How To Wean Your 4 Year Old From Her Paci

After years trapped in a love/hate relationship with, selling my soul to the pacifier, we are done!

Like, just in the last week.

Not for the last year like I originally planned.

Yes, she is 4+. No, I honestly didn’t care. Once I embraced the sweet taste of sanity and gave up trying to pry the precious away from her last year, I just didn’t have it in me to worry if she sucked on it until college.

But then! Breakthrough. THIS is the secret you’ve  all been waiting for!

We went on a cruise last week.

(Oh, did you not see that all over my Instagram account? #BRCarnivalCruise if you’re interested, but I’ll also be blogging about it all here soon, too. So equal opportunity for everyone to hate me!)

I had this brilliantly stupid idea to pretend we forgot her paci at home after we embarked on 7 days at sea.


The thing about cruising is it sucked the life out of our children by 8 pm every night. And also us. It definitely wiped all of us out.

So on the first night, she cried a little bit for it, but we explained that we accidentally left it at home, and that we were so very sorry. She passed out about 5 minutes later.

She didn’t ask for it once the rest of the trip. NOT ONCE.

How To Wean Your 4 Year Old From Her Paci |

On the drive back home, she mentioned she was excited to sleep with paci again that night. I froze in fear, terrified she’d put up a fight now that she knows Target, the Paci village, is 3 miles away.

She cried for a few minutes when I hastily made the Paci Fairy out to be the bad guy- “But Leyna! You did so well without your paci on the ship that the Paci Fairy decided you didn’t need them anymore!”

She truly hates the Paci Fairy. I don’t blame her. Who DOES that? Not me. Definitely not her loving mother.

Anyway, the point here is this:

To get your child to stop begging for their pacifier, book a 7 night cruise, and hide the pacifier in a life jacket in your cabin.

Oh sure, it may cost you thousands, but won’t dental work or whatever down the road… possibly? You’re just… investing up front.

I am so professional at this parenting thing. Expert level unlocked.

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  1. Titania Jordan on

    We promised our then 4-year-old a trip to Disney once he kicked his paci habit. He did. And we did. And it was so worth it.

  2. Jocelyn Wells Hagan on

    My sons paci fairy is coming this summer! He’s my last and it’s his only lovey. I’m in no rush… He won’t take it to college- I think.

  3. Megan Flick on

    Grady had his until he lost his first tooth. Then the tooth fairy took his binky and his tooth, because obviously it’s against the rules to have a binky and big boy teeth

  4. I sucked my thumb well into kindergarten. I’m now 30 and am happy to report back that sucking my thumb until I was 5 years old created no lasting damage! I did have to have braces in high school but that was to correct unrelated problems from my wisdom teeth. So have no fear, your kids won’t be sucking their thumb or paci once they get to college. 😛

  5. My 2 year old is still so obsessed. I hate the damn thing, but sometimes it’s such a saving grace to us just to shut him up 🙂

  6. Sara Cavallino Ruppel on

    oh man my 4 year old won’t give up his nuk at night at all – I tried the forgetting thing but after 15 minutes of him crying I gave in – weak mommy.

  7. You do totally rock at this parenting thing! The same happened to us with our daughter, except no cruise – hotel room in San Diego instead. We LOST it at dinner. No paci. No back up plan. My husband and I feared for our lives at bedtime that night. We put her in the pack and play, told her we lost the pacifier and then.. nothing. She just fell asleep. I mean, seriously? I drove myself crazy carrying this with me and then nothing!?!

  8. My 8 year old had his until he was 4. We tried to take it when he was 2 or so….. it ended in him crying until he vomited. So that went out the window the same night we decided to try. We got lucky…. one day, he popped it out of his mouth at bed time, handed it to me, and said “I don’t need this anymore. Thank you.” Then he rolled over and passed out.

  9. Speaking of little white paci lies: We had our paci loving 3 year old leave it out with the cookie and carrot for Father Christmas (hey if we’re going to make shit up, go big or go home!) and he took it to give to a little girl who “needed it more”. Apparently that was the important part to our little mama bear.

  10. Shortly after my son’s 2nd birthday, he got really sick. He tested positive for RSV, the cold virus, had a double ear infection, and ended up with pneumonia. So that turned into a 4 day hospital stay where he had to be on oxygen, amongst other things. He was an avid “bink bink” user, but in the hospital they wouldn’t let him have it (besides the fact that he couldn’t breathe well out of his nose, so having a bink in his mouth wasn’t an option). After he got out, I went inside and immediately removed every trace of every pacifier in the house, and it was never an issue again. So it took him getting extremely ill for us to rid him of it!

  11. Kimberly Noethen Fluet on

    That pic, right there in this post, is my all time favorite of you and Leyna. So deeply beautiful!

  12. I am going to have to resort to more drastic measures with my finger sucker. I sucked my thumb until 10 years old!!! It took every trick in the book plus a very expensive orthodontic torture apparatus to help me kick the habit. Of course karma blessed me with a finger sucker that is even more addicted than I ever was.

  13. Brilliant:) We have a few weeks left until our self-imposed deadline of my daughter’s 3-year-old birthday to wean her off the paci, but now I’m thinking we may want to wait a couple weeks until our next trip and do it then:) Or am I just thinking of another excuse not to wean her…..

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