My baby turns two at the end of the month, meaning my goal of getting rid of her binky at age two is just around the corner. This will be the first time there isn’t a binky-sucking babe in my house for over four years! In contemplating this tricky weaning challenge ahead, I can’t help but think of all of the many times binkies have come in handy and how weird it will be to not be able to stick something in my child’s mouth to instantly sooth her.
Help with feedings
There is talk out there that a pacifier shouldn’t be used for the first couple of weeks of life until the talent of feeding is established. Many people suggest that binkies cause nipple confusion and delay and hinders a proper feeding latch. But I happen to disagree with this one. Both of my babies used a pacifier from day one and loved it. So much so, that I frequently used a binky to help them eat. It’s a difficult thing to teach breastfeeding properly; even if Baby has the sucking motion down, there is a lot more to it. Especially when factors like an inverted nipple, or low milk supply are involved.
For the first few weeks, in order to get my baby interested in eating, I would position her as if I were about to nurse her, then pop a pacifier in her mouth to get the sucking going. Once she was fully sucking, I’d pull it out and replace it with the real thing and most of the time the sucking would continue. If not I would repeat the process until she got it figured out. I only ever needed to do this on my left side, as there was a serious disinterest on her part. Thanks to the pacifier, we worked out the kinks together and got the feedings figured out!
This is the obvious use of a pacifier. Sucking has the capability of soothing a baby, which is why pacifiers are so great. I think one of my favorite sounds in the whole world is a tiny baby crying but sucking a binky at the same time, about to calm down. Pacifiers are magic. A lot of the time they work like a little baby noise plug; I’m going to miss the days of being able to “plug up” my baby to instantly quiet and calm her.
Have you ever seen a binky rash? They look highly uncomfortable and can affect many babies – whether it’s from the materials, or just from the constant rubbing happening on the skin from the sucking going on inside the mouth. Well, another genius design factor from BIBS is the shape of the shield. Instead of a slight curve going toward the face, it has a slight curve outward. Therefore, there is no rubbing, which adds to the soothing factor perfectly.
Signals sleep time
Now that she’s older, I try to limit my daughter’s use of the pacifier to her crib. I initially made this switch to eventually help transition her to no binky at all, but I have found that it has more benefit than just that. Now, for her, the binky and sleep time are combined into one. I believe this has helped immensely with her ability to fall asleep quickly on her own.
A lot of parents worry about a binky in the crib, but it has become an official recommendation to use pacifiers during bedtime and naps because they have been found to reduce the occurrence of SIDS. As if we didn’t love these things enough before!