Here’s a New Year’s Resolution for you: wean the little one from the pacifier. The sucking reflex is natural, but if your tot hasn’t weaned him/herself from the pacifier by 3 or 4 years old, it may be time to roll up your sleeves and get creative. Here are 5 ideas we’ve found from around the Web to help:
- Everyday Family suggests introducing your child to the concept of the Binky Fairy. Like the Tooth Fairy, the Binky Fairy will come to collect something your child has outgrown; in this case, their pacifier. Think of something special the Binky Fairy can leave underneath their pillow in exchange.
- Wean your little one with a countdown game. Mouth Monsters suggests telling your child that their pacifier will be shrinking over the next three to four weeks. The first week, cut a very small hole in the top of the pacifier, and repeat the process over the next few weeks until there is nothing left for your child to suck on.
- If you don’t want them to go cold turkey, a three-day plan as suggested by Parents could work. On day 1, give your child a quick 30-second talk in the morning and at bedtime to let them know they will be saying goodbye to the pacifier in 3 days’ time, and that this is a good thing as they are now doing lots of things big kids do. The next day, give the talks at the same time, with “tomorrow” as the parting date. On day 3, remind them that it’s time to gather the pacifiers, and let them know that the pacifiers will also be part of a new journey to be made into things like tires or toys.
- Build the pacifier into a toy. This idea from KC Kids Doc suggests going to a Build-A-Bear Workshop and adding the pacifier to their new bear’s stuffing. That way, they’ll always have it with them.
- Have a party! In a Care.com discussion board, one parents suggests collecting the pacifiers and decorating the box they will be donated in. You can even invite other kids and families who want to donate their pacifiers too. Other families have turned this into a “throwing away” party if you simply want to toss the binky. The idea is, cake, ice cream, and good friends can help make the separation brighter!