When I had Little Z one of my vague parenting rules included “absolutely no dummies!”. That lasted a few weeks till we realised he was an extremely sucky baby and would scream the house down if he wasn’t attached to some suckable device or other. One knackered day we decided to try the free dummy that came with the steriliser.
It was like magic. And an instant bond of comfort was born.
I used to feel very guilty about it but he loved it to fall asleep and would even hold one in his hand. Wherever he was the dummy was there. Together. On standby. Just incase. It became one of the things that had to be packed into the changing bag.
As he got older we tried various half hearted ways to get rid completely but it never worked for more than a day. To be honest, I don’t think we, as parents, were ready to get rid of that one comfort either.
We tried a lot of different things including:
1. Claiming they were all lost
2. Telling him the Snowman / Hairdryer had taken them
3. Trying to simply insist “No – you’re a big boy now”
4. Trying to force a cuddly Cookie Monster onto him instead of the dummy.
Then a few weeks ago he asked for sweets and I used my new line of “we don’t have any sweets, they are at Grandma’s house”.
He studied my face for a bit and then decided I was telling the truth. Aha!!
That night, as per usual, he asked for his dummy. I used the same lie and braced myself. There was a bit of an annoyed huff and puff but he accepted it better than I thought he would. That first night took him absolutely ages to get to sleep but he did it.
And that was the beginning of getting rid completely. I think the time was mostly right. He was ready to get rid of it. There have been a lot of tears and tantrums along the way but its been a lot better than I thought it would be. To be honest it was a chance examination of his teeth that made me worry that the future may bring braces that made me finally stick to my guns.
We are now two weeks from that night now and I think we can safely say we are finally rid of the dummy.