I never wanted to give my son a dummy and I certainly didn’t want to give him one at only five days old. It was a habit I was determined not to start. But, much like all other expectations I had before my son arrived, this concept was soon tossed out the window.
Before you have a child lots of people tell you that all newborns do is sleep. What they don’t tell you is for the first few days and weeks the only place they’ll consistently sleep is in your arms! This was a pretty horrible shock, I don’t mind admitting.
Five days in, recovering from my section and severely sleep deprived, Hubs and I were attempting once again to get Caterpillar to settle in his Moses basket/crib/bouncy chair or pretty much anywhere that would allow us both to have both hands free to eat our dinner. And he was having none of it. Quite right too really, he had no idea where he was and needed lots of comfort. But I needed a wee, and sleep and just a tiny moment of personal space. So we relented and gave him a dummy.
That little miracle-worker then stayed in his mouth for the next two and a half years until last month when we bid it a fond farewell.
I’d been putting it off for so long. We were dreading the long nights and constant upset we would face when we took it away. We’d tried to phase it out several times before but made the mistake of being fairly inconsistent and now we had no choice but to go cold turkey.
I prepared Caterpillar a few days before by explaining about the dummy fairy, being sure to soften the blow by focusing on the part where she replaced his beloved dummies with a present. We decorated a shoe box for her and so far he seemed pretty excited about the prospect.
Finally, the night came and I searched high and low for every dummy in the house (I still live in fear of Caterpillar finding a forgotten one under the sofa) and he happily tossed all his dummies in the box. All except for the one in his mouth. When he realised all actually meant all he did become quite upset and it was a little heart-breaking. After some coaxing he did and, after a little upset, he slept.
I forced myself to cut off the teats and throw them deep in the bin as I knew that if he woke crying at 3am and I still had a dummy in the house I would likely cave.
That first night was pretty rough, he woke a lot and was really restless. Oddly, he didn’t ask for his dummy once but was constantly asking for other forms of comfort so he was obviously thrown off by it. In the morning, he cried for it straight away but once we reminded him about the fairy and hastily shoved the box containing his present under his nose he was efficiently distracted.
Over the next couple of days he would occasionally ask for his dummy but once reminded that he gave them to the fairy he seemed fairly satisfied and promptly forgot about it again. By the 4th day it was as if they had never existed!
We are genuinely shocked with how well he’s coped. As with most things in life it seems, the reality of something I’d been dreading was nowhere near as bad as I imagined.
One of the strangest things is my own reaction to losing the dummies. I’m not the sort of mum who particularly mourns the loss of baby stages but I found myself choked up throwing away those bits of plastic. The very last accessory of his babyishness.
Similarly, I found that I was more anxious about him not having his dummy than he was! In hindsight, I’d realised how much I’d relied on the comfort it gave him. Stemming from my historic lack of confidence in my mothering abilities, I hid behind that comforter, knowing that it will always sooth him when I worry I can’t. With the dummy no longer an option it is solely down to me to step up and provide comfort and I find I like that very much.
Would I give my next child a dummy? Absolutely. It brought relief to all of us when we needed it and getting rid of it hasn’t been the nightmare I anticipated. In short, I highly recommend the cold turkey method!
Are any of you facing this challenge? How did you say goodbye to the dummy?
67 comments on “Goodbye Dummy, Step Up Mummy”
I was like you, wasn’t going to give mine a dummy but caved so I could recover from the op and just to have some peace!!
Our eldest (2 in a week!) loves her dummy (or nwni as we call it). I’m dreading the giving it up part… not sure when to do it really. I love the dummy fairy idea though – we will be using that one!
Strangely, our littlest one (6months) won’t take a dummy at all. She loves to chew at EVERYTHING except a dummy!
It probably won’t be as bad as you think. Kids seem to adjust to new routines fairly quickly, I figure they aren’t as set in their ways as we are as adults lol! It definitely helped that at two and a half my son seemed to understand the concept. Good luck whenever you do decide to do it, and thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 x
Well done! It sounds like it went much better Han expected 🙂 and great idea cutting the teats off!! We haven’t given baby H a dummy, but she does use her bottle like one at night… She grabs it has a suck and falls back to sleep, even with it empty. She’s only one, but we do keep thinking we need to stop. We actually did stop a fee months ago but it kind of happened by mistake when we moved house and now it’s very much her comforter. You’ve inspired me, though we can’t use the fairy story as she’s too young, we might have to just do it! #justanotherlinky
It’s so easy to slip back into even after you’ve stopped, isn’t it? We cut back hugely on the dummy about six months ago and then he has a bout of illness and we relented and he had it even more than before. In the end decided cold turkey was the only option for us. Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂
The dummy fairy box is such a lovely idea! #justanotherlinky
Thanks! There are lots of ways of using it, I’ve heard of people tying the dummies to trees or balloons for the fairy but we just went with a box due to sheer laziness really lol! Thanks for commenting 🙂
Oh wow I envy you your dummy-free days! My eldest (and I am mortified to admit shall be FOUR in February) is the only one of my children who has ever had a dummy and we just cant get her to give it up. Ive had every book, every bribe, tales of dummy fairies and giving the dummies to father Christmas and the absolute heartbreak from her is just unbearable. I just cant do it!! I’m definitely going to have to get tough and just go with it, cut them up like you did and tell her that’s it. Wish me luck!!! #justanotherlinky
Good luck! It’s just too hard when they are so upset isn’t it? I was lucky that that first night he wasn’t too bad, if it had been full on crying I don’t know how I would have handled it. All the best x
Cutting off the teats is so clever because I reckon I’d fish it out and sterilise it if needed. We never used a dummy but not for want of trying, he just wouldn’t have it. #justanotherlinky
I just knew I couldn’t trust myself otherwise ha ha! Thanks for reading x
This is so good to read – we were the same and never wanted L to have a dummy, but he was premature and desperately needed the comfort. I often worry about what will happen when we eventually take it away, LOVE the idea of the dummy fairy! Will definitely try it when the time comes. xx
Glad to have helped, it definitely wasn’t as bad as I’d been dreading. Thanks for commenting 🙂
I always planned to give our babies dummies. I like them and think they are better than thumb sucking…now that is seriously hard to stop!
Biggest boy had his until he was 4 (though only at night to sleep with since age 2) he gave it up no problems with a new bedtime friend in its place.
littlest is 2 and showing no signs of wanting to part with his, which he has for nap and bedtime…leaving it until he’s bigger and then will try a new bedtime friend for him but he’s much more in love with his dummy so I guess it could be trickier! x
Being that little bit older definitely helps I reckon. At 2.5 my son was just old enough to understand what was going on. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂
This is interesting to read. Neither of mine have been bothered with a dummy (despite my desperate efforts for them to take one in the early days). My niece loves hers though so will share with my sister-in-law #justanotherlinky
Thanks for reading, hope it helps your SIL 🙂 x
You are a braver parent than I am! Our son is 2 and is welded to his dummy. It’s his go to comforter when faced with frustrations, injuries and tiredness. We have tried to wean him off gently but have failed miserably. I love the idea of the dummy box and its reassuring to know that the adjustment period isn’t as terrible as you imagined. The problem we have is our son is like a squirrel! We tell him he can’t have something and he will hide it away for later.
Thanks for sharing your story and giving us hope!
Forgot to add the #justanotherlinky tag!
Aww, love the squirrel analogy lol! We tried the gentle approach for a while but in the end cold turkey was our best option. Good luck! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting x
My eldest daughter took herself off from the dummy. Luckily it wasn’t as hard as I thought. She was 4 years old if I remember when she had the dummy last and it was her comfort. My youngest hasn’t touched a dummy since 2 days old!
Thank you for linking up with #justanotherlinky
I definitely understand the feeling of sadness for that little piece of plastic. I feel that way every time I look at newborn clothes and look at how huge my baby is now lol (he’s 14 months). we’re not to the stage of getting rid of pacifiers completely, but he doesn’t use them regularly so hopefully it will be an easier transition.
Yes it is sad to see them growing so quickly, isn’t it? Thanks for reading x
Thank you for sharing your success story! We tried to cut out Dangermouses last month just after her first birthday and it was a total disaster…now putting off doing it again but wondering whether its just too early…she only has it for bedtimes? I think we will end up following a similar path and letting her do it with reasoning when she is old enough. Well done – you did it! #marvmondays
I’m really glad we waited a little until he understood a little better what was happening and why. Good luck! Thanks for commenting x
I never gave my daughter a dummy, its understandable to have fears about certain things #marvmondays
It was certainly a relief that my fears weren’t really realised in this instance. Thanks for reading x
Oh how I am dreading this! My dummy lover is 2 and 4 months and we really need to get rid of his dummy soon. How can we? Surely he will wake up millions of times in the night, and be up even earlier in the morning. I have been filled with fear. You are making me feel slightly more positive that I can do it! #twinklytuesday
I’m glad 🙂 I had the exact same fears and after one night he was back to normal so try not to worry too much, it may not be as bad as you imagine x Thanks for commenting x
I feel your pain! We went through this with our eldest daughter when she was almost 3 and now fast approaching the cold turkey method again with our youngest daughter who is now 2 and half. We also used the dummy fairy method and was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked so will be using this again. Well done and getting through it and going forward it will all be about distraction whenever a melt down occurs! #thetruthabout
It’s certainly a relief to have it done now, and we were pleasantly surprised too. Thanks for reading and commenting x
I was very much the same with my second, my first I caved instantly but with my second I sent hubby out late one evening to find some!! But both my boys gave it up easily #thetruthabout xx
Seems to be a common theme that little ones give up their dummies more easily than we anticipate! 😀 thanks for commenting x
I’ve never used dummies (well, the kids use my boobs instead!) but it sounds like great advice #bestandworst
We had a very similar experience – and my daughter also seemed to cope much better than I thought, she got to choose a present (a furry chimpanzee!) and decided she loved that more. I had been all geared up for broken nights and tears… #bestandworst
It’s funny how the things we most dread end up being not so bad, eh? Thanks for reading and commenting x
Aw well done you! I totally agree that it’s often harder for us to do away with these things than it is for the little people. Love the shoe box / dummy fairy idea.
Thanks 🙂 Yeah I often struggle with my emotions more than T does with his lol! x
Popping back from #justanotherlinky. Thanks for linking up xx
No probs, thanks for having me! x
We ditched the dummies when Alfie was a similar age and I had also put it off for an age, I was dreading it but in reality it went better than I thought! Sounds like things are going ok, it’s just the process to do it that’s the worse thing I think! Thanks for linking up and happy new year! #bestandworst
Seems to be a common theme – I guess we sometimes build these things up in our minds to be worse than they end up being. Thanks for commenting x
Aargh! It always worries me when I see that a post is about dummies because I’ve been much worse than you (for all the same reasons) and I now have a three and a half year old who is still very much attached to his (and his muzzies). I am a terrible coward about taking them away but I know they will have to go this year because he starts school in September! He copes OK without them at pre-school and the childminders though so I know he is capable of it. Definitely food for thought! Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout today and Happy New Year!
T has a muslin too which we let him keep. But oddly, since giving up the dummy he only really seems to want his muzzy at bedtime too. I totally understand, I put it off for so long, and similarly he didn’t have it much at nursery so was clearly taking advantage of my softness at home lol! Best of luck, you and your little one will be fine when the time comes xxx
We did the dummy fairy box too, worked a treat and the dummy fairy gave her a doll in return. If she asked for the dummy back we said the toy would need to go back. Needless to say she kept the doll. Also had the sleep fairy leaving little gifts when she slept all the way through. I was not blessed with a good sleeper! Santa also left a big girls mug when she was giving him her baby bottles (despite being 3) . Keeping the magi whilst guiding them through the milestone changes can only be a good thing
Love that you extended the idea to sleep too – I might try that too as T is really not a great sleeper either. Thanks for reading x
So glad to hear that getting rid of the dummy went well for you in the end. I can relate to so much of what you say in your post towards the end. We had a similar experience and ended up going cold turkey. The first two days were difficult but after that it was all forgotten. I was surprised by how hard I found it, probably for similar reasons to the ones you describe. Its times like this when I find parenting quite complexing! Emily #MarvMondays
Parenting is certainly complex! Brings up emotions for me that I didn’t even know existed before! But the good emotions too <3 Thanks for reading x
We had exactly the same experience and like you were really concerned that it would be a real difficulty for us not to give it back to her. In fact I think I recall us caving and leaving it outside her door for her but she was stronger than us and didn’t take it. Sometimes they surprise you don’t they! Thanks for linking up with us for this first #sundaystars of 2016. Hope to see you next week.
It’s awesome when they surprise you, isn’t it? Thanks for commenting x
When we binned ours I was panicked about it and got really upset after too. I still have it actually as a keepsake. My tot barely batted an eye though. It’s funny how we worry ourselves unnecessarily, isn’t it?
Thanks for linking up to #fartglitter
Damn, now I wish I’d kept one as a keepsake too! I know, we tend to make things into more of a big deal than our kids sometimes, eh? Thanks for reading and commenting x
Ahh how great that you have managed to ditch the dummy! My 2 1/2yr old still has hers at night time and iam really worried about getting rid of it as she does find so much comfort from it! on the odd occasion she asks for dummy in the day, I don’t give it to her so I think we are on the road to getting rid properly! Well done! 🙂
Thanks! You may be surprised by how easily she gives it up at night when the time comes. Thanks for reading x
Oh goodness! This choked me up, because we’ve just done it in our household! Last Sat night in fact. As you say on here so well, it went much, much better than we expected. We had one horrendous night and since then, our little one hasn’t asked for her dummy once. Thank goodness for that. I’m relieved that the dummy days are over, however like you, I got pretty upset when it came to putting them in the bin. The realisation that my little girl is now a big little girl, was quite something and I don’t mind telling you, I shed a few tears. Goodbye dummies! And thank goodness for dummy fairies! 😉 X
Well done to you and your little one! It does feel like a big step, doesn’t it? Thanks for reading x
I’m so glad you managed of get rid of the dummies relatively painlessly. Four out of my five kids had them but never past their first birthdays, which I think made it harder to get rid as they didn’t really understand. Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars
Thanks for reading 🙂 Yeah I really wanted to do it earlier but in hindsight I think waiting made it a little easier x
Yay! He, (and you!), did so well! I was also in the ‘no dummy camp’ until big girl went through a phase where she just cried incessantly and finally my hubby cracked and bought a pack and that was that. Oh the beloved peace! I removed dummy and boob together at a year and I was absolutely amazed like you, at how easily it went. Thank you so much for linking up to the first ever #bigpinklink
So exciting to be part of a brand new linky! Thanks for having me 🙂 Yes, it went so much more smoothly than I thought – and I wouldn’t hesitate to give a dummy again should I have another. Thanks for commenting x
Well done all of you, I really like your approach! Our baby has had one since day 1, given it by the nurses in the neo-natal ward while we were separated from him. Initially I was a bit put out, but like you have found it to be a bit of a lifesaver at times. Our boy is 15 months now and I’ve no intention of removing it yet, given that he’s only been sleeping through the night for a couple of months. When the time is right I’ll remember this trick, and probably feel much the same bittersweet feelings you had 🙂
I would have been annoyed too that they gave him one without asking me. Yes, I do think waiting until he was that bit older and could understand was the best idea. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 x
We gave up the dummy with a dummy tree, I hung all the dummies on pretty ribbons onto a white plastic tree we had at our wedding (sounds awful but it looked very pretty to hang up photos of our loved ones!) anyway – in the morning each dummy had been replaced by a tiny present. My girl was so happy AND had coped much much better than I thought she would!! Like you I was definitely the more anxious one. She also slept better at night after it. The only thing now is that her baby sister has one and I sometimes find her hidden in a corner having a secretive “dummy fix!!” with her sister stolen dummy!! Xx
Well done. I want to get my little one off the dummy soon so thanks for the help. Good idea.
Thanks, I hope the post is helpful. Good luck! x
Oh yes, I’m at that 2.5 years old stage and desperate to ditch it with my eldest. She seems to think it’s an extension of her though! I’m about to go back to work AND move house so think I’m going to stick with it for a few months. But by the end of the summer, it is going to be gone! So good to know it was painless. My 1 year old son (who had no interest in a dummy or thumb!) had to go through cold turkey no milk at night when I got delirious from lack of sleep at 9 months, and that was relatively painless. I’m hoping this will be too. Fingers crossed!
Ooh I’m so glad i came across this post. It’s brilliant! I really need to get dummies off of my 2 and a half year old and like you I keep trying to phase it out and gently take it off him but I do keep giving in. If I take his off him sometimes he takes his little sisters from her mouth and sucks hers. I think I need to be more consistent and just do it. I thought about cutting the teats of too so there’s no other choice and he’d know they’d gone. What you did was brilliant. Great idea 🙂