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