How we weaned our three year old off his pacifier

This one confirm you all parents with chot chot sucking babies want to know right? Hahahaha.

Read on if you’re a parent with a pacifier addict for a child!

So Fighter fans would know that Fighter is pretty much addicted to his pacifier.

While playing with his doctor’s set…..

At the optician…

Eating also must hold pacifier in his other hand wtf.

All started back in his little incubator in the NICU.

Fighter has been a lifelong fan of the pacifier.  I can’t tell you how many pacifiers he’s gone through – especially after he had teeth cos he also had a bad habit of biting them through.

Mummy Ooi said never mind, let him take pacifier at four years old also ok.  I was like NO WAY JOSE wtf.  There’s nothing wrong with his teeth, thankfully.  They’re straight and white, and his speech has developed amazingly for his age too.

But I noticed that he was gradually getting more and more addicted.  We try to restrict it to sleeping time, car ride time, and maybe whenever he’s upset.  After he gets his comfort, he’s normally happy to hand back his pacifier.  But lately when I ask him for it, he refuses.

Hell hath no fury like a mommy scorned!!!!

Lolol no la but I started to think maybe his addiction was getting out of hand.

It was one morning, the day after his third birthday, idly watching him grab for his pacifier like it was a life jacket and he was drowning that I thought I should really take action.

I mulled over my next course of action.  Obviously I wanted a pain free solution where preferably no crying is involved.  I remember reading a thread on Reddit written by a dad on how he weaned his three year old off his pacifier — he built up to the third birthday by telling him he would be a big boy now, and convincing the son that he had to mail off his pacifier in order to get clues to embark on a special treasure hunt, secretly arranged by the dad.  Then letting the son pack his pacifier up in a box and taking him to the postbox to mail it off.  The first three days, the son still cried for his pacifier, but accepted it finally.

Very admirable, dad!  I really applaud his dedication in ensuring his son transitions painlessly… but gawd is it a lot of work. Lolol.

So I told nanny, “Tomorrow morning when he asks you for his pacifier, put vinegar on it.”

The next morning came.  Fighter toddled around the house, and finally came upon nanny.  “Auntie Nanny, where’s my chi chi?”

Like I’d instructed, Nanny had prepared a saucer of vinegar.  She surreptitiously dipped the pacifier teat in the vinegar and handed it to him.

Fighter took the pacifier.  He popped it into his mouth.  Started sucking.  The pacifier bobbed up and down.

Nanny stared at him.

Fighter sauntered away.  No comment.


So Nanny brainstormed.  And she started squeezing juice from a piece of ginger. XD

The next time Fighter asked for his pacifier, he received a pacifier soaked in ginger juice.

It happened in a split second.  Fighter popped his pacifier into his mouth.  And without pausing or taking his hand off, he immediately snatched his pacifier out again and threw it across the room in one fluid motion.


He shouted in indignation and confusion.  What had happened to his chi chi!?!

After he’d finished bawling into my lap, I told him:

Fighter, it’s okay.  You know how you’re three years old now? Well, that means you’re a big boy now.  And when you become a big boy, your chi chi turns bad.  That’s why it tastes so bad now.  You see mommy and daddy and grandma and nanny?  We don’t eat chi chi because we’re big and our chi chi’s turned bad. Chi chi is only for babies like Penny.

OMG this one is really lau ghee na (bluff children) hahahahaha.

Fighter asked why a few times but after repeated gentle explaining along that vein, he accepted it.

Over the next few days, sometimes when he was upset or wanted comforting, he asked for his ‘chi chi’.  But I’d simply ask, “Really?” and he would falter and say no. Hahahahaha OMG.

He fell asleep with no issues though! Nanny and I were expecting him to have insomnia problems wtf but he had no problem going to sleep.  However, when he woke up in the middle of the night as he tends to do sometimes and couldn’t find his pacifier, he would scream for me.

For two nights, I had very little sleep.  I say little because literally, I had to sleep with him in his little toddler bed FML.  Become human pacifier wtf.  Luckily I’m small enough.

It’s been a week and we’re past that though.  Fighter is perfectly happy without his pacifier and he’s completely stopped asking for it.

However, the other day he found the cover to his pacifier; instead of asking for his chi chi, he just gazed at the cover in his fist, and said wistfully, “Ahhhh chi chi.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA my son the drama king.

That’s how we weaned Fighter.

If you’re looking for tips, here’s what I think worked for us.

  1. Concocting a story that’s related to growing up because he’s recently been identifying with ‘being a big boy now’ and turning three.
  2. NOT shaming him into giving it up, instead positioning it as a rite of passage of growing up
  3. Going cold turkey. (My mom felt sorry for him and suggested giving it to him for bedtime but it would have affected the consistency of my story. I.e. he would totally see through it and think of me and daddy as liars.)

Good luck parents!

In a year’s time, it will be this one’s turn.

  • Jenny

    Having the same prob with my toddler too. He’s 22 months so I think we can still let him go for a while?
    And yes, I feel he’s getting more addictive. Not only to sleeping and car rides.. throughout the day. It’s really his source of comfort

    Oh well, it isn’t called a soother if it doesn’t do it’s job..