Did your kids use a binky or pacifier or nuk? How did you wean them of it? Here’s my story.
My Binky Boy
My oldest son, Jack, was a binky baby almost from the start. From 2 weeks to 2 years, Jack and his binky were never far apart. His pacifier of choice was a WubbaNub, and at the height of his attachment, we had three: a puppy, a giraffe, and a lion.
Most days between the ages of 1 and 2, Jack could be found with all three — one in each hand AND one in his mouth. We spent more hours hunting for a binky than I can even count. And don’t even get me started on the investment we made in WubbaNubs, each costing upwards of $13.
Teething took its toll on the binkies, and by the time Jack turned 2, we were down to our LAST WubbaNub, Mr. Lion. He was actually Mr. Lion 2.5, as we had replaced the original lion, which got a hole in the pacifier within a month, so we decided to sew a new pacifier onto the lion ourselves.
So when Jack bit a hole in his only remaining binky, we figured it was as good a time as any to say goodbye for good. At the time I was pregnant with Jack’s little brother, Henry, and we were hoping to break Jack’s binky habit before his brother was born. It was a rough couple of weeks and lots of tears were shed by all of us. But we were binky free!
The Return of the Binky
When Henry arrived about 6 months later, we had two new WubbaNubs on hand. We talked about how the binkies were for his baby brother and everything was fine, at first. But after a few months, the binkies were more and more often being “looked after” by Jack. And before we knew it, they were back in his mouth.
We fought it for a while, taking the binkies away and reminding him they were for Henry. But after weeks and weeks of trying to keep him away from the binkies, I was tired of trying to keep their germs separate, so I caved and told Jack he could have one of the WubbaNubs: Mr. Elephant.
I honestly thought the binky revival would be short-lived. I gave it a month or two, tops.
At first, we were able to limit the binky to bedtime only. But Mr. Elephant eventually started making car trips with us and getting lost ALL over the house multiple times a day. He went with us to Colorado in the summer and Chicago in the fall. And the only limits we were able to set were that the binky had to stay in the car and didn’t go to preschool. Other than that, from the ages of 3 to 4, Jack and his new binky were inseparable.
After months and months of almost constantly sucking on a binky, it was starting to impact his teeth and his speech, and we knew it was time to find a way to be done for good. Jack had been VERY careful not to bite a hole in his binky this time around, so cutting or breaking it intentionally seemed harsh. We also knew we had to live in a 100 percent binky-free household. Jack was never going to be OK with Henry having a binky when he couldn’t.
The Binky Fairy pays a visit
As Jack’s 4th birthday approached, we started talking about the Binky Fairy. She would visit our house to take the binky, leaving a new toy in its place. Jack was excited about this idea and decided he wanted a crane truck. Since a crane isn’t exactly as “cuddly” as a binky, we decided the Binky Fairy should also bring him a PJ Masks plush toy.
We wasted no time in making good on our promise. The day after Jack’s 4th birthday, we asked the boys to put their binkies in a box I had decorated for the Binky Fairy. Jack sat on the couch that morning, took one final “pull” on his binky, tossed it in the box and walked out the door. No tears. No looking back.
Once the boys left, I took the Binky Fairy box out to the trash and pulled out their new toys. I wrote a note from the Binky Fairy thanking them for giving away their binkies.
And then I had a big, ugly cry of my own.
When Jack arrived home after school he was excited to play with his new crane truck and excited to have a Catboy toy, too. I’m not sure Henry even noticed anything was different. Jack had a few nights of difficulty in falling asleep, but it wasn’t too bad. And we didn’t hear much about Mr. Elephant binky after that.
In the end, becoming a binky-free household was definitely the right decision for us. It was a relief not to spend a bunch of time hunting around the house for a binky or trying to set limits on its acceptable uses.