The Pacifier: Is It Finally Time to Say Goodbye?

The Pacifier: Is It Finally Time to Say Goodbye?

Oh, just thinking about writing this post leaves me feeling a little sad! I’m afraid I will have more questions than answers. How do I know when it is time to finally say goodbye to the most loved, cherished, comforting item my sweet Little A owns: the pacifier?

We have loved the pacifier since Little A was only 2 weeks old! Here A is fast asleep in July 2015, one month old.

Our pediatrician would say it’s far past the time to say goodbye.  At A’s 12 month check-up and again at her 18 month check-up, we were urged to take the pacifier away, once and for all. We seriously considered it at 18 months. But, we simply didn’t feel ready to take away something A loves so, so much.

Another sleepy pacifier picture. This was October 2015, when A was 4 months old.

I’ve done many Google searches on the topic. Dr. Google has mixed results. Some sources say once the baby turns 1, take away the pacifier. Some say by the age of 2 is just fine. Other sources say certainly before age 4. And there are various methods to wean a child off of a pacifier too. You can go cold turkey, just throw them away and that’s it!  Or you can go with the gradual weaning method. Only allow your child to use the pacifier at nap and bedtimes and go from there. What is the right age to get rid of the pacifier? How should it be done? Will it really be bad for her teeth? How much harm has already been done?  I can’t be the only one who ends up feeling more overwhelmed, with even more questions, than when I started the Google search, right?

My sweet girl, on Valentine’s Day 2016. Almost 1 year ago now. The pacifier is always, always close by!

Sooner rather than later is probably best when it comes to taking away the pacifier. I have clear memories of when my parents took away my own beloved binky, which means, I must have been old enough to remember! (4 years old, I think!)  I even had a stash of hidden pacifiers that I would occasionally take out, when the adults weren’t nearby, to soothe myself with. If we take A’s pacifier away soon, I’m sure she won’t remember using it when she’s older.

She goes to sleep with 6 or 7 pacifiers sprinkled around her crib each night. And she still wakes up crying sometimes when they all fall on the floor. This picture is from May 2016, A was 11 months old.

But it’s the transition from pacifier to no pacifier, especially while sleeping, that  terrifies me the most! A has never, ever been a good sleeper. It feels like we only just recently started sleeping through the night. And she still occasionally wakes up once or twice in the night. Taking away the pacifier will, without a doubt, cause many sleepless nights. But, after all, she’s not going to be 20 years old and still sleep with a pacifier! (I hope!)

Pacifiers go everywhere with us! Here A is coloring at the library recently. We actually lost our favorite cupcake pacifier clip at the library!

Taking away A’s pacifier must be done eventually.

Right now, my goal is to take it away by the time A turns 2. That gives me 4 months to finally work up the courage to get the job done! (The countdown is on…)We’ll most likely go with the cold turkey method, because anything else might be too confusing for her.

I am surprised at how sad I feel thinking about this big transition. It truly means the end of my baby being a baby. She’s a big girl now, and big girls don’t need their “baba.” (A’s name for her pacifier.) We’ve been through a lot of transitions already in A’s young life: breast milk to formula to all solid foods, sitting to crawling to walking, sleeping all day to 2 naps a day to one. This transition won’t be easy, but, I think we’ll survive!

Do you have any tips about pacifier weaning? When or how did you do it? I’d love to hear some pacifier stories!

I’ll let you know how it goes…



Rhyming with Wine


6 thoughts on “The Pacifier: Is It Finally Time to Say Goodbye?

  1. Oh my goodness, yes. I’m at 2.5 years old with my daughter and she still has her “paci.” I think I’ve resigned myself to not feeling any sort of pressure by anyone to make her get rid of it yet. (I think unfortunately I am also attached to seeing her with it…). I think I may try later this year though — or when her language develops a bit more: I may find a friendly, understanding cashier and ask if I can let my daughter hand her the paci to “buy” a stuffed animal. I saw it on Sesame Street… hahah! (I was watching, daughter was off in another room, of course.)

    I think I must have been 4 perhaps when my mom had me give them up. Teeth are good though 🙂 And no braces needed! But… I gave my teeth to the tooth fairy so it could have just been that she granted me with good adult teeth 😉

    Good luck! Keep us updated! Next adventure for us is potty training…

    1. It’s such a hard decision! I can see how waiting until her language develops more might be easier. Then she could possibly understand why she can’t have the pacifier anymore. I like the idea of trading it in for something new. Got to love Sesame Street! Potty training is another huge transition! I can’t even think about that one yet…

  2. Emily, I’m no expert, but here’s what I’d do: I’d gradually get rid of all but one (if you still have that collection), use the one only for naps and bedtime, then only at naps OR only at bedtime, then at some point I’d “lose” it somewhere in the house and see how she does. But moms put too much pressure on themselves. It’s easy to get caught up in comparing your child to someone else’s child or to the “norms” from the experts. You’ll do just fine!
    Jean | recently posted…Cabbage and Kale Salad with Creamy Sesame Seed DressingMy Profile

  3. I dont have any tips im afraid. Ben scared himself by gagging on a medicine dummy when he wasnt well and it put him off and everytime we tried to give him a dummy he refused it. This was when he was about 5 or 6 months so he didnt have it for long either.
    Good luck with the weaning! #dreamteam

  4. I wish I could offer some helpful advice, but I’m afraid that neither of ours would ever take to a pacifier. (I did offer they just weren’t fussed about it). My eldest is 4 now though and instead she insists on sleeping with a little teddy that’s attached to a small comforter blanket which she sucks. She can’t sleep without it, and I guess that’s the same thing? I try not to worry about it, if it gives her comfort then I’m OK with it. We just had to wean her off it during the day so that she didn’t want to take it to nursery with her. It took a couple of days but she soon got the hang of putting teddy to bed on a morning when she got up. Whatever you decide, just do what feels right for you and your family. Good luck lovely. Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam x
    Rhyming with Wine recently posted…Quest To The Front Door…My Profile

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