Life

Mommy's Grounded

Getting rid of soothers totally sucks (but they’re still worth it)

By Bianca Bujan

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

It started as a knotted rag dipped in honey in the early 1900s, and was later patented as a baby comforter comprised of a latex tip and a plastic shield and ring, created by a New York company called Binky Baby Products (a brand name that eventually evolved into a generic term for the scandalous suckers).

While some parents may be opposed to the idea of soothing their children with a suck toy, the baby binky is here to stay - with approximately 75 per cent of Western babies currently plugging their pie holes with pacifiers to self soothe.

Why have they continued to be such popular baby items? Because binkies make babies happy, and parents love that they keep their kids calm and quiet.

The fact is, babies are born with an oral fixation. One of their very first instincts is to suck - some are even spotted sucking their thumbs intrauterine.

Some parents may pass on the pacifier, happy to console their children in other ways, but for most, it has become a must-have comfort item - for both the babies and their parents.

My oldest took to her soother on the first suck, and my life immediately became easier. I was able to remove myself from her suckling face and get on with my day, and she was happy to soothe herself as she pleased, by sucking on her soother on and off until feeding time.

We both came to rely on the relic, so when I felt that it was time to take it away, I was terrified.

Not only was I worried that she would go through inconsolable withdrawals, but I wasn’t sure if I would survive without having a trusty soo-soo as my sidekick.

One night, I had her stuff all of her soothers into a box, and leave it by her bed for the soo-soo fairy. As she slept, the soothers were replaced with a special gift, and her precious pacifiers were passed on to new babies.

She went cold turkey, and while it was a tough transition, we both survived.

My third child has developed a next-level obsession with her soother, and I’ve let it go on for longer than I’d like to admit. I know that when the time comes, getting rid of the soother is really going to suck - for both of us, but I stand by my decision to allow my children to self-soothe through soothers. I chose to do so because, unlike thumb sucking, you can eventually take them away. I’m just going to have to think twice this time before pulling the plug.

Bianca Bujan is a mom of three, writer, editor, and marketing consultant. Find her on Twitter and Instagram. Comments: bitsofbee@yahoo.ca.