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Tips for Weaning Your Baby From the Pacifier Cold Turkey

As a first time parent, I am learning the ups and downs of each stage. While your baby matures and grows in one area, there will be another challenge for them to face not too long after.

One of those challenges is weaning your baby off of the pacifier. In the early stages, the pacifier can be such a blessing when your baby is fussy or when it comes to putting your baby to sleep.

But there reaches a day when you know it’s time to finally say goodbye to the binky.

I’d like to say before I continue writing that while we personally took the cold turkey approach, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only right way. I am a strong believer that parents should do what is best for them and their baby. This is a judgement free zone!

Once you get used to having the binky as a go-to for comforting your baby, it can be difficult even for you as the parent to part ways with it. In this post, I am going to discuss our personal experience of weaning our son from the binky cold turkey and how it worked for us.

How to Wean Baby From Pacifier Cold Turkey

When Should You Wean Off The Binky?

When to wean off the binky is something to discuss with your pediatrician. We were personally told to not go past the 1 year mark, but of course there are some who still choose to use it longer.

When it comes down to it, you will know as parents when you feel the time is right to take it away.

My husband and I decided early on that whenever our son started popping teeth is when we would start the binky weaning process. Our son was about 7.5/8 months when his first tooth started coming through. We decided to take the pacifier away cold turkey not too long after that, maybe 2 weeks after.

I went back and forth about the timing. We had plans to go out of town one weekend and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to wait until after.

But the other part of me thought we could get him off the binky prior to leaving and he would be adjusted by the time we left.

At the end, we ended up going for it and I have to say, it went SO much better than I expected!!

So coming back to when you should wean the binky, it’s entirely up to you. You as a parent will probably get a feeling when you think it’s time. It helps to get perspective from your doctor as well about the pros and cons.

What Strategy Should You Use?

There are basically two different approaches to binky weaning: cold turkey or gradual.

When we were first thinking about taking away the pacifier, I read tons of posts on how to do it. A lot of advice I came across seemed to focus on toddlers. There was a lot of information about how to talk to your toddler about taking the binky away and helping them understand the transition.

This wasn’t helpful to me because my son was under a year old. I decided to attempt a gradual approach before we committed to cold turkey.

Similar to a sleep training method, I would put him down to bed and set a timer for X amount of minutes before giving him the binky. I would increase the time every day or two. My hope was that by the time I reached maybe 20 minutes, he would eventually just put himself to sleep.

This approach flopped for us.

It may be something worth trying if you are still deciding when you want to commit to cold turkey.

From my personal experience, if you take a gradual approach, you will see gradual results. Cold turkey ended up being MUCH faster.

I think if you aren’t in a major rush but want to start somewhere, you can try what I did to see how it works for you.

RELATED READ: Cry It Out Sleep Training Tips for New Parents

Tips On How To Wean Baby From Pacifier Cold Turkey

The Number One Rule

Let’s dive into how to get your baby off that binky cold turkey.

The number one rule is you have to fully commit!

Whenever you start, you cannot go back no matter what. It’s very important that you don’t give in because it will teach your baby that all they have to do is throw a major fit to get what they want.

Once you know you are going to go cold turkey, store the binkies away or throw them out. Make sure they are not in sight and that your baby won’t be able to get to them somehow.

Additional Binky Weaning Tips

Now that you know the number one rule, here are some more tips to help you.

If you happen to be reading this before your baby has arrived, then my biggest suggestion is from day 1, limit the binky use all around. I would reserve it strictly for sleeping or extreme fussiness. (If you are becoming a new mom, you will love my FREE First Time Mom Survival Guide!)

But if you are reading this with an infant or toddler who already uses the binky regularly, then you can start by limiting their use before you decide to go full cold turkey.

This will be a gradual approach that can prep you for when you want to take it away completely.

When we were ready to wean our son, he was already using the binky primarily for sleep and fussiness. But we realized there were other little moments we would give him a pacifier when he didn’t really need it.

It would sort of be as a pre-caution if we didn’t want him to fuss while we were out. For example, we gave him the binky when we would go on walks, in the car, or if we took him to a store.

Even though we didn’t do this all the time, we became aware of those little moments we could stop giving him the binky.

Another tip is to start offering a transition item in the crib. I had to experiment a bit but our son ended up enjoying several things. I tried out a few items to see what caught his interest.

Transition Items
Teether
Itty Bitty Plush
Sooth ‘n Snuggle
Lovey

Stuffed Animal

They may not enjoy whatever you offer at first but eventually it will keep them occupied in their crib. Now when our son wakes up in the morning, he goes straight to playing with a toy instead of worrying about finding a binky.

Lastly, when you’re trying to stay strong as your little one is adjusting to no binky, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your baby is safe in their crib
  • They have a clean diaper
  • They are fed
  • They are in comfortable clothes

When we did sleep training and then did binky weaning, I definitely cried listening to my son cry. But reminding myself of the above helped keep me level headed. I knew he wasn’t hurt, he was just upset but learned quickly to put himself to sleep without the binky.

Final Thoughts on How to Wean Baby From Pacifier Cold Turkey

Making the decision to ditch the binky may leave you feeling a bit hesitant, but from personal experience, you may find that your baby will do SO much better than you’d expect!

Our son picked it up fairly quickly, despite the fact that he was teething and a little fussier than usual. I would say within 2 solid days, he had forgotten all about the binky.

He would fuss some days more than others when we would put him down. But overall we were able to get him off the binky without any major issues.

I hope you found these tips on how to wean baby from the pacifer helpful!

Which tip did you find most beneficial? What strategies did you use to wean your baby off the pacifier? Share in the comments!

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4 Comments

  1. Love this! Thanks for sharing!

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