I wasn’t going to use a binky with Jude. Before ever having him, I had read about their potential interference with nursing (although there was a lot to read about how they may help decrease a baby’s risk of SIDs). Anyway, I had received some anyway at various showers and I went ahead and sterilized them so I would be ready. When he was born we of course had the moments (like many parents of newborns have) when Jude was inconsolable (sometimes in the absolute middle of the night) and nursing, a clean diaper, and being snuggled didn’t seem to help, and you know what did-that Binky! (and as we nursed for a solid 13 months, I’m inclined to say that they didn’t interfere with my nursing.)
So we got in the habit of making sure we had one handy everywhere we would hang out with him, and we certainly made sure that we didn’t leave the house without them. It always made me laugh when various friends and family would give us a hard time about using them, but I was tired and desperate and figured I would only let him have it for about 6 months and then we would get rid of them.
Well at 6 months something magical happened-my son who hadn’t slept more than 3 hours at a time since his birth finally started sleeping longer stretches (Hallelujah!) and the binky seemed to be a big part of this change. Again, being the tired and desperate mama that I was, I decided that he could have it until his first birthday and then we’ll deal with it (as a side note, I now know why sleep deprivation is a very effective torture device!).
As you may have guessed, Jude’s first birthday came and went, but the binkys did not. Jude was now sleeping the entire way through the night (Hallelujah! Hallelujah!) and I wasn’t about to mess with anything that could possibly disrupt this. We made a move to only using it for sleeping, but once he became mobile, he would go back and grab one out of his crib if he was mad, tired, or feeling under the weather.
Jude turned 2 a few weeks ago, and I was feeling the pressure to get rid of it. I was thinking that I noticed less of an interest on his part in the binky and I was feeling like we were probably through most of his baby teething. A few Sunday afternoons ago (in what I’m now thinking was a moment of pregnancy induced delirium) I asked Jude if he was ready to throw his binkys away, which he happily replied yes to and immediately proceeded to throw every single one into his diaper genie. He was going to daycare the next day and I really hadn’t intended to get rid of ALL of them before he was going to her house, but I figured what was done was done-I wasn’t buying anymore. I put him in bed that first night and after one little whimper he stated quite confidently that the binkys were “all gone!” and he laid down and slept peacefully all evening. Boy, was I impressed with my mommy skills and my son’s ability to go with the flow. I expected a huge fight, and I was wondering why I had waited to so long to do this. During his next day at daycare he didn’t nap super well, but our daycare provider said that it mostly seemed like he just wanted to keep talking to his friends that he hadn’t seen in a month versus missing the binky. I had great hopes that this was going to be a very easy transition.
Now comes the part where I don’t know what to do…it seems to be getting worse each time we try to put him to bed or put him down for a nap instead of getting better. I have never been one to let him cry but naptime now consists of 5-10 minutes of him screaming his head off-sometimes he settles down and goes to sleep…sometimes not so much (and I know toddlers don’t nap forever, but no nap = many night time meltdowns, and naptime is very much going to happen at daycare and I don’t want him to prematurely get out of the habit, especially since I only have 2 more weeks of summer vacation.) Bedtime, which was so enjoyable, now involves lots of tears, trying to get us to keep reading “one more!” book, and sometimes more crying before he finally falls asleep. I hate it. On the bright side, once he does fall asleep, he sleeps through the night without any problems. I have tried replacing his binky habit with other bedtime habits, but it doesn’t seem to make a big difference. I have SERIOUSLY considered breaking down and buying new binkys, but I resist since I figure it will eventually have to get better, and I really don’t want to go through this fight again.
It also makes me question using binkys with my little lady that is on the way-while they seemed to really help Jude sleep when I was really, really needing him to, is it worth it since they can’t keep it up forever? Will her transition away from them be as difficult as her brother’s?
Which brings me back to not knowing what to do. I’ve pretty much given up reading books about child raising as all the conflicting opinions just give me a headache, because each child is different, as is each family’s feelings on various issues and their own experiences. I figure there is no right answer and I must trudge ahead as mothers have always done and just keep trying to do what seems best. I’m just hoping we move past this stage before his sister arrives and he tries to steal her binkys…if I use them with her… =)