How to get rid of your child’s pacifier

Getting rid of your child’s pacifier

Is your child having trouble giving up his/her pacifier? We were following an amazing Facebook thread on Community Supported Parenting of Yamhill County last night that had a number of great tips for helping ease the transition.

A father’s plea: A local parent had been struggling with taking away his daughter’s pacifier and not having it be a sobfest. So he asked a local parenting group in McMinnville for tips on how to make it easier on everyone involved. Here are their answers.

Some tips for getting rid of pacifier:

1. Invite the “Binky Fairy.” Tell your child the fairy will come at night (or during nap) and replace the binky with a toy or other small object.

2. Replace with another activity. Remind the child that you agreed that the Binky had to go when she became a big girl. Then offer to replace it with a nice activity like reading a special story together.

3. Give it to a nearby teddy bear. Leave it nearby so the child knows it is there, but make sure they know they don’t get it to suck to sleep anymore.

4. Accidentally drop it into the toilet. Explain it is yucky! now and not for sucking.

5. Have a ceremony to say goodbye. Make it a beautiful coming-of-age ritual and then never bring it out again.

6. Cut a hole in the end of the pacifier. The child often will think it is broken and not want it anymore.

7. Call the Binky Fairy on the phone. Have an aunt or grandma pose as the Binky Fairy on the phone and have them explain that she will be coming to pick it up.

8. Replace with another comfort. A song, a snuggle, as long as there is comfort involved.

9. Pass it to a baby you know. If you have any smaller children in your family or friend circle, have the child gift the pacifier to the baby now that he/she is a big girl/boy now.

A final note:

Crying is common when you take away a pacifier, but it should get better every day. And remember: It is a natural part of infancy and young childhood to want to suck, so if you have a child under 4 who is working on giving up the habit, use your best judgment and find a way that works for your family.

Dr. Diesburg weighs in:

“As a dad I think the boundaries are good and need to be enforced. But if you are worried about braces you have easily until four to get rid of the “non nutrative sucking habit” before it significantly affects the adult teeth.”

A special thank-you to the parents of the Community Supported Parenting of Yamhill County Facebook thread on this one!

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