Top Tips on how to stop the dummy from our Mum to Mum members.
Take it away slowly
Tim: My son used to suck his dummy pretty much all day, so I decided to wean him off it gradually. At first, I just let him have it at night-time and during naps. Then I moved down to only every other night for a week, before taking them away completely. After a couple of sleepless nights he was fine. I think that because he knew he could live without a dummy during the day, it eventually made it easier for him to give it up altogether.
Stephanie: I didn’t have the nerve to just take my little boy’s dummies away all in one go, so I started by limiting them to bedtime. After a week of this, I started slipping into his room at night and taking his dummy out of his mouth. He’d grumble a little bit but then fall back to sleep. Once he knew he could settle without it, it was so much easier to get rid of the dummies for good.
Go cold turkey: A couple of weeks before my son’s third birthday, I told him that after his party it would be time to give up his dummy. He was so tired after all the celebrations that at bedtime he just handed it over and went to sleep. He only asked for it a couple of times after that, and I just explained that big boys don’t need dummies.
Leave it for the Dummy Fairy
Sophie: I didn’t want to take the blame for my toddler being without her dummies, so I told her all about the Dummy Fairy. I explained that if she left her dummies under her pillow, the fairy would take them away and leave behind the doll she’d liked in the toy shop recently. She was so excited about getting the new doll that she happily did as I asked. Bye-bye dummies!
Mick: I told my son that the Dummy Fairy needed his dummies to give to the new babies in the world who didn’t have one. He loved the idea and happily left them by the front door for the fairy to whisk away. What a selfless little boy I have!
Read books about it
Ben: My daughter was not going to give up her dummy easily. So when I found the book I Want My Dummy by Tony Ross in the library, it seemed like reading it to her would be the perfect way to get her on board. And it worked! She could really relate to the stubborn little princess in the story, who didn’t want to lose her dummy but eventually realised she could live without it.
Jodie: I thought reading to my son about getting rid of dummies would be a good way to introduce the idea. I picked up a copy of The Last Noo-Noo by Jill Murphy and my son just fell in love with the main character, a monster called Marlon. A few days later, I told him it was time to give up his dummy because he’s a big boy now, and he just replied, ‘Like Marlon’, and accepted it.
A great Article: @Zeitmygeistblog
“Fast forward 3 years and the habit was still going strong for him. Fortunately, it was only used at bedtime (a restriction I felt quite smug about), so no public judgement to worry about and our little secret was safe within the confines of our own home. No-one needed know about the horrible, plasticky, Disney themed, glow in the dark truth. (The glow in the dark upgrade was purely for our benefit of course, so that we stood a chance in hell of finding the sodding thing 6 times an hour during the night when it was inevitably dropped down the side of his bed)”
- So, dummies aren’t just given to babies and children for reasons of parental laziness as is often the general consensus.
- It is simply a measure deemed appropriate for some children (not all) for comfort, which in itself stems from love and care.
Chances are, a child will give up their baby comforter eventually of their own accord. But that may be long after you really want them to.
Prepare yourself for several difficult days. There may be a fair bit of whinging to overcome – although many parents are pleasantly surprised at how easily they will give them up. Bedtimes in particular can be tough, especially if they rely on a dummy to soothe themselves to sleep. Be prepared for difficulty in settling them for a while. Distract them with lots of cuddles, or their favourite games, stories or DVDs. Once you’ve done the deed, don’t go back.
Throw the dummy away rather than stashing it in a hiding place ‘just in case’. That way, you can’t give it back to them even if you’re tempted to.
Good Luck Ladies & Gents