How can I get my toddler to give up the pacifier? Health & Development

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Toddler-age girl with pacifier.
iStock/Alija
Some toddlers have a really tough time giving up the comfort of their binky. If you're determined to retire the paci, try some of these tips.

Throw Out the Pacis

"Prolonged pacifier use can make erupting teeth come in crooked. Breaking your toddler out of pacifier use can be difficult, and the most straightforward thing to do is to gather all the pacifiers up and throw them away. You can give your toddler a reason why there are no more pacifiers (i.e., 'You are a big girl now'). Be prepared for about three days of crying and fussiness as a protest, but then the habit will be broken." -- Jarret Patton, MD, founder of DoctorJarret PLLC, Reading, PA

"Prolonged pacifier use can make erupting teeth come in crooked. Breaking your toddler out of pacifier use can be difficult, and the most straightforward thing to do is to gather all the pacifiers up and throw them away. You can give your toddler a reason why there are no more pacifiers (i.e., 'You are a big girl now'). Be prepared for about three days of crying and fussiness as a protest, but then the habit will be broken." -- Jarret Patton, MD, founder of DoctorJarret PLLC, Reading, PA

Make It Seem Magical

"When my daughter gave up her pacifier, we gathered them all up and put them under her pillow for the pacifier fairy to pick up and take to all the new babies in the hospital. The fairy left her a new big-girl present under her pillow in its place."

Psych Yourself Up

"I had to tell myself over and over that the pacifier would do more harm than good, and we would no longer rely on the nasty thing any longer. After three nights, he was off of it and now acts like he never even used one."

Let Them Choose to Give It Up

"My twins were very attached to their pacifiers. I'd been telling them about the birthday party they were going to have for months. Then one day I told them that they had to choose between the party and the pacifier, and they chose the party. They only asked for it a couple of times but after a week they were fine without it."

Don't Stress

"Two of my children used a pacifier and it was hard to get rid of them, but my doctor told me not to worry and that when they were ready to get rid of the paci they would."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.