My son loved his paci from day one and kept it for longer than I care to admit. Alexander was 2 1/2 when we finally braved the storm. With a little brother that still has a paci, this was definitely an adventure.
We knew the day was coming, he was too old and we didn’t want him to have any dental or speech issues because of it.
It all started when we were all laying in the bed one night and I noticed Alexander was so sleepy he was about to fall asleep without the paci in his mouth. I didn’t think much of it, we’d had quite a day and he was exhausted.
When I woke up the next morning, he had slept all night without it! I knew it was finally the day for him to say goodbye.
The hard part
The following couple of days consisted of him seeing a paci, or hearing the word, and go into a crying frenzy. We did our best to redirect his attention to many different things, toys, a movie, going outside, singing a song, etc. Nighttime became a completely new challenge, what kind of monster makes a boy sleep without a paci?! Queue more crying. To soothe him at night we laid with him, read a book, or sang twinkle twinkle until he had forgotten about the paci, for now.
Waking up was as if we had just taken it away again. After a nap he had completely forgotten that he is a big boy. Many of the fits occurred at nap time and bed time if he saw his brothers paci. After about 3-4 days the fits began to stop. he was able to see the it and not go crazy. We even got him to pick one up and give it to his brother less than a week after taking his away.
Keep in mind that consistency is key, if your child attends daycare or goes to their Grandparents house, make sure they know not to give the paci as well. If not, the issues can still develop and your child will have a much harder time letting go as they still get the paci sometimes.
Cutting his cold turkey worked out really well for us, he did great after the first few days he had pretty much forgotten about it. But that may not work for every child, below are a few other tips and trick I have heard along the way that may be helpful for you.
There will be crying. Do not give in, you can do it and so can your toddler!
More Tips to ditch the Pacifier
- Cut off the tip gradually: this method consists of breaking your child of the habit gradually. This method typically takes 2-3 weeks. Start by cutting off the very tip of the paci and still giving it to your child as normal. After about 3-5 days you will cut more off the tip and continue with it as normal. By the third cut at least half of the nipple should be gone and most children no longer find it satisfying to suck on any longer as it has lost all suction and ditch it on their own.
- Binky Fairy: This method is a bit more fun. Have your child gather all of their Binky/Pacis and place them in a bag or box for the “Binky Fairy” to pick up. Typically she leaves a new toy or favorite treat in return!
- Try weaning your child gradually by only offering the paci at nap time and bedtime. (You can also step this up by taking it out of their mouth once thy have fallen asleep, when they wake up they will think they slept the whole time without it!
- Add some flavor! Try adding some citrus juice, vinegar or even toothpaste, your child will surely not have a taste for pacis afterward.