Gave up the Binky but Having a Very Hard Time Sleeping

Updated on June 13, 2008
S.P. asks from Littleton, CO
12 answers

My daughter is nearly 3 and last weekend we went to Build A Bear and put her binky inside a bear and the "binky fairies" visited while we were gone, leaving a small gift. We prepped her for a couple of weeks about this and it got to the point that she was asking us every day when we could go. So we finally did it, but now she is having a very hard time sleeping. She only slept 6 hours last night and woke up crying and this is very odd for her. Without the binky, it seems she can't put herself back to sleep. Today at naptime she sobbed for nearly 2 hours before falling asleep. She loved her binky and only got it at naptime and bedtime but it was her security. I'm wondering who else has experienced this and how long it lasted. Also, does anyone have suggestions of something that may comfort her, as obviously the bear isn't cutting it. My husband is already wanting to "give in", but I am staying strong and think this too will pass, hopefully, sooner than later. Thanks! S.

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T.T.

answers from Denver on

It will only last a few days, a week at most. Don't give in! She will be fine. Help her pick out something else to comfort her, like a blanket or stuffed animal. But it really won't last long at all.

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A.S.

answers from Denver on

This may not help for this time, but maybe for next. Your daughter learned how to soothe herself using the binky, when it went away, so did her ability to soothe herself. At this point you are well on the way of crying it out and in a couple more days she'll have found a new way to soothe herself.

A kinder, gentler way to kick the binky habit is to slice the tops off. Over a couple weeks you make the binky smaller and smaller by continuing slice off pieces of the tip. This gives them time to figure out how to soothe themselves without relying on the binky. Its more of an internal will rather than an external force.

Good Luck!

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N.P.

answers from Boise on

I am going through the same thing with my almost 3 year old daughter...this week, in fact. She traded her binky for a Webkinz puppy dog while we were out shopping during the day, and then wanted to have the binky later. She had a terrible day after that: cried for 45 minutes during her nap time and never fell asleep...so I just held her and told her how sorry I was, but the binky fairy had taken all of them while we were gone. I have been telling her about the binky fairy for a few weeks now...so she knew about it and was slightly prepared. I let her choose when she wanted to get rid of the binky...then she had to deal with it after that. She had a terrible day and at night was totally upset and hysterical. We just let her cry, and that night, it only took 15 minutes of crying, and I layed down with her and held her hand until she fell asleep. Maybe you could try laying down with her until she falls asleep...eventually she will be so tired she has to sleep. It will take a couple of days or a week...and then you are better. We also took my daughter to get a big girl haircut and she got her fingernails and toenails painted...which only "Big" girls get done. Also, the first night without her binky, the binky fairy brought her a bag full of presents that only big girls get...such as Watercolor paints and a notepad, which she had said she wanted a couple of weeks before...when we began talking about it. Anyway, sorry to send such a long one...but really tell her how proud of her you are, and make a big deal about the big girl thing...I also put her picture in a frame and wrote a message on it about how proud we are of her, and it is displayed on her dresser. We also have a one year old...so we got rid of all the binkies except the one for the baby...and we emphasized that binkies are only for babies. Good luck!

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J.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I went through this with my almost 3 year old. For us, the trouble sleeping passed within a week. It just takes some time for a new pattern to be established. We just made sure we had a bedtime routine and then we checked on her in increasing intervals (10 min, 15 min, 20 min) until she fell asleep. I did the same with naps & kept putting her down at the same time regardless of how long it took her to go to sleep or if she didn't sleep at all. Within a week she was back to falling asleep quickly and staying asleep for bedtime and naps. This too shall pass - don't give in. If you do, it won't get any easier later on - if anything, it'll be harder because she'll know she can get you to cave. Stick to your guns. Good luck!

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R.K.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I don't have any personal experience with the "binky" because none of my children were ever given a binky.

I would suggest upping the attention in the day, increasing the bedtime ritual; add a story, sing another song, rub her back, etc..., hug/hold her more...

We adults, tend to hold things out long enough for US to be DONE and then expect our little one to just let go and move with us without the appropriate transition for them...and, it can be difficult to know what that "appropriate" transition time and method are.

If the binky was her sancuary, you just got rid of a whole lot more than just a plastic thing she puts into her mouth. I think you see that. Does your baby use one? From her perspective, it may be very difficult to her to see your baby with HER sanctuary. Perhaps all the binkies need to go the way of the faries--IF you have any at home for baby.

Try using some essential oils before laying her down; lavendar works great.

Also, are you absolutely sure it's the binky?? It there ANY other thing going on in her life? New home, new work schedule for daddy, have you been under more stress, is baby getting into her things, is she used to going to grandma's house or play group and it's been awhile, have you rearranged her bedroom, etc...?

I think now that you've taken it away, it would be worse to give it back, she will hold onto it so much longer and tighter--you know, "I'm never letting you go again!"

Was daddy completely on board with taking it away? He may have left it up to you or even used affirmative language, but was he completely behind it? That may be part of the problem, too.

Anyway, I'm confindent you'll know just what to do to help her.

---maybe you have some letters to her from the binkie about things it's doing, and a few more little gifts...maybe she could write it letters, too.

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M.W.

answers from Denver on

Sherri,
You're doing it perfectly! Stay strong! It will pass...

At three years of age, she really shouldn't be using a binky anymore. It will mess with her teeth. She's just transitioning. Give it time; she'll be just fine! Your husband wanting to give in, is for HIM... because it's easier for him. You don't want her to be dependent on a binky forever, right? She learned to self soothe with it, and she'll learn without it. You don't want her starting Kindergarten, still dependent on it.

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D.K.

answers from Denver on

DO NOT GIVE IN!!! It can take a good week before she sleeps well without it, but do not give in, that will totally send her mixed signals. Just hang in there. You are doing her a great thing dental wise, habit wise and being a big girl! Maybe get her a music box that kicks on sound activation, or go get her a snuggly blankie. My daughter attached herself to one of her baby jammies and still sleeps with her for security at the age of 7! :)
Tell your hubby he is saving her from dental problems and speech problems, not just breaking a habit by her not having it. Rub her back if she wakes up but don't get her in another habit of you running to her either.
Hang tough, in a week I bet she is past it! Celebrate her being a big girl! :)

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E.S.

answers from Great Falls on

we got our daughter a baby doll who had a pacifier, which helped reinforce the idea that pacifiers were for babies--and she definetely she thought she was a big girl. That seemed to help. It's hard I know, but it passes. Good luck.

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K.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

let her cry it out. she'll learn how to fall asleep eventually.

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J.H.

answers from Billings on

I don't have any new advice, I just wanted to say that putting the binky in a teddy bear idea is great! I agree with the other posts that she will eventaully find another way to self-soothe...hang in there.

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

It sounds like she is having more of a soothing challenge than really wanting the binky itself - she gave it up willingly, she just doesn't know what else to do. Help her find other ways to self-soothe that do not include sucking. She may want to run her fingers through a dolls hair, or just hold the teddy bear. It takes some time for her to get used to something new.
Definitely do NOT give in and give her another binky. We all have to learn to change habits over time, and this is her first experience. Beyond that, her teeth are mostly in and a pacifier or other sucking could become a dental/orthidontal issue.

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M.L.

answers from Boise on

Oh goodness for your daughters sake, do not give it back!! My daughter is now five years old and when she was three and a half I took binkie away...only to give it back to her a few days later because I felt so sad for her. She was lost without it, she thought about it 24/7 and because of that I caved...I kept telling myself well I have my securities too...I can not make it though the day without my security (diet coke) so why take hers from her? Excuses don't help and don't take the problem away. I also just had to turn around two weeks later and start the whole process all over which I promise was even harder the second time around. Don't be hard on Dad for wanting to give it back...Its easier that way :) My son (3) sucked his finger from the time he was in the womb and still does...now you tell me how the finger fairy is going to get that from him? ha ha!! Its very tramadic to your daughter right now just reasuring her that you love her I promise is going to make her feel all better!!

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