Why I Refuse to Give My Child a Binky


Super engorged, I forced that pacifier out of my 3-month-old’s mouth to relieve some of the backed up milk. This was the first time Humnoy has willfully taken a binky after many clumsy attempts in the three months leading up to that day, which he forgot all about nursing. He would be obsessed from that day forward. Little did I know that pacifier use would change a lot of things and not necessarily for the better when turned to for comforting those inconsolable outbursts or inevitable car rides.

I have made the decision to not have my second child be a “binky baby.” Lanoy has recently discovered her thumb and is almost the same age when Humnoy began his binky binge. Though tempting as I remembered pacifiers were a saving grace, I won’t let Lanoy have a binky but will not mind her go to town with her adorable little thumb. As an attachment parent, I’m running a case trial of both a binky baby and a thumb sucker. What’s the deal with both anyway?

Which is better? Thumb or binky?

Weaning The old saying goes, “you can take away binkies.” Essentially it is said to be easier to wean off of pacifier use. You can hold goodbye ceremonies, fairy tale exits, and even just cut off the tips stopping its functionality in its tracks. Deal with a days-long tantrum and poof, it’s done and over with. With an attached thumb, it’s harder to just ‘take it away.’

Preference Humnoy never discovered his thumb or I didn’t give it enough time. When he was teething something terrible in those horrid teething days, the binky soothed him when I couldn’t, boobs or otherwise. Gym Hottie actually tried it once and remarked how he could see it helps relieve teething pain because the suction massages gums. Well, no wonder; I’d want a constant gum massage too. Humnoy has tried to let his sister borrow his but she wasn’t having none of it.

Eco-friendly Binkies are pure plastic nipple replacement, plain and simple. An oxymoron for my goal toward natural parenting but we also eat bacon and that’s an entirely other post. It makes my skin crawl knowing he is sucking on a plastic nubby for most of his waking hours. I do plenty of other damages to the environment and I don’t want to add one more binky baby to the mix if I can help it. Thumbs require little to no production costs on the environment. Just 10 months gestation.

Costs I can’t tell you how much we’ve spent on buying, replacing, and time locating binkies. At least with a thumb sucker, the lack of costs are the most appealing factor. Six dollars a box for a two-pack over two years makes me clench in fantasies of what vacation getaways could have been. Not to mention losing those little bastards but, of course, the manufacturers recommend they be replaced every so often. Of course they do.

I could wean him, I could hold a parting ceremony, or I could just hide it and he’ll forget about it for two days. I won’t though because it’s an attachment to him now. Now that I know better with soothing options can be babywearing or comfort nursing without resorting to a binky, I believe I can avoid Lanoy ever having to “need” one. My hope is that Humnoy will just be finished with his ‘gaga’ on his own time much like breastfeeding, which is my gentle reminder to just lay off of his pacifier obsession. Like my boobs, I know he will just outgrow the binky and we’ll just be happy when that day comes as a celebration of entering a new development stage. Until then, I choose to pull the binky card as a resource in motherhood with two littles made up of one thumb baby and one binky baby.

Why did/n’t you have a thumb or binky baby? How did it turn out?

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27 thoughts on “Why I Refuse to Give My Child a Binky

  1. Harper is a binky baby. We didn’t give her one the first 2 nights at the hospital and the third night she was inconsolable and so was I. The nurses asked if we wanted to try a paci because they could see I was melting down into a big ugly puddle. We reluctantly gave her the paci (I was afraid she wouldn’t breastfeed if I did)…and holy crap…the peace it gave us was amazing. It never affected her latch, she had bad latch from the beginning because of her frenulum. Now with new baby boy, we have offered it to him and he can’t seem to hang on to it most of the time, but when he does have it, he will only want it for a minute then spit it out and be fine. Sometimes he won’t even take it and will make a nasty face when he realizes what it is. Maybe he will not be a binky baby! He latches better than harper ever did (we got his frenulum clipped), maybe that’s why he’s not so fond of pacifiers, maybe that clip prevents him from hanging on to one properly?) One thing I wonder about- will baby 1 give baby 2 the binky and get her attached? Harper will put hers in baby 2’s mouth! (as well as snatch his away when he has it lol)

  2. River is a binky baby. All the Lao family here thought it was a riot ( they are way countryside, so there aren’t binkies there) and said he looked like a little pig, but he soothed him when nothing else would…and that made mama a happy mama and therefore in better spirits to deal with the lack of sleep. Now, at 8 months, I worry about when to stop it but…. i’ll give it till the first year and then see.

  3. Mason takes a paci when he’s hanging out (early morning swinging, yo Gabba Gabba watching, scenic car rides) but he refuses one any other time. I was told that it decreases the risk of SIDS, so I gave him one at like 2 weeks (after we got the hang of breastfeeding and my idiot pediatrician stopped trying to force me to formula), but at 10 weeks he’s still not all that into. He does seem to be into his thumb. I don’t know if I’m up for that challenge though. You’re definitely the bigger momma!

    • My goal right now is to just let it be Humnoy is a binky boy, his sister is not. I don’t want to intervene so greatly affecting either of their attachments so I think I’ll deal with bewb-pacifier as long as I can with her because I’m really frustrated with binkies at this point.

  4. Baby E is into his paci but doesn’t seem to be obsessed by it. He also likes his fingers, thumb, hand. We didn’t have to worry about latch woes since he’s formula fed; otherwise, I would have been more hesitant. There are times in which a few sucks on his paci really calms him, but he can also be easily soothed with babywearing, shushing, singing, and other things.

  5. With Miss L (my first, now 8 weeks), I wanted to avoid a binky if reasonably possible. I bought a 2-pack of Dr. Brown’s while in line at a TJ Maxx @ 36 weeks pregnant, “just in case,” but we haven’t used them. It’s not that it’s always easy to soothe her (believe you me!) but we have always managed without a binky. I really didn’t want to possibly mess with her latch, which was never fabulous (acceptable now)… We had some trouble with BFing (not milk, but my lack of coordination), so I wanted to wait until at least 6 weeks to introduce it anyway, and by then, she had at least some success finding and sucking her hand/arm (transitioning to fingers/thumb now). And while she comfort-nurses SOME, IDK… I’m not sure a binky would do it for her anyway, when she’s really upset. I know I can’t take a thumb away, but nor can she lose it (or forget it at home) when she needs it. It can get dirty (though I’m thinking low-level germ exposure with thumb-sucking might actually be beneficial), but I think it’s less likely to get truly filthy, falling into the city street or whatever. I guess we’ll see how it goes, but it looks like she won’t ever get a binky. DH does do what he calls “Daddy Pacifier” with his arm for a minute here or there, LOL… But that’s about it.

  6. I guess I’ve been lucky with my 5-month-old. I used to give her a paci in the earlier months when she would have her morning stomach aches after a feeding – damn gas, thankgod that’s done with – and in the car if she had a fit. Honestly, we treated it as a mute button when it wasn’t possible to console her otherwise and as the vitamin D “inputer”. Since then, though, she doesn’t seem to want them, nor mind them if we give them to her, happy to munch on her fingers when necessary. I didn’t want a binky-baby either, but sometimes they swoop in and save the day. Now, I’m sure that situation might change when she starts teething…

  7. My 13-month-old has never had one. No one in my family ever used them so I know they’re not strictly necessary. I think it’s pretty creepy that babies are sucking on plastic for hour a day! Some of my old friends who I only keep in touch with through Facebook, I’ve never seen a picture of their kid without one! Totally weirds me out.

  8. Before Eleanor was born I was adamant about no pacifier use. The hospital I gave birth in is a no-paci hospital so it made my choice easier. There have been times that I’ve given it to her, maybe 5 times total, and 4 out of 5 she got bummed out and spit it out. We even got it on video. It’s pretty funny. She doesn’t really suck her thumb either. She DOES like to scratch her face and chew on my hand though. Humph. >__<

  9. We had a sample binky, but I kept holding off on giving it to Ashelyn (I seem to be a glutton for doing things the hard way). Finally broke it out when she was six months, just to see what would happen, and nothing did … it was just another chew toy to her. What can I say, my girl prefers a human pacifier :/

  10. My kid is stubborn. We tried to get him to like a binki…no go. We tried those cute little “wubanubs” (a paci with a toy attached) because we heard they were good for weaning…you clip the paci off and then BAM they have a tiny little stuffed animal to carry around. But Potamus wasn’t having any of it. It’s my boob or crying. He won’t even suck his thumb, though he chews on his fingers plenty.

    It’s the same with lovies…I’ve found him crying in his room clutching a random sock from the dirty clothes bin, or an old onesie (it changes daily), but won’t actually carry around a stuffed animal or lovey blanket or anything of the sort. It’s boob or mom or nothing. Sigh.

    Though, I guess in the long run I shouldn’t complain because at least I’m not going anywhere πŸ˜›

  11. I have one thumb sucker and one binky babe. J really only sucks his thumb while sleeping, and A has had a bit of a rollercoaster with the binky. For a long time she only got it at night. Then she had a month of recurring ear infections. The doc said sucking could help relieve the pressure, so reluctantly I gave her the binky all the time, and poof, her ears got better. And I WAY prefer more binky time to antibiotics! Now that that drama has passed, we’ve gone back to just bed time. The end πŸ™‚

    • I agree; antibiotics over binky would make that decision for me too! Maybe I should’ve tried limiting binky times with him so he wouldn’t be so obsessed or dependent on it. I could maybe try that with Lanoy? Who knows. I’m so paranoid now.

  12. When I had Rayne, a nurse had given her a binky while I was resting, without asking my permission. I’m not saying that is what got her hooked, but who knows. She was attached to that thing for a year, needed it to sleep and to comfort her. But I didn’t want a 3-year-old with a binky and how I was raised, there are no tip-toeing around things, especially when you’re the parent (as harsh as that may sound), so soon after her 1st birthday, I threw in in the trash and she never saw one again. The first night was hard for her to get to sleep, but after that she got over it and never asked again. I hear a lot of children have big problems being weaned from binkies. I guess I just got lucky.

      • Have you read anything about weaning on their own? I don’t know much about it. I was afraid Rayne would keep it through 2nd grade if I left her to it, so I just took matters into my own hands. I’m sure whatever decision you make on the binky he will be fine. It’s a normal thing for them to get so attached to it. And he’s not going to be 16 with it.Eventually he’ll grow out of it, or find something else to comfort him in that way.

  13. Hi, just found your blog after Googling to see if anyone else had the problem I had. I have serious jaw and other problems in adult life because my mother encouraged me to suck my thumb, she did not want to deal with binkies. As a result I have a very severe overbite as an adult – she did not get it fixed in childhood, and later on we were too poor. I suffer from frequent headaches, teeth grinding at night and I sometimes bite painful holes in my inner lip if I don’t chew especially carefully. I do not have a normal smile because my top teeth completely cover my bottom teeth. I walk around with my mouth shut but my jaw open because otherwise I look like an old person who forgot their teeth. So please, give your kid the binkie and don’t let them suck their thumb. Ending up with this problem as an adult is just awful.

    • I’m sorry you are dealing with these problems, that is awful. Thankfully, the baby doesn’t suck her thumb at all. I neither encourage nor discourage the binkie at this point so I’m very laid back about it. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

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