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One thought - you might be able to train her to keep the pacifier in! keep trying to pull it out while she's sucking on it, and her suck will get stronger. My 4 month old keeps his in for 5 hours at a time - not that I'm really happy about that, either...


If you're still using the newborn size binkies, you may try switching to the larger binks. . .they are less likely to fall out while she sleeps.

Her Bad Mother

Do you give baby binky during the day, when she doesn't need it to sleep? We (sort of)transitioned WonderBaby (who is 5 mos. tomorrow) away from the binky (while also moving her to crib *and* out of swaddle - it was a *bad* week but growth spurts forced it on us and it's turning out okay) in part by reducing her use of it at other times, such that it's become less and less a critical soothing tool.

And, of course, we make all efforts to get her down at night without the binky (which, without the swaddle, was a double whammy toughy) - this, however, usually requires rocking and nursing. I generally now nurse her until she's really close to sleep and have found that the binky in this case becomes unnecessary (so maybe the nursing will create other problems, but she still goes down semi-wakeful and in any case, whatever works). And if she goes down without it, she doesn't wake for it.

We haven't had in any luck in convincing her to get on her hands/thumb at night (tho' she loves these during the day), BUT she does love chewing on the corner of a light blankie (that is otherwise tucked under her crib mattress). She's fallen asleep this way a couple of times (chewing on blankie) and has been well able to get it back in when it falls out (doesn't drop away like binky; stays clutched in her little hand). I don't know if this, too, might create other problems (Moxie?); it doesn't seem to me to pose a suffocation risk because it's a wee blankie, light stretchy cotton, and she's able to pull it away/herself away. In any case - those nights that she's still active when we put her down after nursing, we make sure that she has a blankie corner, which she works with her hands and then gets into her mouth, and it has been pretty reliable.


Mary --

We weaned both of our kids off the binkie at 4-6 months. It really wasn't bad, especially since by that time both of them were good sleepers -- they went into the crib drowsy, but awake, and were able to put themselves to sleep.

My older one was more addicted to the pacifier than my younger, probably because he'd been a very fussy infant, but even with him it wasn't a tough process. We just took them all out of the crib and stopped offering them to him. Honestly, I don't think he even noticed. We were prepared for awful nights of crying and fussing, but there was none of it. The first night, he looked around and looked at us like "where is it" but we patted him and did our usual nightime routine and that was it.

Anyway, do what works for you, but in my experience the dread of taking away the paci is worse than the process, especially with an infant. (I have no experience on doing it with an older infant or toddler, but suspect it gets harder as they get more independent.) But it sounds like your daughter is a good sleeper, and really the only thing disturbing her is the paci, so its a good opportunity to use these disturbances to get her off it, rather than reinforce it by constantly going in and putting it back in her mouth.


Ooh. There's definitely a market for those monkeys. They'd also be good at retrieving dropped objects (again and again and again).

Good luck, Mary; if all else fails you may find that she can grab her own binky sooner rather than later. I put my son to bed with 3 or 4 of them to increase the odds.


HBM, my guess is that she'll grow out of the nursing to sleep about 2 months after you're sick of it. And I don't see any problems with chewing on the blanket if you make sure it's all still attached (so no little pieces or bindings can go into her mouth). If she gets really into that one blanket, though, make sure you have a back-up in case something happens to the original.


We've always put a bunch of pacifiers in the crib so they can find one. By "a bunch" I mean 6,7,8. We are not proud. We just want sleep.

Even so, I would like to place an order for 2 monkeys, Moxie.


"Equal opportunity ass-kicker" Ha! Yes!

kelly jeanie

We had a similar problem, but we waited it out. If I remember correctly, it didn't take that long for him to get the hang of finding the binky by himself, but it still might be a month or two for you. Now he is a year old and only uses it at night, and like Linda we multiple pacifiers in the crib. His thing though is that he likes to switch through them as he falls asleep. He puts one in his mouth, grabs another one, spits the one he has in his mouth to put the new one in, repeat.


My daughter did the exact same thing until about 5 months when she got really good at rolling over and started sleeping on her stomach. Shortly after that she learned how to get her pacifier back in her mouth by herself. I think she slept deeper on her stomach and didn't notice the pacifer falling out as much, but if she did, she could get it back in her mouth by herself. Also, she would chew on her blanket if she couldn't find her pacifier. She's only waken at night a few times since then (1 year ago). So maybe you just need to wait a little longer?


We only own a few binkies. But I've noticed that there are there tiny holes on either side of the center, for what? I think they're for elastic so you can strap the binky to the baby's head.

But I'm guessing:
sleep deficiency < risk of strangulation.

Still, why are they there?


Depending on the make of soother, there may be holes in the flat part to permit breathing, and so it doesn't get suctioned tightly against the face. We used to use a brand of soother with 2 holes in it, and the package clearly stated that these were for air holes and were not to be obstructed with strings or anything else.

Gerber used to make velcro ribbons and clips to attach to baby's sleeper. (It attached through the ring, not the flat plate that is against the baby's face.) The ribbon was only about 4 or 6" long, too short to be a strangulation hazard, they claim. It helps keep the soother from falling on the floor and getting too dirty.

We used the ribbon-clips at night, clipped onto the chest of the baby's sleeper. The soother never went far away, and the baby soon learned to find it and plug it back in again. I think some babies could do it around 5 to 6 months old, but my memory of that stage is no longer very clear, sorry!

You could let her practise with the soother and string in daytime, then maybe she will know how to find it at night sooner?

However, the other option of gradually phasing out the soother is definitely worth considering. Our kids grew firmly addicted to their soothers, and we didn't get rid of them until they were 3 years old! We were too afraid to try it, because it was such a convenient way for them to self-comfort by day or night, and with triplets there was often somebody who needed to self-comfort and wait their turn for parental attention.

Best wishes, from a mom to 6 year old triplets,


Hey! Thanks for all the advice! In fact, I'm going to try tonight to go cold turkey, no binkie. Failing that, I'l try a bigger binkie. Eagerly awaiting helper monkeys, however.

Unfortunately, since I wrote the first email to Moxie, we've had a little "issue creep." Now Her Majesty isn't satisfied with the binkie in order to go back to sleep. First she had to get in bed with us. Now she needs to be in bed with us, and also nurse (I guess she figured out the comfort nursing thing). Even that didn't work last night at 3 am; she stayed awake an extra 45 minutes, pulling my hair. So, I don't know whether there's some developmental thing going on or what. She's also been extremely fussy during the day, so much so that I went to the doctor just to rule out ear infections, etc, but no ... she's just fussy. In fact, I am not allowed to do anything except walk around with her in a sling and weep bitter tears, etc.

I must go, Her Majesty wishes me to walk around. Any ideas? anyone? {crickets}



Re: the bigger binky...when we switched to it, my then 6 month old HATED the mouth feel of the larger binky and refused it. Maybe others had this experience too?


We had the exact same thing at 5 months. We went cold turkey on the dummy (sorry, Australians here). It worked quickly, I just vacuumed her to sleep for a few days (the sound of the vacuum cleaner just outside her door would send her into some kind of sleep-inducing trance). We gave the dummy back at around 7 months, when she could find it herself. And yes, we spread around 5 or 6 dummies all around the cot (sorry, more Australianisms). Ooh, and yes we used the biggest dummies we can get (the round cherry ones seem to be better than the orthodontic ones for staying in).


I would say all proposed options are valid, it only depends on what you are planning for down the line. If you don't mind the paci until 3 years old, just hang on for another 2 months (alternate nights of paci duty, etc...). But if you are planning to take it away before your daughter is a year old for example, maybe you might as well try taking it away right now (oh, I just saw the new post that says that this is what you are planning to do). We only have one baby, so my level of experience is low, but we had the same problem and went cold turkey on the paci addiction when our son was 6 months old. Our son was not asking for milk at night since he was 5 months old so it felt even worst to wake up ONLY because of the paci addiction.It took three nights of waking at the same hours we did to give back the paci, only then it was to pat him and hold him a few seconds and let him know we were there. Fourth night: He slept through and had never asked for anything for 11 straight hours since then. He is now 7 months old. The 3 nights are hard because you sleep even less than with the paci problem, but after its over all you can think is "I should have done it sooner".


I have discovered with our 2 month old that she is more likely to keep her pacifier if we pull her blanket all the way up to her chin and around her face. Not necessarily over her face, but tucked around her face on each side. This is comforting to her for some reason (of course this may also get her attached to a blanket, especially if you always use the same blanket). Also, if she won't take the pacifier, it helps to touch her cheek with my palm while giving the pacifier to her until she has a good suction on it.


Kate, I can't stop laughing. I hope I get the chance to vacuum my child to sleep too. Love M


Apparently, my parents used to drive me to sleep (put me in the carseat and drive around for 20 minutes). Talk about conditioning: 21 years later, whenever I am the passenger on a long car ride, I fall asleep. With the price of gas these days, it's probably not a good plan, though.

I wonder if those monkeys can be trained to wash dishes and do laundry?


I'm the same as Jane - I STILL cannot be in a car for more than 20 minutes without nodding off...

Can I PLEASE sign up for a monkey?

victoria in SC

I too am having the awful paci issue. I hae 3 month old twins and one is extremely attached to his paci, but just can't keep it in at all. My husband and I would take turns doing paci patrol at night which worked pretty good and soon he didnt care if it fell out at night. However, during the day I couldnt get anything done because I would have to constantly put it back in every 2 minutes. Finally I just took it away during the day and only give it to him at bedtime. This has worked well, but I do notice that he is fussier than before during the day. It has been a week now. How much longer will this last? Any other suggestions?

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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