We watched the episode of Sesame Street that this song came from and then sang the song numerous time through-out the day. I think this helped prepare Henry for the idea that a pacifier is not something permanent that 'big kids' have and that others have had to experience giving it up too.
2) Pick a time of day that will be easiest for them.
I wouldn't recommend taking away a pacifier right before nap time or bedtime, especially if your child is dependent on it to sleep. For us, we found that taking it away early morning was the easiest. It gave Henry time to eat, play, and be distracted all day without thinking about it, especially now that he skips naps most days.
3) Talk to them about it.
Henry and I had numerous conversations that day about why it was okay to be a little sad or to miss his pacifier. We also discussed how not having a pacifier meant that he could talk more and be a 'big kid' instead of a baby. We reiterated several times that day what big kids could do that babies could not and even did a few new activities like building a fort and playing with a new toy that were meant specifically for 'big kids'.
4) Make it known that this is it, no more pacifiers.
I had Henry help me gather all of his pacifiers and together we threw them away. This action made it known (to both of us) that the pacifiers were gone for good.
5) Make them comfortable that night.
If your child is used to a certain routine for bedtime, make sure your able to practice it the night that the pacifier goes away. This was the hardest part for us because Henry always had his pacifier to sleep. But, after a hot bath, a couple extra stories, and some bedtime snuggles with his blanket and mommy, he fell right asleep with no problem. We were amazed! Don't take your child out of their comfort zone when they're already trying to cope with the loss of something they once relied on - it will only upset them more.
6) Answer honestly.
Henry asked me several times where his pacifier was or if he could have it. I answered him honestly every time - the pacifiers were gone because we threw them away, there were no more nor would there be anymore, it was okay to miss it, and he was such a big boy now that he didn't need it. When he laid down that night he sort of sniffled a few times for it but I cuddled him closer and told him that it was okay and that he didn't need it anymore. I think kids can often sense when we're lying to them and if we're honest, it will make them even more confident in themselves and in our ability to tell them that this time of their lives has passed and it's on to something else exciting and new.
Henry has been without his pacifier for over a week now and honest-to-God it has been the easiest 'big' thing we have done in awhile. He asked for it twice the day we took it away and twice since and every time we explained honestly where they went and why and he just lets it go. He has been such a big boy about it and we are so very impressed!
How did you take the pacifier away from your child? Was it easy for you or more difficult? Do you think this process would work for most children or do you think we just lucked out?