them all since this was day one. A few days later we found another pacifier with little holes in it, likely from the dog. It didn’t “suck” like a normal pacifier so she didn’t like it. I showed her the holes and she again threw this one away too.
The last pacifier we knew was going to be the hardest one to give up. Everyone I had talked to kept telling me to just go cold turkey, cut the tip off and she won’t like it. We knew this would be really hard for her and she definitely wasn’t ready for the stress of that, and neither were we. At first I had dipped it in vinegar, thinking she wouldn’t like the taste and give it up. That didn’t work at all. She made one funny face and continued sucking on it. So my next step was to just try to cut it down to sleep times, nap and bedtime. The next morning, she woke up and I told her that her pacifier (we call it a nooky) needed to go to sleep. So I had her leave the pacifier in her bed and she didn’t get it until it was time for her to go to sleep too. She ended up asking for her pacifier a few times throughout the day, but I just reminded her that it went “nigh-night” and she got over it pretty quick.
We’re at about 2 weeks of putting her pacifier to bed during the day and it’s worked like a charm. She doesn’t ask for it during the day anymore and goes to sleep without a fuss. Our next steps will be to get rid of it at nap time and then bedtime. I think she’ll be able to handle cutting it cold turkey for both since she’s done so well with it during the day. As long as it happens before her second birthday, I’m fine with it. We’ll likely end up cutting the tip off, aka the dog ate it *wink wink*, and then having her throw it away. It’s nice that she’s at the age where she can remember throwing it away, even if it happened a few days ago.
I hope this was a little helpful for you if you have a little one who’s pacifier obsessed and you’re ready to ditch it. I would love to hear your success stories, and your methods of ditching the pacifiers for your kids!