The Binky Wars

“Bin-ky, Bin-ky, Bin-ky!” echos throughout our house these days. Muppet has recently started using 2 syllable words and calling our for her beloved binky was one of the first she learned. I’ve always had a love / hate relationship with her pacifiers. I love how they are able to quell any tantrums and how they seem to soothe her during long trips in the car or on a plane. I also give them credit for her still taking 2 naps a day. But the older she gets the more they weigh on my conscience.

With the exception of her two-year old molars, Muppet has all her teeth. So the more I see the pacifier in her mouth the more I cringe thinking about the damage they are causing to her mouth. I also naively thought that as she got older she would become less dependant on them, not more. For awhile she would only take on type of pacifier, the soothies that they start babies on in the hospital. We had a few other kinds that people gave us but she refused them all. But over the last month as I’ve slowly started letting the binkys become lost she has decided that any binky will do. She takes them all now, as long as she can stick it in her mouth.

I know it is probably time for me to take control of the situation. She is 17 months old tomorrow and heavily dependant on these stupid things. But every time I think about taking it away I have a moment of panic. Muppet is a really good sleeper most of the time. She goes down at 7:30 (without the binky) and sleeps till 7:30 or 8 the next morning. Yes at some point during the night she does get her binky. On good nights it is between 5 or 6. Meaning she has slept 10-11 hours without it. These are the nights I convince myself that it isn’t a problem right now and I can wait. Then there are nights like last night. She went to be like normal but woke at 11:30 and wouldn’t go back to sleep without her binky. Then she woke at 2:30 and 6:15. Both those times I had to go in and giver her her binky even though it was in the crib with her and had she wanted to, could have grabbed it. Part of the appeal of letting her sleep with the binky is self soothing! Yet I’m still the one going in to give it to her over and over. Plus I absolutely cringe at the thought of her sleeping with it in her mouth for most of the night.

Despite the fact that she goes to bed easily without her pacifier, she will not nap without it. I’ve tried a few times and it was a disaster. And again, she naps twice a day! At 1 1/2 years old! To me this is a major thing and not something I want to end. She needs those naps, on the days she doesn’t get both she is so cranky it is unreal. So the thought of taking the binky away and rocking the boat with the nap thing scares me. We have also reached full-blown toddlerhood (I’ll write a post on this soon) complete with tantrums. Sometimes giving her the binky is the only thing I can do to quell the storm.

I’m seriously at a loss as to what to do guys. Right now I feel the ideal solution is to wean her of the binky at night but let her have it during naps and if needed during the day. The only way to get her off it at night though is to let her cry it out. I have no issue with this, we’ve done it before but she is also a lot different now and I’m scared of the inevitable day that she learns to climb out of her crib and scared that a cry it out session might push her to try.

As you can see my mind is a jumble. I don’t know what to do or how to do it. Can someone else come do this for me? As I type this she is in the middle of a tantrum because I wouldn’t let her throw a book at my head. Binky to the rescue!

Does anyone have any advice? What would you do in my situation?




Filed under Baby Girl, Growing Up, Motherhood, Stay At Home Mom

12 responses to “The Binky Wars

  1. I’m wrestling with the same thing. In the moments where I think we can ditch them, something happens (illness, teething, some other change) makes them whine for them. And the Beats don’t sleep as well as Muppet.

    We need to decide on a date to go cold turkey and stick with it. It WILL suck, but I think it’s necessary. But damn if it isn’t hard.

  2. I didn’t want them either, but one day Miles made the connection and asked “ma” (more, i.e. I want it) and I didn’t have the heart to say no. Sad, yes. The twins, at 20.5 months still use theirs for naps and bedtime. Sigh.

    • This actually makes me feel better. We originally set a goal of getting rid of the binky by 2, so we still have 7 months to go. Maybe I just need to relax about it.

  3. I hear ya on this! I was hoping to wean my baby slowly off the binky during the day and only let him have it for naps/bed time. Today I didn’t let him have it during the day and he did great but if we had been out, I would have still given it to him to quell the tantrums. (He’s almost 16 months – tantrum territory). But I don’t know when/how I will go about weaning him off it at night and for naps. The good thing is, I have noticed that he falls asleep with it in his mouth but spits it out throughout the night and puts it back in randomly. I do know that one of his teeth is coming in really crooked…. :/

  4. Stacey

    I have nothing but experience and probably bad advice. My oldest had his binky until he was 3. He’s 5 now and I haven’t seen dental damage. My younger son had it until 2. He just forgot about it one day and we ran with it. I never would’ve predicted that! I know they probably had them too long. But it’s not like anyone goes off to college (or even kindergarten!) with a pacifier.

  5. Amy

    We had the 2 year rule for the paci too. He gave it up voluntarily one night at about 22 months and we were so excited. He slept fine. The next night, he wanted it back. We lived through ten nights of horror… he went from sleeping 12 hours a night to waking up screaming five or six times. Night eleven I gave in… at this point, I’d rather pay for braces forever than go through that again… We are past 2 now.

  6. So when my girl was Muppet’s age I started thinking the same thing and I have myself until her second birthday. Well her second birthday came and went and we still have pacifiers in bed for nap and bedtime. I talked with her dentist about this because I was started to think we had a big problem and her dentist was not concerned she said keep the paci and she would rather Molly keep the paci then switch to a thumb for comfort. She also said that how baby teeth come in is no indicator of whether or not permanent teeth will be crooked or not. At this point Molly has started cutting her second set of molars and sleep is once again hard. My new plan is to keep the paci until all molars are in or she chews holes through all of them (I will not buy anymore) and we have to throw them away which ever comes first. At this point no matter the meltdown she does not get them during the day just sleeping. good luck!!

    • This is actually really helpful. Maybe my goal should be to start cutting them out during the day (except naps) and go from there. She actually slept from 7:30-7 without her binky last night. So she only ended up having it for around 45 min this morning.

  7. E never used a pacifier but sucks her fingers and the dentist told us not to worry about it yet. On the other hand, I had more than 10 years of orthadontia, so I definitely understand not wanting to wait too long 🙂

  8. I echo other’s sentiments not to worry about it yet, but when you do decide to try to get rid of them I HIGHLY recommend the punctured binki trick. My cousin told me about it and it worked like a charm with my daughter. You just get her down to one binki and them poke a hole in it and every night make the hole a bit bigger and slowly they become disinterested. If they ask for another binki because theirs is broken, tell them there are no more and that one will have to do. My daughter was very binki dependent but after three days of poking holes in her last binki she stopped using it and them decided she wanted to trade it to the binki fairy for a toy (something we’d offered many times before that she hadn’t been interested in). It worked like a charm. This was when she was three.

  9. I did the opposite, took it away during the day but let her have it for naps and night time. She’ll be two in a month, and she no longer asks for the Paci when it’s not “sleep” time.

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