Binky Love

As a baby, Isabella regularly used a binky until she was about five months old. After that point, she mellowed out a little, learned to self-soothe, and as a result I started giving it to her only for naps and at night. We weaned her off her binky permanently around the age of 2.5.

Luci took a binky until she was about six months old. At that point, she no longer would accept one, despite my repeated attempts to please, please take this damn binky and stop crying or mommy is going to run away and never come back. While she is the far more pleasant twin during the day, she's only just this month kicking the 3am scream-fests and learning to self-soothe.

Nicholas, on the other hand? Addicted to his binky like Tiger to Vegas cocktail waitresses with gigantic fake boobs and bad hair.

And his addiction is partly my fault.

Nico is my "spirited child." Both the twins are high-needs. Neither could be classified on their very best day ever as an easy baby. Right from the start, they screamed more than any other baby I've ever known, forced me to endure six months of colic (yes, it can last that long) during which point I seriously contemplated prying out my eardrums with a dull knife, and still, to this day, are extremely fussy and cranky. I love them to pieces, but many days I believe they are truly going to be the death of me.

Fortunately, Luci has mellowed a bit. She still has an explosive personality and can go from charming to psychotic in 3.2 seconds flat, but she is a different baby than the one she was even three months ago.

Nicholas, on the other hand, seems to spend the vast majority of the day crying. He cries when I change his diaper. Cries when I set him down in Baby Jail to throw in a load of laundry, get some coffee, or do the dishes. Sobs when I leave Baby Jail after spending some time playing with him. And sometimes screams when I'm two inches in front of him, trying to engage him with a book or a toy. Granted, his ever-present hysteria is most likely part of the reason he sleeps so well at night. The boy is just exhausted, and normally sleeps for 12-13 hours straight through (and has since he turned 9 months). But during the day, the kid is miserable unless I am holding him.

He has not the slightest idea how to self-soothe, and so I give him his binky. It is the only thing that calms him down (and I have tried everything-music, tv, new toys, etc.), and sometimes even the binky doesn't work, but most of the time, it does. I am trying to avoid giving it to him. I really am. But the soundtrack to my life is his screaming, and when his sister chimes in, it is all I can do to not get in the car and drive away. Their crying really, really bothers me. The hubs is always telling me to just ignore it. But when I'm going on the 10th straight hour of solo childcare, and the twins have been screaming off and on for eight of those 10 hours, that is much easier said than done.

So, I plug him. He spends a lot of time with his binky in his mouth, and even though I take it away once he's calm, he's often crying again, or "asking" for it by saying "bi-bi" soon after. And I give it back to him.

I know he's still very much a baby, and that many 15-month-olds still regularly use their binkies. But I would like to transition him to using it only for naps and bedtime. I just have absolutely no idea how to do that and keep from going crazy at the same time. I am also envisioning a very, very rocky weaning process in another year.

If anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears.

11 Responses to “Binky Love”

  1. # Blogger Andrew

    Eh, leave it alone for now. You have plenty of other things to worry about.  

  2. # Blogger Mom24

    You're probably not going to like this, but I say choose your battles. Who cares if he uses it even to 3 or 3 1/2, he'll give it up. You're far better off, IMO, waiting until he's ready than adding another stress to both of you.  

  3. # Blogger Jesser

    Bah. I would give him his binky all he liked. I wish to the heavens Ben would take one, since I think that would pretty much solve our night-time feeding crap. But he won't. Tabby was addicted as hell to hers and we cut her off cold turkey just after her 2nd b'day and it really wasn't too bad (after that first night). I'd so trade a bit of bink addiction for some good solid sleep or even calm days. That doesn't really answer your question, does it?  

  4. # Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog

    I agree with the other 3. 1 out of 3 kids is easily "pacified?" COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. It won't last forever. And, if the paci bugs you, swap it out when he's happy for kisses or tickles and try to distract him for a bit. Justin sadly passed me his pacifiers when he turned 4. FOUR. Corinne passed them in when she was 3. Nico sounds just fine. Plug him up!  

  5. # Blogger JM

    My first never took a binky, despite my repeated paci pushing, and my second only held onto his until his first teeth came in (5mos) and decided he didn't like it anymore. So I am not very knowledgeable in this department but I do agree with the other commenters: 15 months, not so bad. Especially if it allows you some version of peace during the day.  

  6. # Blogger Christine

    I have no kids, thus no real advice, but I can assure you no one I went to college with was sucking on a pacifier, so at 15 mos. you're fine. ;)  

  7. # Blogger Melissa

    Hannah had hers until she was 4, and Jacob had his until he was 3. Bridget NEVER used one, and there were days I was trying to force one in her mouth.

    Let him have it!  

  8. # Anonymous Ness at Drovers Run

    Don't worry about the binkie. Skip had one until he was THREE. When I say this, he did not have it whilst out in public, but at home, definitely. Flip is nearing the 2yr mark and he still has his for naps/nightime/shushing. I call binkies "off switches" as in "Where did I put the off switch?" Any kind of screaming or raised tones and it's like "off switch" and "Blankie" and my ears thank me.

    Don't worry about what others think - your sanity is *more* important than the rules of polite society!  

  9. # Blogger Nonnie

    "Please, please take this damn binky and stop crying or mommy is going to run away and never come back"....I totally felt this way with my twins, but I could never get them to take a pacifier :(. LG took hers until she was 10 months old and then just seemed to need it less and less, so I cut it out, and she never seemed to notice.

    If Nico is that reliant on his pacifier, then I'd just let him keep it for a while. Maybe you could try to make him use it less and see how that goes, but removing it completely just sounds like punishment for you. If a kid looks like a baby, which Nico does, then I don't have a problem with a binky. It's when the kid looks like a kid that I think it's a little weird. As long as it's not effecting his teeth, I think it's totally fine. My cousin's daughter really started showing signs that her teeth were bucking out due to sucking a pacifier when she was around two, and another friend of mine has a son who had the same issue when he was around 2 and a half. So, just keep an eye on the teeth, and let him learn to soothe himself gradually.  

  10. # Anonymous Anonymous

    You gotta respect da bink! Let him have it. The benefits far outweigh the struggles that result without it.--KB  

  11. # Blogger Sunny

    I have no advice, but totally feeling your pain. And my son is 23 months!! He was doing really well, slowly getting away from it, only bedtime and car rides... then I went on bedrest and now suddenly he wants it ALL THE TIME. With his life flipped upside down right now, and the bomb of twins coming soon, how can I deny him?? I'm going to go with it for now.

    Good luck!  

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