I’m not sure who dreads getting rid of a pacifier more – the kids or the parents. Both of my kids loved their “binkies,” and I loved the peace & quiet they bought me. It was nice how quickly it often helped them fall asleep too!
With my daughter starting preschool next month and about to turn 2 years old (sniff sniff!), I figured this would be the best time to bite the bullet and say “bye bye binky.” She was already down to only using pacifier for naps and bedtime, so it helped that she wasn’t expecting it during play time.
I did a lot of searching for the best way to get rid of the pacifier, and I was hoping to find a children’s book I loved about it. Instead, I gathered some ideas from the various books I looked at and just winged it with my own story.
So for a few days before the final goodbye, I told my daughter a simple story about how we’d put all of her binkies into a bag outside her bedroom door, and at night, the binky fairy would take them to new little babies and give her a toy.
The night the fairy was to come visit, I got a brightly colored gift bag, made a pile of all her pacifiers, and had my daughter put them all in the bag herself (*this is key*). Then she helped me put it right outside her door.
It took her about an hour to fall asleep that night, but when she did, she slept through the night (hallelujah!). In the morning, she found her new toy waiting outside her room. Honestly, I think the doll helped assuage my mom-guilt over taking away her beloved binky more than anything else. She probably would have been perfectly happy not getting a toy from the binky fairy.
Nap time was rough for a few days, since it took her longer to fall asleep and she didn’t sleep as long. Anytime she cried for her binky, I reminded her that she gave her binkies to the binky fairy and the new little babies who needed it. And I told her that she doesn’t need a binky anymore, since she’s a big girl.
It really seemed to help when I pointed out that she gave them to the binky fairy herself (versus me taking them away). And her face would light up when I reminded her how the little babies were so sad without binkies but are happy now that they have hers. She liked thinking about the babies saying “thank you” to her. It’s so sweet that I felt bad it’s all a big lie!
Two weeks later, I can say she’s fully adjusted and sleeps just as well without the pacifier now as she did with it. Success!
When we weaned my son off the pacifier a couple of years ago, we cut more and more off the tip of his pacifier every night, and on the final night, we cut what was left of the pacifier off his WubbaNub animal. We told him when he became a “big boy,” the pacifier went away.
I went a different direction this time because I wanted my daughter to take responsibility for getting rid of it (as much as an almost-2-year-old can). And I wanted her to be adjusted to life without binky well before going to preschool and learning to take naps there.
I hope this helps for anyone looking for ideas / courage! There is no perfect, pain-free way to say “bye bye binky,” but I think this is a pretty good start. I’d love to hear what worked for you! Comment below or on my Facebook post.