I bet you didn’t know binkies came with milestones, did you? Well, they do. You have to train your baby to use one. Remember those days of the fussiness and tears? Remember holding it gently in your baby’s mouth until they realized how sucking on it had a calming effect?
Then came “night-night only” binky training. Making sure that the binky didn’t become an all day comfort system.
Then comes taking it away completely.
This is the way it’s supposed to happen. For us, it all went down the tubes when Morgan had her second set of ear tubes put in. Her one tube was clogged, which of course we didn’t know until four weeks later, but we surmise now that the pressure she felt in that ear was the catalyst for an all-day binky addiction. Yes, we regressed from the “night-night only” stage back to “all day comfort”.
Regression is a tough thing – it happens during potty training, it happens when a new baby comes home, and apparently it can happen during binky training as well.
I’d seen some recent “signs” that maybe Morgan was ready to give up the binky. Less reliance on it and less interest in it clued me in to her readiness. Today me and the kids took off for the grocery store. She asked for the binky, and I quickly realized, I didn’t have one! Problem solved – I don’t have one to give you, you don’t get one. (I did feel like a bit of a hard ass, but to be honest, as she cried for it I felt incredible guilt for not running in and getting it for her).
We made it through the morning without it (and with fewer tears than I expected) and I proceeded to put her down for nap without it. She cried and searched her bed for about 45 seconds, and that was it. I explained she was a big girl and no longer needed it.
She didn’t ask again for the whole day. And I didn’t miss it either. I could see my little girl’s smiling face all day. She was chatty cathy, telling us stories and singing songs all day long. I realized that even though the binky was an easy fix for a temper tantrum, it kept this spunky happy girl hidden from us.
And so it happened – I felt more guilty for letting her continue to have the binky than I felt for taking it away. And it became easy to withhold it.
Bedtime’s been a bit more difficult, as she found a binky pressed in between her bed and wall (thought I’d gotten them all!). She asked for it, but I reminded her that she was a big girl, and she has made an honest effort to go to sleep without it.
I couldn’t be more proud of her for giving it up, and only wish we’d pushed it sooner.
And the leftover binkies? Well, four of them are in the garbage. The fifth is locked away. It was such a part of my baby for so long, I couldn’t part with all of them. I need something to remind me that she is still my baby.