How we pulled the dummies

My daughter Robyn was two in August, and until a few weeks ago he was so hooked on dummies as any child could be. From just weeks she had always slept and slept with one, had several that she would suck all day, and always had several dummies in the car, whether she was going to nap or not.

She has a gap between her front teeth because of her dummies (the dentist assures me that this will not affect her adult teeth), and her standard "I'm Relaxing" should always have one. Or two or three.

Toddler with happy teeth

Look at these teeth.

She had a routine check with a health visitor the other week, and I admitted that the next thing we needed to change was her dumb use; We have been incredibly lazy about it. Why? Because it makes life easier. And even her dummies, or "dohs" as she called them, had become part of her identity in some way. But I knew she needed to break the habit, and vocalizing it cemented this in my mind: I had to do it, for Robyn.

At first I took them out of sight during the day. I also gave her a "special" muslin with bumblebees on it that she immediately brought to her (her big brother has a "muz"), but she would not take it to bed first.

Dummy-reduced days were remarkably successful; if her dohs were not scattered about the place and she was happy she did not ask for them. I was surprised. She still had them in the car and at bedtime (she dropped her nap), but I kept them away, without any messages during the day.

Then she became cold and her mouth was sore, she was sucking her dummies at night and dribbling. This has happened before, but now I had taken the first step of the day and decided to bite the litter … it was time for her to sleep without them.

Before bedtime, I bought her new pajamas and a George Pig pillow – her first pillow in fact. I told her before bed that the nurse had said that she should not have her dummies tonight because her mouth was sore. (A white lie about the nurse.) She immediately cried, so I quickly followed up with the new pajamas and then followed it with the new pillow.

I told her she could take her hops muz to bed just like her brother does, and she really wanted to. It was like an immediate new era.

Toddler sleeping with dummy

Thanks and hello, dummies.

She was so excited, she took ages to settle – but she did not ask for her dummies! It felt like a miracle, the news of her new things really saw her through. She asked in the morning and was teary in less than a minute when we reminded her that her mouth was too tender.

In the following days, I found that the main trigger was actually the car: she would like to have her dummies straight and cry. So for a week we stayed in and did only very short essential trips. I found that reasoning with her when she asked for her dummies and became upset – as she did, but never in an unmanageable way – did not work, only distraction helped her. We played, went for walks, be busy … and she was okay!

At about five, she and conversations about how big girls do not have dummies, only children make her a big girl now. We have not looked back. When she gets upset now, she asks about her muz, sleeps every night and takes it everywhere with her, which we are completely comfortable with.

I would say she was completely over her dummies within a week, and had almost completely adapted within a few days. Avoiding the car made it easier for her, as well as lots of distraction rather than trying to consider her.

If Robyn can dike the dummies, someone may be small; she was completely attached to her.

How did you get your child to dike their dummy? Share your story below.