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The dummy needs to go, but how?

(14 Posts)
mrshutch23 Fri 20-Jan-17 18:50:34

I'm sorry this is long but I want to explain our background in detail.

When my daughter was approx 4/5 months old I reluctantly gave her a dummy to try and help with her sleep. She was a very hungry baby and would either be permanently attached to me or a bottle, so for some sanity and to have my hands free I gave her a dummy. There were undiagnosed health issues for both me and baby which I am not yet ready to talk about just yet. The dummy did not help with the sleep.
She would only ever have it at night as a baby.

For the past 12 months or so it is always in her mouth. Day and night. It's horrible to see her with it and no matter how hard I try I just cannot get this dummy off her.

She is now 3 years old. Whenever she is in childcare, whether it be the nursery or DH/PIL she does not have the dummy. As soon as I walk in the door she runs to her bag and shoves it in her mouth. It's starting to affect her speech, and we started saying that we can't hear her/don't know what she's saying when the dummy is in her mouth, hoping she will take it out. She removes it to speak and then back in it goes.

She only has the one, it has to be purple and has to be a certain type. I don't know if this is relevant.

She still does not sleep through the night. I work a 60 hour week, I'm also caring for my father who has mental health issues (as well as recovering from a heart attack), my elderly grandparents (1 awaiting diagnosis of Parkinson) and studying in the evenings/weekends (I need this to qualify in my field, this is the last year I can do it before my degree becomes unusable due to law changes). I also have crippling anxiety, and I think i still have a touch of PND. Again unsure if relevant but may explain my mindset.

I'm exhausted (DH works nights) and don't want the very little sleep I have to be disturbed with my DD screaming for her dummy if I get rid of it.

We tried giving the dummy to Father Christmas to give to the sick babies that she sees in hospital, like we do with her toys and clothes. We talked about putting it in a little present box and leaving it out for Father Christmas, she talked about it non stop, told the nursery workers and her GPS about it. Making stories about how the sick children will get her dummy and it will make them better. This was her own words we never said this to her. When the time came to do this she screamed like a banshee and cried so much she made herself violently sick.

I caved in and gave her it back.

Please tell me your success stories on how you got rid of the dummy, any tricks/routines/stories you used?

Phoenix76 Fri 20-Jan-17 23:20:05

Hello there! I just wanted to come on to tell you you're not alone. My dd1 (3years) is exactly the same as yours. I feel guilty because when she was a week old she ended up in intensive care with dehydration, I was trying desperately hard to bf. The nurses asked whether they could give her a dummy as she keep pulling her feeding tube out, desperate to give her comfort (after what I considered my failing) I agreed. And here I am, unable to seperate her from it. I tried the cold turkey approach and she was totally hysterical no exaggeration and I too gave it back to her. Last week, at my dd2's 10 month check I mentioned the dummy problem with dd1 and she said if they're that attached just let them have it, she reassured me she WILL drop it on her own. It is bloody hard, I feel embarrassed that she has one but it's not just a little comforter to her at the moment it's much more so I figure I have to follow her lead. Incidentally, dd2 has very little interest in a dummy. Anyway, just wanted you to know that I'm right there with you 😳 X

mrshutch23 Sat 21-Jan-17 13:45:57

Thank you for your comments. It's a comfort to know that someone else has this issue too! I suppose she will drop it too. I'm just worried about her teeth and her speech!

Msqueen33 Sat 21-Jan-17 13:51:52

My dd is nearly 4. We got rid of hers at 3 on advice of speech therapy. She has autism and is non verbal so all the traditional rewards, giving to dummy fairy weren't an option. In the end we just binned them all. It wasn't easy and sometimes I wish I hadn't as her sleep deteriorated and when she gets cranky there's nothing to quieten her but at least it's done now.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Sat 21-Jan-17 14:04:28

Hi OP, I'm going back now, but one of my children had a dummy, and boy, did he love it. It was bought by my DM, and seemed to be almost as big as his face🙄 He got to the age of three, and I, like you, knew it had to go ! He wasn't about to hand it over anytime soon, so we 'forgot' it, left it at Grandma's house.My words, did he paddy, but we just kept on distracting him, and finally carried him off to bed. He asked about it the next morning, but we didn't give in, he soon forgot, with continual distraction.
Don't worry about a few tears, it's served its purpose.

DustyMaiden Sat 21-Jan-17 14:07:35

Plant it in the garden and lolly pops grow.

happyvalley4 Sat 21-Jan-17 14:23:09

I took them away from my DD when she was 3.5. We talked about it lots beforehand. My DD is animal mad so we decided getting her her own pet (hamster) to replace the dummy was the way forward. We chose a Saturday and she was very excited to be getting the hamster and willingly handed them over. I put them in our outside dustbin so no chance of me caving and getting them back again.

She obviously kept asking for the dummy and I kept distracting her with the hamster. I gave her extra cuddles that night because she didn't have the comfort of the dummy.

By the Monday she'd stopped asking.

(If you aren't in a position to get a pet then maybe a special trip to the toy shop for your dc to choose a toy)

But make sure you choose a time when you won't be too stressed and tired by your other commitments and be prepared for one maybe 2 difficult nights.

Good luck OP!

Mehfruittea Sat 21-Jan-17 14:32:20

We took DS dummy away when he was 7-8 months so I have no helpful advice I'm afraid. flowers

You know it's the right thing to do and can't put it off, others have said the pinning for it stops after a couple of days if you have some other distraction. I would try bubbles, as you can't blow the. With a dummy. I've always used bubbles as a distraction, you can't cry and blow bubbles either. (It also helps with pooing, relaxes them enough if holding on to the poo is a problem!)

I hope it goes well and life gets a little easier for you.

RTKangaMummy Sat 21-Jan-17 14:50:46

Put a tiny hole in it with a very thin needle then it won't feel as satisfying to her

Good luck

RTKangaMummy Sat 21-Jan-17 14:54:03

But don't discuss it with her even if she says something about it not even asking for a new one just don't comment at all

Also do not tell anyone else cos she will hear people talking about it

skankingpiglet Sat 21-Jan-17 23:29:09

From the title of your post I was going to suggest reducing use at first, then either dummy fairy or cold turkey once you were down to in bed at night time only. Having read your OP (your anxiety, possible PND, therefore the importance of support and enough sleep) I'd be asking your DH to take a couple of days holiday to help you get over the worst with a cold turkey approach. In the meantime, as suggested above, put a small needle hole in it to make it less satisfying (in the hope it'll soften the blow).

We got rid just before Xmas when DD1 was 2.6yrs, although I'd been talking about it to her for months with one previous failed attempt. By the time we did it we had a rule about dummies being for night sleeps only and were never to leave the bedroom. I told her all about the dummy fairy, really hamming it up, then had her look through the Argos catalogue for something she'd like to exchange the dummies for (because that's where the fairy gets the gifts from...). Thankfully she picked something for £8 rather than £80! We picked a day together to book the fairy to visit (when she was out at the childminder's). That morning left them outside in the garden, and when she got home in the evening they had magically been exchanged for her toy.
She has only mentioned them twice since. Once was the first night having gone down fine, she woke up crying in the night and when asked why said she was sad they'd gone. I reminded her of the happy little babies with their dummies and her lovely new toy, and she was cheered by that. The second time was a couple of weeks later when she randomly mentioned that her dummies were gone. I sympathised and said "yes that's right" and she changed the subject without seeming particularly bothered.

On a different note, are you getting support for your anxiety and PND?

RTKangaMummy Sat 21-Jan-17 23:42:36

Sorry meant to explain don't discuss with your DD or anybody else that it might be different to suck because of having a hole in the dummy

Just do it when she is not around

If she says it doesn't suck the same say something like it must be cos your teeth have got bigger like big girls iyswim

Hope it works out ok

GlitteryFluff Sat 21-Jan-17 23:48:18

Watching with interest as I have a 2.6yo who is dummy mad but he also has speech delay, possibly other things too (ASD, verbal dyspraxia) so he wouldn't understand fairy/Santa/giving to babies. I don't know if he will at 3 or not so tempted to just go cold turkey now and deal with it. However we've only just got him staying in his own bed all night, he used I come to us but now he doesn't but he still wakes up and I have to either resettle and leave or get in his bed with him - at least once a night sometimes three times a night, so don't know when I should get rid of them and cause more sleep issues.. So watching for ideas..

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Sun 22-Jan-17 00:01:14

I would say, don't do it.

It sounds like you've got an awful lot going on, and the last thing you need is her sleep deteriorating.

I would absolutely limit it to bedtime only though to minimise effect on her speech.

3 is still young, a lot will change in the next 6 months. Keep it for bedtime only (and be really really strict about this), and then reassess in a few weeks/months.

Seriously. My just 3yo could probably ditch his, but I know it'll fuck his sleep up and I'm not prepared to screw with that right now. Enough to deal with.

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