The Shameful Trick I Used to Make My 3-Year-Old Give Up the Pacifier

toddler with pacifierOut of all the things I vowed I would never allow my baby to have -- a pacifier was at the very top of the list. I absolutely hated the damn things and thought they were nothing but a crutch that lazy parents used in an effort to shut their kids up because they couldn't manage to control them.

And then about three weeks after my son was born, I suddenly became said lazy parent. After popping a paci into his mouth and experiencing the pure bliss of silence for the first time since his birth -- the binky became my best friend. And his.

But then I reached the point where I suddenly had a 3-year-old who was still sucking away on his "na-na" (as he so affectionately referred to it) to fall asleep every night. I knew it was about time to get rid of it.


And because I was a naive idiot, I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to convince him to part with it, you know -- because he wasn't a baby anymore and didn't really need it. So I tried to take it away cold turkey.

Yeah. That didn't quite pan out the way I'd planned. Have you ever dealt with a pissed off 3-year-old at midnight? It's not fun. And the only thing that calmed him down was handing the paci back over, so I surrendered and found myself back at square one.

But then I came up with this really cool plan to make sure he'd kick the binky to the curb once and for all -- and it worked like a charm.

Of course, some will argue that my method wasn't exactly the best parenting move a mom can make.

To put it plain and simple -- I bribed the kid.

He'd had his eye on a shiny new John Deere bike for a while. I told him if he went to bed without the na-na for a full two weeks, my husband and I would buy him the bike.

And guess what? He took the bait, and two weeks later, he had a brand new bike, the pacis were all in the trash (just kidding, I kept them for at least another year just in case we ran into a crisis), and all was right with the world again.

toddler bike

But that doesn't change the fact that I bribed my kid to get what I wanted out of him, which probably doesn't make me a model parent.

Oh, who cares. He's 7 now and totally binky-free, so I'm calling my little strategy a win.

Are you struggling to get your child off the pacifier? (Try the bribe trick. It works.)


Images via Mary Fischer

Read More >