Bye-Bye Bottle, Binky, Blanket…

child girl with pacifier

I have a confession to make. If you come into my kitchen and peek into my cupboards, you'll find a cup full of binkies. I just haven't been able to part with them. The same is true of one bottle. And, as for my daughter's blanket? Well, when she is finished with it, IT'S MINE! See, the problem is that I am more attached to these items than she is at this point.

This wasn't always the case though. There was a time when nightime slumber wouldn't come without those binkies – one in her mouth and one or two in her teeny tiny fingers. As for the blanket, it's still beside her each night, her fingers embracing the satin edges as she soothes her self to sleep.

Is it time for your child to say good-bye to any of their favorite things?

When it comes to your developing child, the time may be different than it was for mine. The fancy shmancy word for this is “developmentally appropriate,” meaning supporting your child's growth and development right where they are. Oh yes, experts will give you guidelines. These guidelines, or developmental norms, are the ages and stages when most kiddos do one thing or another. However, it is important – and normal- that there will be variations from child to child.

The end of one stage may be fueled by need (i.e. your toddler starting a preschool program where pacifiers are not allowed). It may be fueled by the fact you are expecting another child and want to move your older kiddo into being a “big boy” or “big girl” before the new addition arrives. Maybe there is no specific reason other than it feels like it is the right time.

Thus far in my parenting journey, saying good-bye to the pacifier was one of the toughest challenges to tackle. Need ideas? There are plenty of suggestions out there.

What worked for us? As my munchkin approached 2 1/2 years, our cousins were expecting a new addition to their family. I can't recall quite how it happened, but the idea of passing along the binky to the new arrival caught interest in our household. During that first visit with this new little one, our little girl placed one of most prized pacis into the crib of the newborn. I held it together. Barely. She was joyful with her decision. The family left from our home. The binky was gone.

In celebration for her good deed, I swooped her up that evening and took her out to the toy store. A “Dora” toy caught her attention. Sold! We brought it home where it entertained her for a least 10 minutes.

Later that evening, she asked for her binky. I asked her if she remembered, it had went to the new baby. The kid isn't dumb. She knew there were more. I told her that I didn't know where they were (and luckily she was too small to check the kitchen cupboard). I brought the “Dora” toy back into view and reminded her of what a big girl she was.

It wasn't the easiest night, but it wasn't the hardest either. And, it got better and better.

She was fine. I'm still recovering – lol!

Are you ready to say good-bye to any of your little one's things?

Do you think it is time?

How do or will you know?

Now, what will YOU do?


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Bye-Bye Bottle, Binky, Blanket…

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child development programs as a teacher, then moved into creative administrative roles with science centers, symphony orchestras and arts programs. Owner of 170+ year old house, Jeannie loves living in small town America where walks to the park and ... More

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