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When to ditch the dummy ? Experiences please

(7 Posts)
Tillyscoutsmum Sat 13-Aug-11 12:32:08

DS is almost 20 months and has a dummy for sleep, naps and sometimes when he is tired (just before bed or just when he's woken up). He has recently started biting through his dummies which means I'm having to buy replacements regularly.

He really is very attached to his dummy and his language and comprehension skills are probably about average for his age (maybe even slightly below).

Do you think its a case of the earlier you ditch it, the easier it is or would it be easier to wait until they are a little bit older and you can bribe reason with them ?

I was thinking of waiting until Christmas Eve and hang them on the tree for F.C to take them away and leave presents instead ? He'll be just 2 at that point and will hopefully understand ..?

What do you think ? Should I bite the bullet sooner in view of the biting issue ?

EdwardorEricCantDecide Sat 13-Aug-11 12:44:00

i'm in exactly the same situation as you my DS is now 2.4yo and still has dummy, i was thinking in doing the xmas idea too although i dont fancy a sleepless night on xmas eve, i was thinking of doing a craft activity the day we put thr tree up this year (my friend did this and it worked) and dip the teat of the dummys into glue then glitter and hang them on the tree as decorations.

i would be doing dummy sooner but i'm due another baby in oct and i've heard its bad to take dummy away so close to new baby, plus i want to tackle potty training first.

i will watch with interest though if any other ideas come up.

Gillybean73 Sat 13-Aug-11 12:51:43

I would ditch it immediately purely for the safety issues as he may choke on the part that he's bitten off.

I ditched my DS's dummy when he was around 11 months after doing much research online about when and how to do it and everyone seemed to recommend the earlier the better.

Many people have loads of advice about weaning them off gradually but I reckon cold turkey is the best way. I'd tell him that you're throwing them out as he's a big boy now and doesn't need them anymore and let him see you getting rid of them. You can go down the route that some do of leaving them out for the dummy fairy who will come and take them away and leave him a present but he may be too young to understand this.

You will probably have 3 days of hell but then he will be fine and it will be well worth it in the long run.

If he cries when you put him down for his naps and at bedtime then I'd recommend that once you've settled him down leave the room. Wait two minutes and if he's still upset then go back in and tuck him back in again and settle him down and then leave again. This time wait four minutes before you go back in and then the next time 8 minutes, then 16 minutes etc and you'll have cracked this within 3-5 days maximum and he'll self soothe when you put him down and you won't need to keep doing this. Whatever you do don't cave in and give him back a dummy because you'll still have to go through all this from the beginning all over again. You need to make the decision and stick with it so it really is better to get rid of all the dummies in the house so that you are not tempted to cave in and ruin all your hard work.

Short term pain for the long term gain and it does really work. Good luck!

RabidRabbit Sat 13-Aug-11 14:12:05

I ditched DD's when she was around 22 months. Had no real plans to that day, just stopped giving it to her when she was asking for it. I kept telling her that she was a big girl now, and her dummies were for the little babies who needed them. She asked a few times that day, each time I told her that and then distracted her. She was staying at her Nanna's that night who without me even asking to.. put her to bed without it, and she was fine. She hasn't had it since and is 2 now.

I thought it'd be hell, she was obsessed with it and had about 8 in her cot and I could hear her all night tossing and turning and swapping to another one. Drove me mad!

I think the thought of doing it is often worse than it actually is.

naturalbaby Sat 13-Aug-11 14:18:36

i have a 3yr old and 2yr old and got rid of them at the same time a couple of months ago. the 2yr old still asks for it sometimes and keeps putting his fingers in his mouth but my 3yr old was a bit upset for a week or 2 and hasn't said a thing about it since. at first i thought it was worse for him as he was older, he was really upset despite agreeing and choosing a toy to swap it with. there are many times when i half wish i'd left my 2yr old with his to help him settle at bedtimes - he's being really difficult at the moment and finding it really hard to calm down and switch off where he used to just chill out with the dummy before falling asleep.
my 3yr was biting through his so until i was ready to get rid of them i told him if he kept biting them i wouldn't buy any more so he stopped, but he was nearly 3 at the time.

RiceBurner Sat 13-Aug-11 17:42:26

Hi Tilly,

I also say ditch the dummies now/ASAP.

Super nanny (Jo Frost) did a pgm (in the US?) where she helped the parents to take away dummies from children old enough to be reasoned with, and it seemed to work fine. She told the kids (2 of them in one house I think?) that they were too old now for dummies so they should give them back to the "dummy fairy" (or whatever ... a little harmless story) and she got them to (willingly) collect all of them up in a bag and hang them in the garden (or wherever) and in the morning there was a thank you letter from the "dummy fairy" and some treats for them. Worked really well as they went along with the idea IYSWIM?

For younger kids, the story/reasoning probably won't work .... so u just need to go cold turkey one day and be very firm/use distraction tactics. (The dummies are suddenly gone.)

I did this with my 3 kids when they were about 12-18 months old ... as I had 3 kids in succession (quite close in age) and we didnt want more than one of them with a dummy at any one time ... so we took the dummies from the toddlers well b4 the next baby arrived. (So they wouldn't take a dummy from their sibling baby's mouth!) And did same with 3rd/last one ... just to be fair! (Again, this went well.)

My MIL thought (with 1st born) that we were crazy to even try taking our 1yr old's dummy away, as he was a difficult child ... so everyone was rather scared of his reaction ... and we were all short of sleep/worn down! But he took it amazingly calmy! (It was a doddle compared to other stuff with him!)

He must have complained a bit, but he soon forgot about the dummies. And this tactic worked again with the other 2 children, at roughly 1-1.5 yrs ... as far as I can recall ... cos it is a long time ago now!

Definitely think keeping dummies going too long is not helpful to you in the long run. Tho maybe taking them away causes other seemingly unrelated issues? (One of ours still bite his nails! Could this be due to dummy deprivation?! Who can say?!)

Anyway good luck!

Tillyscoutsmum Sat 13-Aug-11 19:38:21

Thanks all

RiceBurner - I would also class DS as quite a "difficult" child. He has massive tantrums if he doesn't get his own way and is very difficult to distract. We are already exhausted and lacking in sleep so I did wonder whether waiting until he was a little older and hopefully, easier to reason with, would be better. It is however, reassuring that your headstrong DS didn't have too many problems with taking the dummy away.

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