My 3 year old (well, nearly 3 & 1/2 at this point) still uses a pacifier for sleeping.
He'd probably happily suck away on it most of the day if I let him, but I restrict it to sleeping only.
I've been feeling like this is our "dirty little secret" because most everything I read makes me feel bad that my 3 year old still uses one. That I'm damaging his teeth. That he'll have a speech delay. That he'll never grow out of it.
I've decided I don't need to justify my kid with a bink to anyone but my family. I've decided to stop stressing out about it. If you don't like it - well, that's good for you! Sincerely! I'm glad your kids don't have a sleep crutch, but mine does & I'm okay with it.
He's not deformed. He isn't slow. He doesn't have buck teeth. He doesn't have a speech impediment (other than what's normal for a 3 year old have). I'll tell you what he does have: a great vocabulary. Impressive diction for a 3 year old.
The evening of April 19th kicked off the worst week in recent memory for our family (as far as child rearing stuff goes). That evening, you went & got your binkie and then headed to the potty before bed. As soon as you got in to the bathroom, your binkie fell out of your mouth and landed in the toilet. Daddy said that was enough. The end of the binkie (we couldn't very well give you something to put in your mouth that had been in the TOILET - GROSS). I convinced you you could sleep with out it - I reminded you that you fell asleep in Colorado for Nana without it. I reminded you that once the Binkie Fairy came to visit, you'd get a prize.
You laid right down, my brave sweet boy, and fell right to sleep. I was half way lulled into thinking this would be an amazingly smooth transition.
And then the rest of the week happened.
No naps in 7 days (well. 1 nap. but that was after mommy completely lost it, got right in your face & yelled and then cried and apologized all over herself).
Night time sleep-stalling tactics that took you at least an hour (if not longer) to stop doing and just go to sleep. Waking an hour early and not going back to sleep.
Horrific, horrific behavior that did not improve &; in fact, got worse.
And one of daddy's cousins posted a sweet note that reminded mommy that no matter what any one else says, I get to choose what's right for my child.
In this case, I sincerely believe you are not ready to let go of your bink and I'm not going to make you. Who is it hurting, really? It's really not that different than sucking a thumb, which your mommy did for ever and ever. Who does it bother? Not me.
Last night I gave you a new binkie (I actually found it in the cupboard the day after The Event while cleaning up/rearranging and nearly gave it to you then). You fell right asleep with no sleep-stalling. Today, we had a mostly great day (that attitude seems to be sticking around, hopefully it doesn't take the full week it was here to disappear) and at nap time, you happily went right to sleep. Like I knew you should be. Some people say 3 year olds don't need naps. I say mine does.
I love you to bits & pieces babe, and I'm sorry we made you spend a week in agony.
The binkie will go away for good at some point. Just not right now. And that's okay.