Oh my goodness. After weeks of allowing Abigail to use her binky at nap and nighttime, we’ve finally decided to yank it completely. What inspired us to do it?
We had Abigail’s first dentist appointment yesterday (the story of that “adventure” deserves its own post, trust me) and while the dentist said her teeth look great (go us!), he said it was beyond time to get rid of her binky completely. I knew he would say that, but I think I just needed to hear it in person.
He said 18 months is the LONGEST a baby should have their binky. Whoops…
Thanks to the dentist appointment, I woke up this morning with a mission :: to help Abby say bye-bye completely to her binky. And while I’m sitting here an hour into Abby’s “nap” waiting to hear her quiet down (she’s not crying, thank goodness, she’s just playing with her toys and making a mess in her room), I’m proud to say the last binky has left the building.
While she was eating breakfast this morning, I explained to her what was going to happen…”you’re a big girl now…we’re going to send your last binky off to a baby who needs it because you don’t anymore (the funny part is that we’re sending it to her younger cousin, Emmy, who doesn’t even use binkies…haha)…we’re going to decorate the package and walk to the mailbox and drop it off…” Etc, etc, etc…and after that, we went about her normal morning and then spent time finding her binky, putting it in the envelope (Abby did it twice for good measure), and then she decorated it. She was even generous enough to use ALL her flower stickers from Trader Joe’s. Check it out ::
Once she decided it was ready, we took Mac and headed down the stairs and off to the mailbox. It was a really fun adventure for Abby and I kept reminding her / asking her what we were doing. She seemed to understand it completely.
After dropping it into the mailbox, Abby was quickly distracted by a garbage truck (she’s obsessed) and we sat and watched the garbage man fiddle with garbage cans for a while. It was the perfect distraction.
A few hours later, it was nap time. Shockingly enough (haha, yeah right), she’d completely forgotten what we’d done with her binky. She crawled up in her bed and waited for it to magically show up. It never did.
I calmly and simply reminded her what we did in the morning and how cousin Emmy has it now (even though she lives in Atlanta and won’t have it for a few days…that is, if we even put enough postage on it…how terrible would it be if it all of a sudden showed back up at our door – haha). Once I explained everything, she completely understood but chose to resist her nap anyway.
She immediately decided she was hungry again, so we went into the kitchen and ate some more lunch. After that (around 12:45pm), I walked her back to her room and said it was time for her nap. She didn’t protest, but it’s been over an hour and she’s yet to sleep at all. She’s busy working on puzzles, talking to her stuffed animals, and doing other non-sleep related things (like turning her room into a complete and utter disaster, I’m sure).
You know what though? I’ll call it a success.
She’s not asking for her binky.
She’s not crying.
She’s not putting up a fight.
She just needs to figure out a new way to fall asleep without it and if that means she plays in her room for a while beforehand, that’s fine by me!
So after yesterday’s weird nap (it took her 2.5 hours to go down and once she fell asleep, she only got an hour nap because I wanted to save bedtime), she barely even asked for it at night. Travis did the normal routine (bath, brushing teeth, books, milk, etc) and when he went to put her down for bed, she asked for it once. He reminded her that Emmy had it and after that, she literally went to sleep.
Honestly, it was like a miracle happened.
Somehow I feel like we were rewarded for sticking with a plan (finally).
Somehow it all of a sudden seemed like she’d never used a binky in her entire life.
Somehow Abby stopped using a binky.
It was almost too good to be true, but at nap time today she didn’t ask for it once. She simply curled up in her blankets and fell asleep for two and a half hours (I’m blessed with a great napper, thank goodness).
For a little bit of “icing on the cake,” if you will, a package arrived in the mail from Old Navy while she was sleeping and instead of telling her that it was from Mommy & Daddy, I gave Emmy all the credit. I told Abby that Emmy sent her the new clothes and her face lit up. It was the cutest thing. She was able to understand that as a thank you for the binky, Emmy sent her a new shirt (and a few other things).
When we went to the YMCA that afternoon, she told everyone about her new shirt and how it was from Emmy.
It’s amazing how kids process things.
Long, long, LONG story short, Abby is officially pacifier-less and she hasn’t been phased at all (we even had a babysitter last night who put her to bed on night #2 of no binky and apparently she was a piece of cake).
It just goes to show you that you need to do what’s best for you and your family and not worry so much about what everyone else thinks (it’s easy for me to say that now). We live in a crazy day and age where everyone compares themselves to everyone else and it’s just a big waste of time. It’s unfair for us. And more importantly, it’s unfair for our kids. I’ve seen pictures of myself as a 2 or 3 year old with a pacifier in my mouth and I didn’t go off to college with one and I’m also pretty darn sure I turned out okay (right, Mom?).
That being said, I honestly think it was time for Abby to say bye-bye to her binky and she was such a big girl about it. We’re so proud of her and couldn’t possibly love her any more than we do.
For anyone who’s trying to say bye-bye to the binky, I’m going to do a “how-to” that’s much less long-winded than this series and I’m also going to write my final, final thoughts on the process.
Thanks for reading our long, crazy story!
Read all posts related to Operation Binky Removal here.