A Pacifier Problem.

We have a pacifier problem.
I need your help. I need your advice.

You see, all my kids have had pacifiers since they were a few days old.
I didn't want them to be thumb suckers 
(My mom was a thumb sucker and sucked her thumb until she was 8!!! She warned me to not let my kids suck their thumbs since it was a hard habit to break. And, plus...all the germs with thumb sucking..yikes!)

So, I gave my kids pacifiers. 
Once they were around 6-7 months old, I only let them have the pacifier when they were in their car seat, stroller or crib.
Once they turned 9-10 months old, I only let them have the pacifier in their crib for naps & nighttime.
When the girls were babies, I took away their pacifiers right after their 1st birthdays.
They were horrible sleepers anyway and the pacifier didn't really help them sleep, so I just decided to get rid of it.
For Kate, it was about 3 rough nights without the pacifier (but then it was fine)
Claire's first night without the pacifier was rough and then she was fine.
Both girls barely slept through the night at 1 year old, so it wasn't like the pacifier was that big of a deal to take away.

When Luke turned 1 last August, he was sleeping 12 hours a night from 7 am until 7pm.
There was NO WAY we wanted to disrupt that by taking his pacifer away.
Plus, summer was ending and school was starting back up...sleep is PRECIOUS to me.
I didn't want to start the school year with sleep deprivation after having an amazing sleeper.

So, I said I would take it away during Thanksgiving Break when he was 15 months old.
November came and went and we didn't take away the pacifier because he slept so well and, sleep is PRECIOUS! 
I told myself I would take it away during Christmas Break.

Christmas Break rolls around and that is when Luke's 2 year molars decided to come in!
The poor kid was miserable and waking up all the time.
We would go into his room and he would be crying in his crib chewing on the pacifier trying to get some relief on his gums. 
I surely couldn't take it away then, poor little guy was in pain and his pacifier was his comfort.
So, I told myself.....I will wait until Spring Break to take away the pacifier.
Well, Spring Break was a couple weeks ago.
Did I take away the pacifier? 
I tried one night and he cried and cried and cried for almost an hour.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
(Plus, I was binge watching Breaking Bad....all that crying was interrupting that ;) Kidding. Kind of)
Luke is now 21 months and still has his pacifier during naps & nighttime.
There is ONE pacifier left in our house.
This is it:
It's an infant one, but he loves it.
I will not be buying anymore pacifiers.

The last day of school is on June 12th.
That is the last night I will let Luke have his pacifier.
But, that is also a month away....should I just suck it up and take the paci away now? 
Or wait another whole month until summer?

So, this is where I need your help.
I need you to keep me accountable.
I also need your advice.

Any tips on getting rid of the pacifier?
He is 21 months old, so he understands.
He knows that his pacifier has to stay in his crib. 
Every time he wakes up from his nap or in the morning, he knows to drop the paci in the crib before we take him out. 
Sometimes when we are playing in his room he will reach into his crib and grab his paci, put it in his mouth, laugh and run away from us so we won't take it away.....he is a sneaky little guy with a sense of humor.

I would love to hear how you got rid of your kids pacifiers!
I feel like a first time mom with this situation!
Thank you in advance!


  1. Ahhh, so this is what COMPLETELY worked with Kieran and I can comment now since Tatum is resting comfortably in her hospital bed (surgery went well :)). Don't fret if it doesn't happen on the last day of school. My "rule of thumb" is by age 2. Some people choose to go beyond that and it's a personal decision, but I do not simply because the longer you go, the more they will get attached, that and for dentition. Since you've got one left, you're on the right track. For Kieran, I think I had one left too, or one he knew about anyway. I threw them all out so I wouldn't give in, and with the one that was left, I cut a small hole in it. I gave it to him and he quickly discovered something was wrong. I said, "Oh, oh! It doesn't work anymore!" There's no more left! He was upset for a day or so (just like you said with Claire), but then when he tried to ask for it, I brought the same one back to him, gave it to him again, said the same thing. It took about a day but it registered with him that it was broken and it wasn't going to work anymore. With Anna, I took her to the game store along with her bink (mind you, I also prepped her days in advance all the way up to our trip to the store) in her mouth. I let her walk to the squishy princesses (as we call them, tiny Cinderella, etc) and said, "If you give me your bunk, you can have the squishy princess, but you cannot have the bink back". Surprisingly she said, "Okay!" And that was that. Some people do the bink fairy-put it in a box send it to the fairy and in return, Luke opens it and finds a new prize. Good luck! No one way is the right way, you'll find one that works! :)

  2. We went through getting rid of Kaydens exactly at 21 months it's wasn't easy but I wrote all about it on my blog if you'd like to take a read http://www.candidly-marie.com/2014/03/saying-goodbye-to-kaydens-pacifier.html hope you find something that might help.

  3. All I can say is good luck! My youngest will be 20 months in 3 days and I've been going back and forth about when to take his nuk away. Hopefully you will figure out what will work best for you and your son and stick to your guns!

  4. This comment is totally supposed to make you laugh and not mocking the situation at all...I took my pacifier to the first day of KINDERGARTEN. Guess what? It didn't come back for the second ;)

  5. This is so me, except I am a year ahead of you. I swore my 2 yr old would never have a paci but he still does. We only gave it to him at Naptime and bedtime starting at a year. At 18 months we took it away at bedtime. Had a few bad nights but not too bad. At two years I had planned to take it away all together, but I found out I was pregnant that day and totally forgot! Then I was exhausted from the first trimester and didn't want to disrupt his 4 hr naps. I decided I would just wait until the new year after he holidays when he was 2.5. Well I tried and his 3 hour naps turned into 45 minute naps. And at this point I was going to have Nash any day. I wasn't about to have Pearson taking 45 minutes with a newborn. All this to say that my almost 3 yr old still has a paci at Naptime.. And he still naps

  6. My pediatrician recommended getting rid of it by age 2. My oldest was was about 20 months. She only had it in the crib, but I would find her throughout the day in her room, reaching for it and sitting on her floor getting a paci fix. That's when I knew it was time. For her, we just went cold turkey. I threw them out and she had about 1 rough day and that was it. My middle daughter had just turned 2 and we had another baby coming. I knew I had to get rid of it a little before the baby came so I just threw them out and went cold turkey again. We had maybe 2 rough days, and I was thrilled that when the baby came, she totally got that it was for the baby and not her. I know I was really lucky with my kids adapting so well to no paci. We'll see what happens with my youngest. It's so hard when it gives them such comfort and they're good sleepers, but the sooner you do it, the easier it will be. One tip I heard about was cutting a tiny slit in the nipple. I know that when my oldest would bite through them, she didn't want it any more. Maybe he will lose interest if it doesn't feel right? Another thing I found is that my kids only liked the infant ones, not the next size up. Maybe buy a bigger size and hopefully he will just choose not to take it? It's so hard - good luck!

  7. Sorry my comment got cut off.....

    For 3 hrs. We had 2 pacis left and he chewed one up. He happily threw it in the trash. I told him when his last paci was all hewed up we had to throw it in the trash and we would be done with pacis. It's almost a goner and just the other day he said "we gotta throw this in the trash soon." So for me, we are just doing it on his own timing. And speaking of his own timing. I just waited to potty train him and he pretty much potty trained himself.

  8. Cold turkey. He'll get over it. Life will get back to normal. Cold turkey is the only way. Throw them in the trash and don't look back. :)

  9. I think boys just need to do things in their own timing! Sorry for all the comments. My phone kept freezing up!

  10. So, when our girls turned 3 (per our pediatrician age 3 was the absolute cut off), we put my girls (twins) pacis in a gift bag and gave them to their cousin who was a baby at the time.. We made a big deal of it and how special it was for them to give them to Genevieve and how awesome it is that they are sharing with others.. Now, they apparently stored a few away in their room as we would every once in a while find them with one, but that was about a year and a half ago. After the first month of crying over them they were fine and they laugh about it now and still talk about how their cousin has their pacis! Good luck!!

  11. I am going to be zero help - Coop never liked his paci, and Lex loved it. When she was a toddler she started only having it at night and we were not militant about it as long as it did not warp her teeth. Every dentist appt - the dentist would say, nah, don't worry - it is not hurting them. FINALLY at her four year old appt., her dentist said yep - it is warping her teeth, time for it to be gone. So the Paci Fairy came and got it and brought her an Ariel doll. The Paci Fairy then took all of her "pals" as she called them, to her baby cousin because she was a big girl and did not need them anymore. We had one seriously stressful night and then it was fine. So my advice is - don't stress unless it is hurting his teeth. I know this is probably not what you want to hear but I found it easier to wait until she was old enough that she could understand and make an event out of it. HTH!

  12. I haven't read all the comments above, and even though my kids never used pacifiers for long (I was ok with it but they just didn't take to them), my sister recently went through this with my nephew. If it makes you feel any better, he was about 2.5 when she decided it was time, so you are still ahead of that curve!! I know she talked it up for about a week and talked about how the paci fairy was going to come....I think maybe he ended up putting it somewhere special for the paci fairy to take and he got some special toy sorta like the tooth fairy. Since Luke is still pretty young, you may not want to go that route but just what worked for my sister. Could you try weaning him from it? Maybe make him give it to you for naps but still let him have it at night until you are "ready" for the crying that might come? Either way, I certainly wouldn't feel bad about waiting until school is over if it makes your life a little easier. It's only another month and you gotta guard your sanity at the end of the year!! Good luck and let us know how it goes!! :-)

  13. All three of my kids used a pacifier for. iChat ,infer than they should of. What worked for all three was to snip they tip off the pacifier after they were asleep. My daughters both were done with it the next morning but. Y son tried to use it for a week and then gave up.
    Good luck!

  14. I will tell you this, i work in an infant room at a daycare and we had a 11 month old that was hooked on his tiny infant paci. We had him in his crib with his paci when we hear gagging. He was choing on the paci. It was small enouh that he shoved it into his mouth and choked. I was so scared that I threw the paci away.

  15. My dentist had a bring your paci to them program and get a gift instead. Call your ped dentist and see if they have such a program.

  16. I am embarrassed to admit but my younger daughter was 3 1/2 when we finally bit the bullet. It was her "thing" and so hard to even think about taking it away. We finally all committed and took her to Build A Bear to make a "Boppy Bear" and she put her boppy (paci, she called it a boppy) in the bear. The first night was a breeze because she was tired and fell asleep holding her bear. Night 2 was definitely harder and she cried and whined for it at bedtime but I showed her how to feel the boppy in her bear and she eventually fell asleep. That was the end of it. That was last November and we haven't had a single issue since.

    Good luck! I know how you are feeling!

  17. So, my kids wouldn't take pacifiers (and I wish they had!) so I don't have any mommy advice, but my husband was very attached to his pacifier. He remembers (yes, he was 3) when he had to give his pacifer to the Paci Fairy who would come take it and give it to another baby that needed it. The Paci Fairy left a present in its place. It made a huge impact on him :)

  18. My son got strep throat at 18 mos and I cold turkey threw it away. It was HARD, but after the initial few days it got better! Bless your heart!

  19. He is still really young! I would not worry at all about it. Honestly, what is the rush? In my experience, most peds and dentists are not concerned until 3 or 4. My oldest gave hers to the paci fairy and a present was left in its place in the morning. She had no issue at all (at age 3). My second wanted nothing to do with one and my son just turned 1 so he has awhile! Good luck!

  20. So we took my daughters paci away at 21 months also, it was xmas break, we had some time to do it before daycare started back up again.. It was awful, people said it would take a week to get her back, it took a month. I wanted to give it back to her... I would have if my husband didn't remind me at some point we would have to do this all over again then. She was such a good sleeper too, and now waking up crying all night long, taking us an hour to get her to sleep at night... She had a taggie blanket that she slept with, and I think that did help the transition a bit. But my suggestion is to not go cold turkey like we did, try those ideas about the air hole in the paci, or I have heard you slowly cut off the paci bit by bit until there is just a little nub. Or just let him keep it for a while longer... Good luck!!

  21. We tied our sons to a helium balloon and let him release it...it went to the moon. He physically saw it leave and I think that helped. Everytime he asked for it we reminded him we sent it to the moon. He was 23 months and we had a rough two nights and then he was fine!

  22. I am in the same boat. My daughter is 21 months old and loves her monkey (paci). We've been talking about taking it away for months. We try and keep it in her bed, but she finds it and screams when we take it away. For my sanity I let her have it, but I think her attachment is getting worse. I need to start trying out some of the ideas above.

  23. I came over from Laura Phelps' blog -- seeing "pacifier problem" in her sidebar caught my eye. I've had that problem four times. The oldest is now 24 and the youngest 12 and none have had therapy for pacifier problems, thank goodness. My last was the biggest problem and that's probably because (as you may have noticed) with more kids you just get a little more lax. I finally had to resort to "breaking" the pacifier (never tell the child, obviously, that you did it). "Uh, bobo (we called them bobos) is broken. It has go bye bye." And if bye bye doesn't work, eventually he will get tired of sucking a paci that lost its "suck." First take a hot needle or pin and poke it in the very end of the nipple. Then the next day take a clean sharp scissors and cut the tiniest slit. Keep going every day until eventually you cut the very tip off. They are usually getting tired of sucking on a broken one by this time,,but keep snipping if necessary. Someday after that it will be gone and you'll find it all covered with dust under the sofa. Hopefully. Good luck!

  24. Ingles supermarket has a dollar section that has the worst tasting pacifiers. Swap it out with the good one! Worked for us, he would put that gross rubbery tasting one in his mouth for two seconds and spit it right out! There was no back up so it worked like a charm

  25. I am no help because with my first born my mom had to do it for me one weekend when my husband and I were on a trip. She told my daughter that she lost it. For my son, he was 3 1/2, when we decided to have the Paci Fairy take it while we went to get snow cones. He never asked for it again. That was my favorite way!

  26. I have 2 girls the same ages as yours.. A four year old son named Layne and a baby boy who name is actually Larson :). Anyways the girls were easy as we took the soother away at a year... Well Layne was different. He was a little over two. We took it away cold turkey but we had been telling him his baby cousin will be born shortly and he would have to give it to her.... That, along with cutting a hole in the soother made the transition easier than I thought... (Although it was a couple of days of crying for it)

  27. If there is only one left, and he knows there is only 1 left, cut a slit or the tip off and he will suck on it for a little but adn realize something is wrong. Tell him its broke and we will have to throw it away. I know easier said than done! Our "crutch" with #2 has been the swing. I love my sleep too and when she would sleep 4-5 hours at a time in the swing I couldn't give it up! But then she turned 7 months and was getting way too big for it. It took 2 nights and she found out she liked her belly and is a decent sleeper now(she has a blankie and pacifier too) #3 is on the way and I am sure I will do whatever I can to get sleep, swing, pacifier, WHATEVER IT TAKES!!!!! Ha ha good luck!!!!

  28. We did the hole poke thing, too...except didn't say anything about it. She'd put it in, suck on it, take it out, stare at it, try it again... After a few days, she totally lost interest in it! No tears or anything! She traded her paci for a ginger snap cookie and that was it! I hope Luke's paci withdrawal is equally as quick and easy! God speed! :)

  29. I say wait it out. What's another month? The little guy likes his pacifier so I would let him have it awhile longer.

  30. My kids (two out of the three, so far) have had pacis until 3 years. Both my pediatrician and pediatric dentist said it was fine (I only had them in their cribs). They were very good sleepers and very attached to their "binkies". However, neither struggled giving them away (the first to the new baby in the family and the second to Santa to take to babies that needed them). I think they were old enough to understand so they were able to "get over it" easy. They got that they weren't babies anymore and some babies may need them. He is still a baby, personally I say let him keep it. He is not going to be sucking it on the bus to Kindergarten or anything ;). Especially if it's just in his crib (I was a stickler with that. Good luck

  31. Let me clarify, "the new baby in the family" was a cousin's baby, not our own. When I reread my comment I thought that sounded

  32. I would say let him have it. If its just in his bed and doesn't go out of the house with it, let him go to town. I agree he won't take it to kindergarden with him. I used to be so strict with the first, now I am on my third and I don't worry about the little things. If they are growing and are sweet and kind and well behaved I let them be little. If that includes a bottle one in awhile or a passy or little things like that I don't mind. We are only little once, we have the rest of our lives to be in this harsh world why not suck on a passy for another year!

    I love your blog by the way, and I think you are a great mom what ever you choose.

    1. Same here! We let go of the habit for my two paci using girls at around 3... one traded it in for a pretty set of sheets and the other for a little soft baby doll with the same color hair as her. They were ready and that made the transition a snap! By the third little one, I definitely learned not to sweat the small stuff... most of the time anyway.:)

  33. When it is time you will know. I tried to take the paci away too early with child #3 and it totally disrupted her sleep patterns. After a week or so I had to give it back to her because I needed my sleep. She still gave it up before age 3 when she was ready. Good Luck!



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