Friday, March 29, 2013

How to Wean a Toddler from their Precious Binky. . . (or "passie", as we always called it!)

A friend asked this on Facebook, and I realized I do have a few gems to share after raising 7 children. (Although I'll admit that the more kids I had, the more I figured out how little I actually knew!) But here's a strategy that worked for us with 5 of our kids who became somewhat "binky dependent" over those first couple of years. . . I'll tell ya though, those binkies are a lifesaver!

And I know people have concerns about teeth growing crooked and yada yada yada, but out of 7 children, only two of mine so far have been candidates for braces (One is just now completing invisalign at age 19, the second will probably start sometime this year at age 16). I have seen absolutely no correlation between teeth problems and those who used binkies or not. So that's my anecdotal evidence anyway. ;)

Fer Cute! - On My Mind BPA-free Pacifiers - Available at
"Ok moms, I wanna know... How did you take away your baby's binky? It's only been the last few months that JW has become really, REALLY attached, because of teething. Now he has his top teeth, and I want the bink to go bye, bye." - Nellie Edmonds, Utah

Jumbled Sunshine Answer:
We used a "binky leash" to pin the passie to the pillow with a safety diaper pin. Make sure it's long enough they can lay there in bed with it and short enough that they can't get it wrapped around their neck. I made my own by braiding some yarn. This way the child can only have it at naptime and bedtime. (Just be aware that a clever toddler may start carrying the pillow around the house to have their precious binky/passie along at all time, haha! We resorted to pinning the pillow to the toddler mattress with one of our kids, haha!)

It's a good compromise - the passie is still there if they really need it emotionally, but it's a little bit of a hassle for them to go find it. This way they only use it when they really really need it the most. (Usually bedtime). Although funny thing - one of our more emotional daughters would run to her bedroom whenever she was upset and lay there sucking on her passie to comfort herself, then come back out when she was happy - it worked rather well, actually. hee hee

Anyway, after a few weeks/months of this routine, when you think the child has gotten to the point to not be totally dependent on it during the day, choose an out-of-town weekend when the binky gets "accidentally" left at home on the pillow. (You can take one hidden in your bag if you are worried about your sanity on the trip, lol.) Chances are, the child will do fine all weekend long, which is the sign that they are ready to give it up.

So - when you pull into the driveway at the end of the trip, one parents runs inside and takes the passie off the pillow. The child has likely forgotten about it after a couple days "binky-free". Worked for us. . . let's see. . . five times!

Love the "snooze button" and "volume control" ones!
So true.
On My Mind BPA-free Pacifiers - Available at

The worst response we ever had was a child saying, "Where passie?" when we got home. After expressing an appropriate level of surprise that it was missing (without directly lying of course, haha), I explained to the child at her own level that since she hadn't used it all weekend, it was clear that she was a big girl now and didn't need it anymore. I offered her blanket and some hugs, and that was that!

Oh yeah, I feel like the passie master right now! :D

Have a great day all you Mommies and Daddies!

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