This article is about breaking your child from their binky habit.
The binky was the worst thing in the world with my daughter. She was so easy on just about everything else. She broke from the bottle before she was a year old, potty trained at just a little over 18 months, we never really even had trouble with getting her on a good bedtime routine. But that binky was sure to kill me. Attached is an understatement. She packed that thing around literally everywhere she went. Sometimes, she’d pack around three or four just in case she lost one. Every time I went to wash a load of laundry I’d find pockets full of binkies, and heaven forbid she finally lost them all and didn’t have one for bedtime. I’d be flipping the house upside down, digging in couch cushions and under furniture looking for just one stray binky to get us through the night.
It was super cute and all. And I was secretly a little glad the she chose a pacifier over her thumb, because everyone always told me, “you can take away a pacie, you can’t take away her thumb.” But, eventually, I started to worry. She was going on three years old. I was concerned about it causing problems with her teeth and speech, plus she was starting to chew the ends off of them, which was a huge choking hazard. So I resolved to get her off of them, and quick. I was not willing to risk a tragedy for the sake of a few minutes of peace with a binky.
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So we stopped buying them. She had tons stockpiled for a while. But as I said, she was chewing them up, and every time she chewed one to pieces it went in the trash. We told her, “You’re chewing the binkies up and it’s not safe. When you chew them, they have to go in the trash. Once you’ve chewed them all, we’re not buying anymore.” It took a few days, but she eventually destroyed them all. I was terrified that things would head south and I’d be left with an inconsolable toddler and some seriously wracked nerves. So we stopped by the Dollar General and secretly picked up an extra pack. Just for the “in case.” It was a rough couple of nights, but somehow or another, we stood strong and stuck with it. Honestly, I think I forgot about that secret extra pack on top of the cabinet or I would’ve caved once or twice. I’m not going to pretend like it was easy. Because it was not. But we got through it, and you can too!
Just make sure you’re leery of some of the advice running around out there. Here’s what I’m compiled about breaking your child from their binky habit:
Do Not Cut The Tips Off The Pacifiers
This was one of the most common “tips” I was given when trying to break our daughter. And it was a really crappy one. The whole point of it was, the cut tip would lessen the suction on the pacifier, making it less satisfying for the kiddo. If it didn’t do what they wanted it to, they’d ditch it on their own. It sounds good in theory, but it can be dangerous. In just the same way that it was dangerous when Temperance was chewing the ends off of hers. It can pose a serious choking hazard, leaving the silicone to rip off in chunks more easily. Please don’t do this. If a binky is showing signs of wear or ripping, toss the thing in the trash.
Please Don’t Use Hot Sauce Either
Seriously. This is just cruel. Hot sauce is hot. That’s why it’s called hot sauce. All you’re going to accomplish with that is an even crankier and most likely in pain, baby. Not to mention it could upset their little tummies quite quickly. I don’t recommend soap, Vaseline or anything else nasty. It’s just mean and not effective. Thankfully, I was only given this advice once or twice.
Cold Turkey Is Not For Everyone
Going cold turkey kind of worked for us. Kind of. But it was terrible for a couple of days. She was cranky and didn’t understand why we weren’t just buying more like we always did. We stuck to our guns, continuing to tell her that she’s gotten too old for them, and she was only chewing them, tearing them up and making them dangerous at this point. Not that she really cared. Thankfully, it only lasted a few days with her. But every child and every parent is different. Some kids are just too stubborn and this method is not going to work with them. Plus, a lot of it depends on just how much screaming you’re willing to listen to. If it’s a particularly stressful point in life, I really don’t suggest giving this a go.
Try Some Small Bribes
Bribing our children. It’s what 90% of parents resort to when all else fails. We all do it. We all know we all do it even if we don’t all want to admit it. And sometimes, it works. So, why not give it a go here? Make a little sticker chart to hang on the wall. Every day they go without using their binky, they get to put a sticker up. At the end of the week, they get a little prize. Maybe at the end of the month, they could get a little celebration, like an ice cream party, a trip to the movies or the park. Whatever will motivate them. We all could use a little bribing sometimes.
Is There A Binky Fairy?
There’s a tooth fairy. So why not a binky fairy? Same concept. Stick the binky under the pillow, when they wake up there’s a dollar or toy in its place. I’ve also heard of people using little babies to their advantage. If someone you know has a new little one, or even a little one younger than yours, encourage your child to give their binkies to the new baby. If there’s not a new baby available you could even use the hospital to your advantage. Bag up all the pacies and take them to the newborn wing of your local hospital. Let your little one see all the new babies in the window and then give their bag of binkies to the nurse. Obviously, they’re not going to use them. But most nurses are wonderful people and I’m sure would be more than happy to play along and toss them later.
No matter what, breaking a child from their “vice” isn’t an easy thing to do. Whether it be a binky, a bottle or whatever else, it’s difficult for little ones to let go of something they love. So give them a little time and give yourself some time too. Unless their teeth or speech is being effected, or their chewing them to smithereens like mine did, don’t push them too young. Be patient and remember that it won’t necessarily happen overnight. There will be some tears and some long nights, but just find what works best for you and your child. I’ve never seen anyone go to college with a binky still in their mouth.
My name is Andrea Thompson and I’m a home based freelance writer. I’m 23 years old, married to my best friend, and mother to a wonderfully independent and opinionated 3 year old girl and step-mother to a sweet seven year old boy. I live in a tiny, little town in Kentucky, where I spend my free time fishing with my kids.
Writing has always been my passion, which I followed through high school, and for a while in college. Life happened, and once I discovered we were pregnant, I switched directions; opting for the healthcare industry because of the stability.
Finally, years later, I was in a place where I could leave the day job that never truly made me happy, and pursue my dreams. I’ve built, and am still building, my writing career from scratch. But, I’m passionate and I’m good at what I do. And, in the end, I can prove to my daughter that she can do anything she wants with this life.