Monday, November 10, 2008

The Dreaded Binky Debate

Binky. Pacifier. Whatever you call them, there is a ton of debate about giving them to babies. I read a lot of articles before Gracie and Luke were born about pacifiers. Some of the articles led me to believe the twins would be irreparably harmed by the use of binkies. They assured me that they would have horrific teeth. Sorry, that's a given. They are our kids after all! They assured me that my children would be 10 years old and still using a binky because they would not be able to part with it. Then, other articles reassured me that using a binky allows babies to soothe themselves.

I had convinced myself that binkies were not to touch the Twinsies mouths. I did not want 37 year olds living at home because could not grow past their infancy. That is, until I was rolled into the NICU and saw my babies with their little binkies in their mouths. The nurses had decided for me. I wasn't sure if I wanted to rip the offending binkies from them or just leave them be. When I saw Gracie calm down as soon as the binky was placed in her mouth, I realized that I was being lame. I was using fear created by everything I had read to keep my children from experiencing calm when I could not be there. The nurses couldn't be there 24 hours a day, hovering over the babies, and neither could I.

When we came home from the hospital, I tried to use the binky only as needed and discovered that the babies only really wanted them when they were very tired. I could also use them to get a few more minutes to prepare bottles when necessary. Honestly, the spit the binkies out more than they kept them in. The hospital had provided us with Soothies and they did not have anything that would catch on the roof of the babies' mouths to keep them from falling out. This was problematic when they would spit out the binky and I needed to run from wherever I was to pop it back in.

We eventually found the Playtex Ortho Pro, specially designed to provide room for growing teeth and to stay in the mouth when the babies relaxed. We love these things! I've recommended them to new moms everywhere. Gracie and Luke's teeth are fine even though they still use the binkies.

As of 5 days ago, Gracie and Luke are 14 months old. By some standards, their binkies should be a thing of the past. They are not and I'm not apologizing for it. However, I've noticed that Luke, at least, has already started to say good-bye to his binky. His favorite binky action is to toss it as hard as it can possibly be tossed. Occasionally, this means that binkies are found under carseats, in the trunk, 1/2 mile back down the road. The binkies are also a source of fun because of the Musical Binkies the Twinsies play all day. Gracie will start with the pink one and Luke will start with a blue. By 30 minutes later, Luke will have stolen Gracie's binky and run away, happily. Gracie steals Luke's binky more often. They think it's fun. It can be frustrating, but when it comes down to it, the binky is still needed at bed time. The binky helps Gracie and Luke when they are falling asleep. About an hour after they fall asleep, the binkies get spit out. If they wake up in the night, they have learned to feel around for them and stick them right back in.

So what is the binky plan? I'm hoping that if I start keeping the binkies away from the Twinsies immediate sight, they may start needing them except at bed time. One article I read said that babies will wean themselves from binky use and the more of a deal that I make of it, the worse it will be. They seem to be fine if I hide the binkies. The only issue is when they are tired.

I don't want to be the Mommy with 3 year olds still using binkies. In fact, if we can be done with them by 18 months, that would be awesome.

Shall we start a countdown?

T-minus 4 months and counting...

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1 comment:

  1. According to Freud they are still in the oral stage and need to continue stimulating their mouths until 18 months old. If trauma happens at before 18 months (weaning too soon) they can grow up and have an oral fixation i.e., biting their nails, chewing on objects, overeating etc...Some say Freud was a crazy man and drug addict...I think wean at 18 months and totally done by 24 months...good luck!


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