Tips from Real Parents: How to Wean Your Baby Off Their Pacifier

Here’s how real moms helped their little ones ditch the pacifier.

By: Amanda Mushro

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Say Goodbye to the Pacifier

When my babies were fussy, getting sleepy, or just wanted a little snuggle, a pacifier was always firmly planted in their mouths. At any given moment, there were a ton of pacifiers stashed in every room of our house, the car, diaper bag and their crib. Pacifiers made their lives easier and made my life easier, too.

For parents who have kids that love their pacifier, we know how great the binkie can be. However, when it comes time to ditch the pacifier, it can be a rough break up for your baby and for you.

While plenty of parents have successfully gone cold turkey, there are a variety of ways to make the transition from pacifier to no pacifier a little easier.

So, here are real mom and dad solutions for weaning your baby from their beloved pacifier. When it comes time to officially kick their pacifier habit, hopefully one of these solutions will work for you.

A Visit from the Paci Fairy

“We had the paci fairy come. Our youngest left the paci at the front door so the fairy could deliver it to another child that needed one. Overnight, the paci fairy left a gift for him.

– Audrey, mom of two

“We did the binkie fairy. Each night she would come and take one away and would leave a small present. For the last one it was a big stuffed animal. She loved it!”

– Lindsay, mom of two

Bring in Some Help

“It was part of one of his wellness appointments. He had to turn [the pacifier] in to the doctor as a part of that appointment. Like shots... doctor was happy to play along and took it from him and snuck it back to us when leaving.”

– Lindsay, mom of three

“We told our oldest that she could give hers to Santa and then he would take it for the new babies that don’t have any pacis. When she did that, Santa brought her a special toy. She really wanted a magnifying glass. Granted, it was June, so Santa made an extra special trip.”

– Dave, dad of two

“We wrote a letter to Elmo and sent him the pacifier. In return, Elmo sent Zach a gift.”

– Beth, mom of one

“I have a friend whose Elf on the Shelf made a special non-Christmas visit to take it and left a gift in its place. The elf sent a letter a few days before, so the kid had a little warning.”

– Samantha, mom of two

Timing is Everything

“At 1-year-old, I only let the kids have the pacifier in the crib. Then I waited for their first cold after that, when they were all snotty and congested, and took it away completely.”

– Kelly, mom of four

Less is More

“At first we only [used pacifiers during] nap time and bedtime. [During] the rest of the day, the paci laid on my daughter’s bed. No carrying it around. After that went well, we tried not using it at all and after a couple days to a week we were good.”

– Erin, mom of two

“We secured it to his bedpost during the day while weaning. He could go upstairs and use it by sitting next to his bed for a bit, but he had to leave it behind when he was finished. He’d go upstairs, look at a picture book for a little while sucking on his pacifier and then come back to play in the playroom. At first, he looked at a lot of books but, after a while, it wasn’t worth the effort to go upstairs to use it.”

– Christine, mom of two

Creative Goodbyes

“Cooper was older when we finally weaned him from his pacifier, [which] he called “poppy.” We went to Build-a-Bear and made a cat, his favorite animal, that has his “poppy” inside. He still sleeps with her.”

– Shannon, mom of three

“We told our daughter that her pacifier got left on the airplane when we took a trip to Hawaii. She was totally fine with it and would see an airplane and say it was [onboard]!”

– Nicole, mom of two

“We lost Piper's last one and that was it. We looked at a map to see where she lost it for a few nights and said goodbye.”

– Katie, mom of three

Sharing is Caring

“A friend of ours was having a baby so we told H. that the new baby needed it and put it in a gift bag for the baby. It worked!”

– Kristen, mom of two

“We told Amelia that [her pacifiers] would be better off with the children at the hospital who needed them. She put them in a little packet in the mailbox, and she was done.”

– Jeff, dad of two

“When I was little, my mom told me the baby squirrels needed them and I happily tossed them out one day and never looked back!”

– Jessalyn, mom of two

Barter and Trade

“We took Savannah to the Disney store because of her long-standing obsession with Minnie Mouse. She was able to pick out two special things to sleep with and the trade was her paci. She picked a giant Minnie and a Minnie blanket. We both handed over the paci at the register. Whenever she asked for the paci at night, I reminded her about her new special things. She only asked for about a week.”

– Erin, mom of three

“I bought them from [my kids]. Seriously, took them to a toy store and said they could have something new for each pacifier they gave up. I mean, it's hard to say no to toys and the decision was theirs.”

– Melissa, mom of two

Don’t Stress!

“Distraction is a great way to wean. But, eventually, they give it up on their own. The key is not to stress about it.”

– Linda, mom of three

What if YOU are your kid’s pacifier?

“My kids used me as a binkie, which meant I nursed forever! I weaned them from nursing by putting Band-Aids on 'my binkies' and telling them I had boo boos.”

– Traci, mom of three

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