Cutting out the Pacifier. Literally.

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READING TIME: 3 min.

My kids’ dentist wanted to go ahead and see my 18-month-old when my 3-year-old was coming in for a cleaning. Although I knew he didn’t need to go to the dentist, I also knew it wouldn’t hurt for her to check out his teeth and make sure everything was going the way it should. She spent some time examining his teeth but then got right to the point of something I wasn’t quite ready for.

She said we should get rid of the pacifier.

Say what??

He was only 18 months old, sleeping 11 hours at night and we were finally on a good one-long-nap-a-day schedule. Why would I want to mess with a good thing??

The dentist said the pacifier was slightly affecting his teeth. She also talked a lot about the research behind weaning from the pacifier around this time. She said that after 2 years of age, it makes it harder emotionally on the child. Then she told me how she weaned her girls off of their pacifiers at this age. She used the “cutting method“, which was something I had never heard of.

First, let me say that she wanted to know what kind of pacifier he used {which was NUK} because before you use this method, you need to make sure it is a kind of pacifier that will not break apart. Think choking hazard!!

The basic principle of this method is that you cut the tip of the pacifier off gradually, and over time, the child gets used to the cut pacifier and then eventually drops it altogether. She said to take it slow and that the entire process should take anywhere from 2-4 weeks. We took her advice and guess what??

It worked perfectly! My boy was pacifier free within 2 weeks. But even better? His sleeping scheduled never changed and he never cried, not once, for his pacifier!

We started one morning when he woke up by cutting the very, very tip of the pacifier- basically, we just made the hole, in the end, a tiny bit bigger. When I gave it to him, he immediately noticed something different, but he still sucked on it like normal and went about his day. Then a day or two later, I cut a little bit more, and then a little bit more…and then before long, there was no suction. He really liked to still have the pacifier as a comfort object but was no longer putting it in his mouth. Then one night I left it out of his crib and he never even missed it. And y’all. This boy loved his pacifier.

It was a hard decision to decide to go ahead and do it, but now we are so glad we did! He was already talking some, but within two weeks of dropping the pacifier, his vocabulary grew leaps and bounds! It was amazing to see him really start talking, and friends and family noticed, too, how different he was just because the pacifier was gone.

I’m so glad we were able to drop the pacifier in a way that was easy on all of us! How about you? How did you get your child to drop his or her pacifier? Have any of you used this cutting method? I know other moms would love to hear about your experiences with dropping the pacifier, so let’s hear your stories!

13 COMMENTS

  1. well my little guy decided he liked his thumb better than his pacifier…not quite sure how we’ll go about breaking that habit. you made this method sound EASY! 🙂

  2. I tried a similar tactic and it failed miserably.  My daughter pitched a fit the minute it was more than a tiny hole.  Thankfully we are only using a paci at bed and nap times, but I’d love to drop it altogether.  Glad that this worked well for you.  We probably will have to go cold turkey and listen to lots of crying.

  3. With my daughter, I did the whole thing where you gather up all the pacifiers and get rid of them and then she got a special toy. Honestly, she hated it. She was pretty upset for a couple days, but after she got used to it, I was so glad the pacifiers were gone. With my youngest, we just stopped buying pacifiers and when we had finally lost them all or left them at grandmas he just went without. He was okay with it because he knew they were actually lost (we really couldn’t find one). He really wasn’t too sad, though he loved them a lot!! There’s also some suggestions at http://www.toddler-tips-and-tricks.com/pacifier.html to have a “No More Binkies” Party or to gather them up and let your toddler give them away (like you’re giving them to a baby who needs them). I think anything will eventually work, though I like the idea of the cutting method if it doesn’t cause any tears!

  4. Hey thanks a lot I will try this with my daughter, she is 7 months. I will let you guys kniw how it turns out in a few months when i try it.

      • This is not working! This girl cannot be fooled! The first time I caught it I know I did it too much maybe like a quarter of a centimeter but I made a slight hole and notices. Any suggestions? I see there is a weaning system you can buy for regular pacifiers but I don’t see any for the Soothie brand. You guys she’s crying so hard she’s choking but I don’t want to regress and start all over.

  5. I wish I had known about this when my son was a baby! 27 years later I still can’t get the thing out of his mouth and he has taken up permanent residence in our home. Which really isn’t too awful since we moved from there two years ago. But the new owners keep calling us to come back and get him.

  6. My daughter already has a small hole in her paci. So, I’m gonna see how it works. She’s 2 & I’ve started cutting the paci out to wean her. Wish me luck. Lots of luck!

  7. I read this guide – parental-love.com/shop/pacifier-weaning. There is a lot of ideas, one of them is making the hole in a paci. I did not like other methods with stories etc. so I decided to use this one. I read about my chocking gambling. I could control my son. When we were going to sleep, I was really tired and grumpy I gave him a normal paci. After some period he realized that if the paci during a day didn’t work, he was not longer interested in using it.

  8. I really think the key to this is that they have to understand the meaning of trash. My daughter commonly throws away things. Once she understood this – when we cut the binky and she threw it in the trash herself, she understood that it was gone and broken.

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