Help... I need to get rid of the soother!(13 Posts)
My 2.11 dd is obsessed with her soother. She stopped napping a few months ago and since then it has crept in more and more to every day life- I would let her have it sitting on the sofa/car/pushchair etc in the hope that she'd have a nap (she wouldn't) and now she is so whiney and just demands it all the time, throws a big strop/has a meltdown if she can't have it. We've spoken about the soother fairy who is going to come and take them away at some point, and give them to the babies, (!!) but I don't know how to go about doing it. Should I set a date? Just go cold turkey? Sabotage the soothers by cutting holes in them? She is very bright but also very determined and I want to try and find a sensible, long lasting way of getting rid of them because they have definitely outstayed their welcome!! Historically I would hate to see a big child with a soother hanging out of his/her mouth... Now that is my child!! Please help!
My dd loved her dummy and would have it day and night if she could!
We started at age 2 with only letting her have it at nap and bed times, then at about 2 and a half we explained the dummy fairy was coming and needed the dummies for new babies being born.
We gave a few days warning, collected up all the dummies one evening ( she helped), put them in a gift bag and hung it on the washing line.
We went cold turkey and threw them all away so we couldn't cave in! Then dummy fairy brought a cuddly toy for dd for being such a good girl. The first night she was unsettled and needed lots of cuddles, night two just needed reminding that that dummy fairy had taken them, and that was it!
Dummy Fairy! Worked well here too. Jo Frost's book on toddlers has info. Worked because there is a tangible event to refer to: "remember the Dummy Fairy came and gave you this wonderful book/toy etc". Good luck!
When my DD was about 3 we started saying that soon she would have to give up dummies. A dentist friend had a casual chat with her about how it would be good to give them up.
So we started this idea about giving them up, that she would give them to a toy shop to give to small babies and instead get a special toy. But we said it would be later on when she was bigger.
One day at about 3.2 she just announced that now she was ready. So we went to the toy shop etc and it was fine. The main difference was that we had to put more effort into settling her at bedtime, as she had lost her main prop. So we had to sit with her etc. Eventually what worked was saying we would come back every 5 mins to check on her.
She is nearly 4 now and goes to sleep like an adult really.
We have just done this with DS (2.6).
Went cold turkey though he was obviously chewing the dummies rather than just sucking as they all started to get holes in. He threw one in the bin himself and we got rid of the rest. He chose a present -a soft toy mouse-to have in bed to help him go to sleep instead of the dummy. He has asked for the dummy when tired and has taken longer to settle at bedtime and nap time but still sleeps! Didn't wake last night but it was the first night. Not sure if this helps as each child is different obviously but I was worried it would be harder with DS than is had been. Hope I'm not speaking too soon!! Good luck
I've just done it with DS (23 months). It was alot earlier than intended but he has a speech delay and although I'd got him down to only using it for sleeping, the speech therapist wanted us to get rid altogether if we could. I started as I said by only giving it to him for his nap/bedtime, by literally keeping it in his cot, so he only got it when he got in, and had to give it to me before I lifted him out again. He adjusted pretty quickly to this.
I then started over Easter, so just over a week ago, putting him down without it. I had thrown them all out beforehand so I wouldn't be tempted to give in, and planned for when I had a few days off so I could catch up on sleep as I anticipated a few sleepless nights, but he has been amazing and I am gobsmacked. He whinged the first night for about 30 secs the first time I put him down without it then settled himself to sleep (he would have self-settled with soother anyway) and we have had no hassle at all. I am not telling you all this to boast, but just to reassure you that it might not be as bad as you think. I was absolutely dreading it as DS was so attached to his and he is also too young to do the dummy fairy stuff with. I hope it is as easy for you! Good luck.
Don't cut holes in them because that would make them a choking hazard.
I've had success and seen other parents have success with the principle that the dummy is for on the bed only. If they want the dummy they need to have a rest, perhaps with a book on their bed. If they get down they leave the dummy behind.
Whatever method you use you will probably have to manage meltdowns about her wanting them back. You need to make very sure that her screaming and tantruming doesn't get her anything if you've told her she isn't having it.
If you decide she is not having her dummy off her bed that rule needs to be applied completely consistently so she learns that no means no regardless of meltdowns.
DD1 was about 2.5 and it was constantly in her mouth.
We were in the playground and it fell on the ground into leaves/dirt. I told her she wasn't having it back until I sterilised it as there could be squirrels pee on it.
Anyway, unbeknownst to me, there was a small hole in it. I sterilised it in Milton, gave it to her going to bed. She took one suck, got a couple of drips of Milton. I told her some squirrels pee must have gotten in (I know I'm bad) and she never sucked it or even looked for it again.
I suppose because it was her decision to stop, we never had any tantrums etc.
We only had the one as they were a Tomee Tippee variety that was hard to find. Needless to say 8 arrived from the internet via DH the following week which are still in an envelope somewhere.
Fingy (as it was known) currently resides in a bowl with my lipsticks in the hall. He'll stay with us forever.
DD2 spat the dummy out and wouldn't enterain one.
Thanks all. I think the seed has been sown, with the soother fairy etc, so will try to build on that in the coming weeks. If I'm honest it's been a bit of a crutch for us both- she stopped napping just as the new baby arrived, I'm sleep deprived, and it's just crept up to being a bigger part of our daily routine than I ever would've anticipated. As of tomorrow morning, it's staying in her bed once she's up... You heard it here first!
Thanks again for all your wise words
I let ds1 keep him dummy for much longer than I intended, partly because I dreaded trying to get rid of it and also because I was sick as a dog with my pregnancy with dd2 and didn't want to go through that at that time. When he was 3 we reduced it to night-time only as "only babies have them during the day". I mentioned the dummy fairy when he was 4 and told him that we would leave the dummies out one night for her to collect (she gives them to all the tiny babies who need them more), and in return she would leave him a present. I said to him that when he was ready for the dummy fairy to come to let me know, and I'd tell her. He wanted a present! So he told me he was ready, and went to bed without a dummy all excited about the dummy fairy leaving him a present. I got him a little Wall-E toy as he loves the film and wrapped it up and left it where we'd put the dummies. For a couple of nights he got a little upset at bedtime and said he wanted a dummy, but I put the Wall-E by his bed and after a couple of nights he was fine and hasn't asked for it since. He doesn't mind dd2 having one. Good luck!
Good luck! I did exactly the same when ds2 was 2.11 years. We had the rule "bed only" for a while. Then, day before Christmas Eve the Dummy Fairy arrived with a cuddly zebra. He was absolutely fine.
Dd had a dummy longer than I'd wanted due to the arrival of dd2. She only had it for sleeps. When she was 3 I asked what reward she would like when she was too old for dummies. She said "a nightie". I think she undersold herself, she could have got away with a scooter or something! anyway a couple of days later she gave me her dummy and asked for a nightie. We went out and bought some and she never mentioned dummies again! So easy, I'd been dreadingit for nothing. So maybe if you can use something she would really like as a reward she will give them up herself? I wouldn't have beloved dd1 would, she's a very determined girl, but she did.
Join the discussion
Please login first.