How Do I Wean My Toddler Off His Pacifier?

I think my son is getting a little old for his pacifier. How can I wean him off of it?
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Updated January 30, 2017
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It’s perfectly normal for a toddler to crave the security that comes from a pacifier. There’s no confirmed reason to rush him — and there will most likely be many tears involved with weaning him from it. But, in addition to social reasons, here’s some additional motivation: When a toddler has a pacifier in his mouth, he’s less likely to verbally communicate his needs, which can lead to more (unnecessary!) temper tantrums.

The best way to wean your toddler off a pacifier is to take it slowly. Start by keeping one pacifier in his crib or bed and one in his car seat, where they will each stay. And don’t make him feel that leaving the pacifier in those places is punishment; just tell him those are each pacifier’s homes. After a few weeks, remove the pacifier from the car seat, but let him keep the one in his bed — at least for a while. Eventually he may decide on his own that he no longer needs it.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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