This seems to be a very popular question from moms out there. I don’t think there is a clear cut off for age appropriateness of pacifiers; but If I’m being honest, when I see a 4 year old with one, I have an inner cringe. However, I’m a firm believer in “your kid, your rules”, so I support any parents decision to let their child have one for how ever long they’d like. But, I’ll make this my “Ask the Mom” poll over in the side bar so you gan get the feel of what other moms think. Now, when you’re ready, I have some good ideas to help them break the habit.
My kids gave them up on their own when they started solid foods. Well, I just stopped giving them to them when they started solids and they didn’t complain, so was that them or me? Not sure. I thought I was going to have a problem with Liza, but it turns out she wasn’t really a binkie-aholic, she just considers everything hers.
Liza with her binkies at 2 months:
1) The binkie fairy. Set a date with your child & mark it on the calendar. That night have him gather up all of the pacifiers and put them in a bag for the fairy. The fairy then leaves an item the child has previously picked out in place of the bag. This is very much along the lines of “tooth fairy”.
2) Cut the nipples off of the pacifier a little bit at a time. When they can’t get the right amount of suckage, the child will get tired of trying and give up on her own.
3) My favorite way that I’ve heard of is to gather up all the binkies, pacifiers, pacies, whatever you call them and take your child down to the local hospital nursery to donate them to the new babies that have been born. The nurses play along (you can even call them ahead of time so they’re prepared) and when your gone, they just throw them away. This would probably boost your child’s self esteem too, to help out the babies. (plus you get to look at the sweet newborns!)
4) Some parents use the “Make it taste bad” approach. In theory, why would you put something in your mouth if it tastes bad, right? Someone please explain that to my kid who won’t touch a corn dog but heads straight for the dog food if the door is left open. If you’re going to try this, ask your doctor what products he recommends.
5) If you don’t want to go “cold turkey”, set binkie rules. Such as: only at nap and bed time. You can gradually cut out the nap and then bed when he’s ready.
You can help by reading books about breaking the habit for a couple of weeks before the big event. Surprisingly, there are more books out there than I thought!
Not every method will work for every child, you know your son or daughter best. If one way doesn’t work, try a different one! Stay strong!