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3 year old not sleeping since taking dummy away

(10 Posts)
Spl1180 Thu 01-Nov-12 19:37:01

My son turned 3 about a month ago when the dummy fairy took his dummy away and, apart from the first night, ever since he's been a nightmare to put to bed and keeps waking up ever hour or so during the night.

Have tried everything from controlled crying to giving a sedative (on advice from the doctor). Nothing seems to work other than staying with him until he falls asleep, including when he wakes up during the night; hence my husband and I have been lucky to average 3 to 4 hours broken sleep a night for the last month.

I'm not even sure that giving him back his dummy would help as he doesn't ask for it and may not take it back; or if he did whether it would have. The same affect as it used to.

We have no idea what to do next or where to go for further advice, ie a specialist of some sort perhaps, so any advice or guidance would be much appreciated.

TwoKidsAndCounting Thu 01-Nov-12 19:41:52

Hi spl1180, stick with it, I took dummies away from both my toddlers in April this year and they were a nightmare at bedtime until around August, 4 very long months but thank god everything has settled down. It is a big thing for them to adjust to, as you have just taken away their biggest form of comfort, however, stick with it, you'll be fine and so will he! Good luck!

ConstantCraving Thu 01-Nov-12 20:18:03

Could you introduce a comfort toy? Mine is very attached to two cuddlies which helped her transition from the dummy.

hev2010 Thu 01-Nov-12 20:25:01

It also took our little man about 4 months, I also felt that we couldn't go on any longer but my partner was determined not to give in! We still have to sit with him whilst he falls asleep in the evening but he now doesn't wake regularly during the night. It does eventually get easier. Best of luck!

Spl1180 Thu 01-Nov-12 20:41:07

Thanks everyone - just knowing that we're not the only ones going through this is a real help. My son does have a cuddly toy but it just isn't enough to comfort him. I think we seriously under estimated how much he needed his dummy and, had we known how hard it was going to be, would't have taken it away until he was a bit older and less dependent on it. Will try to persevere but what with both of us working I'm not sure how much more sleep deprivation we can take.

ConstantCraving Thu 01-Nov-12 21:11:24

If you want to give it back and feel he needs it, why not? Comfort objects are incredibly important at that age - he's still very little. We were lucky that DD gave hers up ok - but had she been really distressed i'd have given it back. If its only for the night time I can't see the harm and he'll probably give it up himself when he's ready. You can just say the dummy fairy thought he was still a bit too little and she'll come back again when he's really ready. Do what works for you and DS - not what others say you should do.

radicalsubstitution Thu 01-Nov-12 21:20:36

Agree with ConstantCraving - give the dummy back. It's really not that big a thing to worry about at that age. Sleep is more important.

DD gave up her dummy at six months (she sucks her tongue which looks really weird in itself) but is hideously attached to her comforter - a pooh bear blanket thing. She throws it out of bed at least once a night and cries until someone gets it for her.

She now has three of the damn things in bed with her at night - all identical. Thank the Lord that the exact same toy is still available in a well-known high street chemist (the one that sounds a bit like a type of footwear).

I am hoping that, at some time over the next 15 years, she will stop needing it in bed with her. I'm not stressing about it yet though. DH and I both work, too, and it's not a battle we are willing to fight yet.

MacMac123 Thu 01-Nov-12 22:10:21

I just gave my 4 year old back his dummy after a week of terrible sleep without it.
He'd just started pre school and turned 4 (my absolute cut off for a dummy ) but realised he was so tired anyway from pre school that not having the dummy was tipping him over the edge.
Now he loves his dummy more than ever! Shouldn't have taken it away really as he was getting less bothered about it naturally, and taking it away and giving it back seems to have heightened his addiction!!
Oh well, guess he won't have it by the time he's 16!!

Goldmandra Thu 01-Nov-12 22:33:52

I would offer it back to him in case it helps.

My friend took her DD's dummy away on the advice of her dentist when she was 3. Her DD soon found her thumb was a good substitute and it was, of course, available 24/7. She pulled all her front teeth forward and is now wearing braces to correct it.

FariesDoExist Sat 03-Nov-12 18:02:10

Well done, stick with it, because if you give the dummy back to him then you've wasted your time for the past month, and you'll have to go through it again at some point.

Your DS has swapped the dummy for you, he is using you as his comfort now. Little by little you can withdraw, encourage him to use a teddy or blanket or nightlight if need be.

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