Thursday, April 9, 2009

Binky Weaning

My son has had a binky since day 1. I mentioned before he spent time in the NICU, this was because he wouldn't eat. In the NICU I was told they give them a pacifier to help teach babies to suck; while in the NICU he had a binky more than a bottle. So, needless to say, my son loves his binky! It drives me crazy because sometimes I can't find one and he goes nuts. Lucas likes to have his binky when he goes down for naps, bedtime, and when he needs something to help calm him. He gets upset when I put him in his crib with out his binky. I am getting tired of dealing with it and have been thinking of weaning him.

So, has you child had a binky? If yes, how did you wean them? If not, is it because they are a thumb sucker, or just never had one? Any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated!


Christina said...

We also have a binky problem at our house. Thus I am also looking for advice. At what age should you take a binky away?

JeriLynn said...

I tried taking Liesl's binki away at 8 months, and after days of screaming, gave it back to her. When she was over a year old, I replaced her binki with a sippy cup and water, which she called a Nummy. That worked well for her.

One thing I've always done is only let my babies have their binkies when it's naptime (or calm-time) in their cribs.

I've heard of parents cutting slits in the binki so that when the child sucks, it pinches their tongue. Not exactly nice, but it probably works.

I suggest waiting until you feel your baby is ready to give them up. For me, I think weaning at one year is just right. I have no experience (yet) weaning older babies. Sorry Christina!

Roeckers said...

my boys are "binky" or "sucky" addicts!
My four year old lost his sucky one night with the sitter so that took care getting rid of it, and he accepted it at about 2yrs of age. But three weeks later he went in for surgery and came out a thumb sucker.
Thus I have been very nervous about taking my now 2yr olds sucky away. I would rather have a pacifier than a thumb!
I grew up sucking my thumb- NO KIDDING, until I was 19. I stopped when I left for Europe to be a nanny and didn't want the kids to see me sucking my thumb. Not cool! It is a bad habit and hard to break!

Love some advice, since we are past sippy cup stage.

Tannie Datwyler said...

Claire used a binky off and on for the first year of life. But by the time she was about 9 months old I only let her have it for bedtime or naptime (or on RARE occasions as in we are in the car and she has been screaming for 30 minutes - other than that, no). This worked well.

Then, when she was one year I weaned her off. I did this by taking it away at night for a few days (yes, there was screaming and crying) and letting her have it for naps. Then I took it away for naps as well. This was perfect because after only about 1 week she was off the binky. But, low and behold a month later she started sucking on her finger. It drove me CRAZY!! So, what did I do? I gave her the binky back for an entire year. It was strictly for bedtime and naptime ONLY. When she tried to suck on her finger during the day we just reinforced that she not do that. So, by the time she was 2 she was using a binky to sleep and NOT sucking on her finger.

At 2 years we went through the whole same process of taking it away as I did when she was a year. Again, she was off the binky after a week. Then, low and behold, a month later she started sucking on her finger. I didn't give her the binky back though, I think she is too old. I don't know what to do now because her finger sucking is getting worse (she is 2 1/2) AND she gets sick ALL THE TIME because she sticks her finger in her mouth in the car when she is bored (and this is of course after we have been around a lot of germs at the store or with other kids or something). I actually need help about finger sucking. :(

But, my suggestion for getting your son off the binky will probably work. My daughter was just determined to suck on something. Now I have the opposite problem - I wish my son would take a binky better for bed - he is a terrible sleeper and I think if he could just learn how to suck a binky and pop it back in during the night, it would help him. Whatever... stupid pacifiers. :)

What a great topic that a lot of moms need help with!! Ask Erin too, I know she'd have a lot of advice since she just went through it recently.

Tannie Datwyler said...

Oh Roeckers, I feel your pain! I would take a binky kid over a finger sucker ANY DAY!!

Chris and Laura said...

It sounds like our experience was similar to Tannie's. I was tired of Jane having a pacifier in her mouth constantly, so I started taking it away during the day. Usually, I took it out right before she ate (so she would have something else in her mouth for a while) and then not give it back when she was done. She did still get it for naps, bedtime, and I would let her have it at church when it mattered more that she stayed quiet. She would get really mad at times, but I was usually able to distract her with something else to play with.

I've been strict enough with her (making sure she has it only in the crib), that she is well trained now. When I go to get her out of bed, she'll take the pacifier out of her mouth and put it down on her pillow because she knows I won't pick her up with it in her mouth. If she finds one on the floor that fell out of the crib, she'll usually stick it in her mouth for a while, then hand it to me as soon as she sees me.

We started this when she was about nine months if I remember correctly, and she's now 15 months. I'm okay with her having the pacifier just in bed. When we do decide to be done with that, too, my husband is set on using the clip the end method. That way, she can decide for herself that she really doesn't want it anymore, instead of us being the bad guys taking it away.

As for the finger sucking, I haven't had a problem at all with Jane. I did have a cousin that sucked her thumb until she was 8 or 9. My aunt finally started using tabasco sauce. She would spread it on my cousin's thumb, and it made the thumb taste bad enough that my cousin didn't want it in her mouth. I have heard of kids who like the taste of tabasco, so it doesn't work for them, and it also washes off pretty easily. I do know that back in the day there was some kind of product on the market for thumb sucking--spread on the kid's thumb and the terrible taste would keep the thumb out of the mouth. It supposedly worked better because it couldn't be washed off as easily, so the kids couldn't get it off themselves. I don't know anything more than that, or even if it is still made, but it might be something to look into.

The thing I would think that would make a difference is helping the child decide that they don't want to suck on a pacifier or thumb (or finger!) themselves, rather than making it look like a terrible punishment coming from mom and dad. Helping them figure it out for themselves seems like it would make the lesson stick better.

Jes said...

This is where Im at now! Addie is 9 months, and Ive been trying to slowly wean her off the binky (ultimately I want her off completely by 1 year!)... we're using it less now, and mostly at night and naps or when freaking out REALLY bad. Going 'decent' I guess, but Im excited to see the advice from all you other moms! :)

Derrick said...

Hayden was a binky addict! At 18 months I took him to the dentist, and they told me that the pacifier was changing the shape of his mouth. He had a bit of an overbite, so it was time to take it away. I really didn't want to at first, because he slept so well with it. We also called it his "muffler" and it was really nice to have during church when we wanted him to be quiet. But he was old enough, and it was time.

We just did it cold turkey. We wanted him to have some closure and know it was gone for good, so we buried it. Some people think we were cruel burying it in front of him, but the truth is no matter what we would have done it would have been cruel because he loved that thing so much. It was also good for me, because we always tried to get rid of it and I failed. I couldn't stand the crying very long, and it was too easy when there was one in the house. I couldn't be strict like Laura which made it worse. I have also heard of someone tying the binky to a bunch of balloons and saying good bye to it as it flew away.

There was lots and lots of crying, but he eventually got over it. It took a few weeks for him to stop crying, especially at bedtime. It was hard on all of us, but his teeth are better for it.

Our saving grace was his teddy bear. That's when he really started to love it as his friend and take it everywhere. It was good to have a transition object, something else to comfort him.

We survived, but I never want to go through that again! HAHA

Derrick said...

oops, that was me, Erin.

Heather said...

We got rid of it during naps and kept it for nighttime and then eventually just got rid of it altogether. Maybe it was too easy with my little girl. I think it was gone by 12 months. We replaced it with a little baby that she loved and used for security instead--much easier to find in the middle of the night in her crib than that blasted binky was!

Kaylyn said...

I was super lucky with my daughter, she just stopped wanting her binky. She got sick and didn't want to suck on it any more. Then all she wanted to do was nurse and so I became the human pacifier :(. Now I am trying to wean her from nursing, so if anyone has any ideas for me.

On the subject of finger sucking. I will admit I sucked my two middle fingers until I was in Kindergarten almost 6. My mom tried everything, the hot sauce, the tape, the threatening me, trying to give me candy and none of that worked for me. What ultimately worked was cruel kids and a very crazy dentist visit where he showed me very ugly teeth. But I know none of that is very helpful. I do watch a 4 year old that wants to suck her thumb and I tell her only babies do that and that she is a big girl and she will stop for me, but we also have to do something else (she sucks it when she is bored most of the time). I don't know if it would work on younger kids.

Megan said...

Kaylyn's comments made me think of my two year old nephew. He too sucks his fingers or his thumb when he is bored. So, maybe trying to redirect their attention would work.

Tannie Datwyler said...

Redirecting works pretty well for my little girl. I have read alot about diminishing behaviors and the more you pay attention to something sometimes the more it happens. Make sense? So I've read of one way to get rid of finger sucking (at least during the day) is to walk out of the room when the toddler starts doing it. Or stop reading if they start doing it during story time, or something like that.

So, I am conflicted. I want to make sure she knows she isn't supposed to do it (we've talked about it before), but I also don't want to give too much attention to it so that she keeps it up. Make sense? It's all behavioral.... I read this in The Power of Postitive Parenting.

GRRRR! Thanks for your advice all - I love having this place to come for ideas. Sorry to drag us off the binky topic Megan. :)

On The Go Family said...

No good advice here, but some hope for parents with finger-suckers ...

My son started sucking the first two fingers on his right hand when he was about 4 months old. (Interestingly, this is also the time when he FINALLY became a calm baby and started sleeping through the night.) We have THOUSANDS of pictures of him sucking on those fingers. As he got older, any time he started to get nervous, the fingers would go in his mouth. Same with if he was tired or sleepy.

It upset my husband more than it bothered me, but I insisted we not try to do anything to break the habit 'til he turned 3 (based on advice from the pediatrician).

Around his second birthday, our little guy was still going strong. Then one day I realized I hadn't seen him do it for a while. Before I knew it, a few months had gone by and we hadn't seen any instances of finger sucking. I went back through photos and the last evidence we have is on our guy's second birthday. Since then, nothing!

It's so funny because all along we've been prepared for this big huge fight and then the problem resolved itself naturally. It's been seven months and so far no relapses. I know this is unusual; in our eyes, it's a miracle. Thank heavens for one less fight.

Jared and Delia said...

All of your ideas have been invaluable. Thanks for sharing! I have yet to have a paci baby or a finger sucker. I don't know why my kids just aren't into them. I have even tried to a push a pacifier onto my second child to help him go back to sleep and he spits them out and gets really upset. I thought that I needed to "fix" this problem, but maybe I should be grateful to not have to worry about taking it away.

mistybown said...

My oldest was a binki baby in a big way. When she was 18 months old I got pregnant with my second child. We wanted to have my oldest done with the binki by the time the baby was born because we figured she'd take it away from her brother if she was still taking one. We went through the house & threw away all but 2 binkis (mostly for emergencies). Well, she lost one somewhere so we were down to one when my water broke. When my water broke we couldn't find the last one we had so we sent her to grandma and grandpa's house without one & they got to break her of it cold turkey! Lucky me ;)

My second child never wanted a binki and has never sucked his finger.

My youngest is a binki baby (mostly he likes to chew on stuff) and I'm hoping he's as easy to break of it as the first!

My husband's aunt told me that when her kids were little & she was trying to break them that she would cut a little bit off the end of the binki and a day or two later cut a bit more off and on and on until all that was left was the nub of the binki and there wasn't anything left for the child to chew on! She said it worked pretty well so I guess if I'm not brave enough to try cold turkey I'm going to go that route!

Courtney said...

Can I just say that I LOVE this blog! Get a group of mom's together and there is nothing that we can't overcome!

My first born LIVED with his binky and it was litterally our salvation in every situation. We took it away after a year. I thougth it would be this HUGE deal but it ended up being hard for us instead of him. He didn't ask for it or throw tantrums that he didn't have it. We just kept wanting to give it to him so that he would stop being loud during church or fall asleep better at night. But we ALL adjusted just fine after a week or two and got use to not having that crutch anymore.

I had a friend who slowly cut the tip of her daughter binky until she no longer wanted it.

Jes said...

I think Im like Courtney... I think WE use/need it more than her.. we immediately opt to giving it to her anytime shes loud (in somewhere she shouldnt be like church) or in a bad mood.
We need to REALLY try hard with the redirecting I guess... been cutting it back to mostly naps and bedtime, but Im ready to try more seriously... lol will let you all know how it goes! :) (our goal is off by age 1... so almost 3 months! *wink*)

Ok, mostly with this comment I wanted to mention that as much as everyone you hear advice from (family friends etc) say to cut the tip off binkies, youre not supposed to (even the binky packages say it sometimes! lol as well as Drs) because they can chew and swallow the rubber as it is now much easier to tear once cut... make sense? By cutting the tip you are making a choking hazzard, and I have a friend who had a very serious problem with that and her little baby... so yeah, just a word of caution I guess! :)