Friday, January 18, 2013

Bye, Bye Binky

The "soother". In our house it goes by "soo", but is also commonly known as a "pacifier", "binky", "dummy", "sucky", "chewy". Whatever name you have for them and whether you use them or not, I believe a better, more universal word for these little plastic and silicone objects would be "miraculous".

Pacifiers have been around for hundreds of years with one of the first ones reported being an actual corn cob to soothe a baby in England in the 1680s. It then went on to be created out of all different types of materials that were full of lead and became a symbol of poorer classes in society. These days however, they seem to be a staple in most households. There are so many pros and cons and parents seem to be passionately either for or against them. We have two daughters and both of them had taken a soother early on in their life. Especially as a new parent I found that their use was a fantastic way to quickly stop unnecessary crying (when baby was neither hungry nor dirty) and help teach my babies to calm themselves and fall asleep. Over the past week however, the "soo" has had ME crying, unable to sleep and wanting to pull out my hair.
We have spent months with countless failed attempts at eliminating what we now refer to as our three-year old daughters "bad habit". We tried snipping the tips off, "losing them," giving them to a newborn, explaining that she is a big girl and asking her to throw them in the garbage. I am always so jealous of my friends that have kids who just one day were no longer interested, or got sick once and never asked for it again. Nothing would work for us and our youngest always seemed to have this magical stash of soothers throughout the house that she would dip in to when we made one disappear. After all this, we thought it was time to try going cold turkey and took a cue from super nanny and put in a call to the "soo fairy" and asked her to fly by for a visit. If you're not familiar with the technique, you explain to the child that the fairy is coming to visit and you coerce them into voluntarily leaving the thing they need to fall asleep in a special spot and they will wake up to a special toy in its place the next morning. While the idea is exciting and magical to any small child, the after math (for us anyway) is horrific. It really is like we've had to break a habit and she's detoxing, coming down off of her sleep drug, but we're doing it! Our family has had 4 (and counting) sleepless nights soother free. I am beginning to become hopeful that she won't be taking one to college with her.

I'd love to hear some opinions on soothers. Do you use them for your baby? Does anyone have proven successful tips to wean their child off?
By Jen Stewart mother of three, Bremmy, Vienna and Lincoln 10/2012 our angel

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