Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Losing the dummy

Let's talk about the dreaded 'D' word. The word that divides lots of peoples opinions....the dummy.

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. 



We had been putting off taking it away from her as there was always some excuse for not letting her have it such as a holiday, where she would need it for the plane, night terrors or Ophelia being born. If she was having a tantrum or playing up, we would always take the easy way out and give her the dummy just to keep her quiet. When she turned 3, I decided enough was enough.


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?



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23 comments:

  1. It sounds like you've had it tough! I don't blame you for taking away her dummy when you did, you must've been so angry! I remember taking O's dummy away and the first couple of days were difficult, but they soon adapt to another way of settling themselves x

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  2. sounds like its been tough- my sister in law is trying it with my niece at the mo too. My two never wanted a dummy (though when they were very little I wish they did)! x

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  3. Well done you for sticking with it! I've heard from so many people its tough to get rid of but after a while they soon forget. Totally feel for you with the weeing when told off thing I had a week of Amelia doing it to be naughty, thankfully after going back to the basics of potty training she hasn't done it since but I am worried it might be something that returns when she has her badly behaved days!

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  4. Aww. My parents told me mine fell over a cliff when I was little while on holidays. I still remember it - clearly a scarringly significant event in my life :P x

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  5. Well done! I aimed to get rid of Santi's dummy when he turned one, but like you say something always comes up and he ends up having it again. I'm determined for him not to have it much longer though ... I need to be tough! x

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  6. Ugh I am absolutely dreading this. We left it really late with Gus and i was worried it was starting to affect his teeth. But we did it cold turkey like you and suffered a few nights. Oh but we had weaned him down to night times only. But he just wouldn't fall asleep without it. It's really hard isn't it? Joni is just over 2 so i think i will leave it a bit longer (because i am coward). Well done for the cold turkey though. You are HARDCORE! Xxx

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  7. Well done - I was dreading it with Pickle - but he just did it himself! It was heartbreaking to watch him struggle with himself not to put it in his mouth, but he did it. Kaz x

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  8. Neither of my boys would take a dummy so I've not been through this myself, however a couple of ideas I really like were either to hang in on the Christmas Tree so that Santa could take it and give it to another child who needed it, or put it under their pillow for the tooth fairy to take away as now they are a big boy/girl with teeth they don't need it! x

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  9. We recently took Lambs dummy away and it was so easy! He was really attached to it and I was dreading it, but we were staying at my nans and I lost the only dummy we had so I told him that he couldn't have it anymore and we haven't looked back! I can't believe how simple it was! Well done on ditching the dummy xx

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  10. Ah that sounds tough, but I think it's important to stick to things when you decide. We didn't have a dummy with my daughter - which was tough when she was tiny as it took ages to settle her but then we don't have that battle now - it's all the same battles just at different times!

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  11. I am so glad none of mine needed a dummy - have to say I don't like them really as such a struggle to get rid of

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  12. when it was time for big J to give up the dummy it was the worst weeks of my life. He would scream every night for it and it was the worst thing ever. Little J was a completely different story. One day he woke with a really sore throat. He was only just one and he couldn't breathe with he dummy in as he was blocked. He never touched a dummy again after that

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  13. Being a youngster normally means having a dummy. They give it up themselves as they find other distractions. You seem to have weaned Eva from her dummy in a timely manner

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  14. I nephew used to have one but i think shortly before or after he's 3rd birthday it was taken and I don't think he asks for it anymore, cool tips you've shared.

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  15. My daughter has a dummy and was a difficult transition when we decided to take it away. My son didn't actually want a dummy we tried and so have never had to make this desicion with him which made it lots easier firs us x

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  16. Aw bless, I remember mind going to a baby Reindeer, that was the trade off for a dolls pram x

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  17. We had the same issue, Emma's front teeth started growing apart because of it so we invented a story about mermaids, put it into a box and sent it away, for other babies. The mermaids sent her some books back in exchange for it. She was happy with this version and we never went back to a dummy.xx

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  18. Well done you. My boys both had dummies when they were little, I did a similar thing with the youngest. I caught him drawing on the wall in pen and was so cross we agreed his dummy would go in the bin.

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  19. Its so hard isn't it, we managed it by doing it on the night before my son got his advent calendar which was his reward and by having him sleep in our bed so I was closely when he woke. It took a couple of nights.

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  20. People say it's hard with a dummy but it's harder with thumb sucking! My sister had awful goofy teeth through sucking her thumb. She did it until she was a teenager. We put a hook on my sons bedroom wall and hung the dummy there. If he needed it he had to go and sit on his bed with it, hang it up when he was done. He weaned himself off it. I really like the idea of fairies or Santa taking it.

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  21. I was very lucky. It got to the point where munchkin was just biting them all the time and they were ruined within 24 hours so I game him one last dummy and told him as soon as he bit a hole in it there were no more dummies. We took that one away 24 hours later and that was the end of it and he never mentioned it. X

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  22. Such great tips! My brother has a little one and I know he tried to hold off letting him have a dummy for as long as possible but ended up giving in because it's an easy way of soothing them. I'll have to show him this so when he's ready to start transitioning it away from him he'll know what to do! x

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  23. My children were both addicted to their dummies, but I found the easter bunny fairy worked well. They took away their dummy and replaced them with easter eggs!

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