Chances are you have stumbled across this post because you’re about to take the leap to remove the use of dummies. I have been there and I left it a lot later than I should have simply because I felt Shaniah needed it, she didn’t. Looking back on it, it was obvious that she didn’t and she was simply using it because it was there. Chances are your little one is exactly the same.
There is never really going to be the right time to remove the dummy from your child. I was forever making excuses and making myself believe that she still needed it.
It’s best to start the process of removing the dummy when they aren’t ill or starting something new such as nursery or playgroup as they may well end up associating nursery as the reason to why the dummy has gone and chances are they will end up resenting nursery for it.
One thing that you can purchase to get the ball rolling is a book. my little girl absolutely loves books, and will happily listen to a book for hours. There are many books on the market that explain to the child about the dummy going and how it’s not a bad thing it just means that they’re getting bigger. One thing children love is when you tell them they’re big. Shaniah has always hated being called a baby or little, she is a big girl in her eyes.
Make it fun
This is one of the most important parts of removing a dummy. Making it fun. No child want’s to participate in something that isn’t fun. This is a big step for them (and you too!) We have what Shaniah calls a “magic tree” out the front of our house. Thankfully for us, Once we read Florrie the Dummy Fairy to Shaniah she was super excited to give her dummy to Florrie and see what surprise Florrie leaves behind. So we took Shaniah to the magic tree where she began to hang each and every dummy (except one) on the tree for Florrie. I kept one behind just in case Shaniah really wasn’t ready. We went about our bedtime routine as normal and although we had a few tears it was nothing, I think the excitement of the surprise made her relax.
That leads me on to my next tip, Incentives. Incentives work. kids are like mini hostage-takers, they will do anything if there is something in it for them that they like. Whether that be a pack of chocolate buttons or maybe a collectible. You will be surprised what lengths they will go to to get something!
Christmas is always a great time to give it up as it’s always a fun time of the year with so much to do to keep them occupied and forget about it somewhat. Maybe incorporate it in with Elf on the Shelf or maybe Santa said that there will be an extra special present if they give them to him?
Gradually cut it out
If going cold turkey isn’t for you, try gradually fading it out. kids are more resilient than we give them credit for.
Start by just giving it to them at nap and bedtime, then only bedtime and well, you get the idea. You can go as fast or as slow as your little one wants, after all, this is all about them. However, if you do it this way, remember to keep them out of sight, it’s like us on a diet, if you’re going to have chocolate in plain sight the diet is bound to go out of the window.
If all else fails, just go with the flow. Dummies aren’t all that bad and they will give them up eventually, remember, sucking a dummy never becomes a lifelong habit. Life is far too short and if being clingy to a dummy is all you have to worry about with your child then I’d say that isn’t bad.
Whatever way you decide to go about it, don’t be so hard on them or even yourself! I know that there is a heck of a lot of stigma around dummies and children but if your child really, really doesn’t want to give it up then don’t force them. They will give it up with ease when the time is right.