Weaning my older Toddler from the Pacifier

So I’m sure everyone was wondering when we would wean Elias from the pacifier, and to be honest we didn’t know when we were going to do it, or how we were going to do it.

I read countless articles about how to do, and when it’s best to do it. It was all so intimidating, and to be honest I don’t think we were ready. Elias is a very whinny kid, so the second he doesn’t get his way, he breaks out in tears. We would just pop the pacifier in his mouth and magically (not really magic, but it sure feels like it) he’d shut up. When he was fighting his naps, his pacifier helped him fall asleep. So we could control his behavior with a little piece of plastic and rubber. It was a win-win. Plus his dentist said we had until three years old to ditch the pacifier.

Well it wasn’t until Elias started biting holes in his pacifier, and then would refuse to suck it (because he doesn’t like it with a hole in it) or he would lose it in the grocery store. NOT KIDDING, we went through 12 pacifiers in a month, ONE MONTH! and those little bad boys aren’t cheap. Each time we’d buy one, it would cost $6-$7 for a 2 pack. But we drew the line when we bought our final pack, and within 2 hours he bit a hole through it, and then refused it. So then he was crying bloody murder for hours because we wouldn’t get him a new one or give him Joel’s.

So we explained to him, that he messed up his pacifier, and now we have no more Pacifiers to give to him. He cried, for awhile, but he eventually got over it…for the day.

And then along came bedtime. He kept begging for a  pacifier, “Mommy BOBO” (we call pacifiers BOBOs). So I found his old baby pacifier, the wubbanub (he doesn’t like the nipple on it) and a few of his old pacifiers with the holes, but I said “If you want bobo, this is all we have”, he sucked on it for like 7 seconds and then took it out, then sucked on the one with the holes and took it out. We left him in the crib with both of them, but he never used it.

That night he woke up several times crying for bobo, but eventually fell asleep. The next day on our way to preschool, he cried for it, but I ended up putting on his favorite soundtrack (Real in Rio), and that distracted him the whole way to school. Once we made it to school, he was fine (because he never uses his pacifier at school). But once I picked him up, he was asking for his pacifier again. I told him, “No more bobo, you messed it up”. He cried, HARD. So I put his soundtrack on and again, that distracted him and he was fine.

Once we made it home from School, it was snack time, followed by Nap time. So I did the same thing I did the night prior, offered him the 2 pacifiers and said “that’s all we have Elias”, he threw it out of the crib and cried. He cried for about 20 minutes and fell asleep…WITHOUT THE PACIFER. He napped really well, because he was tired from waking up the night before lol.

We repeated this same routine with him for about 3 days, and by day 4, he was tear free and not even mentioning his pacifier. Within those days he had a couple slip ups, to where we’d find him with Joel’s pacifier in his mouth, but he’d give it up as soon as I asked him. Now if I try to offer him Joel’s pacifier, he’ll say “No more bobo”.

So I can officially say we weaned our 2.5 year old from the pacifier!

Here are some tips for weaning:

If you have a pacifier biter (and they then refuse the pacifier after its damaged): Offer them the same pacifier, and explain to them that they messed it up and that’s all you have.

If you don’t have a nipple biter: I heard that cutting the pacifier is pretty much the same concept as offering them a pacifier with a hole. So cut the tip of the pacifier off, and offer it to them. They aren’t going to like it. and then explain to them that the pacifier is broken and that’s all they have.

Use distractions: I used the Rio soundtrack for car rides to distract him, and the TV and snacks for when we are at home. If your little one is having a meltdown over the pacifier, put on a song they like, or a show they like, or run the bath. Anything to keep them busy and their mind off their pacifier and meltdown.

Just stay consistent: Don’t give in! Children can sense vulnerability, and if you give them an inch, they’ll want 30 feet. So if you’re set on weaning them from the pacifier, and you’ve already begun, don’t give up!!! Or else they’ll just know you’re going to give in again.


Hopefully these tips work for you! Weaning from the pacifier is hard on you, and even harder on the kid. So expect tears, a super whinny kid for a few days, But I PROMISE you it gets better.

Just from these past 2 weeks of not using the pacifier, his speech has improved, significantly. He’s actually making sentences, not cave man talk! And he’s not so whinny! On an average, he’d cry like 5 times a day. And for the last 4 days, he has had one meltdown. His behavior has improved SO much! Now he’s even showing interest in the potty. Normally he’d scream the second his butt touch the seat, now he’ll actually sit there. So slowly but surly he’s getting there.



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