Every parent knows that at some point they will have to wean their child away from the pacifier. After all it wouldn’t do for your five year old to be sucking on a binkie at kindergarten. But the process of weaning can be difficult, although as one parent pointed out, it is easier than weaning a child from sucking their thumb. You can throw a pacifier away but you can’t cut off your child’s thumb.
The entire premise of using a pacifier raises some debate among parents and was recently addressed in the baby blog. I personally never used pacifiers. I had planned to with my last child. But every time I would put it in the baby’s mouth my eighteen month old, who had never used a pacifier, would steal it and pop it in her own mouth. So I never used binkies. But if you were one of those parents who did choose to use a pacifier then at some point your going to have to get rid of it.
Once your child begins talking it is time to get rid of the pacifier. You don’t want your child limiting their speech or trying to talk around a binkie in their mouth. They are old enough to understand throwing it away and to deal with the loss.
Just like with the bottle or breast feeding the best way is to wean your child from the pacifier. The pacifier is something that is not only a habit but comforting to children. They will most likely cry frequently if it is taken away suddenly. So start by limiting the use of the binkie.
My sister, whose daughter loved her pacifier, started my only allowing the binkie while her daughter was in her crib. If Hannah wanted the binkie during the day she had to get in her crib. This would only last a minute or two before Hannah would want out. So the binkie was only really used at nap and bedtime. Then wean the use of the binkie down to bedtime.
You will also want to explain to your child that she is a big girl now and so she doesn’t need a pacifier because they are only for babies. Help your child by giving them a stuffed animal or blanket that they can use for security in place of the pacifier.
The next step you can take is to cut the nipple off of the binkie. You can still allow your child to have it at night. But this will break the sucking habit since they will not be able to suck the binkie like they used to.
Then when you are ready help her take the binkies and through them all in the garbage can. This is often best done on garbage day so your child knows that the garbage truck took them away.