Bye bye dummies

It’s time for the dummies to go. Forever. And ever.

Last night I was woken up four times by crying children. Sophie (two and a half years old) was screaming because her brother George (four years old) had stolen her dummy while she slept. I took it from George and gave it back to Sophie which then made him scream. This scenario continued throughout the night and I realised it’s all my doing. I have been way too soft as far as the dummies go and I should have taken them away ages ago. We took them away from George when he was around two and a half but since Sophie has had them, he has become obsessed with them again. He just loves them! I have been a lazy parent and just put off taking them away because I know it won’t be easy.

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There is lots of advice out there about the best way to remove the dummy, it can be a bit overwhelming. You can go cold turkey and just take it away without much explanation other than ‘you’re old enough not to have it any more.’ I feel like that’s a bit harsh. Before I had kids, I would have said I would definitely go for that because I’m the parent and I’m in charge. I never imagined, though, that children can become so emotionally attached to the dummy. It becomes a real comfort to them and is something that’s been constant to them for as long as they can remember.

Another technique I heard about is snipping bits off the teat of the dummy so that the child doesn’t like it any more. I did try this with Sophie a while back and she was so distressed that it was different that she just went insane. I could have stuck to it but I’m weak, so I didn’t.

Another idea, which is what we are going for, is the dummy fairy. The dummy fairy comes and takes the dummies and leaves a little gift in return. I’ve been really bigging it up to the kids and trying to get them excited about it. I’ve explained it a few times so they know what’s coming. I also had the idea that we could make a house to put the dummies in so that the fairies can collect them. We spent the afternoon constructing our Lego house for the fairies to come and play in.

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They really enjoyed building it and making it nice a cosy for the fairies. It’s nice to make it fun for them and get them involved. They put it by the front door before bed and the final step was to put the dummies inside. It was kind of a sad moment for all of us, which I know sounds weird. I suddenly had this pang of sadness that my babies are growing up and leaving behind things that they won’t ever need again. They were both saying a fond goodbye and having a last suck before placing them carefully inside the house.

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George hopped off to bed, excited to see what would be waiting for him in the morning. Little Sophie was crying and crying, she really wanted a dummy so badly. I managed to settle her but she kept periodically shouting out for me. I heard George telling her in such a sweet way that she needed to go to sleep or the dummies fairies wouldn’t be able to come. I love hearing him take care of her. I got them each a little present that I hope they’ll like and I’m excited to see their little faces in the morning.

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Fingers crossed we make it through the night and from this day on, my kids are dummy free zones.

I’d love to hear other people’s tips and experiences with saying bye bye to baby’s best friend!

Gemma

 

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34 thoughts on “Bye bye dummies

  1. This made me smile. I tried the dummy fairy, posting them to a baby now that you’re a big girl, cold turkey and leaving them out for father Christmas. I have to admit that these were mostly suggestions by other people who must have thought it was time for the dummies to go. We have had significantly bigger fish to fry when our children have been 2 and 3 and I couldn’t get bothered enough about bedtime dummies to take action. That’s probably why none of the strategies worked in our household, but I’m very proud that at 17, 15 and 12 my girls all settle themselves to sleep, and go right through the night without waking me up for a dummy. I think I’m rocking parenthood.
    I love your Blog. Hope your gorgeous- gingers love the presents from the dummy posse xx

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  2. I’m very interested to see how you get on. My son is 2 years 4 months and very reliant on his dummy at night (he only has it for naps and bedtime). He can find it himself during the night on most occasions but there are still times he needs me to do it. I really want to get rid of it soon so will be following to see how your little ones get on. Xx

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    1. Honestly, it’s been so much better than I imagined it would be. The thought of it is often worse than actually doing it I think. The kids have been great, only asked for it once or twice. They keep talking about the dummy fairy and seem really happy about it. Good luck if you go for it!

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    1. It’s actually gone really well! Glad cold turkey worked for you, I didn’t have the guts to do that! Sometimes you do need to just bite the bullet though, I often forget that I’m actually in charge not them!

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  3. Oo I hope it’s gone well for you!! A friend of mine is just doing the same with her daughter and it’s going well so far. I love the idea you’ve gone for and getting him fully involved! x

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it’s gone really well. Getting them involved helped so much as it made it more of an exciting event rather than a sad time when they were losing something.

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  4. I think the dummy fairy is a brilliant idea. My daughter never had a dummy but instead she is a thumb sucker!! Not sure how we’re ever going to get her out of that habit. I do worry about her teeth though, as the bottom ones are already wonky because of it! Good luck, hope the transition is smooth as possible for you guys! xo

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    1. Thank you! I haven’t got any thumb suckers but I was one myself. I just remember my mum telling me one day that I would have sticky out teeth and I thought in my little head ‘I don’t want sticky out teeth!’ I never looked back! If she is old enough to understand then maybe just be honest with her, not to scare her but just to give her something to think about, it worked for me!

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      1. That sounds like a good plan! She’s 2 and a half so I’m not sure she would fully understand just yet but I will try and explain to her when she’s a bit bigger! Xo

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  5. Mine didn’t have dummies (I had a thumb sucker which I believe was worse as I couldn’t take that away!!) but the majority of my friends who did, used the fairy method! It’s so hard to be strong but kids adapt really quickly and most of my friends reported only a few nights of crying, then all was good! Good luck xx

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  6. I know lots of people who have had success with the dummy fairy. We did the cold turkey approach at 12 months, threw the bottles away at the same time, which worked for us, but I think the dummy fairy is nicer if they are a bit older. Good luck!

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    1. Wow well done you! That’s really strong of you to get rid of it all like that. I do agree that when they are younger it’s a lot easier to do that. I shouldn’t have left it so long!

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  7. This is such a lovely idea. Fortunately, my two boys never took to dummies so we haven’t had this problem but i know from friends and family that the “dummy fairy” seems to be the best method for getting rid of them! Best of luck with it! xx

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  8. I’m the same as you. I have an excuse one of after the other. My 3 1/2 year old still has a dummy. But only at night time. He would be lost without it but he could do with not having it either. Chloe is the same. she’s attached to it. If it falls out at night I could be into her a million times. It’s hard to eliminate the dummy when the other child still has it. She’s only 15 months.

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    1. Yeah it’s really hard with two of them having it, I think you almost need to wait until you can do it at the same time. I would really recommend the dummy fairy, it was almost a magical experience for the little ones.

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    1. I had exactly the same concerns but it’s been so much better than I had expected. The dummy fairy worked so well, the kids just loved being involved. Both of mine were total dummy lovers and so I can’t believe it’s worked so well. It might not be as bad as you think!

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    1. Funny how some kids just don’t like dummies, that’s a blessing I say! It’s gone really well thanks, the dummy fairy works wonders.

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  9. So, so cute of George comforting his sister! I like the idea of the dummy fairy too, how did it go? Toby’s coming up 22 months and with baby’s arrival imminent I’d love to ditch the dummy but don’t want to stress him out at a time of big change as we’re also moving house xx

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    1. It’s gone really well thanks! I can’t believe how well actually, the dummy fairy is brilliant. There never is a right time to do it is there? I’d be inclined not to do it in amongst moving house and having a new sibling. That’s a lot of unsettling events for a little one and taking the dummy too might be just a bit much. Maybe when the babe is three or four months old would be a good time? On the other hand though, you know your boy so if you feel like he (and you) can handle it then go for it!

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