Should You Give Your Toddler a Binky?

The Binky Debate

Ahhh. Sweet 6:00 am.

This morning I had a cup of coffee. And wow it was a damn good cup of coffee. It was a beautiful cup of magic potion, that helped me get through the day with my toddler and newborn until I could pour a glass of wine. And it was a damn good glass of wine.

Could I have made it through my day without my mommy potions?

Absolutely. I cannot promise there wouldn’t have been some additional tears, both from me AND the tiny humans, but we would have made it through. But think about it for a minute…at what point does our mental health become affected by foregoing that hot, delicious cup of energy or passing that cool, glass of peace and calmness?

Let’s be real mamas. We need our liquid courage. These things comfort us. They make us relax. They keep us sane. They ease our anxiety. They make us human.

So, let us turn to the tiny humans who force us to the Keurig at 6 am and to pop the cork at 6pm (okay, okay 5 pm). We have all these tricks and techniques that help us, as tiny human makers, keep our sanity.

Picture this:

You’re walking through the grocery store, trying to quickly decide if you should buy the organic pasta sauce or the cheaper (yet pretty delicious) “toxic” version. The infamous mom guilt sets in… you’re now contemplating making homemade sauce. You pull your phone out and open Pinterest to search “homemade sauce recipes.”

Meanwhile, your tiny human is intermittently whining in between verses of “Twinkle, Twinkle,” which you find adorable but your sauce isle companion seems rather annoyed. You think to yourself “I should have stuck to my friggin’ list” which would have been great if you’d remembered the friggin’ list (or even made one, depending on the day). You’re standing in the sauce isle, debating between chemical-laden, wallet-friendly jar sauce versus heading to the organic tomatoes and starting from scratch, all while praying to sweet, baby Jesus that your kid can hold it together long enough to make it to the check out isle.

Then, the mini-you loses it.

Twinkle, Twinkle has now become a tantrum consisting of a combination of demon-like screams mixed with a kill-me-now cry. What do you do?

You. Reach. For. The. Binky.

The paci, the tiny human plug that you’ve stashed deep in your purse for emergency, code blue situations such as this. Now, the angels are singing and all is right in the world. Your mini-me has settled, while vigorously sucking, and you can go back to your internal struggle over pasta sauce.

Mind you this debate cannot commence without the angry lady from the earlier concert now staring at you with the ultimate judgy face for giving your “toddler” a bink. For heaven’s sake woman, he’s 2 years old. I didn’t just give my teenager a pacifier (wouldn’t THAT be nice though?!). You weren’t happy with my future American Idol’s performance, and the tantrum certainly didn’t enrich your shopping experience, so turn your judgy face the other way and just enjoy the peace and quite-I cannot promise it will last.

Give a toddler a binky

We’ve all been in these situations before.

Situations where that little piece of silicone and plastic causes a situation to rapidly de-escalate and saves us from a tragic situation. Whether it be a car ride, a doctor’s appointment, nap time, etc… you’ve done it! So why do we try to hi-jack this miracle plug? How would you feel if someone told you “well, Karen, you’re 30 years old, now it’s time to be an adult and wake up without coffee”? Or “you’re not in your 20’s anymore, no more wine”! I think it is safe to say we would be throwing tantrums similar to the toddler in the sauce isle.

The horror stories run through our minds.

We have all heard of little Suzy who had to have speech therapy “because of the binky” or Johnny who had “thousands of dollars of orthodontics” all because he had a pacifier. So, if we immediately rip our child of their source of comfort once they reach a certain age, we can allegedly avoid speech and orthodontic issues.

However, we as parents will need to increase our coffee and wine to get us through that transition and we will need to shell out money for therapy when our tiny humans become teenage humans who cannot comfort themselves or ease their young adult anxiety.

Now, let me be clear… by no means am I suggesting that taking a child’s binky will result in an anxiety-ridden teenager/adult. But let’s be honest, there are far worse things in life than a child with a pacifier, and I’m more than happy to play on the irony of the dramatics surrounding taking the bink from the tiny humans.

So spare me the tips.

I’m talking about the fabulous suggestions on going “cold turkey.” Please, keep your stories about the “binky fairy” to yourself and just don’t even try telling me (my personal favorite) the tales of cutting holes in the pacifier, because sores in our children’s’ mouths are far more favorable than the detrimental effects of the forbidden bink. Turn your judgmental face the other direction while I sip my coffee in peace, all thanks to that little miracle I like to call the silicone silencer.




Hi! I’m Kate, former professional napper turned wife to my college sweetheart, mom of 2 awesome tiny humans, and author of Whether you’re a working mom or a SAHM, whether you have one or ten tiny humans, whether you’re doing it with your soulmate or you’re a single mom, my hope is that you are able to pour a glass of wine, sit back, and laugh, knowing that you’re not alone… CHEERS!

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18 thoughts on “Should You Give Your Toddler a Binky?”

  1. I love the humor mixed with honesty in this article. It is very well written and I am sure many mothers can relate. This article put a smile on my face as I remember these days when my own children were young. This was a great read!

  2. Love this! Lets be real, sometimes I wish I could put a binky in an adult’s mouth 🙂 Good work, sister! Preach ❤️

  3. Love, love, love this and love you even more! ❤️Keep writing! ✏️ You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself and you’re writing about life with my two little loves. What a treasure that will be in 20 years!

    1. Awww thank you thank you thank you! Your support means the world to me and I plan to continue writing! Excited to look back and get some laughs in 20 years! Xoxo

  4. I love how you linked the binky to our coffee. I feel like so often we think we need to strip our tiny humans of every little quirk and “bad habit” when we have so many of our own. As if our babies should be perfect adults when we don’t even come close to the bar we set ourselves. My first son wouldn’t take a binky and I wished he would. My second took it from about 2-8 months and weaned himself. It’s a sad day for me.

    1. Amen! Isn’t this the truth?! We all deserve our comfort sources (within reason, of course;-)! ) Let’s stop expecting perfection and let our kids be real! Thanks for following… xo!

  5. Parenting little humans is no joke. Hurrah for you for doing it your way. I also love the humor you use in writing this piece. You bring an important topic into perspective. I am a mom of bigger humans and I want to encourage you to enjoy your tiny humans because before you know it they will have outgrown binky’s and blanky’s and all of that baby stuff.

    1. No joke at all! I’ve heard this piece of advice more times than I can count and while it is often hard to remember amidst the toddler meltdowns, I know it is so so true. Each day is better than the last, time goes so incredibly too fast, that is why I say embrace those binky days,snuggle those babies, and eye roll the judgers!! Thank you thank you thank you times a million for your support! Cheers to the moms of bigger humans, who know all too well the trials and triumphs of raising the tiny ones ;-)!

  6. I fight this internal battle daily. You said it perfectly, “there are far worse things in life than a child with a pacifier”! Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone in this mommy fight 🙂

  7. Hey Kate! Your post is true and hilarious!! My first born wouldn’t take a dang binky and so she stuck two of her fingers. My youngest two did take the binky. And yes, I’m saying “take the binky” because I was offering it up like a FREE Starbucks Frappucino on a hot day. All we did was slowly wean them from it around the age of one. It’s easier I think to do it earlier because they’re not 3 years into this way of soothing themselves.

    And trying to get my daughter to stop sucking her fingers was way harder! She was starting to form hard nuddles on her fingers. You can throw a binky in the garbage, but you can’t throw a toddler’s fingers away. #ThankGodForBinkies!

    1. Hi Brandi! Thank you for reading and for the positive feedback… I’m glad you enjoyed-it is so true, we can take the bink when the time comes, we cannot take their fingers! You are absolutely right, there are lots of humane ways to wean them from the paci! Love your comments and thanks for your support! xo

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