They say don’t start bad habits with your babies, a dummy being one of them. But our first night in hospital was hectic and Alaska just wanted to suck, suck, suck! My poor nipples were about to fall off, red and raw, they needed a break! She took to the dummy straight away and fast forward 2.5 years, it’s become her personal comforter, her sleep aid, basically another body part! The thought of not letting her have it any more was enough to break me out into a seriously anxious sweat!
When her baby brother came along, it was just another excuse for us to not start dummy weaning. Her little toddler world was already completely shook with a newborn living under her roof. Her almost perfect nighttime sleep record went completely to shit pretty much the moment Loxley came home from hospital. Taking the dummy away would have just made things worse. We were also afraid that taking her dummy away would seem like a punishment.
Loxley is now 6 months old and Alaska is that little bit older so we feel that NOW is the right time to wean off the dummy. Alaska’s comprehension of her surroundings and her fast growing communication skills, is incredible to hear and watch. We wanted to make sure that we let her give up her one true love, on her own terms, when it was right for her. If it was something she felt was forced, then we believe it would have made the process impossible and possibly traumatic (for everyone in our house).
What We Did To Start Weaning The Dummy
We identified what Alaska’s favourite thing is at the moment; FAIRIES and all things magical. Her little imagination is running wild and growing by the day. We chose this theme so Alaska would be excited and actually thrive off giving up her dummy, instead of it possibly being a boring or negative process.
Alaska wrapped up her dummy herself in pretty princess wrapping paper. Getting her to physically do this herself made her completely involved and aware of the process.
She then placed this under her fairy door. We told her that the fairies will love this generous gift and be able to give it to their fairy babies who needs it more than she does. We then told her to come back later on as the fairies will take her dummy and leave a magical present. All day she kept dancing around asking “have the fairies taken it?” she was so inthralled and swept up in the magic of the story.
When it was time, she came back to find the fairies had indeed left three little glittery fairies and a hand written note. She was completely in awe and you could see her little heart exploding with love from her eyes.
When she would ask where her dummy was (which was 17464850 times in a space of an hour at one point HA!) we would ask her where Flossy the Fairy was and to hug her tight so she could sprinkle some HAPPY fairt dust all over her. This was a great distraction and really did work.
We have had to remain patient with this process and understand that it won’t be as easy as clicking our fingers waving goodbye. If we have to explain a million times that the baby fairies have her dummy and Alaska was so generous giving it to them, then we will do just that.
When To Dummy Wean
Obviously I’m no expert, this whole blog is only a collective of MY OPINIONS based on my own experiences. But parent shaming and the good old parent police are rife online and in our personal lives. These “perfect parents” love to make you feel guilty about the choices you made/make with your kids.
SO PLEASE don’t listen to Aunty May who calls you a bad parent because your baby has a dummy. Don’t listen to your parents who insist a dummy is a bad habit you’ve created. Don’t compare your choices with Susan from mothers group because her child is a unicorn baby and has always slept with NO sleep aids. Unless your dentist is saying you have to get rid of the dummy, because they can see there’s obvious damage to the jaw, then PLEASE wean when your child is ready, when YOU are ready. Don’t listen to anyone else!
My Steps To Dummy Wean
- Choose a way that your child will respond to positively
- Talk about this with them the week leading up to actually implementing it
- Listen to how they respond and talk through their emotions so when you start actually weaning it’s not a huge shock to the system
- Replace the dummy with something else: A toy, a book or something they will be head over heals in love with. Choose something that will take the place of the dummy
- When they ask for their dummy, remind them where it is and how amazing they are for giving it away. Distract them with the gift that was left in its place
- When you feel like giving in, remember to be patient and remind yourself that this won’t last forever and the dummy will eventually be forgotten
- If you feel they are still too attached they may just not be ready to let go which is fine too. listen to your child and do it when YOU as parents feel the time is right. Don’t push something onto them that they aren’t ready to accept.
Your Creative ideas To Dummy Wean
- Get the rubbish truck man to take them and wave goodbye to the truck
- Take all the dummies and put them on the famous dummy trees (find them on google, so many amazing trees world wide)
- Cut the tips off all the dummies and say they are broken. Get your child to put them in the bin themselves
- Burry them in the back yard and plant them. Tell them a beautiful flower will grow in its place. Plant a flower the following day to show them. Every time they get sad about the dummy, show them the flower
- Plant the dummy and say lollipops will grow in its place
- Go cold turkey
- Take the dummies to the hospital and give them to the baby ward for all the other babies who need them more
- Write a letter to their favourite character and replace the letter with a fun gift
- Let the Easter Bunny or Santa Clause take the dummy & leave chocolate or a gift in place
I may be completely jinxing myself writing this as today is only day one. But last night was a huge success and I’m so proud of how Alaska has handled letting go of her dummy. She went to bed a little sad and asked where it was, we reminded her to hold tight onto Flossy the Fairy, she did and rolled over to sleep. She only woke once during the night crying for her dummy. We laid with her, stroked her hair and told her how generous she was giving it to the fairy babies. She went back to sleep hugging onto Flossy.
Today might be a challenge and maybe Alaska will end up with her dummy again, but we are still fully prepared to see how this goes.
Share With Me
If you feel like you might be ready to wean your baby off the dummy please share your journey with me on Instagram HERE and tag me in your Instagram stories so I can re share with other parents.
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All words, creativity & thoughts are completely my own.
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