wikiHow to Stop Pacifier Use

Five Methods:The Slow WeanThe Instant Throw AwayActive InvolvementSelected Times OnlyThe Pinhole Method

As a new parent you struggled with the decision to let your baby take a pacifier. It's time to give up those baby habits - not only because it's time, but also because it may cause dental problems for your child.

What is the best way to get rid of a pacifier? In this article you'll learn several methods. Choose the method that best fits your parenting style and your child. Some children will simply accept that the pacifier is gone if you throw it away, while others must be weaned off a pacifier, or rewarded for going without one.

Method 1
The Slow Wean

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    Slowly wean your child off the pacifier, like you did the bottle or the breast. Remember that your child has formed an attachment to their pacifier and giving it up may not be easy for them.
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    Choose the times of the day when your child is least likely to want their pacifier and remove it from sight. When they ask for it, tell them that they can have it later. Try to reassure them that they are okay without it and move on to another activity.
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    Distract them with a snack or toy. To keep them from thinking about their pacifier, give them something else to do and avoid a fit or a fight that might make you feel like giving in to your toddler.
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    Gradually increase the times you refuse to give your child their pacifier until they no longer think about it. Bedtimes and nap times should be the last instances you wean your toddler off the pacifier, as they are probably the times your child will ask for it the most.
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    Get your toddler used to the idea of sleeping without the pacifier before removing it from them for good. Help them find other self-soothing methods, like hugging a teddy bear or sleeping with a special blanket.

Method 2
The Instant Throw Away

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    Throw it out. With your toddler watching you, remove all pacifiers from your house in one fell swoop by donating them.
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    Prepare yourself for some crying, as your toddler may not understand why you're getting rid of their pacifier. Soothe your child and explain that they are big now and it is time to act like a big girl or boy.

Method 3
Active Involvement

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    Discuss with your toddler that you think it's time to give up the pacifier. Let them be active in the decision by offering them rewards for each day they go without the pacifier.
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    Create a sticker chart with the days of the week on it. For every day they go without their pacifier, let them put a sticker on the chart and praise them for a job well done. If they ask for their pacifier during the day, let them know they will not get a sticker.
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    Plan a specific date that the child knows and understands as the last day for a pacifier. Birthdays work well for this, since the pacifier can easily be "replaced" by gifts. Gifts that your child recognizes as signifying a transition to older childhood - such as a toy reserved for or identified with "big kids" - are also especially effective for this.

Method 4
Selected Times Only

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    Allow your toddler to have their pacifier at bedtime and nap time only. Instead of letting them run around with the pacifier in their mouth all day long, tell them it's only to be used when they're in bed.
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    Use a pacifier clip to attach the pacifier to the sheet of your child's bed. If your toddler goes to their room to get the pacifier, explain to them that they can only have it if they're going to bed and ask them if they're ready for a nap or bedtime.
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    Start taking it off the bed and hiding it during the day. When your child stops returning to their room every day to spend time lying in bed with the pacifier, try taking it one step further and hiding it. When your child asks for it, tell them maybe it will be there for them later.
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    When your child stops asking about and looking for the pacifier during the day, start eliminating bedtime usage. Leave it hidden when they go to bed and only give it to them when they ask about it. Before long, you'll be able to say "Hey, you haven't asked about it in four days, how about we just go without it tonight?".

Method 5
The Pinhole Method

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    Keep the pacifier in the crib as soon as your toddler is walking.
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    When you don't want them to use it any more and you want to get rid of it, poke a Pinhole in it. It will now not work when they suck on it any more. This causes the child to think it is "broken," and they will not like it any more.
    • This method works for hollow pacifiers.
    • A similar method for solid pacifiers is to get a razor knife and shave a tiny amount off the tip each day when they are asleep so it gets shorter and shorter.
      • This is a common method here. Some children immediately reject the 'broken' pacifier where others continue to use it until there is almost nothing left. Since the change is gradual you can tell them that it is "wearing out".
    • Wait for them to determine that it is broken and they will throw it away themselves.
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  • Make sure you dig through toy boxes, dressers, and any other hidey-holes your child may have found and get rid off all the extra pacifiers. You may be surprised to find that your toddler remembers that one that rolled under the bed or that they dropped in the toy box when they come to see you with it tucked into their mouth.
  • If you choose to get rid of pacifiers by throwing them away or simply refusing to let your child have one, be prepared for a fight. Remain calm with your child and remember that for them it may be scary to sleep without the soothing comfort of their pacifier.
  • Get your partner, other family members, and child care providers on board. To succeed in any major change you'll need the support of everyone who cares for your child.
  • The best way to get rid of a pacifier is to limit usage when they're an infant. This will help create less of an attachment to the pacifier in the future.
  • Get a sticker chart to help motivate.
  • Pacifiers are also known as dummies in British and Australian English.
  • Get a gentle product like Thumbuddy To Love-The Binky Fairy. It helps children understand where the pacifiers go without the fuss or tears. Google Thumbuddy To Love.
  • Pacifiers are also known as soothers in Ireland.


  • Do not throw all the pacifiers out as the child will not understand why you are destroying something they love and this will lead to stress and possibly trauma.
  • Not all children are ready to wean from pacifiers at the same time. Some will take longer than others; for some, it will even seem like they just won't give up the fight. Be patient with your child and help them find ways to cope with the loss of comfort they've previously gotten from their pacifier.
  • There will always be unhelpful and unsolicited advice when raising children. Unless the advice really resonates you, just smile and say, "Thank you, it's all sorted," and brush off the unwanted advice.

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