To Binky Or Not to Binky

From The Cooking Mama.

Goose is almost 21 months old and yes, she’s still using a binky. We weaned from breastfeeding ages ago, she’s showing a mild interest in potty training, and she sleeps through the night pretty reliably, but Goose’s attachment to the binky (or mimi, as she calls it) seems to be one of the last holdouts from her infancy. And I can’t stop waffling about taking it away.

Greedy Goose

I’m definitely feeling pressure from well-meaning (but nevertheless annoying) friends and family. Their concerns range from teeth problems to speech issues, and then there are some people just don’t like how it looks. To be honest, I’m not crazy about my kid running around with a colorful piece of plastic hanging off of her face, either, but I wouldn’t dream of telling someone else that their child looks silly (which has actually happened to us at the grocery store – thanks for your Very Important Opinion, lady in line behind us). As for the potential for speech problems, that has definitely not an issue we’ve encountered, as Goose is extremely verbal, even talking emphatically around her mimi, which I also admit to disliking. I am concerned about misaligned teeth – although studies have shown that crooked teeth typically occur when pacifier use or thumb-sucking continue while permanent teeth are emerging – but mostly because my own teeth are wonky.

While there are plenty of valid reasons for getting rid of the pacifier, I find it hard to take the cold-turkey approach because Goose’s mimi is such a source of comfort for her. She hasn’t really taken to any of the “lovies” we’ve offered to her, but she would definitely carry if not suck on a mimi all day long if I let her. So for now, in an attempt to ease the transition, we are restricting the pacifier use to her crib only. We haven’t been perfect about it (sometimes I cave when she’s really upset, and daddy needs a lot of reminders), but Goose seems to be doing okay with not getting her instant soother every time she’s upset. About half the time, when we get her out of her crib, she tosses the paci in without even being asked. She’ll probably be ready to quit altogether soon, and if it goes anything like weaning did, Goose will basically do it by herself and surprise the heck out of me again. Should she put up more of a fight this time, I have some strategies from moms who have BTDT, like the binky fairy (same concept as the tooth fairy, only the binky fairy leaves a new toy or book), or trading in the binkies for a new toy at the store (I’ve heard that if you get a nice cashier, he or she might agree to play broker and handle the trade for you, making it extra official). Either way, I’m trying not to stress or give myself and Goose an arbitrary deadline for giving up an object that has comforted her since the day she came home from the hospital. And that’s my official stance…for today.

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3 Responses

  1. We had a similar issue with my daughter and bottles (which she carried around in her mouth hands free and used like a pacifier). We tried several methods including the cold turkey and only one thing eventually worked. We gave/gifted all her bottles to another baby. Because bottles were for babies afterall – not big girls. She helped me put them in a gift bag and then handed them to her. I think she just needed some logic behind it and giving them to a baby made sense to her. The cold turkey method didn’t make any sense to her and just pissed her off! Another great thing about gifting them to a baby was that she thought they were no longer in the house so she didn’t throw a fit looking for them. The baby also gifted back some pretty cool princess big girl sippy cups : ) Good luck!!!!

  2. That’s a great idea for bottles, BruinMama!

  3. We did the same approach with the “paci” for The Big Cheese. A few months after her baby sister was born, we told her that all the new babies in the hospital needed their own pacis. And, since she was a big girl, she didn’t need one anymore. I got a big manila envelope, and we loaded it uo. We addressed it to “Babies at the Hospital.” Daddy us to the post office, and The Big Cheese watched me walk in wit the envelope. I then shoved it in to my large purse and disposed of it later.
    For MONTHS afterwards, she would point at mail trucks and say “My pacis are on that mail truck. It’s taking them to the hospital.” It made the whole transition meaningful for her, and gave her outlet for discussing their absence from her life.

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