When to Take Away Pacifier

Out of my four children, all of them had to be broken from the pacifier.  These steps have worked wonderful to successfully break the pacifier habit in my fourth child and were collected in my experience of breaking the older three children.

Pacifier weening

My first child was by far the hardest one to break, my second child mastered how to successfully break the pacifier habit, while the third child was key to adding a gentle weaning necessary for some children (and parents).  We didn’t attempt to break the pacifier habit until my daughter turned 3.  I had already determined that this is too late to successfully break the pacifier habit because it has become so much of the child’s routine. However, I was completely surprised when my second child did this himself just before his first birthday. My third and fourth children were both broken of this habit before their second birthday.

Break the Pacifier Habit

It all happened one day during his nap time and completely unaware to me. When I went to get him out of his crib, I noticed that his pacifier was literally bitten off.  Yes, I said bitten off!  That night, he wanted his pacifier and I gave him it, with the smallest piece of rubber still attached.  He put it to his mouth and just held it there with his hand, as contently as if it were still there. The next day, the pacifier was under the side of his crib and I left it there to see if he really would forget about it… he did!

Use a Gentle Weaning Time to Take Away Pacifier

We started with a weaning process with our third child, as I experienced this in nursing to be easy on both the child and mommy. Before he turned eighteen months, I would leave his pacifier in his crib.  It only took a few days to let him know that this was for sleeping time only.

Here are the 6 Steps to Get Rid of the Pacifier

Now, our fourth child arrived and we had several different examples and like most experiences, I decided to combine the last two experiences and see what happened.

  1. Being weaning process by only allowing it in the crib or when sick
  2. At least a month prior to the next step, remove all other pacifiers from the house, diaper bags and vehicles {they are everywhere!}, so that only one exist in the house
  3. Before nap time, cut two-thirds of the tip off the pacifier and place back in its normal spot in the bed
  4. Offer the broken pacifier and allow the child to detach from it mentally and determine what needs to be done with it (our fourth child wanted it in the garbage, where our second one needed a little time)
  5. When they cry for it, remind the child that the pacifier was broken and you threw it away
  6. Encourage the child as being big now

In our experience, if a child begins to successfully break the pacifier habit before two, they will be able to do this in only three days. By that time, they are aware that it is gone and have been able to release it. Waiting too late, will prove, like in the case of my daughter that it is more difficult and can take years if the thumb becomes a replacement.

Do you have any tips to successfully break the pacifier habit?