Most parents must wage the “great battle of the binky” eventually, although many of them dread the prospect. Pacifier use is something that is a lot like politics: everyone has an opinion, but not everyone shares it. Some parents refuse to give their baby a pacifier. Others offer the pacifier to their baby as soon as they can. Yet others, in despair of ever sleeping again, try to get their child to use a pacifier, and it does not work for some reason, because the baby won’t take it. For those parents whose children grabbed onto their pacy and soon found it to be as indispensible as their diaper or their bottle, there is hope for weaning your toddler off the pacifier. That battle can be won—it just takes some patience, ingenuity and, sometimes, some subterfuge.
Pacifiers aren’t “evil,” despite what the anti-binky purists say. Most kids will leave their pacifier behind on their own after a while, and those kids that use them don’t have long-term effects from having used them for a long time. Sure, there are some studies which link slightly delayed speech or self-soothing habits to pacifier use, but it isn’t as if the child were bungee jumping or swimming with sharks. However, when your child has pitched a major tantrum in a very public place because they left their binky at home, you will want to end that dependency, as much for your sanity as theirs. Here are some tactics that have had success. Remember that every child is different, so there is no “magic bullet” to this pesky problem.