Monday, December 19, 2011

The Binky Project (June 3, 2010)

The Binky Project 

The binky; it can be both a blessing and a curse.  When your little one is first born you struggle with the decision (or at least I did) to breast feed or bottle feed.  I tried breast feeding with my son but it didn’t go so well so I decided it would be best to offer the bottle.  He did very well so we stuck with the bottle; for then next 19 months! 

Sam started right out of the gate with a binky.  Since he had reflux; that at the time we were unaware of, he was eating non-stop along with crying! So with the crying and the constant eating the “4 S’s” came into play a lot! Swaddle, Swing, SSSHHH and sooth; and soothing was what worked best.  Not only was the binky used to sooth but it was also used to stretch out his feedings.  After the reflux was gone and he was doing well with having long stretches between feedings the binky was really only used to put him to sleep.  We thought we were so lucky to have a baby that only wanted the binky for night nights.  Well that all changed around the time he turned 18 mos. 

As I mentioned before Sam did much better with the bottle then the breast; too well in fact.  We were told by Sam’s pediatrician that he needed to be off the bottle by 15 months.  So after his 1 year check up we decided to start introducing the sippy cup; Sam wasn’t having any of it. He pitched fits and being new parents all we wanted to do was keep baby happy so the bottle was given quickly back.  When it came time for Sam’s 18 month appointment the pediatrician warned us that if we don’t get him off the bottle his teeth are subject to rotting.  Well that did it for me so we gave him another month and then like a smoker quitting cold turkey the bottle was gone. 

Taking the bottle away cold turkey from a 19 month old proved to be difficult; a week of difficult.  We tried all the different tack ticks prior to going cold turkey.  We tried watering down the milk in the bottle which he was kind of confused with but he drank it.  Strike one.  We tried only giving a bottle only at night before bed and sippy cups all day. He fooled us; he wouldn’t drink his milk all day until his night time bottle which was not good because he still needed 24 oz of milk a day.  Strike two.  So I said I’m not striking out on this and I made him go cold turkey! It took a whole week but he finally decided to drink his milk, warm, from the sippy cup and not the bottle and has never looked back since.  He is now almost 3 and still has to have his milk warmed in the microwave.  After “The Binky Project” and potty training has their successes the milk is going cold, for good! 

So we broke him of the bottle, phew! Well he’s not a stupid kid so he said in his little mind “I’ll show them!” He picked up the binky to replace his bottle.  We were compliant at first.  We just kept saying “He can have it since he just gave up the bottle” Or “It’s a way to help wean him off the bottle”.  Well the joke was on us!  

It has been 15 months since his last bottle but only 15 hours since his last binky.  I finally said “That’s it! You’re almost 3 years old the binky has to go!” When thinking about how to get rid of the binky I said to myself “Its cold turkey just like the bottle”.  I had made a trip to my favorite store to get a few items and thought to myself I need to give him a prize for giving up something so dear to heart.  I knew he would give up his binky for any kind of car, truck or train.  I steered my cart down the isle with all the trucks and found a remote controlled Jeep.  Perfect! 

I got home late that night so I didn’t want to introduce such a fun toy AND take the binky away so close to bedtime.  The next day every time he asked for his binky I gave it to him with a warning “today is the last day for your binky so enjoy it”.  When daddy got home at 6pm we scooped him up, took him in the garage where the garbage cans sit waiting to go to the curb and let him hold his binky as we showed him the Jeep.  We said either the binky or the Jeep.  He didn’t even hesitate, he wanted the Jeep.  We told him that he had to toss the binky in the trash to get the Jeep.  He chucked the binky in the trash like a hot potato and grab the Jeep right out of my hands.  With Sam only being 2 ½ we figured he didn’t quite get the gravity of his present decision so we kept explaining that the binky was gone for good.  He didn’t seem to care at all; he had himself a remote controlled Jeep and about 2 hours to play with it.    

I started getting a little concerned that a meltdown may take place closer to bedtime so I went into a stash of stuffed animals hanging in Mary’s room and picked out a really fun bear I bought years ago that had dread locks and a knit cap.  “Rasta Bear” as I had dubbed him was now Sam’s night time bear to take the place of his binky or at least I hoped.   

Very near Sam’s bed time our area experienced a tornado warning so we had to keep Sam up past his bedtime until the storm had passed; he was getting tired and the playing with his hair bit started.  To my surprise he never asked for his binky, just played with his hair and watched the storm.  After the storm was over he wanted to watch T.V. in mommy’s room so up the stairs we went and climbed into bed to watch “Wonder Pets”.  After his program had concluded the T.V. went off and Rasta bear in hand we headed down the hall to his room.  Once in bed the routine of reading his favorite books started and never once a peep about his binky.  I was beyond surprised he never asked for it.   

It was 9:30 and all was quite in the house with both kids down for the night.  Around 10:00pm my husband decided he had had enough of the day and escaped up to our room for his “night nights”.  I stayed in the basement watching the last of a program I had DVR’d when I heard Sam on the monitor asking for daddy.  We quickly learned our lesson that when daddy’s name is being called after bedtime hours that mommy goes in and checks the problem; otherwise a toddler meltdown occurs when daddy leaves the room.  So I headed up to see what the problem was; he hadn’t gone #2 all day so I figured that was the issue. An hour after he was put to bed I walked back in his room to find him upset and wanting to watch more T.V. in mommy’s room.  I had to tell him no as he crawled in my lap and hugged me; clearly missing his binky, but he never mentioned it.  After tucking him again I left the room to return to my show.  He asked for daddy for the next half hour until he finally fell asleep.  It was evident that he missed his binky and having a hard time sleeping with out it. I felt bad, but not bad enough to give it back. 

Sam woke at 6:45 this morning and the first words out of his mouth then and since has been “Where my binky go?” with lots of whining behind that question. We reminded him that he chose his Jeep over the binky and that the binky was now in the trash.  So far it’s been a rough morning as I figured it would be a rough week like when we took him off the bottle cold turkey.  I have now dubbed this week and quite possibly the days after “The Binky Project”. 

“The Binky Project” will most likely be updated as the struggle happens.  If any of you mommies out there would like to share your stories of a binky loss please leave your comments as I, along with other mommies may need your suggestions and funny stories to help us through this tough time.  I say this as if we just lost a family member but to a 2 ½ year old it may feel as if a death has occurred.   

Thanks for reading

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