May 23, 2011

Operation Bye Bye Binky

          When I was pregnant with SB, hubby and I were unsure how we felt about pacifiers. Neither one of us had one when we were babies. I was planning to breastfeed, and had been warned about introducing one. We read a lot about it and did not come to any conclusion.
          After SB was born, we ended up using one (and for the record, I nursed her for one year). As an infant, she was never too reliant on them. She liked them well enough, and one could easily soothe her in certain situations. She usually slept with one, but never had it during the day.
          I was adamant about weaning her from the Binky by the time she was two. But the older she got, the more attached to it she became. She wanted it all the time. Day and night.
          I'll be flat out honest - I knew it would be unpleasant when we tried to take it away, and I just didn't feel up to it. Selfishly, I didn't want to deal with it. I wasn't ready for the battle I predicted would result.
          Our pediatrician told us there is really no need to worry until the age of three. Beyond that, the pacifier can create dental problems. The other day, however, I noticed her two front teeth are starting to stick out. It is clear from the way they have moved it is from the pacifier use.
          And that was it. Operation Bye Bye Binky was launched. I had no strategy whatsoever. I just declared one morning that it was time. I didn't feel it was best to try to go cold turkey, so my first goal was to get her back to only using it when sleeping.
          The first day was awful. I swear she whined for, "Bee Bee Ya Ya" 1,875,691 times! At one point, she was sobbing, and I felt like The.Worst.Mom.On.The.Planet. But, distraction worked well, and I made sure I kept her busy.
          I also came up with an idea she seemed to like. We placed Bee Bee Ya Ya under her pillow when she awakened, and said, "Bye Bye." Then, when it was time to return to bed for sleeping, we made a big deal out of finding it.
          By Day 3, she was voluntarily placing Bee Bee Ya Ya and her security blanket, Miss Kitty, under the pillow and leaving them with no fuss.
          Now I have to figure out when and how to wean her of the nighttime habit. I have a lot of friends who had a Binky Fairy come and leave a present in place of the pacifier. That's one reason I started having her place it under her pillow.
          I also have heard from women who had great success by cutting the Binky. They continued to let the child have it, but the child didn't like it anymore, and that was that.
          Knowing SB's personality, hubby and I both think the cutting method will work best. But we're thinking we'll keep one intact just in case. I'll keep you posted...
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