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Bye Bye Pacifier

March 24, 2010

So just after my son turned one we switched day care providers and she would not allow the pacifier-which I was somewhat hesitant to do but she assurred me that everything would be fine so I decided to give it a shot.  The only problem was that we couldn’t keep him from crying for it at night.  He never used it except for bedtime, but we could not seem to break him of it completely.  He tooks naps during the day without it but at home he would cry for it anytime he was in his bead.  Then just after he turned two

he started waking at night because he had lost his binky and would not go back to sleep until we found it for him.  This would happen usually 2-3 times each night and was really wearing on both my husband and I.  We just never got a full nights rest but if I took the binky away completely I may never sleep again–at least that’s how it seemed.

I did a lot of research as to the best way to wean him from it.  Alot of people said to take it away cold turkey–that just seemed a bit dramatic.  Then there was the binky fairy, where you put all the binkies under the pillow and the binky fairy brings your kid an age appropriate gift in replacement.  Some suggested having your child “donate” the binkies to a younger siblinig or to a charity but I wasn’t sure that my 2 1/2 year old would comprehend what that really meant.  Finally, I landed on a website that suggested a week long approach to eliminating the binky.  I had heard of his method before-cutting off the tip of the pacifier.  Unfortunately, the first time I tried it (when he had just turned 2) I went a little overboard cutting off about half of it and he absolutely refused it.

What he suggests is that you gradually manipulate the pacifier over the course of a week.  First you just poke holes in the binky using a needle to allow the pacifier to collapse when your child tries to suck on it.  Then next step is to snip off the very tip of the binky and then each day thereafter to but just a bit more until it is about half cut.  Finally to slit the binky perpendicular to the end.  Basically what this does is slowly transitions the binky from something that causes pleasure to something that is less pleasureable and eventually something that causes displeasure.  By doing this the child will readily give up the pacifier since it no longer provides comfort.

So how did it work out?  Well, lets just say that I have been sleeping a lot better lately.  It took about 4 days total and he actually threw it in the trash.  He asked about it for a few days after he threw it out but we reminded him that he threw it out because it was “broken”.  Now, 2 weeks later he doesn’t even ask for it anymore.  I am almost in disbelief–but I am so glad that we are rid of the dreaded pacifier now.  If we can just master potty training now we’ll be golden.

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