My 4-month old is addicted to his pacifier for falling asleep.

I have just gotten him to fall asleep on his own in his crib for naps and nighttime. I had prematurely given myself a pat on the back for taking away all of the bad "sleep associations" by doing this and no longer rocking & shushing him to sleep in my arms.

I never really thought of the pacifier as a sleep-aid, but it totally is!!!

My son can't fall asleep without the pacifier in his mouth and will wake up several times throughout the night complaining for it in order to fall back to sleep. I have just accepted it as a given that I will wake up multiple times a night to go to his room to put it back in his mouth.


Has anyone out there had to break your baby's pacifier addiction? How did you go about doing it?

Some answers I found on suggest cold turkey is the only/best way- But that requires "crying it out", something I've tried to avoid. I may just have to suck it up.

UPDATE: I took away the pacifier cold turkey today. He cried for 15 minutes for his first nap, but then slept over an hour and a half- his longest nap to date. He cried for only 3 minutes for his second nap, and 1 minute for his third. We will see how the nighttime goes...

asked 14 Dec '09, 12:58

DazedandConfused's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

edited 15 Dec '09, 20:19

"may just have to suck it up" Pun intended? ;)

(14 Dec '09, 18:26) Jeff

I was going to put "suck it up" in quotations, but thought that'd be too cheesy ;)

(15 Dec '09, 20:20) DazedandConfused

Huzzah! Good luck!

(15 Dec '09, 20:35) Adam Davis

Have you read the book "The No Cry Sleep Solution"? In it, she suggests that you get your baby to be almost asleep with the pacifier, then remove it just before dropping off. I'm not sure how this will work since you don't rock your baby (and presumably don't stand next to the crib watching him fall asleep), but she may have other solutions for you as well.


answered 15 Dec '09, 17:25

Fun2Dream's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

I have heard of placing a small hole in the pacifier.

This will release the vacuum the child is looking for when sucking on the pacifier.

Since the pacifier no longer performs the way the child wants, they will tire of it and ween their selves off the pacifier.

If you do this, be sure the inspect the pacifier to verify the child is not tearing pieces off the nipple.


answered 14 Dec '09, 19:06

Keith's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 15 Dec '09, 18:15

+1 for really interesting information.

(14 Dec '09, 21:36) Emi

Our doctor gave a little medicine via pacifier once by poking a pin hole through the tip. We kept the pacifier, but found that he was swallowing the air, and was very fussy and burpy when using this pacifier.

(15 Dec '09, 18:28) Adam Davis

A friend of mine tried what I think is a brilliant solution. Over a couple of weeks, gradually cut the dummy progressively shorter. Only a little bit at a time, once a week. Eventually the edges get irritating and they just lose interest. Importantly here, they don't see you taking it away so you (at least in this case) remain the 'good guy'.


answered 10 Oct '10, 06:26

carl's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

When we've decided that it's time for our children to stop using a pacifier, we've taken all but one away, and then simply let that one be the last one. It will eventually become lost or broken, and we will all deal with the consequences. Be sure to watch for signs of wear and tear, though, it can become a choking hazard if it does break.

During that time it will be lost for a bit, then found and used for a bit, and so forth - so it's not completely a cold-turkey process, but a bit more gradual since we don't have a supply of spares. this was as much a process for us as it was for our kids - the worse the situation is, the more effort we'd put into finding the pacifier. It gave us an 'out' for those nights where we just needed to go back to a pacified baby for whatever reason. On other nights when he went to sleep without a fuss, we didn't even bother putting it in the crib for later.

A pacifier is only one way to soothe an infant, though - you might try music, light, mobiles, etc. I believe there are crib lights/music that are activated by baby activity.


answered 14 Dec '09, 16:27

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%

Response to this question provides some solutions to weaning off the pacifier.


answered 14 Dec '09, 22:26

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

Hmmm, there ARE some good ideas in there, but mostly for older children who can be rationalized with... My son is 4 months old! :) Most parents who answered there suggested using it "only for bed", but that's the problem I'm trying to get rid of!! :)

(15 Dec '09, 00:19) DazedandConfused

I'm having the same issue. My baby is 5 months old. And I have decided to go cold turkey with the dummy. I must admit though...its not really working. He has been crying for an hour. This is the first time i have tried it though. Not sure if i am going to continue with it though.


answered 15 Jul '10, 23:52

Baby%20Zac's gravatar image

Baby Zac
accept rate: 0%

From my experience, if you will attempt cold turkey, try the first time at night when he is most tired.

Try offering a blanket, or bear so he can comfort himself during the night. Be careful, sometimes they get very upset when the blanket goes over there face.


answered 07 Oct '10, 01:42

Sara's gravatar image

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edited 07 Oct '10, 11:35

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

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Asked: 14 Dec '09, 12:58

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Last updated: 10 Oct '10, 06:26