First of all, if you are about to try and ween your little one off of their pacifier (we call Carter’s his binky), I am already sending prayers. This process has had me just as exhausted as Carter was! But we are starting to get the hang of things, so I’d love to share a few tips and the methods to our “training.” I’d also like to add, that we started this process quite some time ago from letting Carter have his binky any time of the day, to limiting it just at nap and bedtime. Our plan now was to fully get rid of it!
We decided to make a goal a while back, that by the time Carter was two we would hopefully be a “binky-free household.” That is until our baby girl arrives in July I suppose! But we’ve been dreading it for months, and all of a sudden it’s April and Carter will be two on the 26th! Now, I realize every child is different, so what worked for us may not work for your little one, but I hope some of the tips help at least some parents!
I decided to start on a Monday. A fresh new week, full of new opportunities and goals, right? Well, let me tell you, it was QUITE THE WEEK (and a half..). I honestly thought it was going to be easier than it actually was.
Tip #1: Talk about getting rid of the pacifier in a way that your child would understand.
We woke up in a great mood that Monday morning, so I decided to take a chance and see how Carter would react if I told him that at nap time that day, we would no longer have our binky to sleep with. I actually went and got the three pacifiers that were in Carter’s crib, and brought them out into the living room. I used them as a visual, and we actually said “bye bye” to each one. I realize that this sounds sad or like a dang funeral but I played it off in a positive way. I made nice comments that Carter was becoming such a brave boy, and that he would no longer need his binkies to sleep with. I mentioned that we didn’t need our binkies to keep us safe, because God keeps us safe all day and all night. I said that mommy and daddy are brave too and know that God helps keep us safe too. Being brave was our big go-to because we’ve been reading a few books and bible stories about bravery. I felt like this was big deal in our case, because I could tell whenever Carter had his binky, that he just felt safe.
I put the three binkies in a box, and went to put them in the closet. Carter seemed to catch on right away and started whining following me. I put them away, and sat down with him continuing to say how brave and strong Carter is, and that he would be just fine without them. It seemed to click! I was thinking to myself “Wow, piece of cake!” Little did I know…
Tip #2: Replace the binky with something “new” or useful that they will feel comfort with while sleeping.
I realized that without Carter’s pacifier, he really didn’t have anything to snuggle with or comfort him as he fell asleep at night. He sometimes would wake up in the middle of the night crying, but he would find a binky and go right back to sleep with it. I have a new favorite baby brand: Kyte Baby, that makes amazing blankets, pajamas, and other goodies for kiddos. The bamboo material is SO soft; I wish all of my own clothes felt like that! I discovered this brand when they were having a sale, so literally everything was 60% off. I decided to order a few things for our baby girl of course, and then also a pair of pajamas for Carter and one of their “Toddler Blankets.” I realize that full price they are about $80.00, but I got mine for $30.00 during the sale, so just keep an eye out for sales by joining their Facebook group or email list! You won’t be disappointed!
I am attaching the information for this blanket, because honestly it’s been a lifesaver as we transition off the pacifier. I originally ordered the blanket thinking it’d be nice to put with Carter’s big brother present for when our baby girl gets here. Or I had thoughts for Carter to use it right now, and when he gets his big boy bed eventually because the blanket itself is so nice and big. I didn’t realize how much of an impact it would have on us during “binky training.”
I introduced this blanket to him the day we said goodbye to our pacifiers, and explained that this new blanket would help him stay brave and feel safe while he would take his nap and go to bed. The blanket is beyond soft and really comforting so I felt like it was a nice replacement. I explained that now we would have a nice new blanket to sleep with instead and tried to sound ultra excited about that so he would be too LOL.
Tip #3: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It’s okay if it takes a while!
It came time for nap time that fine Monday, our first sleeping encounter with no binky. I knew Carter was tired. I was wondering if he was going to remember that there would be no binky to sleep with. We headed into his room, I turned his sound machine on, changed his diaper, and got him all settled in. I covered him with his new blanket, and reminded him that this would keep him warm, brave, and safe. He also has this plush Koala bear rattle that he has slept with since he was about eight months. (Highly suggest one of these choices from: Organic Farm Buddies. I’ll definitely get one for our baby girl too! Here’s the link: http://www.applepark.com/organic-plush-farm-buddies/organic-plush/kozy-koala-14-plush.html). It’s always been super calming for Carter, especially on long car rides too!
Everything seemed fine, until I didn’t hand him his binky like I normally do. He looked so confused and kind of rolled side to side looking around to see where it was. I reminded him that we have our special “blankie” now instead to help us nap and sleep at bedtime. It was a full blown meltdown from there. Carter was SO upset. I honestly thought everything was just fine, and little did I know how much not having his binky would make him feel! He stood up and was just screaming and crying SO hard. I picked him up and soothed him, rubbed his back and sang to him. He seemed to calm down but the second I would go to lay him back down, it was another epic meltdown. I FELT AWFUL. But I was trying not to give in because that wouldn’t help us at all. I decided to just hold him and rock him in his room, and eventually he fell asleep in my arms. I laid him in his crib, and he napped. He was only asleep for about an hour, but it was without his binky so I felt a little accomplished. But I was already dreading bedtime…
We gave Carter a bath before bed, read our usual bedtime books, and headed into his room. He had his sound machine on, his new blanket, and all seemed well. I gave him lots of hugs and kisses and I went to go lay him down. He immediately arched his back and started to put up a fight… he already knew his precious binky would not be in there waiting for him! The hardest part was that he just sounded SO sad. I ended up rocking him to sleep, and then he ended up being fine through the night.
Tip #4: Stay consistent.
I SO wanted to give in and give Carter his binky back. I think I actually cried to myself because I felt so bad at one point! I also think I was having serious pregnancy emotions that entire week. But I mainly just felt bad, and had all sorts of thoughts that Carter wouldn’t like me anymore! Yes I know, dramatic. But the fact that we did stay consistent made such a huge difference in my mind. I surprisingly didn’t give in, and I think that helped the process. I highly recommend trying your best to stay consistent!
Tip #5: Don’t even mention the word, “binky.” (Or whatever you call your child’s pacifier!
Or if anything, spell it out instead LOL! I don’t think we’ve mentioned the word binky in almost two weeks now. And I swear it’s helping because at this point, Carter doesn’t even ask or look for it anymore.
It’s been probably a two-week process to get to this point of Carter feeling soothed and comforted without it. But he is starting to catch onto having his “blankie” instead! He can have that blanket until he’s old and married for all I care, I just feel accomplished that we are getting over the binky phase! It has stuck for now, so I hope it continues to do so.
Again, I know that every child is different so maybe you have chose a different method which I think is awesome! I’d love to hear your tips too! We went cold turkey and it was a rough road, but it looks like we are in the clear now. Carter still wakes up in the middle of the night a little upset every now and then, but a little soothing and he’s back to bed (most nights). I’m okay with that for now to be honest, because I know it was a hard transition for him! I do hope that our story and some of these tips listed can help the dreaded “binky training” in your household. It takes a village!
Lots of love and God Bless,
Awesome job, Alyssa (& Jeff)! I think Carter is doing great without his binky! Keep up the good work! (And I have to say, I love that blanket! It is SO soft; I wish I had one! LOL! )
When my kids were little, we went on a long weekend trip but dropped the binky (the only one we had for some weird reason) in a restaurant parking lot along the way. We went back to see if it was still there, but no luck. The good news…problem solved. The bad news…that weekend felt like a year!
Congratulations, I so remember those days. With every baby it was a different process for me. You did an amazing job being so consistent. You’re a great mom!