The kids go back to daycare the week after next, and when they go back, both will move up to the next classroom from the one they left at the beginning of the summer. Big dudes! Bean is excited because a lot of his friends had already moved up to the three-year-old classroom before he left for summer, but he wasn’t old enough to go with them. Now, when he goes back, he’ll be in class with them again. He’s very excited about that. Gracie is moving up out of the baby room and into the toddler room. Big doin’s at our house! She was supposed to move up back in March when she turned one, but girlfriend wasn’t interest in walking yet, and you have to be a walker to move up. She started walked about a month before I pulled them out for the summer, and rather than go through the transition of changing classrooms only to be pulled out altogether a month later, we decided to keep her in the baby room until summer, and then she could start in the toddler room in the fall.
Well, fall is unofficially upon us, and Gracie now has to move up to the big kids room. This, among other things, means that she will not be able to have to her binky with her all day. In the toddler room, they can use them at nap time, but not during the day. This was just the motivation I needed to yank the binky from her. I’ve been meaning to do it all summer, but there was always an excuse. She had ear infections, she had just gotten tubes, she was finally happy, we were traveling, she was teething….and the list goes on. There was always something. But finally this week I decided one morning that that was going to be the day.
With both of our kids, we went cold turkey with binkies. I knew Gracie would be harder because she has become VERY attached to her binky these days. But, it was time. With Bean, I snipped the end off the binky, gave it to him, he put it in his mouth, took it out, and threw it on the floor, announcing that it was “bo’ken,” and he never looked back. So, I thought we’d try the same thing with Gracie.
I snipped the end off the binky, and gave it to her. The idea is that it is supposed to be the baby who decides they don’t want it anymore because it’s broken. So, I waited for her to do the right thing. Because we all know that toddlers ALWAYS do the right thing…
She put the binky in her mouth, and quickly realized something was wrong. She took it out, and examined it thoroughly. I waited for her to throw it or something, but instead, after standing there thinking for a minute, she simply put the broken binky back in her mouth and walked around for the next 10 minutes holding it in her mouth with her hand.
Hmm… this was going to be tricky.
I spend the next hour rounding up all the binkies I could find, snipping the ends off, and throwing them away. It took a while. Gracie has LOTS of hiding places. Finally, the only binky left in the house was the one she was physically holding in her mouth. I went over to her and told her that she was a big girl now, and that big girls didn’t need binkines. I convinced her to walk over to the trash can and throw her binky inside. And that was it, for a while. She played all day without her binky, and was fine.
I knew bedtime would be rough because she always gets her binky and her bunny when she goes night-night. So, she started crying for bunny and I gave that to her. And then she asked for her bee-bee (Gracie speak for binky), and I told her very sweetly that, “Big girls don’t need binkies, Gracie. You are a big girl now!” I laid her in her crib, said goodnight, and left, like I do every night. But instead of going quietly to sleep like she does every night, she cried for about 15 minutes. All things considered, that wasn’t too terrible. I expected it to last much longer. But she really took it like a champ. And the next morning, she slept later! I got up at 7:00, which was when she usually gets up, and I realized that she hadn’t made a peep. So, I poke my head into her room and found her sitting up with her back to me, playing quietly.
“Wow!” I thought. “We should have done this months ago!”
But as soon as I opened her door, she turned to look at me, and there in her mouth was a flippin’ binky! She must have had it stashed somewhere in her crib! The little cheater!
The next day was a little harder than the first. She cried for her bee-bee every couple hours, but only for a couple minutes. When I went to get her to put her down for a nap that day, I found her trying to get into the trash can, saying, “Bee-bee! Bee-bee!” But I reminded her again that she was a big girl now, and that big girls didn’t need a binky. She cried for about 20 minutes at that nap time. It was her first real time going to sleep without one, and she was PISSED. But by bedtime that night, she was starting to understand. She said, “Bee-bee?” and then she laughed and shook her head no. She cried for about 10 minutes when I laid her down, but that was it. She still cries a little bit before she goes to sleep now, and that’s different for her. But she’ll learn how to soothe herself, which is the point of taking the binky away. She has to learn how to calm herself down without something doing it for her.
It’s been two days now, and she is hardly asking her it anymore. Though, she did see a kid with one in a store the other day and said very loudly, “BEE-BEE!” but she wasn’t really crying for it. More like just pointing it out. It’s still tough in the car because I can’t distract her when she asks for it, so that’s been hard. But overall, it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be.
There are lots of different ideas for how to get rid of the binky. If you’re the kind of family who wants to go cold turkey, like us, then I would suggest getting the binkies completely out of the house. Throw them away, and then take the trash out. Because it’s not the child who you have to worry about – it’s YOU! ME! If a binky had been at hand when she was crying in the car the other day, I would have just given it to her. It’s easy to give in out of sheer exhaustion. But if there aren’t binkies around in the first place, then that takes that option completely off the table.
Every time we eliminate some part of infancy for Gracie, it’s a little hard for me. She’s our last baby, and so when she’s done with the high chair or the bouncy seat or the walker or the binky, I get a little sad because that means I’m done with it, too. Ahhh… toddlers. They tug on your heartstrings until you just about can’t breathe, and then they throw a temper tantrum that brings you right back down to earth. Gotta love ’em.