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3/13/18blog post

when to bounce the binky

Sometimes it’s hard to say who loves the binky more – the child, or the mom or dad who knows it can instantly stop a public meltdown.  Either way, there is a time and place to let it go, and it may be easier than you think, if you time it right.

what’s the best time?

1 year old or younger

Some experts say this is a good time to pack away the paci.  At this age, a child no longer has a developmental need to suck to calm themselves, like they did when they were younger, and they haven’t developed an attachment to it yet.  But many parents may find this too stressful, amid all the new skills, like walking, talking and maybe even potty training.

2 years old

By this age, children have normally developed more ways to soothe themselves and don’t have to rely on the binky.  Dentists also recommend starting to phase out at this age to avoid problems with their mouth and teeth that may require orthodontia to fix later.

4 years old

Most kids will have lost the urge to turn to the pacifier and left it unceremoniously under the bed or in the toy box.  This is also the age that dentists say to pull the plug for good.

5 years old

By this time, peer pressure will definitely take care of the pacifier plight. It’s kinda not cool to be the only kid at kindergarten with a binky.

strategy and tactics

So what’s the best plan of attack in the battle of the binky?  There isn’t one – only what works for you and your child (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)  However here are three strategies to help you figure out your own plan.

  • Cold turkey:  One day it’s there, the next day it’s not.  It’s a tough choice but may be the best for some families. To ease the transition, you could offer a reward of a toy in trade for the pacifier.
  • The three day plan:  Author Mark L. Brenner penned this plan in Pacifiers, Blankets, Bottles & Thumbs: What Every Parent Should Know About Stopping and Starting. On day one, you tell your child you can see that he or she is ready for more grown up things so in three days, you two will work together to get rid of the pacifier.  Be empathetic but firm.  Repeat the pep talk on day two, in the morning and the night.  Day three have your child help you gather the pacifiers from around the house and place them in a bag for recycling, so they can be turned into something new. 
  • Step by step: It’s a gradual process of restrictions over a period of time.  First you say the pacifier doesn’t go to school, then you restrict it to inside the house.  The next step keeps the binky strictly in the crib.  Finally you take it away for good, if necessary with the trade of a toy or other incentive.

Whichever method you choose, stick to it.  Your child will cry and complain, but experts say it shouldn’t last more than a few days before they forget they ever needed a binkie.  What the parents may need to soothe raw nerves after all this is another article all together!

what do most people do?

We asked our Facebook friends when they "bounced the binky" with their kids! Here's what they said!