How We Cut the Pacifier Habit

My daughter has been attached to her pacifier, or “binkby” as she affectionately calls it, since she was born. She has always had a minimum of four in her bed at all times, and we didn’t dare leave the house without one attached to her (and a spare in the diaper bag). 

My mom always told me that a pacifier would be easier to break than a thumb sucking habit, so I was relieved when my baby took to a pacifier over her thumb. 

I always told myself that when she got teeth I would wean her from the pacifier.

Of course, my child didn’t get her first tooth until she was 15 months old, so by then her pacifier was basically another appendage. My new deadline became her second birthday. 

Some parents opt to go cold turkey on the pacifier or even tell their child about the “binky fairy,” but when I saw my daughter biting on the tip of her pacifier one day, I saw the light. I told her that if she kept biting her “binkby,” she would get a hole in it. I kept reminding her of this over the next few days, but of course she wasn’t phased in the least.

My plan was already in motion, though—I wanted her to keep biting her “binkby.” One morning, about two months before her second birthday, I snuck in the pantry (pretty much the only place I can hide in my house) and cut off the tip of her pacifier. I then hid all of her other pacifiers. 

Later than morning when she asked for her “binkby,” I handed her the freshly cut pacifier. She put it in her mouth and immediately pulled it back out saying “hole, fix it.” I told her she must have bitten a hole in it and that I couldn’t fix it. She looked a little sad, but put it back in her mouth and carried on as usual. She was a little upset that night, but still slept with the broken pacifier in her mouth. 

We discussed the hole in her pacifier on a daily basis and I kept telling her not to bite it or the hole would get bigger. About a week later, I cut the pacifier down a little more. This routine continued for a few weeks until there was barely anything left for her to hold in her mouth. 

By this point, she didn’t put the pacifier in her mouth anymore and she seemed to almost resent it. One morning, she was telling me about her broken “binkby” and I asked her if she was ready to put it in the trash. Much to my surprise, she said yes! I explained to her that there would be no getting it out of the trash and that, once she threw it away, it would be gone for good. But, she still proceeded to walk to the trash can, lift the lid, and dispose of her beloved “binkby.” 

She still occasionally talks about her “binkby” and how it was broken so the trash man took it, but not once has she asked for it! Oddly enough, she also decided that her Baby Stella doll had to give up her pacifier as well, so she yanked it off of her mouth and brought it to me! 

Was your child a thumb sucker or a pacifier lover?

How did you break the habit?

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