How To Replace The Pacifier On A Wubbanub

My son loves Wubbanubs. They’re more than just pacifiers to him, they’re friends. I bought him his first when I was 18 weeks along on a trip to Oahu. That is the one we’ll be working on today. I’ve replaced one before and had been meaning to do some of his older ones lately, but kept putting it off. That was until Carmine Froggy had an accident. We were driving back from visiting my mother in law when I parked the car and heard my son making his sad noise. I turned around and he held up his little buddy. The top was completely missing! He was so sad. Fortunately he hadn’t swallowed it and he was keeping it safe on his lap. He gave me the piece and I promised him I’d fix his little buddy. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how great these are, except for the non removable pacifier part. Well it’s not true they can’t be replaced. You can totally do it and I’m going to show you how. I promise it’s not hard and you won’t ruin your kid’s lovey. First step is to get your wubbanub. I thought I had yellow bobishes (that’s what we call them in our family) but I only had pink, purple, and blue on hand. I think Carmine Froggy will look better with a yellow bobish. I’ll order some when we come back from vacation (I need to redo a ton of these so I’ll need more anyways). We’ll fix up Lambchop today as I think she’ll look nice in pink, it matches her nose. 🙂

IMG_9397

The second step is actually the most important. Make sure your kid isn’t around. I did this to one of these when he was around seven months and he screamed throughout the entire 10 minute process. He thought I was killing him. Oops. Don’t worry, Rico lived to tell the tale and Chicken Little seemed to come away from the experience relatively unscathed. But still, wait until the kid is in bed or just lock yourself in the bathroom. Whatever it takes to make this a solo project. (Update: at nearly 3 my son is now totally into watching me fix his buddies, his supervising the process is now a crucial step. And now when one breaks he goes into my sewing room and puts his friend on my machine so I’ll see them. It’s pretty cute.)

IMG_9399

Here are your supplies. I know you’re probably all super blown away by how high tech this all is, don’t get intimidated now! Depending on your needle and bobish you may not even need the thimble. The first time I did this I didn’t need one, this time I did. I guess my supplies in Hawaii are better. For some inexplicable reason I didn’t have white thread on hand. That was fine, this pink was barely visible in the finished result. Just aim for something close, it’s not the end of the world if you see a stitch or two. And I promise you, stitches will be visible so get over any delusions of perfection now. (Update: Something I’ve since discovered is that wearing a rubber or nitrile glove is very helpful. So even if you don’t have a thimble, if you have some gloves on hand you’re golden. I’ve actually gotten to the stage where I find them far more useful than a thimble anyways.)

IMG_9404

Take a look at your wubbanub, pull back the fur and bobish and you’ll see the stitching. That’s what you’ve got to remove. You can cut the bobish off at this point or leave it on, it really doesn’t matter. I thought having it on made it easier to hold onto, you do what works best for you.

IMG_9406

IMG_9408

What you’re going to want to do now is slip your seam ripper into that first thread and cut it. Once you get the first couple of stitches out it’s pretty easy sailing. Be sure to remove all of your cut threads. I know it can be a little scary to see such a beloved friend in such a state, but I promise you it’ll get better really soon. This goes fast. IMG_9410

Right now, with the old pacifier removed you’re at an important stage. You can do a number of things here. You can sew the mouth shut if you’re looking to ditch the bobish and keep the friend, or you could even sew in a completely different type of pacifier. My son only likes Avent Soothies, and by that I mean the 0-3 months ones. I should probably replace them with the harder to chew through 6+ month ones, but I think I’ll save those for when I want/need him to give them up cause he really doesn’t like them. You’ll definitely need a thimble if you want to use any other brand of silicone pacifier, Soothies are just softer than most. If your child prefers the plastic kind with the handle then you have a unique opportunity to add in a strap so the pacifier can be removed for washing. I would take a small scrap of fabric or ribbon and attach snaps to it. So all you’d have to do is sew the end of your strip into the mouth and then you could fasten the other end with the snaps around the pacifier of your choice. But since my son doesn’t like those I’m just going to replace it with another Soothie.

IMG_9411

Just pick a side and create a sturdy knot. Trim the ends. Slide in your bobish and get ready to sew.

IMG_9413

Now we’re going to use an extremely sophisticated sewing method called the “stab and pull through”. Fortunately anyone can do it with just a little practice! Just start on one side, and work your way to the other. Try to be sure you’re catching the fabric on both sides of the mouth. Don’t worry if you miss a few times, it’ll be fine. Just keep going until you feel it’s not going anywhere. Pull on it a few times to be sure. Then tie off the end.

IMG_9416

As you can see it’s not the prettiest sewing job, but this bobish is going nowhere. My son likes to pull and bite on them. I like to throw them into the washing machine and then pop them into the dryer on the highest heat setting to kill any germs. Despite that the last one I did is a year old and is still holding up just fine.

IMG_9419

If you followed all these steps congratulations, you’re finished! Your little one has a brand new(ish) wubbanub. It takes a little effort but is totally worth it. These things can cost as much as $25 so it’s far better to replace the pacifier part as opposed to the whole thing as they get worn. Besides, it’ll never be the “same” so it’s kind of a waste of money. Plus you can pick a different color (all wubbanubs come with green pacifiers only) to make yours easy to spot anywhere. 🙂

***UPDATE***

Wubbanub contacted me via Twitter this morning. This was their Tweet,

@koolchicken – We do not suggest altering, modifying, or changing the product in any way. New products for older infants in Winter 2015.

That’s fine with me, I figured they wouldn’t be okay with people modifying their design, I’m guessing it’s a safety thing. But lets be honest. If your child has a lovey that has become unsafe you have two options, try to fix it or toss it. For many parents throwing away a beloved stuffed animal is just not an option. My son might not freak out if his buddy “disappeared” but many kids will. I know that the new pacifier I’ve attached is on there well and isn’t going anywhere. And I accept the fact that if my child becomes hurt on a wubbanub I’ve modified it’s 100% my fault. But as parents we have to take responsibility for anything we give our child, modified or not. That first wubbanub I swapped the pacifier out on was only a week old when the pacifier it came with broke. It was a mistake in the stitching and it tore. That was not safe to give my son and a return of that particular pacifier was not possible. So it’s important to remember, even a brand new product with all original parts can be dangerous as well and all children should be supervised (as much as possible) when given any toy. So if you decided to follow this tutorial remember, you don’t have wubbanub’s support. My modified wubbanub’s have held up fine with no issues. But your experience may vary.

Advertisements

32 thoughts on “How To Replace The Pacifier On A Wubbanub

  1. My hat off to you!! I modified many a “special toy” for my little ones and they all survived. I did not live where I could have easily replaced a loveyand even if I had my children were much too attached to it to have done so. They could have distinguished between the original and a replacement. Keep up the good ideas.

    • Thank you! My son is blessedly non picky! All he cares about is that his little buddy has a “bobish” and it’s the “right” kind, lol. I lived on Kauai when I first started to buy these and I promise you there are no stores selling these there. They were all purchased on the mainland or online. Mostly from amazon but often from third party sellers and returns were not optional. So you do what you have to do. I get Wubbanubs stance, but they’re being unrealistic. These are too expensive to just toss and buy again and kids get attached to stuff. I can get a two pack of pacifiers for less than $3 and I have the rest of the stuff I need to do this just sitting around. So more than half my son’s buddies will be getting makeovers in the coming months…

  2. so helpful thank you! My daughter is 21 months and still uses these. But I’m always having to replace them because she bites and breaks the binky.

    • It’s not a problem, I’m glad I could help! My son is almost 2.5 and has been biting on his since around the same age. He bites on his other toys as well so honestly I’m happy to keep the pacifiers around since they’re probably kinder on his teeth than his metal cars! I’ve replaced at least a dozen of these since I did the first one and they’re still holding up great!

    • What brand are you using? Is it an Avent Soothie, or another brand? Avent Soothie’s 0-3 months are the softest ones out there and so are easiest to put on. Half the time I don’t even need to use a thimble. Try using a thimble to help push the needle through. I also like to wear a glove (I use nitrile because I’m allergic to latex but a rubber one would work fine) to help me grip the needle and pull it through. Let me know if this helps!

    • I’m so glad I could help! I don’t have a dog, just a toddler that thinks he’s a puppy most days, lol. So I had to figure this out. Even if my son wasn’t chewing on them, they’re like anything else and wear out over time. We have about 30 different Wubbanubs and there’s no way I’m going to just toss them because the pacifier died. I actually have two more to replace right now. I tend to put it off, but I can get a few done in under twenty minutes these days. Practice makes perfect!

      • My dog just tore the giraffe off and I’m looking up how to fix bc my son won’t sleep without it! grrrr the dogs!

      • I hope this tutorial was able to help you out! So many of these die at the hands (or paws, lol) of dogs, so you’re not alone. My son has four of the giraffes, all named Eugene. He’s a beloved fixture in our house so we totally feel your pain. Please let me know if you have any questions!

  3. You saved our day. Thanks so much. Our son is 23 months and has been using his Wubbanub since birth. He just but through the pacifier and we were looking at a pretty rough afternoon. This got things fixed in no time 🙂

    • As always I’m glad I could help out. 🙂 I know all too well how attached infants and toddlers can become to these things and simply tossing them isn’t really an option in many situations. I hope you baby is resting easy now that their little buddy is all fixed up!

  4. THANK YOU for posting this!! My little one is 21 months and has gone through two wubbanubs. I’ve got the sturdier pink soothies that I am going to replace today. 🙂

    • No problem! I’ve been sewing for more than 20 years, and I knew I couldn’t be the only person out there who needed to replace the pacifier on one of these. I honestly need to sew a sturdier one on to the one my son uses in the car (I’m sick of putting on new ones on a near weekly basis) but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. But I highly recommend a thimble, and a latex (or nitrile) glove to help you push/pull the needle through the tougher silicone!

  5. Great post!! Thanks for giving me the confidence to proceed in fixing my son’s ‘Elli’ the elephant. We were able to rescue her today from the garbage in the hotel we stayed at- we dropped her on our way out and didn’t realize it until we were well on our way. In the mean time into the garbage she went. My son is 7 mos old and replacing his beloved nighttime companion wasn’t really an option but finding another one wasn’t any better either since they’re hard to find. I was debating getting rid of her altogether because of the pacifier but now I’ll be able to get her cleaned and fixed in no time. Thanks so much!

    • Thank you so much! Honestly, it always feels so good to know I’ve helped someone with this. I truly am happy to help, especially when it’s a lovey involved! I’m glad Elli will be saved now and your son won’t have to learn to do without her prematurely.

      I don’t know where you live but Amazon sells them (and they have hands down the best selection) as does Nordstrom (though they don’t have the elephant and only two styles online). I know Babies R’ Us sells them too, but I don’t know if they have them online. Possibly you could have one shipped in?

      And if you’ve never done it. Machine washing them is hands down the best way to go. I think they say something ridiculous like spot clean the animal on the packaging. But I literally toss mine in the wash (in a garment bag and use dye and scent free soap) then into the dryer. My son has never complained and loves one fresh from the wash, lol. If you know you can replace the pacifier it eases any worry you might have previously had in doing that as well. I’ve had to replace a few more than once (I think the record is three surgeries on a single buddy) and they do fine I just try to be careful where I place my stitches so I know I’m not too close to the edge. My son likes to pull on them and that could result in tearing the edges of the fabric by their “mouth” and would make future repairs very difficult. So stitch further in if you can, it’s better in the long run even if you can see where it was sewn!

  6. I was so excited to find this blog. I had thought about trying this on two of my daughter’s wubs. Unfortunately our dog also loves the wubs as well! We were okay. We still had two but then we went to the boardwalk. And came home with only one wubs. So off I went to the store to buy supplies. I was thrilled that I was able to fix these and she doesn’t seem to know they are different.

  7. Thanks for the step by step. My daughter is 14 months and about to become a big sister so, any binky weaning ain’t gonna happen when little brother has one too. But the pacifier is on its last leg and I don’t want to buy a new one for only 5 or so months of use!

    • Of course! My son is 3.5 and still takes them to bed. He also plays with them during the day (doesn’t really suck on them though). Given the styling of these, I’d wager if there was no stuffed animal attached he’d had ditched the pacifier a long, long time ago. We went away for a weekend, spur the moment and forgot his. I bought him a basic one with no animal attached (cause that’s all I could find) and he wasn’t having it, he likes them cause of the animal. So if you’re not into toddlers and kids having them, don’t give one to the new baby! I’m still glad I could help to save your little one’s buddy. 🙂

  8. Thank you for the help. My daughters soothe broke. I was so upset because I’ve only had her wubanub for 2 weeks. I just successfully replaced the soothe with a brand new purple soothe. It was actually easier than I thought it would be since I don’t have any sewing experience. I like the tip in the comments about wearing a rubber glove. I’ll have to do that next time to help with the pull through. Thanks again!

    • It was my pleasure! I had one (a penguin) that was defective straight out of the packaging, so I totally understand your frustration. You really don’t need any experience to replace the pacifiers on these. I think a lot of people are surprised at just how easy it is to do. The glove will make a huge difference but it (obviously) can be done without one. I also love that when you replace the pacifier yourself you can pick the color. The green is standard and gender neutral. So it’s fine. But at playdates it’s definitely nice to be able to spot your child’s special friend at a glance!

  9. You a re a life saver, My syster lives in Brasil and she just have her baby and there is no way she can get this beautiful Wubbanub when ever she needs to replace the pacifier and also is way to expensive, I share with her this info and she will definitely have it handy when ever she need it.

    thank you so much

    • Awww, thank you! They cost anywhere from $12 to $19 here, so I can only imagine what they cost overseas. 😦 It’s definitely less expensive to buy the two pack of regular pacifiers and replace them. Just be aware that you can only replace them a few times before the fabric becomes too fragile. It’s a high tension spot, plus all the new stitching, after ripping out old stitches. I estimate you can safely replace a pacifier three times (some can hold up to more, others less). If the baby is still tiny and won’t notice a different pacifier I’d recommend getting a duplicate now, then rotating them so they wear evenly. That way if one doesn’t survive having a replacement down the road, you’re not left in the lurch!

  10. I was just about to replace the binky (bobish) on one of ours and I thought maybe I should check and see if anyone else has done this successfully….so thank you for posting! I love them but they’re not cheap. My hubby would not be happy if I bought another one 😂

  11. Yu just saved my life !!!!! Tank you so much 🙂 11 month old with a doggie ! Refuses every other one . Have 5 others that get thrown away for the well loved and used doggie . Soother broke clean off tonight . Have just completed major surgery in our kitchen and am happy to report the patient is just fine and whole again ready for bedtime .:) thankyou again for writing the post 🙂 ps the thimble hint saved my fingers xx

    • I’m so glad I could help! So many of these have been lost to dogs. I don’t have one so I’ve never experienced the apparent draw dogs seem to have for pacifiers. Guess I should consider myself lucky! I’m so glad your baby didn’t have to go to bed without their little buddy. ❤

  12. Don’t see that Wubanub has come out with these little darlings with 6+ age soothies anywhere so grama needs to do some surgery I guess. Thanks for the great tips!!

    • Yes, at the time of this article the company claimed they were going to offer products for older infants/toddlers. Unfortunately it’s been two years with no sign of the promised products. My son is 4 and still uses his (we travel a lot and he grinds his teeth). I still use the 0-3 month Soothies on his as he hates the 6+ month ones. Obviously it’s all individualistic and some kids will like the harder ones. We did at one point find a ready made one that definitely had a 6+ month pacifier attached, even though the package said it was a 0-3 month one. We own 30+ Wubbanubs and it was literally the only one that came like that, so tracking down another would likely be difficult.

      Good luck replacing the pacifier. I’m glad I could help!

  13. This is amazing!!! I was really skeptical that I would be able to pull this off and it worked amazingly. I swapped out the chewed up old pacifier with the tougher “big boy” (6+ month) pacifiers on both Wubbies. My little guy is 15 months and has started chewing vigorously on poor Wubby and the most recent replacement I bought lasted less than a week so something HAD to change. Also, thanks for shedding some light on the difference between the 0-3 month and 6+ month pacifiers as I could NOT figure that one out and there was no information out there that I could find. To me they looked identical (now I can see the difference). So happy to know I’m not alone!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s