How to Get Toddler to Sleep Without Pacifier

Are you looking for an effective way to help your toddler sleep without a pacifier? With the right plan, you can successfully transition your child away from the pacifier and towards healthy sleeping habits.

We’ve all been there before – our toddler has their pacifier, they refuse to go to sleep without it, and we just don’t know what to do.

How to Get Toddler to Sleep Without Pacifier

Sleep deprivation for toddlers and parents can have serious consequences if left unchecked. That’s why it is so important that you know how to get your child to sleep without a pacifier effectively.

We are here today with the answer – keep reading for tips and tricks from experienced parents on how to get toddler to sleep without pacifier and finally get some well-deserved rest!

What Will You Need?

You will need some items you may already have to get your toddler to sleep without a pacifier. Here’s what you should have on hand:

  1. A comfortable and calming bedtime routine
  2. Soft music or sounds that your child enjoys
  3. Age appropriate books or stories to read before bed
  4. Comfort objects such as a stuffed animal or blankie for cuddling
  5. Toys and activities designed specifically for sleep time (for example, a sensory toy)

These items will make the transition away from the pacifier much smoother. Now, let’s look at the steps needed to get your toddler to sleep without a pacifier.

Stuffed Animal or Blankie

10 Easy Steps on How to Get Toddler to Sleep Without Pacifier

Step 1: Begin Slowly Reducing Pacifier Time

The first step is slowly reducing pacifier use during naps and bedtime. This should be done gradually over a few weeks to give your child time to adjust and become comfortable with sleeping without it. Additionally, you don’t want to take it away completely in one fell swoop, which could cause your toddler to feel overwhelmed.

Step 2: Introduce Comfort Objects

Introducing comfort objects such as soft toys, blankies, or sensory toys can help soothe your toddler and compensate for lost pacifier time. You can introduce one comfort object at a time and see which ones work best for your child. If a stuffed animal, for example, helps your child fall asleep faster than without it, then you know you’ve found a winner!

Step 3: Create a Bedtime Routine

Creating an age appropriate bedtime routine that includes calming activities such as reading stories or singing songs can also help transition your child away from the pacifier. This will help your child relax and give them something else to look forward to at bedtime instead of the pacifier. As a bonus, it can also help strengthen the bond between parent and child.

Step 4: Set Clear Expectations

You must set clear expectations and rules about when and where the pacifier can be used. If you allow your toddler to use the pacifier during naps and bedtime, they may not understand why they can’t always have it. Try setting a timer for pacifier use and creating specific areas where it is acceptable in the house.

Pacifier During Naps and Bedtime

Step 5: Offer Positive Reinforcement

Offering positive reinforcement, such as praise or rewards when your toddler sleeps without a pacifier, will help encourage them to continue this behavior in the future. You can also use verbal reminders of what a good job they are doing if you notice that they are reaching for their pacifier too often. Give them lots of hugs and cuddles for a job well done!

Step 6: Stick to the Plan

You must stick to your plan to get your toddler to sleep without a pacifier successfully. Even if it takes weeks or months for your child to become comfortable sleeping without one, don’t give up! You will eventually see results as long as you remain consistent and patient.

Step 7: Talk to Your Child

Talking openly with your child about why they must sleep without a pacifier can be beneficial in helping them understand why this change is necessary. Explain that pacifiers are only meant for young babies and that now that they are older, it is time for them to try something new, like cuddling their favorite stuffed animal instead.

Talking Openly With Your Child

Step 8: Seek Professional Help

If you struggle to get your toddler to sleep without a pacifier, seeking professional help may be necessary. Talk with your pediatrician or a certified child sleep consultant for further guidance and advice. Moreover, a sleep consultant can help you create an individualized plan that best suits your child’s needs and sleeping habits.

Step 9: Create a Sleep Environment That is Conducive to Sleep

Creating a sleep environment conducive to sleep, such as keeping the room dark and quiet, can also help promote better sleeping habits in your toddler. You can also try playing soothing music or using white noise machines to create an atmosphere of calmness and relaxation. Be careful not to overwhelm your toddler with too many things at once.

Step 10: Be Patient

Above all else, you must remain patient when getting your toddler to sleep without a pacifier. This process can take some time, but eventually, your child will learn to fall asleep without the pacifier, and you can be proud of that accomplishment!

By following the steps above, you can get your toddler to sleep without a pacifier and get much-needed rest. Remember to be patient and encouraging throughout the process for it to succeed – good luck!

5 Additional Tips and Ticks

  1. If your toddler has used a pacifier to fall asleep, create a new bedtime routine that does not include the pacifier. Introduce activities like reading stories or singing songs before they go to bed.
  2. Remove the pacifier from their crib as soon as you lay them down and turn off any lights so they know it’s time to sleep.
  3. Try using something comforting instead of the pacifier, like a stuffed animal or blanket that your child can hold while sleeping.
  4. Make sure your toddler is getting enough sleep every night by setting an appropriate bedtime and sticking to it.
  5. If your toddler wakes up at night looking for their pacifier, try reassuring them and staying with them until they fall back asleep. This will help them feel secure and more comfortable without the pacifier.
Child Can Hold While Sleeping

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to help your toddler get a good night’s rest without using a pacifier. Keep in mind that it may take some time for them to adjust, and every child is different, so try to be patient and understanding.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Don’t be hard on yourself if your toddler has difficulty sleeping without a pacifier. It may take time, but eventually, they will adjust.
  2. Don’t give in and give them their pacifier if they keep asking for it. This will only make the process more difficult.
  3. Don’t force your child to sleep without a pacifier before they are ready – this could have negative consequences like causing them distress or anxiety.
  4. Don’t punish your toddler if they still ask for their pacifier – instead, be understanding and reassuring when you respond to their requests.
  5. Avoid bribing your toddler with rewards to give up their pacifier. This could lead to entitlement issues and not teach them how to self-soothe.

If you keep these five tips in mind, you’ll be able to get your toddler off the pacifier and into a good sleep routine with patience and understanding.

What Are the Side Effects of Taking Away the Pacifier?

While the side effects of taking away a pacifier can vary from child to child, some common side effects include crying and irritability. Remembering that these reactions are normal and should be expected when transitioning away from a pacifier is important. Other possible side effects may include changes in sleep patterns as your toddler adjusts to sleeping without the pacifier, so it is important to remain patient and understanding during this transition period.

It’s also important to remember any potential safety risks when taking away a pacifier, like choking hazards or allergies, if you’re considering replacing the pacifier with another comfort item like a stuffed animal.

Lastly, don’t forget about yourself – parenting can be hard work, so take care of yourself in the process, and don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends if needed.


To summarize, several options are available to get rid of your toddler’s pacifier. The key is to be consistent and patient. Put yourself in their shoes and develop a plan that works for them. Knowing your toddler’s temperament, needs, and vulnerabilities will help you build a successful plan. Also, remember that sleep interruptions are inevitable during this transition process, so don’t give up if they wake up multiple nights in a row!

If the situation remains difficult, consider seeking guidance from a professional such as a sleep-trained or child psychologist to help understand the causes of your child’s struggle with sleep.

With consistency, patience, understanding, and consideration of your child’s needs, you can successfully overcome this challenge and enjoy more peaceful nights without a pacifier!

Hopefully, the article on how to get toddler to sleep without pacifier has helped provide you with the guidance and advice that you need. Thank you.

Photo of author

Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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