Practical Parenting Ideas: Bye Bye Binky: 10 Ways to Wean a Toddler

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bye Bye Binky: 10 Ways to Wean a Toddler

Photo Credit: Melissa Walstad
Although none of my kids took a pacifier for more than a few months (I was bummed - 'binky babies' are so cute!), I know some babies get attached to them so much that weaning is a very emotional process. I wanted to get insight from other moms that have had experience with weaning so I asked my friends and others in a moms' group on Facebook, and following are some of their ideas.
  1. Set Rules: Cut back on pacifier use by setting a rule, for example pacifiers are for naps/bedtime and stay in the crib.
  2. Broken Binky: Slowly cut off the tip of the pacifier each day until there's not much left to suck on. Once baby starts noticing a difference, he probably won't want it as much. When the tip is gone  simply tell him his pacifier is broken and help him throw it away.
  3. Baby Gift: Wrap up all the pacifiers in a box and help her give them to a baby that you know. Although the baby won't actually use the pacifiers, your child will be assured by giving them to a real baby. *Another variation for Christmastime is to wrap the gift to leave under the tree on Christmas Eve for Santa's elves. He'll likely be so excited about his new toys that he'll forget about the missing binky.
  4. Comfort Item: Offer a blanket or stuffed animal to comfort him as an alternative to a pacifier. Many toddlers use the binky to console themselves and teaching them to calm in other ways can prove very effective in weaning.
  5. New Toy: Take him to the store to choose a new toy he'll be excited to purchase in exchange for giving up the pacifier. The only condition is he "cashes" in his pacifiers. (Although you could just take the pacifier away 'cold turkey' I prefer this approach.)
  6. Big Kid: Set a date for when your child is going to be a big girl and remind her as the date approaches. Once the day comes help her throw away the pacifiers that she's proud she doesn't need anymore.
  7. Fill a Jar: Get her excited about earning cotton balls or other items to fill a jar as a reward system for going without a pacifier.
  8. Money: At this age kids are just starting to get fascinated with money. Give her some sort of bank (homemade will do!) and let her earn a few coins a day for giving up the binky.
  9. Throw Them Out: The biggest one I heard repeated by moms was that once you've committed to quit offering a pacifier altogether throw them all out that way you won't be able to give in when he's throwing a fit and you've had enough-- because if you're patient a little longer it will get easier!
  10. Lots of Cuddles: Your child may adjust with little tears, but more than likely you'll both experience a few rough days after getting rid of the pacifier. Give extra cuddles and help reassure him that it will all be OK with time.
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  1. We went cold turkey with my daughter when she turned one. It worked great going cold turkey but it doesn't always work that easily, these are great tips.

  2. We did the new toy route and it totally worked with my 2 year old...he threw the pacifiers in the garbage and only asked for them the first night!

    1. That's great giving him a new toy worked and the transition went so well!

  3. My 2 oldest gave their's up at 6 months on their own (I really wanted them to keep taking it, lol). My last 2 never took one! These look like some great tips though

    1. My oldest was the same way. He took one till about 5 months old, then used it more as a chew toy and something to play with so we figured we might as well wean it from him before he got too attached.