Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bye, Bye, Binky

Sam has always had a very strong sucking reflex.  When he was less than a day old in the hospital, one of the nurses commented on it and predicted that he would be a baby who loved his binky.  He did, when I finally broke down and gave him one at about three weeks old after I couldn't take one more second of the round-the-clock nursing.  His beloved binky, his precious pacifier, became his (and my) best friend and got us through many tough times - teething, ear infections, and general crankiness.  

About six months ago, I decided to try to get rid of the binky.  I could tell after a few minutes that he wasn't ready yet, so I scrapped that idea.  If there's one thing Sam has taught me, it's that things go a lot easier when he's ready for it, not when I'm ready for it.

Then a week ago, binkies started turning up cracked and broken.  The first couple, I wrote off as a coincidence.  Then I noticed Sam chewing on binkies in the corner of his mouth, and put two and two together.  That, to me, was a signal that he no longer needed his binky, and it was just a habit and a prop.

So, Friday night, Operation Binky Removal began.  I built up to it all week, by explaining to Sam that the Binky Fairy was going to come and take his binkies for the new babies that needed them and leave him a present instead.  Awhile back, we watched The Wizard of Oz on TV, and he loved that movie and still asks for it, so I suggested that the Binky Fairy might bring him that movie as a present.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to locate it in either Target, Walmart, or Best Buy, so I hoped that he'd forgotten that discussion.

When Friday night actually came, we wrote a letter to the Binky Fairy, put the letter and his last binkies in an envelope, and put it in the mailbox.  At bedtime, he cajoled and pleaded for his binky, but never actually cried.  When he pleaded, "But I'm still small.  I need my binky," that just about did me in, but I stayed firm.  Sam tossed and turned, mumbled to himself, kicked and squirmed, and finally fell asleep after about an hour - about three times as long as usual.

Saturday morning, he came into our bedroom at 5:00 a.m. and cried for his binky.  I explained that the Binky Fairy had already taken them, and he was too big for a binky anyway.  He cried less than five minutes, then fell back asleep.  When he woke up for the day, he popped up and said, "I was sad for my binky this morning, but I'm not sad anymore!" and that was really the last of it.  He hasn't asked for his binky since (it's Sunday afternoon as I write this), although it's still taking him a lot longer than usual to fall asleep.

Lastly, when he opened his gift from the Binky Fairy (a Bert and Ernie DVD and a toy tractor), he was really excited, but after a few minutes he said hopefully, "Maybe the Binky Fairy will bring me The Wizard of Oz next time."  I'm going to have to put a bug in Santa's ear to make sure he gets that one at Christmas instead.


C. Beth said...

Yay, congrats on getting rid of it successfully! It was easier with Ana than I expected too. She got an Elmo DVD. :)

Anonymous said...

What a great incentive! I'm glad you were able to make this an easy transition! Congrats!

In someways, I guess I am lucky Garrett doesn't take a paci- he has never wanted it and refuses it everytime I try. He has in recent days, chewed at it some like he did when he first started teething. Yet, he spits it out after a few minutes and that's that. He does, however love the round the clock nursing- to which I have been better about not allowing it all the time. Now, if I can get the night-time nursing out since we moved him to the crib!

Becky said...

Beth - We were on the same page with Sesame Street videos! :-)

Brook - Natalie didn't take a binky for the first three months, either. It was a tough decision, deciding whether or not to keep trying, because I agree - there are benefits to having a binky-free baby! I feel for you with the round-the-clock nursing. That's how Sammy was too, for the first year of his life. It's not easy!