Ditching the Paci . . . Eventually



I was such a “know it all parent,” before I was actually a parent. Lots of us are. We’re all, “OMG, I can’t believe she’d bring that kid to Target without shoes on!” and “Why is that three year-old still in a stroller?- Surely she can walk by now!”

But once you become a parent, you start to pick your battles and you realize that the fight over shoes really isn’t worth it, and if you have to choose between dragging your kid down the street or pushing a giant baby in the stroller — you’re going to choose the stroller every time.

And now, here I am, my little one almost two years old, with a pacifier in her mouth pretty much 24-7.

I am one of those moms.

And frankly, I couldn’t give two figs.

Okay that’s a lie, but most of my concern lies in her speech development and whether or not the constant pacifier use is impacting her pallet or her teeth. Alice has always been a kid who watches more than she talks, but as she nears two I worry that she isn’t speaking as much because she has that stupid thing in her mouth all the time.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, we’re going to get rid of it . . . eventually.

Right now we are just working on her having it only during nap-time and nighttime. I know, realistically, that I am the parent and it is my choice as to whether she has it or not, but let’s face it, I am selfish and I really don’t want to deal with a cranky kid who can’t sleep for three days because she’s used to always having that paci in her mouth.

We are that family that has pacifiers all over the house. We tell babysitters to make sure she has at least 3-5 in her crib when they put her down for bed, because she needs to be able to easily find one in the dark so we don’t have to go in and get it for her. I have them all over my car, the diaper bag, my purse. I found one on the front porch last week. I’m sure I’ll be finding them for weeks as we wean off of them.

And I’ve read all of the strategies on how to get rid of them. Some people say to cut the tip off so the sucking action isn’t the same for them. Some people say go cold turkey. Some people say to take your kid to return them at the store, or have the paci fairy come, or give them to a new baby in your life. We could do any of those things, I’m sure they are great strategies. But instead, I think we’re just going to give it to her straight.

We’re just going to say hey girl, here’s the deal. This pacifier has got to go. We aren’t ready to do that quite yet. I don’t think any of us are. We’ll get there eventually, and I don’t think I’ll have a kindergartner with a pacifier in her mouth. But even if I do, I DARE YOU to say something to me about it. Because like I said, as parents we pick our battles.

What about you – have you found a great method for ditching the pacifier? If so, I’d love to hear it.


  1. This was one area where I can honestly say was a complete triumph in our household. The dummies went the way of the lost tooth – to fairyland, where they can’t get dummies and have to rely on children donating them. The dummy went under the pillow and, of course, was collected over night.
    About a week or so later, my daughter asked where her dummy was. I asked ‘what dummy’ and she replied ‘the one I lost in Mothercare’ I explained that the fairies have a collection from Mothercare – and that was it, she accepted that she had done something good for all the fairy babies, and never ever wanted another one for herself.
    Who says faries don’t exist …. !

  2. I can relate to choosing your battles. I think all kids have something that they’re going to do on their own timetable. I remember when I was a little girl, and my mom tried to get me to stop sucking my thumb. I was not very cooperative. 🙂 She tried everything! I can still remember the taste of that anti-thumb sucking substance that you put on your kid’s thumb to make it taste super bitter. I would suffer through it rather than giving up. (Don’t know where my son gets his stubborn streak from…) 🙂 I can remember the day I quit on my own. I was sitting on the bus for kindergarten, and I decided it would be too embarrassing to keep sucking my thumb. Poor Mom and all her efforts. I just needed a little peer pressure. 🙂

  3. My son will be two soon and he’s still on his pacifier. Actually about a month ago he wasn’t even using it. We lost all of them (of course) and he just went to bed without them. This went on for a week or two and sadly he needed It again. At night and during naps only. He doesn’t have it all day long like he used to. That’s the only thing I can think of to “ween” him off. He’s my first child so this it’s all new to me.

  4. this was a big deal for us! Honestly, I think the thought of not having it there was a bigger issue for us then her actually giving it up. Lyla is good with goals so she kept her paci through her stay & E&D (2&1/2) & we told her she couldn’t have it at her new school. She was a big girl now & bla bla bla. It worked well for her & us because it gave us an end point we couldn’t back out of. It was pretty easy for her. She didn’t like her paci when she bit holes in it either but as she got older she got smarter 🙂 good luck!

  5. My SIX year old daughter just gave hers up in March. We were the exact same way. She had a big old gap between her top and bottom teeth because she used her binkies so much. You know what? We did what you’re planning on doing. We talked to her about it, told her they had to go, and let her know that we’d help her when she was ready. It ended up being the dentist who was the catalyst. He told her she could pick five toys out of the treasure box instead of just one at her next checkup if she got rid of them. So at her next checkup, she gave him all of her binkies. We had a few rough days – similar to a meth addict. Lol. But now she’s done, and her teeth are ALREADY starting to shift into place. So just relax. It’ll happen. 🙂

  6. Thanks for writing / sharing! Same with us. We’ll start with nap / nighttime…and then EVENTUALLY…we’ll just pick the right time and call it quits. NOT looking forward to it…but so it goes. We’ve all been there…and if not with our first, maybe baby #2….or baby #3. Love the perspective and honest insight in your post.

  7. I can totally relate!! Our first was super attached to the paci. It wasn’t until we could communicate with him and he could communicate back (close to 2 1/2) that we were able to discuss the paci fairy taking the paci away and leaving money for a big boy toy. Taking it away cold turkey before he could understand or communicate back was not happening!! He actually did quite well. Had a little trouble falling asleep at first but obviously survived:) Good luck!!

  8. Such a tricky, personal subject! We live by the “just cut the chord” motto. We just took it away. Same with potty training, the diapers just go, and when they’re gone it’s forever. Short term pain, long term gain:)! But again, it’s totally up to the parent. It was a little bittersweet for me to finally “pull” the paci, my baby wasn’t a baby anymore:).

    • Totally. I know we need to just do it but I just can’t seem to muster the strength. Maybe this weekend. Or next weekend. Definitely by the end of May. 🙂


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