The Bink Wars.

April 7, 2010 at 9:30 am | Posted in Battles (aka: toddlerhood), milestones | 18 Comments

Operation No-Binky did not go well over the weekend.

Probably my fault. I left them out where they usually are – on the shelf where all his diaper changing supplies are.

To be fair, he asked for the bink three times before his naptime, and I just said “no bink.” He accepted that, I thought – didn’t fuss.

But he didn’t settle immediately when I put him into bed and left. I heard him chatting with his monkey and bear.

And ten minutes later, he was crying and yelling “BEEEEEE! BEEEEEE!”

When I went into his room, he was standing at the end of his crib, looking at the two binkies on his shelf.

Stupid me. I should have just hidden them. So I gave them to him. And he went right to sleep.

Sunday was a rough morning in all respects. O was up at 5:30am, which meant testing and tantrums. Right up until about 9:45 when I decided that it was naptime. I wasn’t about to try and take away his bink then, as I knew he needed the sleep.

So when I dropped him off at daycare on Monday, I warned his teacher that it hadn’t gone well and told her I expected no miracles.

Yet that’s exactly what’s happened. For the past two days, O has napped there without a bink. According to his teachers, he hasn’t even ASKED for it.

So clearly the bink usage is routine, something at home. Not neccessarily something he NEEDS.

Now see, here’s where I FULLY admit that it’s ME that’s concerned about taking away the bink before he’s ready. I was a thumb sucker. I have destinct memories of being eight or nine and thinking at night “I am WAY too old to do this” but having to suck my thumb as a way to fall asleep.

And I hate the idea of taking away his comfort.

But by the same token, I don’t want to end up with a preschooler who still needs a bink to calm himself. And he’s proven in the past two days that he CAN sleep without it.

So J and I made a decision that we will go cold turkey on Friday. No more binks in our house.

I just have a question as to whether the binks need to go missing, or if I involve O in putting them in a bag that goes away. I’m leaning towards involving O in the process, so that he feels a little more in control.

But my plan DEFINITELY involves a new stuffed animal for his crib.

And I’m expecting a rough couple of days, sleep-wise. I’m also expecting some measure of guilt on my end.

But at the end of it, I know this is best for him. And us.

(And here’s where I could use some successful binky-weaning stories, too.)



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  1. Good luck! It may be a tough weekend, but short-term “pain” for a long-term gain.

  2. Good luck. I am lucky that neither of my boys ever got too attached to their pacifiers. I have a friend who involved her son in the process. They packed up all of the pacifiers in a bad and brought them to the store to trade them in for a toy/stuffed animal. It worked great and he never asked for them again.

  3. I can relate to wanting to keep some comfort measures — I was a thumb sucker until grade school, too. I & N dropped their binks around age 8 months — first I, then N — but we do still give them bottles of warm milk at naptime and bedtime, for comfort; they are 16 months old. At some point I’ll phase it out, but I figure I have until preschool. : ) I have heard that involving the child is an easier, cleaner break from the bink. Good luck!

  4. good luck Serenity. I know how you feel, taking away the comfort. My boys make a big deal out of “putting thier nuk in their cubby” when they get to DC and the staff tells me that they never think about them until we come to get them, but their first words to me (esp Jacob) is always ..Hi Mommy, Nuk? I know it’s means my “mother of the year award” is NOT in the mail, but I don’t see the point in taking something away from them that makes them happy.

    Either way, I am sure O will be bink free sooner than later. Good luck on Friday 🙂

  5. Good Luck this weekend! I vote for involving him on the process.

  6. I have seen it done 2 ways that worked WONDERS, but it really depends on the kid…
    My baby cousin was TERRIFIED of mice, so they cut the tips off her paci’s and told her the mouse ate them, she never, ever asked for it again.
    My niece took hers to the mailbox, went to bed without it and got her “prize” in the mail the next day. (the prize wouldn’t have been there if she had used the paci)

  7. I had the EXACT range of emotions you are, and am having them again with our almost 2 year old. We are pacifier users in our home. Our first two were complete successes with clipping the pacifiers. I took the scissors and nipped off the end. My two (now 6 and 3) noticed it. I told them that the passy’s were getting old and falling apart. The next night I nipped them again (the kids NOT seeing me do this of course). I did this until there were just nubs. Both kept sleeping with them for several nights but obviously couldn’t put them in their mouths. No tears. No fighting. Noone was sad. We took the gradual process and it worked for us (translation…ME) 🙂 Just make SUUUUURE you get ALL of them from around the house, under beds, furniture, cars, etc. with whatever process you use! GOOD LUCK!!

  8. Wishing you luck! If he will understand it (which he seems quite smart) I think having him help throw them away will be good for him.

    Neither of my kids got into pacifiers. Michael never seemed to need anything (but NOW he has troubles sleeping); Willow is like her mom–a certified thumb sucker–yes, I sucked until about 9 years old–and then I stopped cuz of peer pressure–and braces. I have not tried to wean her, because I have noticed it is infrequent and I think that she will grow out of it (I hope!)

    Thanks for your comments on my post!

  9. My friends had a GREAT idea to help the kids choose NO BINKY.

    They tied it to a short string in the laundry room. If they want the bink, they have to stand in there alone, but it’s entirely by choice!

    They started w/a longer string so he could be in the kitchen at first, then shortened it every day until it was uncomfortable to stand there, right up against the door knob.

    Good luck!

  10. Terrell my oldest helped me mail them off to my sister and her young son. We packed them up and went to the post office together and said goodbye to the binky. I have pictures of him holding the yellow envelope and saying goodbye.

  11. I wish you luck. we did cold turkey and had 2 very rough days/nights. after the initial shock subsided things got better, but I have to say, i could tell my daughter was experiencing a sense of loss for at least a month, and that was the hardest part. She didn’t even remember what she was missing, but it made her glum nonetheless. If I had to do it over, I would take a more gradual approach and try to get her buy in on it. I think I could have spread it out over a month–given her more binky restrictions as someone above has mentioned, until the final good bye. It was that sense of loss from her that still makes me feel bad. She fucking grieved for the thing.

  12. Serenity my sweet, why are you so focused on getting him to stop now? It seems it really helps him, it’s not doing any harm. You say he doesn’t NEED it, it’s just a routine at home, but toddlers need routine, it makes them feel safe, so I think it’s a very subjective defintion of NEED. Personally I’d let him keep them until it’s less of a strong pull for him. Pob is keeping hers until she’s three, she told me, then the dummy fairy will come and give her a present instead. We’ll see what happens.

  13. I can’t recall exactly how it came about, but when I was 3 or 4 (definitely older than O) I somehow decided I needed need mine anymore. So my mom and I put it in the garbage together (and then the promptly ran the garbage to the curb before I could change my mind).

    It must have worked because 23 years later I don’t feel like I need it! 🙂

  14. I have no assvice. I can only imagine this is like the guilt I felt when Katherine was learning to self-soothe if she woke up at night. I cried, and felt horrible. It was best for her though.

    You can do it!! He has proven he doesn’t need it. Thinking of you guys!

  15. Good luck! I’ve heard toddler parents say it worked well to involve the child. Let us know how it goes 🙂

  16. Good luck! It’s great that he’s been fine the last two days – very hopeful.

    My mother let mine go all yicky. She would always give it when requested, but it was just too dented and munched-up to be appealing after a while. But I understand that’s not advised for safety and health reasons…

    With my sister, she accidentally dropped it out the car window one day, and my parents told her that was really sad, but what could they do? She had a rough twenty-four hours or so, then got on with her life.

    That’s all the stories I know!


  17. Harry never got into the pacifier — instead, he sucks two of his fingers, upside-down. t’s very awkward looking. And I think his fingers are misshapen as a result. He is also very attached to his blankie (though we try to limit it to bed/nap and the car). P is bothered by Harry’s self-soothing methods, but the thought of trying to cut him off before he’s ready (how one even does that when it’s fingers, I don’t know) brings up emotional issues for me, as, like you, I was a thumb-sucker for far longer than average and endured no shortage of teasing (within the family) and concomitant guilt/shame for it. In short, I have no advice but much sympathy.

    My friends who have successfully ditched the binky have mostly adopted either the we-are-packaging-them-to-send-to-another-baby strategy or the cut-off-the-tips-to-limit-the-appeal-and-call-them-broken approach. Both seem to have been successful.

  18. I am really hoping things go well this weekend!! M stopped taking his at naptime at daycare a few months ago. I tried to at home, but haven’t pushed too hard because of the obvious change in his life right now. When he was 15 months old I told him when he turned 2 we were going to take them to his ped to give to all the new babies. At his 2 year appointment I was sort of ready to do it, but she knows what is going on with my separation so she said she didn’t want to push him into it. Ironically this morning he was being a little clingy with the paci and I said something about big boys not needing them. He asked “baby paci doctor?” I assumed he was asking if we were giving his doctor the pacis for the new babies so I asked him that and he said yes. I then asked if he was ready to give them to her and he told me yes. So, I’m going to talk to him about it tonight and if it goes smoothly I might arrange to meet her to give them to her.

    Thinking of you all and wishing you luck and sanity this weekend!

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