The pacifier, a parent’s lifesaver

Bink, pacifier, binky, paci, plug.  Call it what you may, no matter the name they all have the same end result… sweet quiet serenity. The pacifier godsend can sooth a baby to sleep or it can give you a few moments of quiet until your baby discovers that the bink is not the real deal.  In both cases, these little suckers (no pun :)) can be sanity savers.

You may have read that most children will stop using their pacifier on their own between the ages of two and four-years- old.

Not your kid.  The thing you once dubbed your lifesaver has now become the most recent item in the tug-o-war with your three-year-old.  Something has got to give, and time and time again it’s you, giving into your toddler’s screaming request for his paci.  You can see the mass chaos that’s about to erupt if he doesn’t get what he wants;  it’s essentially the destruction of his bedroom and what looks like the beginnings of World War III.

You give in because all you want your kid to do in that moment is lay down and take his afternoon nap.

What to do?  What to do?  You’ve tried the hiding them, cutting them, throwing them away but you’ve found that you just end up running to the local drugstore in moments of desperation and buying new ones.

If your child is three years or older and still using their pacifier, it should only be used nap time.  If they are actively sucking on it during the day they could slow language development and damage the way their teeth grow.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that for the best results, try weaning your child before 24 months.  If your child is 24 months or older and they just don’t seem to be giving up the “plug” Drs. Anne Dubosky and Nichole DeLaPlante from Lone Peak Primary Care make a few suggestions on how to wean your child from their pacifier.

  1. Children usually use a  binky to comfort themselves.  Try replacing your child’s pacifier with a new stuffed animal or toy.  It may also help to take your child to the store and allow them to choose their new “friend.”
  2. If your child is using their pacifier to soothe themselves to sleep try swaddling them or try rocking them to sleep.
  3. For older children, try having a “special day” where your child is celebrated and praised for disposing of the binky themselves.

If you’re in the boat of deciding whether or not you want your child to have a pacifier, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers a few helpful tips and insights on their website.


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2 Responses to “The pacifier, a parent’s lifesaver”

  1. Amber
    January 6, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Fun reading the strings. My son was so attached to his pacifier that it started to become a real problem. We could not go anywhere without making sure that we had a pacifier in hand. My friend absolutely raved about the bye bye binky method so we decided to give it a try (she found it at ). All I can say is WOW, worked beautifully for my son with no tantrums, not even one! Super easy and four days later he had no interest in his binky. We really were amazed… highly recommended… Amber

    • jade
      January 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      Thanks for the head’s up! It is a huge relief to end the pacifier dependency.