Over the weekend I realized that Julian has been binky free for a few weeks now! He will turn two in a month so I am happy that we don't have to worry about it anymore, & I am even happier that the process was pretty painless (for everyone involved). Matteo also gave up his pacifier around this age, & it was also a smooth process. So I figured I would explain how we were able to wean from the pacifier without tears for both boys.
Naps & Bedtime
Right from the start, we tried to use pacifiers for when our children were tired or fussy. We would try to keep them away if they were happy, playing, awake, etc. Of course, this didn't always happen; but we tried to do better with it as they got older.
Eventually pacifiers were just meant for naptime & bedtime (or if they were sick). This was much easier with Matteo than Julian though... Julian ended up being more attached to his then Matteo was so he played with it in his mouth more often than Matteo would.
The key to just using them at sleep times is the next tip...
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Clean up all of the binkies & put them out of sight. Only get them out if your child is asking for one.
With Julian, I had to keep switching my hiding places b/c he would climb up on the counters or dig through the cabinets to get to them where he knew I kept them. For a while I was putting them on the counter top near the sink, but then he knew they were always there. And to him seeing the counter alone reminded him about his binkies (he is a tricky one). He also knew that I kept extra in a certain pocket of the diaper bag so he would go digging for some on his own.
Hiding them for real made it easier to lessen their use.
Wean Yourself from the Binky
After two years, us parents are so used to reaching for the pacifier when our child starts fussing. We always grab one before a car ride, pack one (or five) in the diaper bag, & keep one in our child's bed.
Eventually I had to get myself out of these habits & take the risk that my son would scream for his pacifier if we were out & about without it. I was nervous to leave home without one, but I knew that if I had one with me, I would let him have it... so they stayed at home. And they stayed out of sight. And I stopped buying more at the store whenever he would bite through another one.
Gradually we just all learned to do without them. And now I love getting to hear his babbles & see his smile more often :)