Breaking up with the Binky: “It’s Not Me, It’s You”

Neither of my girls (now almost 4 and 2), were ever very interested in a pacifier. I am pretty sure we briefly used one at the hospital, and maybe for a couple of weeks after returning home (we have a small stash), but that was seriously it. So we never really had to deal with the whole saying bye bye to binky scenario. But I’ve heard other mommy friends complain about this issue, so I know that it is very real. I also know that it can be very annoying. So we thought that it might be fun to share a few helpful tips for kicking binky to the curb. Check ‘em out, and let us know what you think!

Breaking up with the Binky

  1. Make it a non-issue. Take the pacifier away earlier (rather than later). It’s a lot less challenging to take a pacifier from an infant, as opposed to a headstrong toddler. No one wants to fight with a toddler. They are basically mini-terrorists. Only half-kidding.
  2. Just say no. Once you have decided that you are done with the pacifier, don’t allow baby to have it anymore. It’s that easy. There may be some tears, there may be some frustration (mostly on your part), but you will survive. Baby will eventually learn to self-soothe. Don’t give in — give in once, and your child will never forget. You’ve got this, mommies and daddies. Stay strong.
  3. Make binky taste bad. We are not encouraging you to poison your child, or make your child ill. Please understand. We are advocating covering the binky in a safe, but bad-tasting substance to discourage continued usage. Think lemon juice (or something similar). Try talking to your pediatrician or pharmacist for ideas. We’ve heard this method can be very effective. Like gone in a couple of hours, effective.
  4. Try (new) toys instead. When all else fails, there’s always bribery. Try offering your (older) child a shiny, new toy if she surrenders the binky. Usually this will work, but not always. Be prepared to take the toy away if the binky makes a reappearance. And don’t feel like you have to buy your child a new iPad — something small is more than adequate. But it should be something she will love. After all, you are looking to replace the beloved pacifier. New socks probably won’t do the trick.
  5. Read a story. Did you know there were children’s books on this very subject? I didn’t either. Try a quick Google search, and see what you find. Visit the public library and take a look around — similar to potty training, reading a few stories together is a great way to introduce the topic, and ultimately, get baby to give up that dreaded binky. Hey, it’s at least worth a try. Am I right?
  6. Playmate peer pressure. Try surrounding your little with other kiddos who don’t use a binky to self-soothe. Schedule a few play dates with these friends, and see what happens. Usually, toddlers will imitate one another — especially if you choose friends who are slightly older. Modeling positive behavior is always a good option.
  7. Wean (if you must). Like I said, we have not had big issues with binkies. My girls were never very interested in them, but even if they were, I don’t think “weaning” would be my method of choice. But every child, every parent, and every situation is unique. If you think that weaning from the binky is a good way to go, than more power to you. I just know that (personally) this would probably make me crazy. I am more of a “quit cold turkey” kind of a girl. But ignore me, and do what’s best for you. You are the only person who knows what will work for your child and your family.

Any other methods or ideas that worked for your brood? We would love to hear! Please feel free to share in the comments section below. We might even re-share our favorites on our Facebook page. Good luck mommies and daddies! Think about it, if getting our toddlers to give up their binkies is our biggest issue for the time being, than life is pretty good. Be grateful for the small blessings, because we all know parenting teenagers probably won’t be a walk in the park! Wink.

About the author…After three blissful years in the Treasure State, Jessica recently moved back to Houston, Texas with her hunky husband and her two precious little girls, Savannah and Emma Kate.  They are expecting a third baby (girl) this summer! Jessica is a small business owner with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and a nerd-like love for political science. She is passionate about writing, marketing, social media management, and this wonderfully beautiful mess we call parenthood.