There are over 160 different pet names for a pacifier. No matter what you call it when it’s time to say goodbye, it can be hard on the entire family. Below is a simple and creative way to say “bye-bye” to binky, making this transition a little less painful for you and your little one.
You’ve got mail (For ages 18 months +)
How to successfully send all of your pacifiers off to “new babies”:
- A few weeks before you plan to say goodbye to binky, begin telling your little one that he or she is a big kid now. Let them know that only tiny babies use pacifiers. (Insert whatever pet name you have for it.) Share with them in an enthusiastic and confident way that they won’t need it for much longer. (We used my daughter’s second birthday as a time marker for her.)
- When the day comes that you are ready to make the leap, don’t talk about the pacifier at all that day. Around four or five p.m., or after dinner, begin the pacifier scavenger hunt.
- When your child is distracted, place all of the pacifiers around the house on any surface they can see and reach easily.
- Tell your child, “It’s time to send the pacifiers to the new babies. Let’s get a bag and collect them all.” Ask in an excited voice, “Will you help me?”
- Give them a bag and have them collect all of the pacifiers.
- Tell them, “Now it’s time to send the pacifiers to all the new babies.” Have your child place the bag on the front porch or in the mailbox for the “delivery person” who is going to take the pacifiers to the new babies.
- After you come inside, say in a very exciting way, “You did it! You sent your pacifiers to the new babies! That was very helpful.”
At bedtime, when your child realizes they didn’t actually want to give the pacifiers away, they will most likely begin to ask for one. In a calm and gentle voice, reassure them by explaining that they put the pacifiers on the porch and the delivery person already took them—they’re all gone. Now the new babies have them. Reassure your little one by saying, “You can do it. You can handle it.” You may have to cuddle more, give more milk, or sing or read a bit longer, but it’s worth it. Over the next few days and nights, repeat them as many times as you need to that they are big now and that they gave their pacifiers to the new babies. Constantly reassure them that they can do it and that they can handle it. (And you can too, mama!)
What happens next will vary for each child. For us, on the third night, our daughter didn’t even mention the pacifier! What?! Seriously?! I’m was absolutely amazed and relieved. I’ve come to the conclusion that we adults make a bigger deal out of these kinds of things that the kids actually do.
Good luck with your binky-breakup, and share your story with us in the comments below!
Kristy S. Rodriguez, pre- and postnatal wellness expert and advocate is the founder of Pure Nurture, LLC and author of Pure Nurture: A Holistic Guide to a Healthy Baby. Connect with her at purenurture.com or on Instagram