I hate binkies.
binky, paci, dummy, nuk, pacifier, mute button, silencer.
Call it whatever you want.
I hate it. Loathe it. Despise its creation. I mean, who decides that the best thing for a tiny infant, incapable of holding up their own head or moving their own bodies, should have a tiny rubber instrument that is easily lose-able, choke-able, dirty-able. It sucks.
And to make it even worse, there are 700,000 different brands of these dumb things. And each one is different and let me tell you: that baby can tell the difference. You give her the Nuk brand, and she only uses the Maam brand- you are gonna hear about it.
So I had already made a pact with myself before ever having children that none of mine would ever have the bink.
And with Little Darling that was pretty simple. She wasn’t into the binky, didn’t care about it, spit it out pretty regularly. I can count on one hand the amount of times she had one, and on two fingers the amount of times it actually helped the situation. She found her thumb at 2 months old and we never looked back.
Then we had Little Littles. Who thinks that sleep is a myth. She certainly doesn’t believe in partaking in it, and thinks no one else should either. Within about three weeks of having her I was seriously debating duct taping the binkie into her mouth. It was the only time, and I mean THE ONLY TIME that she stopped crying. Ever.
She slept about 40 minutes at a clip and only then when she had the binkie tucked happily in her little mouth.
While we didn’t experience any type of nipple confusion or nursing issues. I was full of issues with it. I couldn’t stop reading articles about how pacifiers can lead to ear infections and speech impediments. Bad teeth, tongue issues, speech delays. The problems were endless. I had nightmares of her dislodging the rubber from the end and choking. I had nightmares of losing it in the supermarket. One time she really did spit it out onto the floor of a public bathroom.
She would only take the generic target brand, of which there were only two styles, and could only be found at certain locations.
By the time she was 4 months old, she was waking up every hour or two at night because the binkie had fallen out. I would wake up, hearing her cry, shuffle to the bedroom, tuck the binkie back in, shuffle back to bed, and do it all over again a couple hours later. It was miserable.
For the next three months, I debated what to do. Should I take it? Should I deal with it? I have friends with 3 year olds still sucking on their binkies and they didn’t seem to have a problem with it. I didn’t want to make her miserable and scar her for life by taking the only thing that gave her comfort, but was it really comforting her by robbing her (and me) of sleep?
Last week she turned 7 months old, and I did the unthinkable.
I took the binkie.
At second nap, I carried her into her room, placed the binkie on the dresser and told her very firmly- this is over, you can’t have your binkie anymore. Its making me and you both very tired and you need to learn to sleep without it- I laid her down in the crib, went through the rest of her routine (sound machine, beany puppy, fleecy blanket), and walked out.
She didn’t give a flying flip that I had taken the binkie. She rolled over and went to sleep.
I was shocked. I jut kept staring at the monitor waiting for her to wake up and scream acknowledging that her favorite thing in the whole wide world was gone.
She didn’t care at 3rd nap either. And at bed time she made a minor fuss for about 10 minutes before drifting peacefully into sleep. She woke up 3 times during the night, about the same amount of times she wakes up normally to be fed at night. But there were no intermittent binkie-fall-out cries.
Day 2 was pretty similar, except at night she woke up at around 10:30 very adamant that she needed her binkie and stayed adamant for about 3 hours straight. However, Wonderful Husband was away, and Little Darling can apparently sleep through the apocalypse, so I remained adamant that she DID NOT need her binkie.
Day 3 she cried at every nap and at bed time. For extensive periods. I almost gave in, but then remembered that she hasn’t even been alive for a whole year. I am mama. I make the rules.
Day 4 she whined quietly for a few minutes at bed time and then went to sleep.
We are now about 12 days in and she seems to be adjusting just fine.
Bedtime is definitely easier, night time is somewhat easier, and I no longer have to worry about carrying/cleaning/finding/purchasing the dumb binkie.
She still wakes at least twice a night, sometimes three times to eat. I have been slowly making those bottles smaller and smaller in hopes that by 9 months I can have her weaned from eating at night completely. We shall see how that goes.
So that is my story of weaning Little Littles from the binkie, and how easy it was for us. If you are considering it, or have been wanting to take it for a while, just pull the band aid, do it fast, and be done! You’ll thank yourself later!