I didn't have any intention of giving Eva a dummy. I breastfed her for 9 months and it wasn't until I finished that we ended up giving her a dummy. This was because she was struggling to settle herself after the breastfeeding stopped. We needed something to soothe her. We gave her a dummy and for a couple of years, we have battled with trying to get her to give it back.
As time went on she became extremely attached to it. It wasn't just a night time soother, it ended up being stuck in her mouth permanently. It became a habit for her. Every time we went in the car she would ask for it, if she hurt herself she would ask for it. Every time we wanted a nice family picture or any photo of her, she wouldn't take it out of her mouth. The list goes on.
You may know that I have struggled with Eva's behaviour lately. One day, we were at a play centre and she decided to just crouch down on the floor and wee everywhere!!! As you can imagine I was beyond angry and also massively embarrassed. It wasn't an accident, she had done it on purpose. This was the icing on the cake that day as she had been horrible all morning. I took this as my opportunity to take the dummy.
Some people may think this was cruel and evil to take it away when she was naughty but at the time I just couldn't take anymore. I hid it away somewhere she wouldn't find it and I told her it had gone in the bin at the play centre.
This was 10 days ago. Hooray!!! I can't say it's been plain sailing but it's actually been easier than I thought. That first day was horrendous. She spent the whole time screaming hysterically on the way back from the play centre. She threw many tantrums that day but I stood my ground. She told me she hated me and that she didn't love me anymore. The first night she asked for it for bed but i distracted her with more stories than usual.
For a few days after that she kept asking for it. She cried many times but there wasn't the usual horrific tantrums, I was expecting to see. Every time she hurt herself she would ask for it. To my amazement when I would say no, she would reply, 'it's in the play place bin.' I'm glad she had understood that it'd gone.
10 days on and she does still mention it occasionally but this is a battle I have most definitely won.
Here are a few tips to help if you are going to have to go through this at some point:
1) Pick a time when you are going to take it and stick to it, no excuses.
2) Hold your ground - It can be very horrible to see them so distraught but it won't last for ever.
3) Be prepared - I had lots of things prepared for when she would want her dummy. For example if we were going out in the car, I had books, snacks or toys to keep her occupied instead.
4) Be positive - Reward their good behaviour more than usual. I kept praising her for little things and she loved that.
5) Find another comforter - If they use their dummy as a comforter, then get something to replace it. For slips and trips, I bought Eva an Elsa ice pack. For a Frozen obsessed girl this was a massive hit as you can imagine. For night time she had a new teddy.
Ophelia doesn't have a dummy and when the time comes when I stop breastfeeding, I will be a bit stronger than I was on Eva and not give her a dummy. It's not that I think they are bad, I just don't ever want to go through the fuss of trying to get rid of one again.
Have you had to take a dummy away? How did you find it?