“Children develop higher level strategies to manage their distress usually beginning at the age of 2”, says Dr. Dowell, a developmental psychologist in State College, PA. “They phase out their pacifiers as they develop skills to replace them. Most kids willingly surrender their binkies by age 3 or 4.
Day 1: Tell your child that you can see that she wants to do big girl things and that in 3 days it will be time to say goodbye to her pacifiers. You may say “ I know you may not want to “ just move on to another subject. Like adults, children like to prepare themselves physically, psychologically, and emotionally to change.
Day 2: Repeat the same talk twice a day but replace the three days with the word “tomorrow”.
Day 3: Remind your child that today is day 3 and it is time to gather up her pacifiers. Make a game out of it. Place the pacifiers in a plastic bag and put them out side for the trash man to pick up for recycling.
This method may cause a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth. Your toddler may want to think up her own way of leaving her pacifier.
Let me tell you the method I used on one of my four children. I think he was about 3 ½ years old.
Day 1: One day I saw a bird flying around the yard and I told my child “Oh! Look at that poor mother bird, she is looking for a binkie for her baby because she lost the baby birds binkie.”
Day 2: Oh no! The mommy bird is still looking for her baby’s binkie. Do you think you can give her your binkie? It would really make her BABY happy. (Stress the word BABY) Can we put your binkie out in the yard and see if the Mommy bird takes it? He agreed. (Whew)
Day 3:” Ut OH the mommy bird did not take it,” I said.” Let’s put it up on the fence later and see if she sees it.” Again OK.
Day 4: “Oh my heavens! Look the mommy bird found your binkie and is so happy. Her BABY bird is soooo happy. Thank you!”
He really felt like a BIG BOY and very generous.
I also did the same scenario with one of my children who would not give up her bottle.
Thank goodness for the mommy birds.
If your child makes their own choice it is so much easier and ego building for your child.