We're finally free. Ben no longer uses a pacifier! It's been long overdue, but the final straw was the dentist. Ben kept accumulating a lot of tartar on his bottom teeth and I think it was from sleeping with the binky. So, since Ben's been expressing interest in a new bike and he's almost outgrown his tricycle, Heath hatched a plan. We decided Ben could pay for a new bike with his binkies. When we broached the idea with him he seemed very receptive. We stressed that the binkies would be gone, but he was very focused on the new bike (which was the idea). I suppose he saw the writing on the wall, since a month or two ago I bought him a book called Pacifiers Aren't Forever. And when we started Project Napless I said if he fell asleep during quiet time that was okay, but he couldn't have binkies.
So Wednesday night we headed out to the local bike shop. Ben took to the two wheeler right away. It had training wheels, so he climbed right up and started riding around the store. He was super excited. The salesman really played along and told Ben the bike cost four binkies. Ben handed them over without a second thought and rode out of the store.
As bedtime approached I could tell he was realizing what he'd done. He didn't mention it specifically, but he got sad and started whining a little bit. But then a miracle occurred: He went right to sleep. No crying, no jumping out of bed, nothing. He did come into our room at 2am, wanting Heath to come sleep with him, but he did that even when he had binkies. Ever since then he's been fine. He's only mentioned the binkies once and he's had no trouble sleeping.
The morale of this story is that kids do things at their own pace. If we'd tried to do this when Ben was one or maybe even two, I think it would've gone much worse. Lots of crying and sleepless nights. But at three and a half he was ready to give up the binky and he just needed a little nudge from us.
And a new bike.