I’ve been AWOL for the past few weeks because the husband was granted leave to visit the Ninjas and me! I know you’ve missed me terribly, which is why I return with a controversial post just to stir the pot.
Binkies. There are so many pros and cons, and so many out there who will beat you senseless with reasons on why you should go stand in the corner for allowing your child to use one. Disgraceful! During my pregnancy with Ninja #1, I was overwhelmed by the strangers, medical professionals, and mom books, who pelted me with warnings on the dangers of handing my child a binky.
“It will haunt you for the rest of your child’s life!” someone once said. “It will ruin them!”
Yes, that’s an actual quote from an actual person that I did not actually know, but who felt compelled to share this lifesaving information with me at a crosswalk in front of my office. In retrospect, it seems to me that, that particular stranger experienced the negative side of the binky. It must have been terrible.
Moving on. By the time I was pregnant with Ninja #2, there was nothing anyone could tell me to sway my way. I had learned, through trial-and-error with Ninja #1, that Mom (a.k.a. yours truly) knows best. But for any new mom who’s still a bit unsure about her judgement with baby, here are some of the binky warnings – and my responses – I’ve gotten during my pregnancies.
- Nipple Confusion/ Appetite Suppression – I agree with this one for breastfeeding mothers. My Ninjas were only given a binky to help soothe them until my milk came in and then I took it away. If you want to know the lowdown on these particular warnings I recommend reading the ever-popular What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which tells you all about how to be a mom. It was my Bible with Ninja #1. I have two additional editions, which gave me up to 24-months of post-pregnancy guidance to motherhood because I was that insecure of my own abilities with Ninja #1. I am happy to say I have barely sought their guidance for Ninja #2.
- Don’t use a binky to pacify – This seems to me an oxymoron, but I was told this over and over again during my pregnancies. Let the baby cry it out. Here’s my answer to that: Ninja #2 (who is 11-months and now on formula) sleeps with a binky just like Ninja #1 did. When my Ninja cries (and he’s welcome to cry all night if he’s not dying), he can comfort himself with his binky. It is natural for babies to suckle for comfort. If there is no binky, they will find their thumb. When the time comes for Ninja #2 to have his binky permanently removed from his life, I will take it away. I cannot take his thumb away. And so, my Ninja’s nightly binky use is my way of keeping him from sucking his thumb.
- It will ruin your baby’s teeth – Perhaps this is true if your baby is no longer a baby whilst they are using a binky. Most binkies today are made with orthodontic nipples to promote healthy oral development. Again, you can take a binky away. You can’t take a thumb away. Thumb sucking is one thing that will ruin your baby’s teeth.
- Baby is too old for a binky – Parenting advice will come to you from all corners of the globe once you give birth. Especially from those you don’t want to hear advice from. I was actually told this binky-no-no by a family member whilst Ninja #1 (who was 15-months old at the time), was getting ready for his nap, binky in hand. My opinion on this is solid. As the parent of your child, you are able to make the best decision for your child. As for me and my Ninja, he had a binky until he was 2 years old. Our family was getting ready to PCS (permanent change of station) and I didn’t want to deal with binkies in airports and on airplanes. A week after his birthday I simply took them away. Ninja didn’t lose any sleep over it.
That’s all, folks. I have to end this rant here or this post will get so long you’ll never want to read my blog again. At the end of the day, let Mommy decide on what the best relationship for a binky and her baby is. Mommy knows best.