The Binky Battle

I have a love/hate relationship with C.’s binky.  I love that she loves it.  And I hate that she loves it!

For the first four months of her life, out daughter was one of those super sleepers that new parents dream about — or at least WE dreamed about!

(Our son was up every 2 hrs for a llooooong time.  I was never so exhausted in my life!  When C. was born and she was a sleeping champ, we were like “OMG, thank u lord!”).

C. would sleep at night for 6-8 hours and then was up off and on from 5 a.m. til 7 a.m.  (I don’t want to hear it if your babe slept even better than this! :) ).  Unbelievable to us — a breast-fed babe sleeping so long…and gaining weight!

Well, then something changed.  Brian went away for a service trip with the teenagers from church, and my girl was UP!  I went through the usual mama questions that often have no answer to them!  Is it the binky?  Is she sick? Does she miss Bri or sense me missing him? Is she teething?  And then we were traveling.  Uh-oh.  She was waking up every two hours.  OMG.

Now we are home and though she is sleeping better, now when she wakes at night, she is awake!  I feed her some times, but other times, she’s just not hungry.  She. wants. the. binky!

So Brian and I had the “if and when and how to get rid of the binky” conversation that so many parents know all to well!

Yeah, I know, having an infant = being tired.  So I accept some exhaustion.  But there comes a time when mom’s had enough — and that means some things gotta change.  AND I also know that she’s gotta learn how to fall back to sleep on her own — eventually.

I’m sure we’ll figure it out.  I’m not in to C. “crying it out.”  I gotta talk to my mama friends and check in with my own gut and husband (!) and then try something out.

I think what stresses me out more than the binky battle, though, is this anxiety many moms, including me, seem to have these days:

If I do X will this create a bad habit that’ll be hell to deal with later (binky, co-sleeping…you name it)? And if I do Y will that ruin my child (cry-it-out, etc)?

Mom guilt + knowing too much about attachment and trauma as a psychotherapist = paranoid…at times!So I often just have to take a step back, breathe, go with my gut, try something out, and believe that in the end, all will be well.

mindfulness + faith = letting go = contentment.

Yet the fears associated with being a parent can be pretty tough illusions to battle!  Lots of breathing and lots of other mamas are necessary for survival!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angela
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 08:10:37

    Hey Lis,

    Although neither of children used a binky (not for our lack of trying), they both sucked their fingers or thumb. Obviously it’s stinkin’ cute when an infant sticks their thumb in their mouth, but not so much when an older child does. You can’t take their fingers away, so in many ways we had wished they used a binky. But then, we didn’t have to make any emergency binky runs when we couldn’t find one.

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I think most kids give up the security of a binky or a thumb by the time their 3 (that seemed to be the magic age our pediatricians were concerned about). Our daughter still sleeps with a little animal blankie thing (she’s been using that since she was about 6 months old). I would leave it in the crib when she was on a regular napping/sleeping schedule – I didn’t want to loose it.

    The bottom line is that Clara won’t be going off to college with a binky in her mouth, so do whatever you feel is best for her, you and Brian.


  2. ali
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 08:35:13

    greetings from thailand,
    nalia is finally to sleep so i can have a moment to write, although lucky for me i have a full-time nanny while here but i still feel busy! anyway, funny timing because nalia is 50-50 meaning she seems to need her binky like a magic potion to sleep or content herself, and other times she doesn’t at all. she did suck her thumb a bit as a newborn but i haven’ seen her do it since then. well today, i changed hotels and was running around getting things for my work here, so the nanny had no binky. i was not with her most of the day, about five hours or so, and would pop in and out to nurse her. but from sunrise to sunset, no binky! it doesn’t necessarily surprise me just wondering how attached she is and if i should really encourage all that sucking as she is starting some solids now at 8 months. i overheard a parent say that it is ideal to de-binky-ize (i just make that up) when weaning…sounds logical. i don’t think it matters much as long as you are not shoving it into her mouth with a catch myself doing now and again. for experimentation sake though i think we may not use the binky for the next two days no matter what to see what happens. not to torture her though. but here in thailand it’s very hard to keep that thing clean! i know her immune system is already toughening since i don’t know what’s going on when i’m not around….my 2 cents :)


  3. Suzanne
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 08:44:44

    Hey Lisa, I totally agree with Angela. As a previous thumb sucker (not recently of course), and this habit was a really hard one to break me of. So, I’m of the opinion that there are many creative ways to ease away the binky when the time is right. The thumb is attached to their body. MUCH harder. So, if I had a choice I would much rather them be attached to a binky in the beginning. Sucking is such a natural reflex, it makes sense. Your kids are lucky that you are so mindful and care so much for their well being. Who knows, she may just ease out of it at some point without a fuss. I have heard of that happening, also.


  4. barefootlisa
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 07:00:19

    Hey friends, thanks for your comments and support! Yes, so I’m not so worried about her going off to college with a binky (!) and I’d be totally fine with it IF…if it wasn’t causing a problem for us (lack of sleep) and if she could get herself back to sleep without it. Shoot, if she could pop it in her mouth and go back to sleep, I’d be all about it!

    Worry #1: learning to get back to sleep on her own (she’ll eventually need to know how to do this) — so is it time to ease it away w/o torturing her (good wording Ali!)?

    Bigger thing on me, though, isn’t the particulars of the binky battle but rather just the “holding” of worrying about the kiddos well-being, doing the “right” thing for them at the “right” time, etc. I think I will be forever adjusting to the fact that it is such a huge responsibility to care for another human being. Their well-being is in our hands. That’s huge! And I just wanna do the best thing for them and for us. I know, this is every parent’s situation.

    Thanks again ladies!


  5. Trackback: The Binky Blessing « Gems of Delight

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Copyright. 2013. All rights reserved. No portion of any post may be copied without written permission from the author. The advice offered herein does not constitute a substitute for professional psychological treatment, therapy, or other types of professional advice and intervention. The self-help contents are solely the opinion of the blogger and should not be considered as a form of therapy, advice, direction and/or diagnosis or treatment of any kind: medical, spiritual, mental, or other. If expert advice or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

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