Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Getting rid of the pacifier


Our sons have used pacifiers since birth.  Because they were born nearly six weeks early, it was recommended that they use pacifiers in order to strengthen the muscles they would use to suck and swallow. There is also research that suggests that the use of pacifiers decreases the risk of SIDS in newborns, and particularly in preemies.  So although I know that some frown upon their use (even our nanny), we have never had a particular problem with our sons' use of pacifiers.

Now, though, AJ has had two ear infections in the past two months, and his use of the pacifier is the only small, possible risk factor we can see that we can possibly eliminate.  None of the other things cited as risk factors for recurrent ear infections are going on.  (Ironically, MJ is far more attached to the paci and sucks it far more often than AJ and has had no ear infections.)  So we have decided to wean both our sons off their pacifiers because you can't really have one twin using a paci and not the other.

Anyone reading successfully weaned a 12-month-old from the pacifier?  Care to share any tips on how you did it?  All my friends who have done this successfully did it at much older ages, using strategies that will not work on children this young.

Thanks in advance!


  1. LMI was only using the paci at naps and bedtime - I think that is the first step. When she was 16months we just cut the paci for sleep. We didn't replace it just didn't offer it. She did cry herself to sleep but the crying was very short (5min or so) and not nearly as intense as when we sleep trained her. Within 3 days she was completely weaned.

  2. I have no clue on this one but I wish you luck.

  3. Even though I've never experienced this with my own child (b/c of course I don't have one yet) I've dealt with this issue at lot with work. It really seems like going cold turkey is the best. Just get rid of them completely. It might make for a few rough nights/naps but you might be surprised by how little the boys miss them.

  4. Cut the tip of it off little by little every day or every few days until they can't get satisfaction from it anymore, and therefore don't want it. Good luck!

  5. And here I clicked over hoping to find advice! My goal had been to wean around 1 year; but then we went to South Africa for a week, and 5 days later to the US for 10 days, and then 5 days later moved internationally, and by the time we were settled again, we attempted to re-start daycare which has been more traumatic than it should be, so at 15 months, Gwen's still got hers. We restrict usage to nap time, bed time, and while traveling, but I really don't know yet how to go one step further other than taking them away cold turkey.

    Good luck!

  6. We managed to almost wean my daughter when she was about 18 months old. We basically would make sure there were no pacifiers lying around, then as soon as she would put it down, we'd pick it up and put it away. We allowed her to have it for nap time and for bedtime, so when she noticed it was gone and would ask for it, we'd tell her she could have it when she went to bed. That actually worked pretty well. After a few days of that, we would actually take the pacifier away when she got up (instead of waiting for her to put it down), and she had come to understand the rule and would be ok with giving it up. Unfortunately for us, this didn't work in the long term because I had a pacifier-thermometer in the bathroom and one day she found it and remembered that she used to have pacifiers during the day and started freaking out asking for them, and she had a major relapse. Now she's 2.5 years old and I can tell that unless we wait for her to get a bit older and able to reason, it's going to be MUCH harder to get her unhooked again. I wish we had not had the regression when she was 18 months old, because I think it would have been easier then. That being said - make SURE there aren't any random pacifiers lying around, and be careful if you visit friends or anyone whose kid has one.

  7. I don't personally have experience, but my mom told me I was obsessed with my pacis when I was a baby and I used them until I was 2 years old. They were so worried I would freak out when they took them away and they did that cold turkey, and they were shocked to see I didn't miss them at all! I would try cold turkey to see if it works.


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