Ditch the Dummy – How and When We Did It

I will freely admit that in my naive pre-BattleKid era I was firmly against a child of mine having a dummy. No way, Jose! Ha. If I could go back I’d give my childless self a good shake and say “wait and see”. We ended up having a collection and when it came time to ditch the dummy, we were apprehensive to say the least.ditch the dummy

We survived a little over a week after the birth of BattleKid before I sent my husband to the shops to procure said pacifiers in the hope I’d get some much needed rest. I was exclusively breastfeeding at that stage and was being used as a pacifier in between feeds. And I was exhausted. I know many of you will think “oh but you were only a week into Motherhood, so why give in so quickly”. Because I had to! Cluster feeds and little or no sleep in those first few weeks are worse than what I imagine hell is like, and coupled with an awful recovery from birth I wasn’t prepared to play the martyr. Show me a new mother who is prepared to do that and I’ll gladly shake their hands.

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Two month old BattleKid

As it turns out it was our saving grace a week later when I ended up back in hospital for an episiotomy repair and BattleDad was left to fend for himself with a 13 day old new-born who had been fed by me exclusively up till then. They survived the 12 hours together and so began another 12 weeks of recovery for me before I felt somewhat normal. To be honest I don’t think you can ever feel fully normal again.

Life soon found its natural rhythm in the BattleHousehold.  Again, naively I had thought “oh I’ll ditch the dummy when he’s one”. First birthday came and went. As did the second birthday.

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Two year old BattleKid with George and said dummy

Before we knew it we had a 2 years and 7 month old toddler who still relied on the dummy for naps and bedtime. We occasionally brought it with us on days out to calm him down if he got overtired and I must admit to being embarrassed my son still needed one at that age. I felt like everyone around me was staring and judging but no one ever passed comment. I think it was all in my head. I never judge a parent doing what works for them and their family but sometimes these thoughts creep into our heads. Either way it was time to ditch the dummy.

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Exploring Bled Castle at 18 months old

But how? How could we get rid of that life saver? How would he settle at night?

We decided that just going cold turkey with the dummy was the only way to do it. We had already been limiting his use of them and everything we read, and we read a lot around the subject, suggested cold turkey was the quickest way to do it. So we decided to take the plunge. Ditch the dummy time had come and we needed to face it head on.

Two days after an operation to extract some of my nasty wisdom teeth, BattleDad and I were in BattleKid’s room for some reason and he said “will we do it” and I agreed. I blame the strong painkillers I was on for my moment of madness. We left the landing window open until BattleKid arrived home and placed a toy motorbike on his bed. When we took him upstairs for bedtime we explained that some birds had gotten in the window and took his soo’s (soothers/dummies) for their babies who didn’t have any. His initial response was “oh dear me”.

We went through our bedtime routine and only then did he really cry for his dummy. We explained again that he was a big boy now and that the bird’s babies need them now as they had none and he had a motorbike for bed instead. He seemed to accept it and we said we would come back up five minutes later and check on him. We didn’t and he fell asleep no problem after a few little cries for his dummy. He woke once during the night, obviously looking for his dummy, but we repeated our words from earlier, ensured he had his bike close by and he settled back asleep.

The next day our Fairy came to live with us and he brought BattleKid a KTM bunny to go with the KTM bike the birds had gotten him in exchange for his dummies. We told him Kyiri (the fairy’s name) would watch over him at night and he insisted his bedroom door be left open so he could see the Fairy door. There were a lot less tears at bedtime on Day Two and none by Day Three.ditch the dummy

Naps were as easy too and nursery just carried on where we had started at home. Within a few days there was no mention of the soo at naps or bedtime.

Don’t get me wrong, he occasionally asked for it when he was tired or ill, particularly at bedtime, but we gently reminded him he didn’t need them now as he was older and he soon accepted it. He did give out to birds quite often for a few weeks for taking his dummy.

Ever since the dummy left the house BattleKid has slept with a motorbike in bed every night. He will hold it until he falls asleep and we move it out of the way when we head to bed ourselves. The make and model of the bike changes every now and then but that initial KTM bike was a great substitute for the dummy and made our transition as smooth as it could be.

In some ways I am glad that we waited until we did so we could explain things to BattleKid in ways he understood and in others I wish I’d gotten rid of it sooner. Either way, by the time we travelled to New York last September the dummy had been well and truly ditched. I was particularly glad of this as there are no photographs from that holiday featuring a dummy!

I’d love to know if your children had pacifiers/soothers and if so, at what age did you ditch the dummy?

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

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Cuddle Fairy

32 thoughts on “Ditch the Dummy – How and When We Did It

  1. it sounds like you managed a pretty successful transition! My daughter always refused a dummy which made life pretty full on with a year of BFing, but I guess the silver lining is we didn’t have to wean her off. Still wish she had taken one though!! #bloggersclubuk

  2. I was exactly the same as you. No way Freya was having a dummy…and then reflux hit and we were told a dummy could help so I went out and bought a supply. When she started to chew them we cut down to just naps and nighttime but I’m rather embarrassed to say she still has one at night (I know, I know). I just felt she had so many other things to deal with (intolerances, food aversion, poop issues, delayed potty training etc that this was the least of our worries). She only has one left but it needs to go – and soon.
    Tara recently posted…Book Review: A Life Without You.My Profile

    1. If it still works for you then stick with it Tara, no need to change it until you’re ready. Truth be told I wanted it gone before New York anyway as we might have been inclined to bring it with us on days out and then have it in photos. Thanks for stopping by to read x

  3. The boys are both autistic and kept their dummies well past when it looks normal – David was nearly 5 when we finally managed it. The boys are very sensory stimulated and relied a lot of their dummies for security. Jane’s went about 2.5 yrs mostly because it was difficult to get her to give it up when her older brother still had one. I calculated we’d had dummies in our home for over four million minutes because we kept having kids!
    Ann from Rainbows are too beautiful recently posted…My son’s Transport of the FutureMy Profile

    1. Haha, we have a doll with a dummy and BattleKid hasn’t tried it at all. He even gave out to BattleDad for taking Baby’s dummy. He wasn’t impressed at all!

  4. I’ve written my own journey here: http://www.loopyloulaura.com/motherhood/dummies-and-other-dependencies/
    We didn’t have a dummy but Matthew couldn’t live without his comforter and it was taking over his life. 🙁 It was really hard as we’d got lazy so that made it hard to give up. Your family did really well and I’m glad the holiday pics were dummy free. Lx
    Musings of a tired mummy…zzz… recently posted…Birthing partnerMy Profile

    1. Thanks Laura. My sister had a blanky and my parents made the fatal mistake of leaving it at my aunts house oen afternoon, over an hour’s drive form our house. She wouldn’t go to bed without it and my dad had to do the 2 hour round trip before she would settle. My mum then cut it up in 4, sewed the same colour ribbon around the edges and had spares. Unfortunately it was a hard lesson to learn and I’m just glad BattleKid doesn’t have one!

  5. I was the same as you – thought my child would NEVER have a dummy and 5 mins into motherhood completely changed my mind! I was wondering how long to let her have it for, this has put my mind at rest that we have a while yet and that there’s a way to get rid of it eventually. #BloggerClubUK

    1. I’m glad it’s given you peace of mind to do it at the right time for your daughter and you. The right time will come and don’t let anyone try persuade you otherwise! Thanks for stopping by and reading x

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