When I was little, I loved my pacifiers. They were my favorite blanket, stuffed animal and my mom’s arms all rolled into one. Having a pacifier with me at all times kept me in my comfort zone until I was a toddler. My parents struggled with the question of how to get rid of the pacifier obsession I had, and they finally figured out a simple answer: the Paci Fairy.
My parents convinced me that there was a fairy who would come at night, take my pacifiers and leave a gift in its place. This idea thrilled me. Every other kid knew about the Tooth Fairy, Santa and the Easter Bunny, but I had a special fairy all to myself. I couldn’t wait to leave my first gift for her.
The night before, my parents gave me a wooden box and tons of stickers of my favorite characters from books and movies. I spent what felt like an hour, but knowing kids, was probably around 13 minutes, decorating that box until it was perfect. I left my first pacifier in there, went to sleep and waited to see what I would get the next morning.
The next morning I woke up to a Barbie. A doll so beautiful I had forgotten all about my pacifiers – or at least the one I had given up. Each time I gave up one of my pacifiers, a new gift would appear, until eventually I was no longer reliant on my pacifiers for comfort.
This tactic won’t necessarily work for everybody. I know some parents don’t like the idea of fictional characters, like Santa, coming to life for their children; and many parents don’t believe in the idea of bribes. But for me, this tactic worked really well at a time when I needed to do a little growing up. I know I plan on using this tactic for my children when the time is right. The idea is to give them something in exchange for giving up something so important to them. The gift doesn’t matter. I got a Barbie because those were my favorite toys (and keep in mind, this was before the modern controversy over Barbie’s body).
How did you wean your little one off their pacifiers? Let us know in the comments, or tweet it at us @SmartMomCo!
Any ideas on getting rid of the pacifier and what ages did u start this process? My 11 mo old really only uses during nap time and sleeping at night. I don’t let him just have it when he is playing and awake…
When did you have your LO stop using a pacifier? My son only uses his pacifier to sleep for naps and night time and lately spits it out after he falls asleep and I want to get rid of it but it soothes him when falling asleep…