How to get your kids off the dummy/pacifier

I hear a lot of talk about dummies and how hard it can be to get children off them. Which is what prompted this post. I needed to share my experience with how I got the kids off the dummy.

The kiddies were huge fans of the dummy. They had the dummy from the newborn stage and took to it immediately. It worked for all of us back then. They were quite demanding as babies and the dummy helped soothe them. But when it came to getting rid of the dummy, they refused to stop! My son refused the dummy at 3 months, and took to his fingers instead (that is a story for a whole new post by the way). But my daughter fell helplessly in love with her pacifier and it was hard work getting her off it. She even had a name for her dummies. They were called “baby”. It was that serious.


Dummy pacifier tips image


I remember frantically googling up ways to get kids off the dummy and trying almost every trick in the book with no luck. I succeeded in getting her off it during the day quickly but nighttime was the tricky bit, as she was used to falling asleep sucking it. So I decided to think outside the box. Taking it away from her was pointless as she would just scream and cry until she had to back at night. I decided the only way to get her off the dummy successfully was to get her to reject it herself. I needed to make the pacifier not as “delicious” as she thought it was.


How to get your kids off the dummy/pacifier

Here are the steps I took to wean my daughter off her precious pacifier.


Get rid of all the dummies but one

I got rid of all the dummies and kept her least favourite one. I remember telling her the dummies were old and had to go, or something along those lines.


Make the pacifier unappealing

Once we were down to just one pacifier, I then had to make it unappealing. I needed her to reject it by herself and with no prompt from me. My daughter is very feisty. So I had to play dumb for this to work. I soak the pacifier in a lemon juice concentrate for a few hours before bedtime. And then when she asked for it, I gave her the lemon juice soaked pacifier. Her reaction was that of confusion at first, which then led to frustration. She couldn’t understand why her precious “baby” tasted different. It had a sour taste as you can imagine and she didn’t want any of it.

Just a quick note, she was 2 when I did this. I won’t recommend you do this if you have a younger child.


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Get ready for the hard work

On the first night, my dear daughter woke up every few hours asking for her dummy, which I happily offered. Only for her to reject it again because of the sour taste. It worked like magic but the first two nights were hard because she kept waking asking for it, only to reject and ask for it in a few hours. I guess she kept thinking it would taste different every time. Or maybe she was too sleepy to recall the sour taste. On night no 3, I gave her the dummy first and she told me she didn’t want it anymore. She never asked for it again and went back to sleeping through the night.


I would recommend the lemon juice tip for any parent thinking of getting toddler (2 years and above) off the dummy/pacifier. It worked quickly for my daughter. And I am sure it would work great for many others as well.


Did you struggle to get your kids off the dummy/pacifier? Please share your experience in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading.




34 responses

  1. I never even thought about the lemon juice tip but that advice is golden! My best friend has an 8 month old and I’m definitely going to let him know about that for when his son is a little older.

  2. Oooh what a handy tip! I was lucky, my son never really got into it that much, I only used one for a flight to NZ as it was a long flight and then he had it on and off for about 4 months before I took it away and he never noticed. I’ll definitely refer some mum friends to this though, I know many have difficulty with getting rid of the dummy!

    Jackie – Organised Mum Life

  3. I am still a young unmarried single adult so no such experience yet but points noted incase I might need them. Make the pacifier unappealing was kinda funny though.

  4. Great tips. I got through it then she found them again and hid them in her room. I spent hours looking for random ones that had been in a toy box for weeks. Ewwww

  5. Ha! This was SUCH a hard thing for my kids to give up. We had to slowly cut a hole in it until they didn’t want it any more. I love your tips!!

  6. Indeed I have seen many parents give pacifiers to their babies. In our case, both kids never had pacifiers. Thank God I did not have to think how to wean them out from these.

  7. Funny: I had rather the opposite problem – she was a cry baby and refused to take a pacifier as long as I was breastfeeding. And eventually she ‘accepted’ it for a couple of months and that was it. Kids are really all different.

  8. it’s though for being mom. It’s an interesting story, when your kid asking for something but at the end reject it and a few hours again ask for that thing again 🙂

  9. I could totally relate to the post. When my son was younger even I googled on how to get rid of it. Somehow things just fell in place after a while once he lost interest in the pacifier and moved on to other toys. But would have dearly loved this post with great tips. Any parent would appreciate this one!

  10. Great tips! I was apparently awful with my dummy and my Mum could not get me to give it up… until my little brother was born and I gave it to him haha!

    Ami xxx

  11. I’ve heard that getting children off of the pacifier can be quite difficult! This post offers a lot of good tips! I like the one about the lemon. If it tastes bitter, they might not want it anymore.

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