Bye Bye, Binky

Photo by Vanessa Serpas. From www.unsplash.com

I didn’t offer Abby a pacifier until she was six months old and her breastfeeding was well established, as recommended by her pediatrician and my lactation specialist. Prior to that, she would sometimes suck on her thumb, but it wasn’t something that she did often. I tried five or six different brands and styles of pacifiers until she found one that she liked. She was very picky about bottle nipples and woukd only take MAM brand ones, so I guess it made sense that she would only take a MAM pacifier too. The pacifier seemed like a lifesaver at first because she would use that for comfort, rather than always wanting to be attached to my breast.

Abby is very attached to her “binky.” I have been wanting to break her pacifier habit for a few months, mainly because I know she doesn’t really need it any longer, I want her to talk more rather than to keep a plug in her mouth all day, and because of orthodontic concerns. My sister sucked her thumb until she was six and developed a gap in her front teeth requiring braces for correction.

She does not use a pacifier at daycare. She takes it out and places it with her jacket and shoes when she arrives. As soon as we get to the car when I pick her up in the afternoon though, she is insistent on having her binky back. If we leave it at daycare or if we do not have one she will often cry, pout, or whine about it all the way home. She will not forget about it and constantly bring it up until she gets one; it’s almost like she has separation anxiety when apart from it for too long.

I have been hesitant to completely take the pacifier away. My biggest concern is that trying to do that while she has been ill, potty training, and soon to have a major life change with a new sibling will cause her to have more tantrums or regress with her successes in potty training. I also want to work on how she falls asleep at night- since she changed from the crib to the twin bed she requires someone to lay with her until she falls asleep, which is not a practical or sustainable habit that I wish to continue, especially with a baby who will be here soon. For the past week I have only been allowing her to use binky at night.

I am debating on how long before I completely do away with the pacifier. I am afraid that if I do it now I will have more trouble when we take on sleeping alone at bedtime. I also don’t want it to be a crutch that I allow her to hang on to for too long. Selfishly, I have also hesitated because she has finally started sleeping longer and waking less often at night, and Mom needs sleep. And, admittedly, part of me isn’t fully ready for my baby girl to give up one of her last pieces of babyhood either.

I think next week we will finally take the leap. I will let you know how it goes!

How long did your children use a pacifier? How did you go about getting rid if it? How old were they at the time? I would love to hear your experiences.

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