Since the day she was born Reagan has been a big binky baby. I always imagined that I would take the binky away when my kids were like a year old. I'm not sure where I came up with that age, but that was the age I imagined. However her first birthday came and I wasn't ready to take her binky away. It calmed her down when she was screaming, it helped her fall asleep when she was incredibly tired. It was a lifesaver!
At about 18 months we decided to make the binky a bedtime only thing. She knew that she had to keep it in her room. When she would get up in the morning she knew that before she could leave her room she had to go put her binkies on the bed (and I do say binkies, she always had multiple). So for a long time we were in a good groove and the binkies were for the most part just a bedtime or naptime thing. And then Naomi was born. Reagan did not like that Naomi got to have her binky whenever/wherever and she didn't. So we reverted. And I do mean we. We just gave in and the binky became a whenever thing for her too.
We tried to keep them separate though, Reagan's binkies were green and blue and Naomi's were pink and purple. Slowly we started noticing that the binky started to be more of a daytime comfort than a nighttime comfort for Reagan. It got to be a REAL pain and she wouldn't even really need it to fall asleep. If we were out and about or riding in the car and we didn't have her binky she would scream! One car ride in particular she screamed from Layton all the way to Sugarhouse. I thought she would let up. Or maybe fall asleep or something. But no. She just screamed! It was around this time I knew we needed to get rid of this thing.
Our old pediatrician (we got a new one when we moved) had told me to let Reagan have the binky until she understood the word "broken." If it made my life easier, I shouldn't worry about letting her have one. She understood the word "broken" way before Naomi was born but I didn't want to take it away before or right around the time Naomi was born so we ended up waiting until just a few weeks ago. Our new pediatrician didn't seem too happy that she was still using a binky at her two year appointment, however we were going to Hawaii soon after and I didn't want to take it away before a big trip because I knew she'd revert. So our pediatrician said that I should try to ease it back into a bedtime thing again, and then eventually try to replace it with a new "lovie."
Knowing Reagan I was doubting the success of this gradual method. I decided cold turkey was probably best for her. Get it over with. So we planned ahead and picked a weekend (I've learned to always make big adjustments on the weekend, so I have Jordan with me for reinforcement) and made it happen. On the designated Saturday morning, before she woke up I snuck into her room and stole her binky. I took it to the kitchen and cut the tip off and snuck it back to her room. I was actually pretty worried because like I mentioned before, she always had more than one binky but the night before we could only find one for bedtime. I was worried that it wasn't going to work because when she found the other ones they wouldn't be cut and she would just have them back. Thankfully, it didn't end up being an issue thought.
When she woke up she brought her "broken" binky into our room and kept saying "broke" and "broken" and asking us to "fix it?" She would squeeze the tip together to try to get it to stick or she would try to suck on it without the tip, which didn't work. She did find two other binkies (one was in our fridge on top of the lid of the J Dawgs Sauce...who knew!) on that first day but as soon as she would grab it we would snatch it out of her hand and hurry and cut it without her seeing what we were doing.
I was prepared for multiple nights without sleep and lots of crying. None of it happened! It was awesome. Because we cut them and didn't take them away/hide them/throw them away when she asked for a binky we were still able to give her one. She would take one look at it, remember that that it was broken and move on. It totally worked like a charm. The only down side is that naptime has kind of disappeared. It might have been a result of the loss of binky but it also could have just been time for her to give them up.
Overall the "broken" method was so great for this cute child of mine. She still tries to steal Naomi's binkies every now and then, but it's like a game for her. She know that she shouldn't have it and kind of laughs or looks at us really sheepishly before we take it away. This seemed like a pretty big milestone, so I knew I should probably document it on this old blog here, before I started forgetting all of the little details! Hopefully, we will be as successful in a year (or two) when it's time to take the binky away from Naomi.