Posted: Mar 17, 2014 8:00 AM
Many moms — urgently! — ask: How do I get rid of the pacifier? This can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Real moms share ways to get rid of the pacifier — what works, what doesn’t and what’s so adorable it almost makes us want to try again!

Whether you call it a pacifier, a paci, a NUK or a binky, once one of these is a part of your life, it's hard to ditch it. And there are two good reasons for that! Family doctor, author, parenting speaker and mother of four, Deborah Gilboa, M.D., explains both.

Sometimes the hardest part to give up is the guaranteed quick comfort and quiet... for the parents!

First, Gilboa says, "Like any lovey or comfort item, some kids genuinely rely on their pacifier. Developmentally, if a child is still using a paci for comfort by age one, they are more likely to have trouble giving it up." And second, "Sometimes the hardest part to give up is the guaranteed quick comfort and quiet... for the parents! We are so used to this tried and true method of soothing our little one, that we can't imagine life without it in the purse, pocket or diaper bag."

Ditch the paci: Galit

Sound familiar? This stepping stone out of babyhood is a hard one to make. Gilboa says that while ditching the paci isn't urgent — most of the warnings dentists and speech therapists give us about the pacifier focus on not using it for most of the daylight hours. Using it for sleep is not dangerous — she also explains that it is something to work toward because, "hearing our little one's words develop (not to mention saving money on braces later!) makes [ditching the paci] probably worth it!"

So the real question is how do we get rid of the pacifier? Real moms share the nitty-gritty details of how to do the deed!

A NUKY bear

My own three children each have a "NUKY Bear" — a Build-a-Bear that they placed their last NUK inside when they were ready to give up their NUKs. Each one's bear became a new comfort item — an almost replacement. They can feel the NUK inside the bear which I think is endlessly sweet!

Special delivery

Greta Funk is a mother of four who lives in Kansas and writes about parenting, her family's gluten-free lifestyle, crafty stuff, running and maintaining herself as a person and not just as a mom on her blog GFunkified.

Ditch the paci: Greta

About ditching the paci, Greta says, "My oldest two used a pacifier — a binky — at nap time and bedtime for several months before we took it away. When they were both about 3, the dentist told me they needed to quit the habit, so we colored some pictures and put the pacifiers and pictures in a package and mailed them to their brand new cousins. I told my sisters-in-law that they were coming, and they threw them away when they got them — after thanking the kids. It was rough for a couple of days, but I just told them that their baby cousins were little and needed the pacifiers so much more than they did, since they were 'big kids.'"

The paci fairy

Ditch the paci: AngieAngie Schiavoni is the founder of Mamajamas, a site focused on helping parents spend less time thinking about stuff, and more time enjoying pregnancy and new parenthood.

About ditching the paci, Angie says, "We tried the pacifier fairy — gathering all of the pacifiers around the house into a box, writing the Pacifier Fairy a note to let her know that we were ready to give them up to babies who need them and then setting them out for her in exchange for a toy. It worked really well psychologically. Our son only asked for his paci a couple of times after we took it away. He really liked the idea that we had given his paci to babies who need it because he was a big boy now. But it turned out our son just physically wasn't ready to give it up. He pretty much stopped sleeping, and he started crying — a lot. And our regular nap went out the window. We will try again in a few months and this time try to do it more gradually."

Cut loose

Ditch the paci: AndreaAndrea Mowery is the clever voice behind About 100%, a blog where she punctuates life and parenting topics with her own personal mishaps and deadpan observations.

About ditching the paci, Andrea says, "Our daughter relied on a pacifier to soothe her to sleep at night and during naps, and it wasn't until well past her second birthday that we started weaning her off of it. We cut the tips off the suckers, made them less available to her, only offered them during bedtime, and then only nighttime, then once or twice a week. It was a long, tearful process for her and us, and by the time she was almost 3 she was binky-free."

Cold turkey

Elise was once an up and coming international health worker living all over the world and is now a stay-at-home mom in Eastern Washington who writes the blog Harvard to Homemaker.

Ditch the paci: Elise

About ditching the paci, Elise says, "We were in line to board an international flight when our son started to cry so I reached for our binky bag. Nowhere to be found. No worries, I figured we would find it later and for now the one he had in the car must be down in his car seat somewhere. I dug under fat baby rolls and butt cheeks but couldn't find it. Panic rose. No binky bag. Not even one lint-covered binky at the bottom of any of our numerous, overstuffed bags. And that was how my son gave up his pacifier, and how the first three days of a purportedly idyllic vacation were filled with screaming and the last four were filled with binky-free frolicking, a lot of naps in the sun and a baby one step closer to growing up."

Slow and steady wins the {paci} race

Ditch the paci: ShellShell is a mom to three soccer-playing boys and a former Yankee turned Southern beach girl by marriage who spills it all about parenting, marriage and all things mom on her blog Things I Can't Say.

About ditching the paci, Shell says, "My oldest wanted to hang on tight to his binkie. Once he was a year old, I tried to limit him to only using them during naps and bedtime. He continued to want to use it even past age 2! At that point, all the binkies lived in his bed and unless he was in his bed, he couldn't have one. Once he was two and a half, I threw out all the binkies except one. He continued to use that one, but it got a hole in it and wasn't as appealing. Soon, he really didn't care about it anymore, I took it away completely, and he barely noticed."

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