Your little sweetie loves his binky. But somewhere between the ages of 2 and 4 it's best to say, "bye, bye."
A pacifier is amazing — until you don’t want your child to have one anymore. The adored “binky” comforts many babies and becomes a sort of security blanket for tots. At just about the time when you want your child to “use your words!” you’ll get the urge to take away the binky for good. For good dental health, removing a binky while the teeth are coming in is a good idea.
“From a dental-health perspective, it’s best to limit the pacifier when a child is 2 and stop it entirely by the time a child is 4,” says John Stritikus, DDS, a pediatric dentist in Dickson, Tennessee.
First, get down on all fours and find every cotton-pickin’ binky in the house. Check under beds, in sofa cushions, etc. Your binky lover WILL find any binkies that are lingering around the house. Next, begin setting random rules, such as “No pacifiers when we play outside.” Once you’ve mastered that step, add more rules day by day like, “No pacifiers outside of the bedroom.” Finally, make a rule that big boys and girls say “No pacifiers in bed.”
When All Else Fails
Say, “Hello!” to the “Binky Fairy”
We’re all familiar with the Tooth Fairy, but when trying to wean a toddler of his pacifier, call on the Binky Fairy. She works evenings. She remains unseen. And most importantly, she doesn’t give without taking.
The first and best thing the Binky Fairy does for parents is to help you save face. In other words, if a child has a negative reaction to having her pacifier taken away during the night (the expected reaction), she won’t harbor any bad feelings towards YOU. Essentially, it’s the Binky Fairy who comes off as the “bad guy.” So use her. Customize her. Maker her a him. Whatever the creation, when the time is right, there’s a fairy willing and ready to empower you to help make that first step in pacifier weaning: making Binky disappear.
5 Days or Less to Binky Freedom
Day 1 — Let your little one know the binky will be going away in a few days, courtesy of the Binky Fairy.
Day 2 — Begin by gently substituting a favorite toy in place of your child’s pacifier when he asks for it.
Day 3 — Try weaning your child down to using the pacifier only at bedtime – not nap time.
Day 4 — Tell your little one that younger littler babies need pacifiers and, with your child, go on a hunt for a box that you can mail the pacifier in … then encourage your child to enjoy one last night with the binky — a final farewell, if you will.
Day 5 — Package up the pacifier in your box and address it to the Binky Fairy and together take it out to the mailbox … who knows? Maybe at night the Binky Fairy will offer a gift in return!