It stands to reason that a toddler who immediately ceases screaming bloody murder once you give them a pacifier would likely resume said screaming if you tried to take that pacifier away forever. If you’re a sleep-deprived parent, that’s probably enough to convince you to let your kid keep their pacifier roughly until they head off to college.
Unfortunately, since pacifiers can create dental problems, affect speech development, and cause some attachment issues, it’s a good idea to break the habit sooner rather than later. There are plenty of toys to be bought, treats to be eaten, and other bargains to be made that might convince your bartering baby to let you pry a pacifier from their chubby little hands for eternity, but not all kids are quite so level-headed.
Instead, Lifehacker recommends some safe, loving sabotage. Poking a hole in the rubber tip of the pacifier causes it to release its air—and makes it significantly less satisfying to suck on. Since your kid may not realize why their favorite self-soothing method no longer has the same effect, the idea is that they'll soon simply lose interest in using it.
Since it only takes a very tiny hole to get the job done, you can easily use a needle, tack, or safety pin. In fact, Lifehacker warns against making a larger hole—or cutting off the entire tip—because your child could choke on small pieces that might later break off in their mouth.
And, of course, a smaller hole also decreases the chance that your toddler will realize their prized possession has been tampered with.