Giving Binki the Boot

I responded to everyone’s comments on yesterday’s post, just so you know. Thanks, as always, for your thoughts.

So we’re trying to give Isa’s binki (pacifier) the boot this coming weekend (well, week really but we’re starting Friday night).

I have to admit, I’m terrified.

We’re on a strict binkis-are-for-bedtime regimen but she fights it a lot. She LOVES her binki and really seems to NEED it when she’s upset and for falling asleep. It’s going to be a total shit show getting rid of it, I’m sure. But I think now is the time.

The reason I’m trying to do this now is that, well, she’s THREE YEARS OLD. I’m all for transitional objects. I’ve proudly declared that I still sleep with my childhood blankie (and when I say “sleep with” I mean, I will look for 45 minutes if I can’t find it before bed because the idea of going to bed without it is horrifying for me). So I’m all for Isa taking her blankie to the grave with her (when she’s 150, of course) and everywhere in between. I have no qualms with her having a lovie or touting around something that helps her self-soothe, but I really do believe she’s at the age where she shouldn’t have a binki. I don’t want it to mess up her teeth. She has some BAD GENES in the teeth department (and a mom who had a hell of a time giving up her thumb at seven years old).

So I do believe it’s time for her to give up her binki. I’ve decided to give this weekend/next week a try because she’s home with me so we won’t have to worry about complications during nap time at school. Also, it won’t be so hard for her to be tired if it takes her forever to fall asleep without it. Plus, I think we need to give her at least a couple months without her binki before she starts seeing Baby Brother enjoying his. I figure it will be impossible to wean her off it if she sees him with one all the time, so we need to nip this in the bud pronto.

Now, I’m writing this post not because I find any of this particularly interesting, but because I was hoping some of you might have some tips on how to do it. Your suggestions are always SO HELPFUL. (Seriously, I’ve been meaning to write about how I used two of the suggestions on the bedtimes-have-gone-to-shit post and within a night we’d reclaimed our evenings. It’s like we’re different people now that bedtimes takes 30 minutes again. I can’t thank you all enough for the strategies). So I thought maybe if I wrote about this here, people would have AMAZING ideas for how to manage this as painlessly as possible.

My cousin said someone told her to prick a hole in her daughter’s binki and that over a couple of days, she would just lose interest because it wouldn’t really soothe like it used to. She told me her daughter was OBSESSED with her binki and used it most of the day and after the pin prick trick (she poked a hole or two a day every day for three days) her daughter just stopped using it of her own accord. It literally took three days and no tears. The whole thing seems way too easy to believe, but I’m definitely going to try it. Luckily we’re only using one binki these days (Isa has the Wubbanub binkis with the animals attached) so I can probably get away without subbing “elefante binki” with one of her other animals–she literally hasn’t seen them in months. And if it works like my cousin says it will, then holy shit! That is awesome! If it doesn’t I guess we’re going to have to call in the binki fairy and hope for the best.

Any other ideas/suggestions/tried-and-true methods you guys have for ditching binkis? I’m seriously open to anything at this point. No idea is too extreme. 😉

7 responses

  1. Hey! I don’t have any suggestions, other than 1 friend who tied it to some helium balloons to offer it to the fairies or some such thing (forgetting the details). Just wishing you mega good luck. S uses his for naps only but I fear that if we took it away he would stop napping. Will be following to see what works for you.

  2. When we ditched the paci, we happened to be going on a train ride with Thomas, so I told Liam that Thomas wanted him to give him his pacis, so that he could take them to babies who really needed them. He LOVES Thomas & apparently would do anything for him– he handed them right over to the conductor when we asked him to that day. He asked for it that night, and for a few days after, but every time, we reminded him– “You gave them to Thomas, remember?” He was totally satisfied with that answer. No tears.

    A friend of mine had her daughter use her pacis to “buy” something new. Her husband went into the toy store ahead of them, and let them know what was going on– she went and picked out a new toy, then walked up to the counter and presented the pacis to “pay” for her new toy. (Husband then paid for it while she was distracted.) This worked really well for them.

    For us (and them) it went smoothly when we gave the kids a reason to give them away– rather than just taking them away. Good luck!!

  3. I don’t have advice for a three year old. We ditched the dummy when we ditched the night feed but Molly never seemed to really need it. However apparently I loved my dummy and I was 4 when I gave it up and I think I’m ok (sometimes) so don’t stress too much!!

  4. No personal advice here. Gus was 9-months old and the same night that we stopped the night feeding we took the pacifier away, too. Gus was never too attached to his pacifier, so that made things easier. I would think the easiest approach would be a send-off to the pacifiers (either replacing it with a different comfort item or sending it to the paci fairy) and making sure she’s reinforced over and over and over again that paci’s are for babies/little girls and she’s a big girl.

  5. When I first looked at this post I thought it said “Giving the Bikini the Boot” and thought I did that a long time ago- lol! Anyway, I remember reading Stef’s blog about her giving them to Thomas…I have friends that do similar things- give them to the new baby, or a friend’s baby, etc…I have never heard the hole thing but hey, worth a shot! Good luck- look forward to reading how it turns out.

  6. I remember reading someone telling the story of giving the binki to the binki fairy. I wish I could remember the whole detail – but it worked for their child. The important thing was that they had a lead up to it – the child knew that “next weekend” or whenever they were having a little ceremony and giving the binki to the fairy (or whatever magical/fun creature it was), and so it wasn’t a nasty shock for them.

  7. We did the “byebyebinky” method which at the time was free download. Apparently you have to pay now. But it is basically one hole the first night, a few the next and then slowly snipping away the binky night after night. It worked great for us especially when in the car, which was one of the places our then 2 year old still used his binky. He immediately stopped using it in the car once it had just a tiny bit snipped off. Awesome! Now for night time he kept it and used it to fall asleep even when it was just the plastic “handle” part with all of the “nipple” completely cut off. He would just hold the plastic “handle” to his mouth even though there was no nipple to suck. Adorable in a sad, pathetic sort of way. Then I just introduced another lovey and “lost” his actual binky. It was still a little rough for a couple of nights but then he was fine. If they notice the binky is different, you’re supposed to just tell them it’s broken and give them another if they have more than one (of course they’re all “broken”). Oddly our 2 year old never really questioned or acted like he noticed. But with a three year old, I’m not sure. You would have to be able to really lie to pull it off. I also really like the idea of the binky fairy. I may do a combination of the two with my daughter when her time comes.

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