I tried to take the pacifier away from my son when he was 4 months old, knowing the addiction would only grow stronger over time and it would only get harder to take away. However, after a few weeks I gave in because he had gone from a baby who would go to sleep on his own (with the pacifier) peacefully for naps and bedtime to a baby who would scream for 20 minutes each time before falling asleep.

So, here I am with a 21-month old with a major pacifier addiction. I really honestly think this child can NOT fall asleep without one. He has it in his mouth for most of the night and when it's not, he pops it back in when he half-wakes in the middle of the night. He literally smiles when I put him in the crib for bed and he sees it there waiting for him.

I told myself when he turns two in the summer that THAT is when I will do the dreaded deed of taking it away for good. I know it will be a week or two of crying himself to sleep and perhaps waking in the night looking for it and am prepared to deal with that.

HOWEVER- I feel as though this 24-month mark is fast approaching and my son isn't of the cognitive ability to be rationalized with. How do I explain to him WHY it is being taken away and WHY I wont' give it back? I like the whole idea of the "Pacifier Fairy" or "A new baby is being born who needs your pacifier", but I can tell you that, at least right now at 21-months old, he just would have no idea what I was talking about- so I guess my fear is that in just three short months he still wont' understand.


asked 03 May '11, 12:35

DazedandConfused's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

I would say the best time to take his paci away and have him understand what's going on is when he's able to understand what's going on, regardless of his age.

Remember, you've decided that he needs to give it up when he's two, and you can change your mind. If it's an arbitrary timeline, and if it's going to make things a lot more difficult for all of you, change it. You're the Mommy, you make the rules, and you're allowed to change your mind.

If he gives it up when he's 28 months or 30 months or 3 years old, it's okay, he will give it up eventually, you won't have to expain to his wife why he still uses his pacifier.


answered 05 May '11, 14:15

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%

With my oldest son, he was around 2 and we couldn't find it one night. So we just told him, we can't find it. He was fine with it and when we did find it we threw it out. With my second son, we thought why not tell him the same thing, so we told him we couldn't find it. When he asked for it we would say, we can't find it, do you want to help us look for it? We'd look for 5 minutes then he'd go to bed. Good luck, I'd say just keep it simple and easy for him to understand.


answered 03 May '11, 12:53

Dee's gravatar image

accept rate: 33%

I gave my daughter the choice to cut her soother. I gave her a pair of scissors and her soother and asked if she wanted to cut it. I told her it would be broken and gone if she did. So she cut it herself and that nap she brought the hard plastic part to bed. When she complained that it didn't work I reminded her that she cut it herself and that seemed to make it more ok. It has been a few months now and every once in awhile she still bring it up and I ask her what happened to it and she tells me that she cut it with a little smile on her face. Then I tell her that she is a big girl and doesn't need it anymore and she is happy with that.

Before this, starting quite a bit younger I made it so the soother was for sleeping only. I think that slow process helped when it was time to get rid of it all together.

A couple other ways that I have heard worked:

  1. dipping the end of the soother in something that tastes awful
  2. cutting the tip off the soother so it doesn't work to suck on it. If that doesn't work slowly cut little bits off until it is down to the hard plastic.

answered 05 May '11, 21:05

nikjoyce's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

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Asked: 03 May '11, 12:35

Seen: 5,222 times

Last updated: 05 May '11, 21:05