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.

ditch the dummy
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.

ditch the dummy
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.

ditch the dummy
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

ditch the dummy


Cuddle Fairy

An Autumnal Family Photo Shoot with Sweet Whimsy Photography

In September of last year I came across a family photographer in South Wales via Kerry of All About a Mini Norris blog who had family photo shoot done with her. The photographer in question is Donna of Sweet Whimsy Photography. Soon after Rebecca of Mouse Dog Baby blog posted about her family photo shoot with Donna and she was also hosting a competition to win a family photo shoot with Donna. Having seen her photos of both Kerry and Rebecca’s families I entered thinking nothing of it. To my surprise I won and I immediately thought of doing an autumnal family photo shoot with Sweet Whimsy Photography.autumnal family photo shoot

Donna contacted me to say I was the lucky winner and we talked through what I had in mind and dates which may suit us all. I explained to Donna that I would love an autumnal family photo shoot as autumn is one of my favourite times of year. We take an annual trip to Westonbirt Arboretum in autumn each year and I generally do a mini shoot with BattleKid but with Aris, BattleDog #2, in tow it’s too difficult to try set up a family photo so we never have one of all of us in the picture.

I’ve always wanted an autumnal family photo shoot and when Donna said it was more than possible given the time of year, I was over the moon. We settled on Saturday the 5th November and I left it to Donna to choose the location as I imagined she would know where was best to visit get the best autumn leaves into our photos.

We met in Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd at 2.30 and Donna directed us to our first location beside the Taff River. BattleKid loves nothing more than throwing stones in rivers and lakes with BattleDad so this was a perfect spot to start. We spent a few minutes there just throwing stones before moving onto a more wooded area for some fun with leaves.autumnal family photo shoot

From there we chased BattleKid across the football fields before finishing at another wooded area at the opposite end of the park from where we had started and the blanket of leaves there were just what I had envisaged. Donna had come up trumps for us and it was here that our overall favourite picture was captured. Donna printed it on a canvas for us as part of the picture package we chose and it takes pride of place on our kitchen, the heart of our family home.autumnal family photo shoot

Our experience with Donna was amazing. She is a very approachable and gentle lady and she put both us the parents and 2 year old BattleKid at ease. For some shots Donna directed us and for others she let us do our own thing which was a great mixture. She also came armed with some blankets to wrap up in and one of our other favourite shots is the three of us tucked up in one with us tickling BattleKid.autumnal family photo shoot

We had lots of fun during our autumnal family photo shoot and Donna captured the most amazing pictures of us as a family. We got ones of all of us together, ones of each parent with BattleKid and some amazing ones of him on his own. And the light towards the end of the shoot was just perfect. She really did us proud.autumnal family photo shoot autumnal family photo shoot autumnal family photo shoot

Our allotted time flew by and by the time we departed it certainly didn’t feel like we had just spent nearly two hours in her company. In between shots we chatted with Donna and she is such a friendly and lovely person.

After a few weeks Donna sent us the finished results and we were blown away with them, so much so we paid for all our pictures as we couldn’t pick our favourites. Donna managed to capture a fantastic set of family photos for us that we will proudly display in our home and cherish for years to come. We were so impressed by Donna and the photos she captured of us that we are about to have a Spring time family photo shoot with her, and this time Aris is coming with us. I cannot wait to see the pictures she manages to get this time around.

If you are looking for a family photographer for an outdoor shoot in South Wales I cannot recommend Donna enough. You won’t be disappointed. Our autumnal family photo shoot with her was amazing and the results were out of this world.

Cath x

autumnal family photo shoot

Cuddle Fairy

12/52 My Sunday Photo: 19/03/2017

my sunday photo living arrows
Although BattleKid wasn’t very well on Friday, his temperature came down enough for us to take a chance and head to Bristol Zoo to avail of our annual passes before they expire. We had a great time and towards the end of our circuit around the zoo we came across a kangaroo. Well, we couldn’t resist and popped BattleKid in its pouch for a picture. It was actually a struggle to get him to leave it!
If you’d like to see what other people have been linking up this weekend, please click the badge below.

01/52 My Sunday Photo: 01/01/2017

So, 2016 is done and dusted and today heralds the start of a New Year. My hopes for this year? Lots more happy days with BattleKid like the one above where we went searching for bluebells in May. More family time and time together with BattleDad such as our holiday we’ve just returned from. More adventures with BattleDog. More discovering the world together and discovering it through the eyes of someone who is three.
I cannot believe BattleKid turns three tomorrow. Where has the time gone? This time three years ago I had been in labour for almost 12 hours and had just entered the birthing pool which was such a relief. All was going swimmingly (if you’ll pardon the pun) but little did we know that, fast forward another 12 hours, we would end up in theatre on the verge of an emergency c-section. That is all in the past and BattleKid is a happy, healthy, boisterous 3 year old who knows his own mind and isn’t afraid to let you know that!
I want to take this opportunity to say Happy New Year to all my readers and followers and hope that 2017 is a great one for everyone. I have a good feeling about this year coming!