Local mom’s “Binka Bear” invention helps kids ditch the pacifier


PITTSFIELD, M.A. (NEWS10) — Babies love them; dentists don’t. So when it comes to weaning your child off the pacifier, tears are inevitable. The saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and that was the case for a Pittsfield mother who found a cuddly solution to ditching the pacifier.

Step into Kaitlyn Pierce’s office and you’re also in her kid’s play room.
“It’s been really important to try to figure out how I put those together,” she said.

It was a perfect blend of motherhood and entrepreneurial spirit when it came time to wean her first daughter off the pacifier.

“I was like there’s gotta be something, I’m not the only parent whose ever needed to do this so I started looking and there was nothing at all,” she said.

And so the Binka Bear was born.

“He has these laces and then you put the pacifier right inside here,” she explained.

The pacifier stays close enough for your child to feel, but it’s securely out of reach inside the bear’s paw.  Kaitlyn says it worked from the start.
“That was it, one night, and she asked for her pacifier and I told her they were here in her bear,” said Kaitlyn.

She has no college degree but asked a lot of questions. There was an early investor, a $20,000 dollar Kickstarter campaign, and then came manufacturing in China and a warehouse of inventory in California. She also won the EforAll Berkshire County Pitch Contest, which is being held again on February 5th. First prize winner gets $1,000 and mentorship opportunities are available to many. Click here to apply by January 23rd. 

There were plenty of setbacks along way. “The moment I pulled these out of the box, I cried,” she said. There’s a picture of her inspiration, her daughter, on the box and inside there’s more than just the bear.

“Wouldn’t that be great if there was some incentive for the child to give the pacifiers to Binka Bear?” A whimsical storybook shows how pacifiers give Binka Bear magical powers.

“Kiss your binky and wave it high, remember this is not goodbye,” Kaitlyn read from the book. It’s just the beginning for Kaitlyn. She’s sold several hundred of the bears so far. They’re for sale at some area gift shops including Karen Keenan Gifts in Lee and online for $39.99,  but she wants her story to inspire.

“I want people who feel stuck, who wake up every day wishing us was over, not to do that,” she said.

Take it from Kaitlyn, a bright idea can become a business and your life is what you make it. If you want to hear more of Kaitlyn’s story, she’s appearing on The Mel Robbins Show this Friday at 9:00 a.m. airing on News10.

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