Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | September 13, 2010

binky addict

I should have known from the start, when she was hours old and all she wanted to do was suck, and my nipples were raw and bleeding. The pacifier was magical. It could calm her down immediately. I knew in my head that pacifiers can interfere with breastfeeding and latching, but she NEEDED it, and I knew she needed it. So I let her have it. And it was good.

We switched fairly early on from soothies to nuk genius pacifiers. At first, it was hard for her to keep them in her mouth. I would be driving somewhere with her, frantically hoping for a red light so I could reach back there and help her get it back in her mouth.

She is now, and has been for a while, a master binky manipulator. Grab it, get it to mouth, rotate it to the proper orientation, and ahhhh, soothed bliss. It is frightening how good she is at it. She has one of those blue raspberry teether ones, and I looked over yesterday at her lying on the floor, having found both she was alternating popping either one in her mouth.

At 4am this morning, we were lying down nursing, and she pulled off my nipple, reached in the dark up and behind her, found the binky, and put it in her mouth, gave it a few sucks, then took it out and started nursing again. It cracked me up. She has binky radar.

We don’t let her have it all the time. It’s only allowed during naps, night time, sometimes in the car if she is freaking out, and when we leave her with the in laws. I do not want her to always have it in her mouth. I’m already concerned about the eventual future transition to losing the binky. I’m worried about her future teeth. I’m worried that I will screw her up somehow.

Several well meaning family members have suggested that we break her of it now. While that would probably be smart, I can’t do it. She still NEEDS to suck. She’s teething. It is soothing. I have tried putting her down for a nap without it and it is pathetic and sad. She can’t settle down without it. I can’t make her. She will sometimes gnaw on her thumb, but she isn’t a thumb sucker and doesn’t go to it when upset and there is no binky.

At the same time, I don’t want her to be five and still needing her pacifier. I am hoping that we can transition her to a blankie or some other lovey for soothing purposes. But I can’t take away her binky. Not yet.

Any thoughts?



  1. My main advice is DON’T WORRY!

  2. Oops… hit return too quickly there.

    The reason I say “Don’t worry!” is because my daughter, now six, was a serious binky addict too. She absolutely needed it, and we had the same worries you do.

    We decided that we would limit its use but allow her to use it when she needed the soothing power of the bink. That meant in the crib, carseat, and airplane.

    We talked to her pediatrician about how to let it go, and she suggested a ritual she did with her own kids. During their second year, she previewed for them that when they turned three, it would be time to let it go. On their third birthday, they threw the binkies into the Sound, and they never asked for them again. We copied this exactly (although once she had thrown them in, I took her on a beach walk while my partner waded in to fish them out… not wanting to pollute or make binky addicts out of any marine creatures), and it worked.

    I know that three seems pretty old, but it worked well for us. The bottom line is that she won’t go to college with a secret binky habit, and all will be well.

    Good luck!

  3. Does she need it when she’s 3? No. Does she need it every second of the day? Probably not. Is it time to wean now? I sure as h*ll wouldn’t!

    The nice thing about the binky is that you can take it away – unlike the thumb that takes a lot longer to break.

    She is still a baby, she still needs to be comforted and the binky is not going to harm her. Thank the relatives who told you to wean, and ignore them. 🙂

    As an aside, I sucked my thumb until I was 7 (oy), my brother didn’t suck his at all (nor did he take a pacifier) and my sister sucked her thumb until she was 5. My brother and I needed braces, sister has perfect teeth. Binky/thumb does not necessarily mean teeth problems.

    You’re doing great and she’s doing great.

  4. My daughter LOVED her binkie. To the point where she’d have it in her mouth most of the time. (this is around a year old) I let her because her molars were coming in and it wasn’t a big deal.

    I loved that thing 🙂

    Her pediatrician said to start weaning her off of it around 2 years old. She said to cut a small hole into the tip and if my daughter took it, to gradually keep cutting the hole bigger…Well my DD wouldn’t take it once a hole was cut in it.

    But she magically found 2 hidden binkies around the house.

    Eventually I threw them in the garbage (around 18 months) and everything has been fine. Once she could start putting words together she did tell me that I threw her binkies away…Ah mom guilt…

    Anyway, she’s fine now, no teeth issues, just guiltly mommy issues 🙂 only kidding.

    Sorry for the novel, I’d say, don’t worry about it now, she’s still so young

  5. Well, do not beat yourself up. If she does not have the binky she will probably switch to her thumb and it is waaay harder to break someone from thumbsucking. I would cheerfully have traded 2 grand in braces for Peter for a few months of peace and quiet. He HATED pacifiers.

  6. My sister sucked her thumb until 7th grade and she got braces and had to wear them for four years. Keep the binky.

  7. I think you’ve got some really good advice here! I hope it isn’t difficult when the time comes, but the time has definitely not come yet.

  8. i’ve been thinking the same thing. M is an addict. T, no so much. He just isn’t as into them. He just takes them so he can throw them, lol.

    I think lots of people have given you (us) some good advice on how to quit. 🙂

    …and i love that she sucked on the binky in the middle of nursing. hahahahaha.

  9. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. seriously. my sister took the pacifiers away when her kids were two. she had a conversation with them and explained that they could have their plugs for one more week, but after that it was time to say their good-byes. after the week was done the kids said their good-byes and that was that. they were a little whiny for about a week and then they were fine. they are 7 & 10 now and they both have lovely teeth.

  10. I bet you’ll know when she’s ready to start letting it go, just like you knew it when she really needed to start it. Trust your instincts!

  11. Keep the Binky!

    But seriously. People see pictures of Gabriel with his binky (he only uses it while falling asleep at night time) and yell “OH NOOO!”…then they see pictures of him with his thumb in his mouth (which he uses for naptime) and yell “OH NOOOO!”. Give me a break people. Babies suck. And I mean that in the literal way.

    If she likes the binky, give the girl a binky. It’ll all work itself out with time.

    There are worse habits, right? I mean, she could be smoking or chewing tobacco or something. 😉

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