Some babies love the pacifier, others never take one. I personally LOVE the pacifier. I don’t know when I will take C’s away – he has loved his since birth. A’s was out the door at around 19 months and it worked well for us, so here are instructions for what I did around that age. (For more tips straight from the source, my veteran mom of five buddy OC Beauty Mom, click here!)
Start by limiting use to certain times during the day, for example nap/bed time, car rides, errands. After baby is a year old, you don’t want them to have a pacifier in their mouth all day because that can hinder them from practicing to talk. Dentist says to get rid of pacifier entirely by 3 years old, so the window of time you choose is up to you.
At around 9 months we started limiting pacifier use; by about 15 months we were using pacifier for car rides, sleep, errands, and if A was teething. Then, we stopped using it during car rides. At 19 months (we decided to get rid of pacifier entirely before C was born, which is why we decided on this age) I snipped the ends of the pacifiers – this makes them not work. A didn’t get upset, but looked at the pacifier confused that he couldn’t suck on it the way he used to. He in turn lost interest. I offered it to him for a couple of days, then bit the bullet and threw them away. He cried for about 5 minutes the first night, and then didn’t care the next day at all for his nap. He even had a better night sleep I would say, because he didn’t wake up looking for his pacifier. Whatever method you choose, once you take the pacifier away, that is it. No producing a new one if baby cries long enough. You have to be strong, like sleep training, and baby will get over it quickly.
I do love pacifiers the first year, no question about it. It comforts baby and helps baby self soothe. Once it gets close to becoming a dental issue, or if a new baby is on the way, or if it starts becoming more of a disruption than an asset, I feel it is time to move on from the pacifier 🙂