5 Easy tips to Break Your Toddler’s Pacifier Habit

What's the right way to wean your child off her pacifier? Here are some tried and tested tricks to help your baby ditch the habit.

By Vidhya Anand

5 Easy tips to Break Your Toddler’s Pacifier Habit

Constant demands for pacifiers and binkies are every day, untainted and uncalled for battle cries. But, worry no more – we know just what it takes to break the dreaded pacifier habit.

Breaking the binkie time

It is common to find pacifiers in the crib, in the playroom, and in almost every other corner of the house when you have a baby. So much so, it can feel like they have somehow crept into the lives of your babies to stay forever. However, your baby’s binky time can be undone with the right approach. Here’s how you can do it.

Ignore the tantrums

Desperate times, desperate measures. The most straight-forward approach is to simply cut your baby off the pacifier. Of course, he would seem quite shocked on the first day. It doesn’t matter how long or how much you may have tried explaining to your child the need to end the habit, tantrums will follow coupled with shrieks and screams. Be prepared to deal with his constant demands and uncontrollable crying. It takes patience to let him come out of pure shock. There’s no doubt that he will be truly shocked! But, go for it, if you must. Just believe that the first day is going to be the worst, and after the storm comes the calm.

Note that breaking the pacifier habit is easier when your child is less than two years of age. You know for a fact it wouldn’t be a pretty picture thereafter.

The grown-up talk

“Do big kids need their binkies? No, they don’t! You’re a big kid now, aren’t you?” Go on and bring out the pacifier in you. Tell your girl that she is actually growing up and it’s about time to say good-bye to her pacifier. Be more realistic in these pep talks. Improvise if you must. Go that extra mile and include her in your chores to prove your point, not really of course, but let her play the part. You will be surprised at how much impact these actions will have on your girl and how soon she will feel like she can live without her pacifier.

Send the pacifier away on vacation

It’s time to let your imagination soar! One of the smoothest ways to stay on the nice side of your baby and feel accomplished in breaking the habit is to tell a story. Cook up a convincing story on how your baby’s binkie had to go away for whatever unavoidable reason. Remember, however, this works best only when your child is so attached to the pacifier that he has named it and sees a friend in it. Yes, some babies are capable of this!

Be sneaky

Do what you can to sneak the pacifier away from existence. Say, you do ‘happen’ to misplace it, don’t go looking for it. Don’t give it the attention it needs; be so oblivious to it that your baby snoozes without it. There have been instances where children just forget about their binky when parents become ‘unaware’ of it, and you just might be the lucky one!

Multi-binky-use is the way to go

Okay, so you have been there, done that and nothing turned out right. So, here’s another way out. Let your child keep the pacifier and play with it. Sit with your child and paint those pacifiers using harmless, non-toxic paint, of course. Build a weird Lego house or even play catch. Do anything that’s creative. In the end, when you have created your piece of art with all those soothers and pacifiers, throw them out, so you have to buy new ones as these can’t be re-used. Then again, you must not buy another binky. End of story. You baby will forget them and not cry for them, ever again.