Tips on Pacifier Weaning for Babies and Toddlers

From moms who have been there

A common question I get asked during my Monday Ask Me Anything (it spells M.A.M.A. get it!) over on Instagram is, "How did you wean your babies off their pacifier?"

While I have some tips, I am currently in the same situation with my third child, and given how each child is different, I am in a trial and error stage.

I am hesitant to talk about it because so many people come after me for letting my babies use them throughout their second year of life. But this is a sense of comfort to them, and I want to be sensitive to their attachment to it. Also, I always have another baby by the time I have a toddler. Having a new baby in the house is a massive change for a toddler who can only comprehend so much. Therefore I slide on the pacifier because, again, it's comforting to them, and mama has got to pick her battles mmmk ;)

This is only my second time dealing with it. My first loved his pacifier, but my second didn't care for it. With my first, I would hide it during awake times. Once they are mobile and can get distracted, this is easy to do. I then limit it to only bedtimes. From there, I forgot how I did it. Maybe I laid with him until he fell asleep instead.

Today, I am doing the same thing with my two-year-old, but I am having difficulty getting her to stop at night. I know you can buy pacifiers where the nipple decreases in size each day, but she won't have that. When she picks up the baby's on accident, right when she puts it in her mouth, she says, "No, this is baby's" since the nipple size is smaller on his pacifier.

When they start talking, I am very adamant about not letting them have the pacifier during wake times. On the few occasions they speak and have the pacifier in their mouth, I say, "I can't hear you with the bink in your mouth." So far, they always take it out to speak.

It's easy to judge others, but my toddler is a tenacious little one, and it's challenging some nights. Also, it's a sense of comfort to her, so I want to be sensitive to her needs as well.

Given I am still trying to figure it out, I asked my fantastic community of mamas if they had any tips that worked for them. While some of these didn't pan out for me, they may work for your child!

Here are the most popular tips from other mamas when weaning your child off the pacifier.

  • Cut all the tips off
  • Paci weaning systems
  • Pacifier fairy: Replaces pacifier with a toy one night.
  • Cold turkey
  • Replace with a lovey
  • Snip the end and say, "uh oh, it broke"
  • "I took them to build a bear and had them place the pacifier inside to say goodbye to it."
  • Attach a lovey to it, then remove the pacifier from it after a few days
  • Bury the pacifier and plant something

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