Oliver has hit another milestone that I feel is worth noting. Well, two actually. He has finally ditched the binky and moved into a real bed. Oliver has been a binky baby from the start, which is awesome at times. As a little baby it was always pretty easy to calm him down, just get him the binky. Going to sleep typically went alright, as long as he had his binky (and blanket). But I have always been a bit nervous about the day when we had to get him off the binky for good. Would he ever sleep again? Would it be countless nights of crying over not having it? How would I even do it, make him quit cold turkey? Cut the tips off them to make them not work? I had seen so many things out there but I just didn’t know which to go with. So in true learning mom style, I did whatever I felt was right. Guess what guys? Turns out you know what works for your kids a bit better than the internet. So here I am, on the internet, telling you how I got my almost 3 year old to ditch his binky.
I started the process of cutting out the binky nearly 2 years ago. When Oliver turned 1, I stopped letting him have his binky all day long. I told him it was just for bedtime and it stayed in his crib. I generally stuck to this rule, but I also always had a binky in the diaper bag for meltdowns on the go, a car ride or an unexpected nap. For the most part though, binky has been a bed only thing for quite a while. However, kids are smart. Like real smart. He learned pretty quickly that if he said he was going to sleep he could have his binky, even if he had no intention of going to sleep.
The last year or so we’ve been setting even more limits on the binky. At some point it was no longer allowed out of his room, so when he woke up and came out in the morning or from a nap, the binky had to stay in his bed. He actually took that adjustment pretty easy, but I’d often find him back in his room playing with toys with his binky. So then I started going into his room after he woke up and I would take the binky away to stay “safe” in his bathroom until he was ready to sleep again. Again, he was pretty alright with this setup. We had a few fights over it, when he would see me taking it away for the day and suddenly realized what was happening or when we asked for it just to play in his room instead of napping. But overall the system seemed to work.
As Oliver is approaching 3 and the new baby is coming, I figured it would be best to try and quit the binky completely before we had major changes in the house. We’ve been talking a lot about the baby and things that babies do and things that big kids do. Oliver has started noticing that in pictures of him as a baby he has a binky so we’ve been making the connection that binkies are for babies. We’ve talked about how baby sister might need a binky, but that he doesn’t really need one anymore. But I didn’t make the move to try and take it away from him, just a lot of talk. I did make the decision some time ago that I was not going to buy him any more binkies, so he has been down to 2 for a few months. Then one day, one of the two disappeared as binkies somehow do, and he’s only had 1 for a month or so.
Then one day about a week ago, I was laying with Oliver in his new big bed (more on that in a minute) attempting to take a nap. Oliver has mostly given up on naps at this point but I still have him lay down and relax for a while most days to combat the 4 o’clock rage he goes into since he’s refusing naps. Anyways, we were laying there and he had his binky since it was technically supposed to be naptime. He took it out, looked at it, put it back in his mouth, took it out and looked at it a bit disgusted and told me he was going to put it in baby sisters room. Then he did. And there it stayed. He didn’t nap that day of course but come bedtime he didn’t ask for it, so I definitely didn’t offer it. Since that day, he has only asked for it one time and I simply reminded him that he put it in the baby’s room because binkies are for babies and he moved right on. After a day or so I bagged up all the old binkies I had found while cleaning and put them in a drawer just in case, but I haven’t had to get them out at all.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you all and pretend like it was all unicorns and rainbows when he decided to ditch the binky. True, he didn’t ask for it. But for the first 3 or 4 nights he would “wake up” in the night crying. I say “wake up” because I’m not totally sure he was ever really awake, Oliver has occasionally had night terrors and he’s a product of his parents and therefore is no stranger to talking in his sleep. So I don’t really think he was aware of these times he was waking up, but I was. He would cry for about an hour, just fussing and crying. The kind of things that a binky would typically solve in about 2 seconds. But I used my willpower and stayed with him until he fell back asleep each night sans binky. Then, about 5 days ago he started sleeping solid through the night with no issues.
I’m so amazed that my little binky baby was able to transition so smoothly like that. I’m really seeing that big transitions are made when the children are ready for it. He spent nearly 3 years sleeping with a binky every nap and night. Then the day he decided he was done with it, it’s just done. I don’t believe I could have forced it earlier without massive pushback. It also reiterates my philosophy of talking things through with Oliver. I find that he really listens and understands when I explain what’s going to happen to him and it helps him handle things very well. Which brings me to the other milestone I want to touch on real quick.
Oliver has moved out of a crib/toddler bed situation and is now in a big bed. I’ve seen a lot of things about not making big changes with your toddler when the baby comes because it’s already such an adjustment. Thanks internet. So I wanted to get Oliver used to a new bed well before baby gets here. We got a convertible crib when he was born, and have been using it as a toddler bed for about a year. He started to get a bit big for it and I’d often find him sleeping on the floor instead of in his bed. So we made the big transition to a full size bed about a month ago. I employed the same tactic of talking to Oliver about it a lot before it happened. We talked a lot about how his bed was small and more for babies and that he was getting bigger and needed a bigger bed. When we finally got his bed set up it went…okay. Depending on his mood he was really excited and loved his new room, or wasn’t a fan and had no interest in sleeping in it. He was always excited to show people his new room, but wasn’t always excited about actually using it.
Since he’s been able to open doors, Oliver has always struggled staying in his own room all night, and the new big bed didn’t change that. But somehow now that he’s sleeping without the binky we’ve had several nights in a row where he’s stayed in his bed all night. The best part about it is he’s SO proud of himself in the morning. We all celebrate a bit every morning that he successfully stays in his own room for the whole night.
Oliver continues to impress me with how grown he’s getting. As they say, time flies and they aren’t lying. My little baby is turning into such an independent little boy and I love and hate it all at the same time.