Banning the Binky: How to Help Your Child Drop the Pacifier
The binky. The plug. The dummy. The paci. Whatever you call it, most parents who have relied on a pacifier for infant soothing know that, as much as it can be a lifesaver in the beginning, it can be a nightmare to take away. While you shouldn’t let others guilt you into stopping if you don’t think your child is ready, there may come a point when you know in your heart that the pacifier has to stop.
In my experience, the easiest solution (other than never using one to begin with!) can often be stopping cold turkey at 12 months, before your child is old enough to really request or understand an explanation of why you are taking away their beloved soother.
But in many, many cases, parents wait until their children are a bit older, which can make it more difficult to take away the pacifier. I’ve put together a list of the best (and most creative) solutions I’ve heard, from my clients, my friends, and my fabulous Twitter & Facebook followers.
Add more in the comments!
(1) The Binky Fairy/Santa
Many parents have used Santa or his secret cousin the Binky Fairy to help remove pacifiers from their homes. In most cases, children are told that their favorite imaginary character has collected their binkies, often in exchange for small gifts.
(2) Cut a Hole in It
What happens when you cut a hole in your child’s pacifiers? It doesn’t have the same satisfying suck and, for many kids, is the exact thing that’s needed to kick the habit. But be VERY careful with this, as it could pose a choking hazard so monitor closely.
(3) Make Someone Else be the Bad Guy
We all know that our children often take other authority figures a bit more seriously than they take their parents. Use this to your advantage! You can have your dentist or pediatrician tell your little ones that they need to drop the paci – which works well for a lot of parents.
(4) Bury It!
No, I’m not suggesting a funeral of sorts for your binkies (though come to think of it that might work!). In what is one of the more creative solutions I’ve seen, you can take your child’s binkies to your local Build-a-Bear store and have them inserted into the bear. Amazing!