Breaking her off the Binky

When you don’t have children, it’s easy to be a “drive-by parent”.

My husband & I have 12 amazing nieces and nephews and it was fun to sit back and say; “we will never_____” – you can fill in the blank. We said it all. This parenting thing is going to be so EASY! Well – 2 years into our parenthood journey and at times it seems impossible to be rational when your child is hurting. You do crazy things that don’t make sense, like give your child a cookie at 8am. Or reading 5 books when you said only 2.

binky habit

As a parent there are times that your children are hurting and you would do anything to take the pain away. We had this very moment last weekend. Bear was turning two. We had been talking about how it was time to get rid of the pacifiers; Bear has so fondly called her pacifier “boppy” since she was able to talk. Now the “boppy” has been a wonderful thing in our life. Bedtime has always been a dream, Bear religiously takes a 2 hour nap every day (she just recently gave up her 2nd nap) and a nighttime of sleep is usually a minimum of 12 hours. Our girl is a dream sleeper!!

So we began researching; how do you break your 2 year old of her addiction to the “boppy”? I loved the rationalizing I found; my child only has her pacifier in bed, at 3 years old children can reason – wait until then, they will break themselves of it, and more. Let me tell you how great all of this sounded. But my husband and I had decided – 2 years old was long enough, it was time to break this little girl of her addiction. (and that is exactly what it had become, an addiction)

There were so many great techniques for breaking the binky out there:

- Leave the pacifiers out with the cookies for Santa (in exchange for toys)
- Tie the pacifiers to helium balloons and send them to Heaven
- Exchange your pacifiers for a bicycle
- And my favorite was- tell your child the binky ran off to Taco Bell

We liked the bike idea. So we began talking it up.
“Bear, you know “boppies” are for babies and bicycles are for big girls, right? Wouldn’t you love a bike? What color bike would you like? Do you want a big one or a little one?” We made such a big deal about this infamous bike. Her grandparents were calling her asking about the bike. Bear started to buy into it. We were getting excited…

THE DAY of the big exchange.

We went to Target – it was a family affair. We found the red bike, and we bought all the garb; the helmet, knee pads, basket for the front and bell. She loved it. We came home and while her father was assembling the bike, Bear gathered all of her “boppies”. Just like a big girl she threw them in the garbage. All was GREAT…until that first nap without the “boppies”. It was a disaster! We couldn’t cave on our plan – but I wanted so badly to take the hurt away from this little girl. She had a broken heart and truly didn’t know what to do with herself.

The next couple of naps & bedtimes were like we had a newborn again. But for those of you breaking your children from the pacifier…have faith, within a couple of days it passes.

So those times when you know what’s best, but your child is hurting – just have faith that “this too shall pass”. And to all of the “drive-by parents out there”…never say never.


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9 Responses to “Breaking her off the Binky”

  1. Mom101 February 14, 2008 at 7:54 pm #

    I absolutely feel for you. We had all these big crazy plans, but then one day (my daughter was in the 2 yo range) I said, hey – wanna give your binkies to some babies? And she got so excited, she gathered up all her binkies, dumped them in a shopping bag and we said goodbye to them. She never looked back. She just felt so good about having given her binkies to some poor babies who needed them.

    Or something. I’m still not entirely sure of the premise (I stole it from a friend) but hey, whatever works.

  2. Mommy-in-training February 14, 2008 at 8:30 pm #

    I found this encouraging as I am going through the same thing right now with my daughter. As i was searching for the best method I ran across this and got excited about hearing a success story. It made me laugh and cry a little. Why is it harder for the mom than the child?
    thanks for sharing, i may try the bike idea. Although i think the balloons are cute.

  3. Kim Lefko February 18, 2008 at 10:41 pm #

    Mom 101 – I find peace in hearing success stories like yours. We are enduring the journey…and so far, all is well. Thanks for your encouraging words!

    And to Mommy-in-Training; I know I speak on behalf of myself as well as Mom 101…persevere. All good things must end, even for a 2 year old. It’s amazing how quickly they get over something they were so fond of.


  4. Betsy Emerick February 22, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    Hey Kim- Hope you see this from me! Our oldest was too a die hard “binky” fan. We of course stressed ourselves about it as she turned one and still used it alot. Alot of people (including my Mother!) thought it was terrible that she still used it as often as she did, but life was a little bit easier with it. We did the only at nap and bedtime thing too. The way she got rid of it was that she bit the nipple part off one night and I couldn’t find it anywhere! I was afraid she swallowed it so I was freaking out a bit. We took it away cold turkey because of this. It only took two nights for her to get over not having her binky. What a relief!! I was so glad when our youngest Abby refused a binky, I thought phew we won’t have to worry about that. Unfortunately, she is a die hard thumb sucker and we can’t cut that off!!! The doctor has told us not to sweat it, that eventually she’ll stop on her own. I guess we shall see. It is kind of cute when she offers her thumb to me when I’m on edge. Good luck to all those Mom’s dealing with this issue!!! Don’t worry about what other people think- do what is best for you and your child!!!

  5. kelly September 4, 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    I am now going thru the trouble of breaking two babies of binkies.

    I have two children. ages 2 and 1. Both kids have duped me for almost a year. I am a working mom and my bundles of joy go to day care….binky free. Once I found out that the only place the kids had the binky was with me, I decided I needed to be the one in control!!!!

    My husband left last Saturday for a nine day trip to Ireland. I had a long talk with the oldest and explained that, ” Daddy was going to miss you so much, and needs to take your binky so he won’t be lonely.

    Night one was great. I thought, hell, I should’ve done this months ago. I even heard my two year old console the one year old who was screaming,”MY BINKY, MY BINKY,” say, “don’t worry Alice, Daddy has your binky.”

    Life was great for three short days. All of the sudden bedtime is a nightmare. It takes atleast 3 hours to get the oldest to sleep (who screams to the point of almost hyperventilating.) And on top of that he wakes at 2am once again requesting “that evil little plastic thing.”

    I have been very proud of myself because I have not caved, but I have sat for 6 nights now wanting to cry right along with him.

    His father is due home in 4 days and the child still has not forgotten that Daddy has his binky. What do I do??? (the one year old could care less….LOL)

  6. Lindsay Lebresco September 4, 2008 at 10:39 pm #

    Kelly- This is tough! I love your idea of your husband “taking” the binkies with him because he was going to miss them. And I’m sure you felt triumphant the first few days it worked out but I understand the pain of 3 hour bedtimes (we average at about 1 1/2 hours these days).

    I posted about my kids’ blankies (both my son and daughter use one when they sleep or when they are tired) and really about why I love them for the comfort they give the kids (and me). It’s my opinion (just an opinion) that if you haven’t “broken” the kids of their binkies since your husband has been gone, that upon his return, you give the kids their binkies back so as to stay “truthful” to the story you told them.

    Then whenever either of you ever travel or even just leave the house, you take the binkies with you so you won’t be lonely. They will get used to not having it much more frequently and then eventually won’t miss it as much as stopping “cold turkey.” Maybe consider this go round the first step in a longer, slower, more gentle process.

    So- stick to your guns. Either way in 4 days your husband can give them their binkies back or if it actually gets better, tell your husband to bring them back some really cool present in Ireland that he traded the binkies for!

    None of this really matters- just ideas for you but you’ll have to decide what feels right and how much you can endure. Best of luck. Perhaps Kim will weigh in as well (since it’s actually her post!!)

    Let us know how it all ends!

  7. Agnus Ollhoff January 25, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    I was trying to find more information on this topic this evening when I discovered your really interesting blog post…thanks a million for writing this. I will definitely be keeping an eye on your blog and visiting again to read new articles.By the way how long have you been keeping a blog? :)

  8. bella February 9, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    I was having major problems with my son’s binky use; well actually it was more along the lines of a binky addiction!! My friend absolutely raved about the cut method, and all of the psychology behind it. She found it on , which is great that it was also free. We went with it and OMGosh… worked so beautifully for my son with NO tantrums, not even one! Thank you God. Five days later he did not want anything to do with his binky. What a relief it was to all of us to finally be done with those darn binkies. Highly recommended! I am also interested in others experiences…. Bella

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