Posted by: thaishin | January 8, 2009

Attempts to wean from the pacifier

There was once when our family was eating out at a fast food restaurant when we caught notice of a seven to eight year old kid still with a pacifier in his mouth and we thought to ourselves: that was too much.

Our son is 3 years old now and I believe it is time to wean him from his pacifier, I don’t want him to be like that kid mentioned above. So, I made some attempts during his afternoon nap, still giving him the pacifier when he sleeps at night. Below describes my attempts to wean him from the pacifier:

Attempt 1: Our son was shrieking at the top of his voice for 20 minutes and he finally cried himself to sleep. When he woke up in between, he was still asking for the pacifier but I denied him and he went back to sleep. But he woke up finally with a  shorter sleep than usual.

Attempt 2: Our son was crying again and I thought it may be too harsh on him, so I just gave the pacifier to him

Attempt 3: Yes, he was shrieking again but I hardened my heart and refused to give the pacifier to him. He was crying and crying and then with a broken voice, he said: “Daddy I love you”. I was touched and impressed. I replied:”Daddy loves you too” There was silence for a while with sobbing then with louder cries and I reassured him “Daddy loves you”. Then there was sobbing and then louder cries. Eventually, he felt hungry and I brought him to the kitchen to give him some fruit loop straw cereals. When he was filled, I brought him back to the bed room and he went to sleep. After he woke up, he was again shrieking and shouting: “Awai Daddy”, meaning fight daddy in ilongo. So much for “Daddy I love you”.

Attempt 4: On an alternate day of denying him,  he was asking for the pacifier again.  When I refused, he swinged his leg against me on the bed and as I threatened to punish him, he stopped. Eventually, he went to sleep without crying.

Babies suck naturally. That is how they suck milk from the mother’s breast. The pacifier plays into this natural tendency and gives them a sort of security. So, after 3 years of sucking on the pacifier, our son must have felt insecure when I denied him the pacifier, even though he does not need the pacifier if he is not sleeping at this point of time( we have been consciously denying him the pacifier when he is awake). Maybe that is why he says “Daddy I love you” to seek some assurance from me. Most of the time, he says “Awai Daddy” to how much he is seeking assurance from the pacifier.

The above account happened in mid-November 2008. Since then, especially after the vacation we had in Singapore and relenting on our part ( especially the mother), he is back to his old ways. On a Thursday afternoon in January,  the mother tried to deny him and our son is screaming for most part of the afternoon again. She is going through the same treatment that I got in November. Seems like both of us have to go through it before he will correct his ways.

As a child that attempts to wean off the pacifier, we are also to wean off our old bad habits towards christ-likeness.

Romans 12:2

Do not conformany longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – niv

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – kjv



  1. Thanks for sharing. I did not have this kind of experience with Loraine and Angelle as we never used a pacifier for them. I was told by a church friend who is also a mom that pacifier is not good for the growing teeth of the child and it’s difficult to wean the child out of it.

  2. Thanks for your comments luz, we used it to ‘pacify’ him when he was still a baby

  3. hi, all my 3 kids don’t take pacifiers, they reject it when given. They are a practical lot, they suck thumb instead.

    Its just a passing phase and ultimately they outgrow it. Some earlier, some later. Having said that, however in some ‘extreme late’ cases, it could be a sign of discipline or insecurity issue. Both needs proper parenting care.

    Discipline/insecurity: Parent did not actually encourage kids to stop sucking thumb or pacifiers. My boy now at 2 years, listens and tries to remove thumb by himself when told not to suck thumb. When he does that, we praised him for being a good boy and encouraged him to continue to wean off. But he sometimes forgets and habitually insert his thumb. Both of us will continue to remind him to take out as it has caused some swell and its not hygenic. No cause for alarm if a kid continues, but over time, he/she should show some sign of weaning off, or want to wean off. If a kid throw a big fuss when not given pacifiers (which mostly the case), then it is the parents that should counsel and talk some sense into the kid, right from the start. i usually treat kids like adults, in a way i do not baby talk, ie. talk with very firm reasoning. Mind you, they’ll somehow understand, because if not, the cane will come. Thank God, most of the time very firm talking is enough.

    The cane can continue collecting dust on the shelf.

    Take heart, they’ll outgrow it some day. Sucking pacifier or thumb, or even the side effects is not the main concern. It is the process of weaning and how we discipline them, at the same time teaching them how to discipline themselves (exercise self control and self-discipline) is the key issue.

    If you have time, look out for and listen to “Shade for children” by John MacArthur. Excellent treatment on parenting.

  4. hi, to help you source for “Shades for our Children”, here’s the link

  5. thanks sin wei, your sharing very much appreciated

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