Thought I'd post the story of our little dd giving up the dummy, in case it helps others out there contemplating going 'cold turkey!'
We've had real sleep problems for some months. A previously good sleeper who had a dummy only in her cot was waking several times in the night and sometimes taking 2 hours to settle. We tried all the usual suspects (is she hungry, so moved tea time, is she cold, is she hot, new bedding, calpol!!)
Anyway, this week on picking up from nursery, they told me she took her dummy out and gave it to them before naptime. So dh and I decided to capitalise on this and when she got home, we asked her if she would give up her dummies and send them to the little babies who need them in exchange for a nice present in the morning. Not quite sure she knew what she was agreeing to but she said yes. At bedtime, the impact of the decision kicked in and although upset, she only asked twice. The main difference was she took about 25 mins to settle and cried throughout, but once asleep, she stayed asleep. That was 5 days ago, since then we've had tears at bedtime (she asks for teh dummy but only once and we explain the dummies have all gone away!) but she settles back in the night without our help.
So the short story is - go for it! Be consistent, try and make it their idea and don't be afraid. I am so glad we did it!
Thanks lj for sharing your inspiring experience! My dd (22 months) has just started sleeping really badly, and after about 6 months without her dummy, started wanting it again and really would not settle with out it. Controlled crying worked when she was younger, but not anymore. She gets so distressed that she starts to hyperventilate and nearly made herself sick the other night. Anyway, I hate dummies, but have decided that I will give it to her if it calms and settles her, and lets us both get some sleep. What you said about letting it be their idea to give it up was interesting, and I think that is something we'll keep working on......ie. "Dummies are for little babys......are you a little baby". She always replies with a very serious "Noooo".
We never even wanted to start using a dummy with our ds because of how hard it can be to take it away again. However, there came a time when only a dummy would do.
We made a conscious decision that we would only have the dummy for as short a time as possible. When he was about 14/15mths we stopped using it.
We had one or two rough nights, but now with a fixed beadtime routine (bath, milk, story, bed) DS never cries for his dummy. Occasionally he moans a little before he falls asleep but it is only for a minute.
I am so happy that he doesn't need a dummy now that he is 21mths. I would definitely not want to be one of these ridiculous people who have their four year old still in a pushchair with a dummy firmly stuck in their mouth.
Bottom line - the earlier you take it away, the easier the cold turkey is. If you leave it too late, you are just setting yourself up for a really rough time.
Hi everyone, Great to hear more stories about this, becuase I really hope it helps others. I was soooo anxious about dropping the dummy and really thought it would be a nightmare. I totally agree that if you have the nerve, doing it early is the way to go (think it would have saved us the last few months of bad sleep). But if like me you've left it a bit later, using their emerging need to find some independence can work wonders! If there is anyway you can find an avenue to make it their idea, it helps when they have forgotten why the dummies have gone! We are a week in and the crying at bedtime is getting less, so settling at bedtime is improving after the initial troubles post dummy and she has stopped asking for it.
Agh, we have not had success. She is 2.7 We managed to reduce her down to one dummy fairly painlessly (rather than needing to hold and have loads) when we couldn't find any - mummy managed to find just one, and a special fairy appeared! So she was all excited to give up her dummy last night to meet a new fairy and have a present in the morning... until she tried to go to sleep, and couldn't. She was distraught, regained composure but honestly, just so upset that she couldn't sleep. She was saying 'don't want the new fairy' (who had appeared by magic) SO after 30 minutes of distress her trying to sleep I thought, this is not fair and not worth it.
So she said goodbye and see you soon to her new fairy who magicked a dummy back for her and flew away . She can try again when she is bigger... Tbh, lj, I really couldn't cope listening to her cry before bedtime for a week - though well done for doing it . She goes to bed so happily so this is definitely the right decision for us. Lilymolly, hoping she will find it easier when older!
I think she will give it up but am going to try and build her confidence first, draw attention to times she falls asleep without it, play pretend games etc.
And, though her dummy has been fab in the car or when upset and for self-settling, must be honest that I am really glad ds wouldn't take one!
help! dd (2.10) was always an amazing sleeper and used a dummy, but only in bed. We had been preparing her for the idea of giving it up when accidentally lost the last remaining dummy and so she was forced to give it up without being her idea.... we bought a present the next day and all that. The first few nights were awful, but gradually she got better at settling without it (i feel so bad, like the worst Mother In World).
2 weeks later and now she goes to sleep ok with music on, but then wakes around 4am and comes into our bed (having never slept there) and screams and crys for hours when we put her back in her bedroom....
any advice or ideas? pleeeese am feeling so guilty and tired.