12 Signs It Was Time for Our Toddler to Stop Using a Pacifier

Several weeks ago, I took my girls in for their dental exam. During Lola’s exam, we discussed her “binky” (pacifier) usage, and it was recommended that we start weaning her off of it. In my head, I knew that this was something we needed to do, but in my heart, I questioned how I could. Lola is a binky baby all the way, and a part of me hates to take it away, knowing that it comforts her. A part of me is also aware that doing so won’t be easy, given her love affair with the pacifier.

And sure, I realize that motherhood isn’t about being easy. Challenges, big and small, are a reality — but they’re even more of a reality when I’ve got an irritable toddler on my hands, or I’m sleep deprived because she couldn’t sleep either. Still, I want to do what’s best for my little one, and I know helping her find an alternative way to self-soothe is it.

Aside from the dentist’s recommendation, there were also a few other indicators that it was time for us to say goodbye to the pacifier. Here are 12 of them.

Two binkies.

1. It has a permanent spot at the dinner table. Lola’s binky rests on the table during dinner, and when she’s done, she pops it in her mouth and asks to “play” or “get down” from her high chair.

2. Your little one can talk while simultaneously sucking on their pacifier. Lola has mastered talking with her binky in her mouth, although we do ask her to take it out when talking.

3. You will turn around and drive back home to retrieve it if you forgot. They’re like MasterCard: “Never leave home without it.” I can’t imagine making it through church without one.

4. If you’re too far from home to go back, you’ll stop at the store and buy a new one.

5. They’re everywhere. Under the couch, in the car, behind furniture. And still you find yourself frantically searching at bedtime wondering where they all went.

6. Your little one needs two. One to suck and one to hold.

7. They verbally request it. Lola will often ask us for her binky or “binkifier.”

8. They put it in their cubby at “school” (daycare) but ask for it when you pick them up. They are well aware that “there is a time and a place” for everything. Even the binky.

9. Drool everywhere. This past weekend, Lola was very congested and couldn’t breathe through her nose but she still didn’t want to give up the binky. She opted to suck on it with her mouth half open to help her breathe better.

10. It’s the middle of the night, and you and your husband are half asleep, crawling around and lifting and looking underneath items in search of a binky. Your little one woke up and they’ve got one request.

11. You are constantly asking yourself why you even gave your baby a pacifier in the first place. Whose idea was that anyway?

12. Randomly finding one feels a lot like finding gold.

It’s funny how something that initially makes life so easy manages to make things slightly complicated, depending on how attached your child is to it. To help end pacifier use, it was suggested that we either take it away “cold turkey,” or cut the tip off slowly, cutting it down until there is no more. We have yet to try either. Some Instagram friends also shared their thoughts.

At what age did your little stop using a pacifier? How did you help them say goodbye?

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