February 1, 2024

Pacifiers – Time to Give it Up?

When to give pacifiers up: 12 months. This is when your baby should be transitioning away from bottle to sippy cup or open cup drinking as well.

Pacifier. Binky. Paci. Buppy. Ga ga. Dee dee. Whatever you call it, many moms know it as Mommy’s best friend. Those little rubber plugs are miracle workers, they help to calm a fussy baby, soothe a sleepy baby, and relax a restless one. But when is it time to give it up? And why? And most importantly, how?


12 months. This is when your baby should be transitioning away from bottle to sippy cup or open cup drinking as well.


12 months marks the beginning of a dramatic increase in speech development. With frequent pacifier use, your child:

  • May be less likely to produce the beginning stages of speech and language development, like babbling and first words.
  • Will have his mouth in an unnatural position, potentially affecting the way his tongue and lip muscles develop for proper speech production.
  • May develop an unnatural tongue position at rest as the tongue is pushed forward between the teeth. This can lead to the development of a lisped production of “s” and “z” sounds.
  • May have more frequent ear infections. One study showed that children who did not use pacifiers had 33 percent fewer middle ear infections.
  • May develop an abnormal unnatural arc to their front teeth causing their upper teeth to tip forward toward the lip. There’s no evidence that pacifiers can cause damage to baby teeth, but permanent teeth is a different story.


  • Sooner rather than later

o   Taking away the pacifier when your child is still young (think 3-5 months) can make the transition easier for you and for him as he hasn’t developed the habit as deeply yet and he doesn’t have the ability to express his displeasure or negotiate with words.

  • Going Cold Turkey

o   You are the parent. You have the power! The transition may be rocky at first, but stick with it for a few days and your child is likely to find another way to calm himself.

o   Some creative ideas on how to go cold turkey:

  • Lose it; whether intentional or not. Play dumb and say you have no idea where they possibly could have gone.
  • Pick a day and reason why the pacifier is going away. For example, “It’s your third birthday and you’re going to be a big boy. Big boys don’t use binkies!”
  • Cut off the tip and say the pacifier is broken.
  • Leave it for Santa/Easter Bunny/Binky Fairy.
  • Give it away. For example, tell your child that the “new babies” need the pacifiers. Package them up and drop them off at the doctors office or day care.

*These ideas are best for older children, 2-3 years old.

  • Gradual

o   A slow, gradual weaning process may work best for you and your child. Restrict the pacifier use to certain times (i.e. bedtime only) or places (i.e. in the crib or in his room).

  • Read about it

o   Kids love a good bedtime story, so why not make it one about getting rid of the binky? Here are some recommendations:

  • Bye-bye Binky” by Brigitte Weninger
  • “Bye-Bye, Pacifier” (A Muppet Babies book), by Louise Gikow
  • “No More Pacifier” by Ricki Booker
  • “Pacifiers Are Not Forever” by Elizabeth Verdick

Download our Guide for Families

We know that choosing a local ABA facility can be a hard decision. We’ve created an informational guide to help you understand more about the questions you should be asking while meeting with different providers.

Although we talk about our services here, our highest goal is for you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about picking a provider that is the best fit for your needs. You are making a decision that will impact the entire trajectory of your child’s life!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
The cover of the NSPT Guide for Families, which helps families to figure out the questions to ask when picking an ABA provider.

Continue Reading


Why we do what we do.
Success looks different for every child... But we bet we have a story that matches your child's needs. Like James, who started with us as non-verbal and lacking the ability to initiate and maintain social interactions. Today, he can speak complete sentences, clearly state his needs, and navigate social interactions with his friends!

Contact us to get started

  • 1
    Submit an inquiry form
    Completing this secure form helps us understand how we can serve you.
  • 2
    We'll reach out to you!
    One of our dedicated team members will connect with you to discuss services, your insurance benefits, and your family’s needs.
  • 3
    Paperwork & insurance
    We'll review and confirm your insurance benefits, and we'll work with you to gather additional paperwork required and discuss financial expectations based on insurance.
  • 4
    Treatment personalization
    We'll schedule an assessment date for your child with one of our clinicians. This assessment will serve as the basis for your child’s personalized treatment plan. After, we'll meet to discuss recommendations and your child’s treatment plan and start date.
  • 5
    Start making progress!
    We will greet and welcome your child to our warm and supportive environment where our staff will provide 1-on-1 care to meet our treatment goals.