Pulling the Pacifier Plug
With the huge developments in language come other huge developments: like getting rid of the pacifier. Pulling the plug, so to speak. It’s not imperative to get rid of it right this minute, so if your toddler is super-insistent on keeping it, don’t push the issue much. But now that he’s talking more, it’s easier to understand what he’s saying if he isn’t mumbling it around a faux nipple.
There are several methods to breaking the binky habit, so you can choose the one that seems like the most effective for your little one. Quitting cold turkey is one option: just removing the pacifier and never looking back. If you go this route, be prepared for some protest – but in most cases, it’s short-lived, so dig in your heels and stand strong. You could simply say it was lost (…in the trash can, cough cough). It may help to time it around an occasion, like a holiday or maybe your toddler’s upcoming second birthday. Say, “When you turn two, you’ll be a big boy, and you won’t need your binky anymore!” and then stick to it, providing gentle (but enthusiastic!) reminders for a couple of days prior to the big event. You could also be sneaky and sabotage it by either painting it with a bitter liquid to make it taste yucky (ask your pharmacist for recommendations), or by poking a tiny pinhole in the tip so that it just doesn’t feel the same when it’s sucked on.
If those methods seem harsh, you can try gradually limiting its use to certain times or places, such as when your toddler goes to sleep. Or you can concoct a story about how the Binky Fairy (The Paci Pixie? Whatever.) comes and takes the pacifiers at night and drops them off for newborn babies to use. Bottom line, it’s probably not going to be the simplest thing you’ve ever done, but if you can be consistent and refrain from giving in to your toddler’s demands to have the pacifier back, it will go much more quickly.
Scary Mommy Tip: If you do somehow sabotage the pacifier, like poking a hole in the tip, don’t forget to check it regularly for signs of wear and tear so that it doesn’t pose a choking hazard.