Ella is now officially binky-free! Up until now, she has still used her binky for naps and night time (and long car trips) and was really, really, really attached to it to fall asleep. I wasn't even sure if she was capable of falling asleep without it. With all the change she's been through lately I really didn't want to give her another transition to deal with, but now that Steve is back home it seemed like the right time.
I just couldn't stand the thought of taking it away from her cold turkey, so did some research online and decided to snip the top off so that it would lose it's sucking power and that even though she could still suck it, it wouldn't be as enjoyable. I wanted the decision to stop using it to be hers, instead of us telling her she couldn't have it anymore.
We told her a few weeks ago that her binky was getting older because she's had it for so long, and then on Monday night I cut the very tip off of it. She thought it was really weird but said "ohhh, it's old, has a hole in it" and accepted it. She asked for another one and we told her we didn't have any more, that was it. Although she wasn't too happy with it, she still put it in her mouth to sleep.
I cut a little bit more off of it each night and she still slept with it and took it to bed with her every night, but wasn't really sucking on it anymore. And she talked a lot about it getting old and how it had a hole in in it. Then we told her that since binky was getting so old, if she decided she didn't want it any more, she could choose a special surprise that she could sleep with instead of binky. She said she still wanted binky.
Finally yesterday I cut it down so low so it was pretty much just a little nub attached to the plastic base. We showed her her surprise, which is a really cute little puppy that came in a fancy purse, and she played with him in the afternoon but when it was time for bed, still said she wanted binky. But then once we were upstairs and she saw how small it was, she wanted to put binky back in her crib while we were reading books. Once it was time for her to get in her crib, she told me she did not want binky in her crib. I couldn't believe it! She said she wanted it in the hallway instead (which is what she says about anything that she doesn't want in her bedroom when she goes to bed). I asked her if she was sure, and she said "yes, no binky - I want the puppy to sleep with."
And that was that! I got her the puppy, she held it so close and tight, and went to sleep without a peep! Same thing at nap time today and bedtime tonight, she wanted to snuggle with her new little puppy and didn't mention binky once all day. I am completely amazed it worked so well - she is binky free, it was her decision, and all without a single tear!