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Paci Detox

My son is 2 1/2 and is physically and emotionally connected to and reliant on his pacifier. Mostly he needs it just for sleeping. It usually stays in his bed. About 2 weeks ago, I made a deal with him that if he threw it away in the garbage we would go to the store and buy him a new Lightning McQueen car to replace it. He was very willing and immediately threw it away. Even in the store, as he was walking down the aisle holding his new cars (ya, I broke and got him a Doc Hudson too), he said, "No more pacifier, I got these cars!!" However, when it came time for bed, he had a horrible time falling asleep. As the days went by, he became more clingy, more whiny, couldn't sleep well. He used to go right down with no complaint and now he started to put up a fight. He's still in the crib because he doesn't climb out and I'm milking that one for as long as I can. He would whine and whine without really asking for the pacifier because he knew I wouldn't give it to him. Then one day I asked if he wanted it back and he was just so relieved that I mentioned it and he said he wanted it back. We are on vacation now and I gave in and gave it to him just before we left because he started to have potty accidents when we've been accident free for a few months now. I wasn't going to deal with all this while I was gone to grandparents' houses for 3 weeks! I've enforced the rule that the pacifier and blanket stay in the bed until it is nap time or bed time. That is working pretty well. Should I be worried that he is still using the pacifier? Did I totally mess things up by giving it back to him? I'm not sure if cutting the tips off would work because he is smart enough that he would say "Lets just go to Walmart and get a new one, Mom." I keep hearing conflicting advice that "he is too old" or "don't force him to give it up until he is ready" or "the longer you wait the harder it is because the more he gets attached to it". HELP!!!


The Mortensens said...

Well, personally, I've never had a binki baby. However, I've had siblings with binki babies. I think with most things in parenting, things change as the child is ready, and it's always harder to force them to do something, like use the potty before their ready, give up their binki's, moving them to a big boy bed, etc. BUT, there is also a time to step in, right? For me, 2 1/2 doesn't seem too old for a nighttime only binki, I think you're good there. The cutest and funnest looking idea I saw for getting rid of the bink was a binki party. The little girl was three, and they had binki inspired cupcakes, and other "binki" treats, did some fun activities throughout the day, and talked about how they were going to send her binki's to the binki fairy because she was a big girl now. At the end of the day, they tied all the binki's to some balloons and they let the little girl let them go. Then the binki fairy mysteriously wrote the little girl a note telling her thank you for the binkis, and what a great job she had done, etc. I'm pretty sure the note had a treat too. :)

Just an idea. It IS hard though, sometimes NOT making it a big deal makes it easier, but sometimes kids need the chance to let go. You'll laugh, but I still have my baby blanket, it hides under my pillow! Crazy huh, but I'm not severly damaged in any way from my mom letting me keep my blanket for that long. We moved so much that it became the only thing permanent in my life and now I'm just weird about it. But in other parts of my life I'm normal! :) I think.

Good luck!

Lisa said...

I'm right there with you. My 2 1/2 was weaned off it a year ago, but I gave it back when we had baby #2. I'm not going to take it away from her until I wean #2 off it.

When I do, I'm just gonna let her cry it out. That's what I did the first time. It took a week. And yes, they will be more clingy, whiny, sleep less,and harder to get along with. It's just the way it is. We gave her a bear to sleep with instead of a pacifier. It made womb sounds. It seemed to help.

The pacifier alters a childs normal behavior. When I weaned her off it the first time, her vocabulary went through the roof instantly because she didn't have this thing in her mouth and keeping her quiet.

But golly, I sure love that thing. It makes life so much easier doesn't it.

The Perkins Family said...

I just took my one year old off hers the other day. One night of on ehour of crying and she was good. BUT, now she won't take teo naps like she did before. Rats! But, she has totally forgotten about it. Whew! My oldest clung to his and we "accidently" lost it when he had a scary stay in the hospital for respiratpry stuff. He could hardly breath so he wasn't able to hold it in his mouth. He forgot about it after that. My daughter is three and a thumb sucker. I'd love to hear some advice about that. I was a thumb sucker and my parents made such a big deal out of it that I clung to it more I think. So I am trying n ot to make a big deal out of it and let her do it on her own. She has a bear that she lvoes to death, but sometimes I think that enables the thumb sucking too. We may have to get rid of both at the same time. I hear of people using one object to transist another, but in this case I don't think that would work. In most cases I think you would have a couple of bad nights and then typically your child would forget about the paci, but wow! yours is stubborn! and has a great memory! My advice is to get your traveling over with (keeping the paci) and after a few weeks of being home and getting into the normal routine, get rid of it forever and no going back. Do some little ritual or treat or whatever, but stick to it. Keeping it much longer could ruin his vocab progression or even social progression. I see a five yr old in our ward that STILL has it and it looks ludicrous!

Anna said...

My first was a binki kid, and at 2 and a little bit we "mailed" it to Grandma. I talked about it for a week with her and then the morning of she woke up and said "bye bye binki" and then she decorated an envelope and she walked it to the mail box. She kissed it good bye and dropped it in. We then had to call grandma and check on it several times during the day, and Grandma told her every time that she was taking good care of the binki and what a big girl she was for sending it to her. She wined at night and I just rocked her and sang her songs.

I think that by giving it back to him, that he may not be as willing again to give it up. You could maybe try a stuffed animal that he gets only at bed time in place of the binki, so that he still gets something he loves at bed time and will go down easier. But I don't know, my second was a thumb baby and still is and she is almost 2 1/2, I don't know what to do about that. I think you are the Mom, if you don't think he's too old for it then don't worry about it, it doesn't matter what others say/think. he's not going to be 12 and still sucking a binki. If he was having all those problems because the binki was taken away then he wasn't ready, I'd give it another while, especially if he only gets it at sleep times.

Shannon said...

I am SOOOO a pacifier mom & so were my boys. I took my son's away from him earlier this year...I think around 2 1/2. Can't remember. 1st he could only have it in his bed...just like you did. Then slowly I wouldn't offer it to him or if it fell behind the crib (yes mine is still in his crib almost 3 cuz he doesn't try to climb out) I just wouldn't find it. My husband sabotaged me a few times but finally it went away forever. Then I did a blog entry about it & he would see the pics of the pacifier & say that's mine & I would just say he's a big boy now & doesn't need it anymore. It would break my heart to see him struggle & see his little mouth moving trying to find it but he let go. You just have to go with your timing. I'm impressed that you've dealt with potty training already. Good luck...I wish you the best & once you guys are done with it it'll seem like forever ago. :)

Janalee said...

My girls were binki babies untill the weaned from nursing, then we cut the tips off (which was easy since they were both just over a year old) but I have a friend that was in the same boat as you. Her boy was 3 when they finally got rid of the binki. He would fight to go to sleep and then he couldn't sleep through the night. So here's what they did. They rewarded him with aomething in the morning if he went to bed without a fuss and stayed in his bed all night long. They chose sugary cold cereal (Also good for weaning off a sippy before bed, We do chocolate or strawberry nesquick , and if you at a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon to their milk they get less sugar and they don't know the difference). So after the initial toss of the binki, consider giving them a new reward instead of giving in with the return of a binki.

In the last binki question someone commented that they put their kids binki in a "Build-a-bear" Good idea!!!!!!

Another idea from super nanny: Gather up all the binki's and mail them to a "new baby" as your kid is no longer a baby and the babies need binki's to teach them to not cry!

~Janie~ said...

I was one of those "my kid will NEVER have a binki when they're THAT big" Yup. I had one.When my Bug turned 3 she was qite fluent in know,talking withg it in their lil' mouths.One day I gathered all her binkis & painted them all with this icky tasting stuff for thiumbsuckers. Stopsit,i think it was called.I then told her that sometimes when you're a big girl binkis don't taste good anymore.And when she put one in her mouth,she'd say yuck..then ask me to wash it,which i would.(it doesn't wash off) She hunted thru the whole house looking in her usual hiding spots.And evertime there was a yuck,I'd tell her she must be a big girl.She ended up just carring them around for a couple days and then just gave them up. It was easy schneezy.

Shalee said...

I think it's so great to hear everyone's opinions and ideas. I think the main theme is that there is no one way to do it and you need to do what works best for your family.

What worked for us was to wean him off of it. We did as some of you and taught him that the pacifier could only stay in the crib. I didn't mind him having it during naps and bedtime. If he ever went in to get it then I would just put him in the crib with it until he was ready to get out again. It wasn't a was just a way to teach him that the pacifier did not come out of the crib. I'd say something like "Oh, you want the pacifier? Ok, but you have to have it in the crib. Let me know when you're ready to get out." And then we'd play a game where he got to dramatically throw the pacifier in the crib before I got him out.

Then he started biting them and they would break. I refused to buy anymore so I told him that when they were all broken they would be all gone. We counted down from 4 and over the next few weeks when we were down to 1 I told him over and over again that as soon as this pacifier got a rip then we would throw it away and there wouldn't be anymore. It seemed to work. He didn't fight me at all and it was a really easy transition.

For me I like to keep the pacifier in the crib starting at age 2. I did also introduce a stuffed animal to act as a comforter to him at this point as well...although for the most part he could care less about it now.

Good luck!

The Paynes said...

I've never had a binki baby, and after the first few months, was always happy for it, since I've heard these tales before. Using it to sleep seems fine, but I've seen 3 yr olds at church still plugged with one and I've noticed they don't talk as well or as much. But it's your kid and if you both are happy, stay happy! I do remember weaning from bottle to sippy and how much my boys hated that, but after one sour week, they got through it fine. Change is hard on babies, but they always emerge just fine.

David and Shelly said...

Wow wow and wow again! These suggestions are awesome. I need to print all these off and we will definitely use these. This blog is the best!

meghan said...

I'm with the moms who say dont force it. My oldest son is 3 1/2. He LOVES his binki. However for a long time now we have reserved it for only bed time. Within the last few months sometimes he will go to bed without even asking for it. We don't readily offer it. He knows he can have it at bedtime but he has to ask. So he is slowly growing out of it. I always felt guilty but my friend who has a son that is very attached to his blanket said "if it was a blanket would you take it away" to which i thought NO. his binki is his comfort item and he is slowly weening himself off it. NO Harm there. At least that is my opinion ;0)

Anonymous said...

my middle child was a dodi baby and completely addicted. she needed at least 2 with her every where she went!
when she turned 3 i decided enough was enough and we hung them all (well as many as we could find) on the christmas tree to give to santa so he could pass them onto the new babies who needed them. we talked about it for a few weeks before christmas she she knew what was happening, and let her hang them herself. she did ask occasionally but once we reminded her where they had gone, she accepted it and hasnt had one since!
we shall be doing something similar next month when she turns 4 to get rid of her bedtime milk in a baby bottle.
hth :)