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help with dummies and hair stroking

(24 Posts)
samjandwich Sat 02-Apr-05 23:31:58

I'm looking for tips on how to wean my ds who is just over 3yrs off dummies, I have seen on television that ypu can get our child to plant a dummy tree and sneak a sunflower seed in at the same time. But i'm not sure if my ds would go along with this method. DS wants his dummy when he starts to get tired, is ill, or has hurt himself. Another thing he does which i'd like to stop is he pulls and strokes my hair as a comforter too, i have a terrible sore scalp, he has been doing this since he was 1yr, I have try to put his hand on his own hair, and also have given him a cuddly lion toy which has a long mane, but no luck.

kaansmum Sun 03-Apr-05 00:51:30

I'm afraid I can't offer you much practical advice, only share my experiences with you. My son is 5 this coming August and still has his dummy. He looks for it when he's tired and sees it as an essential item to have stuck firmly in his gob when he settling down and getting cosy or concentrating (strangely!)- I guess it just gives him a warm, fuzzy comfortable feeling! I've stressed about it at various intervals over the last 2 years or so but have now come to the conclusion that he'll give it up when he's good and ready and I'm happy to go with that.

He knows he doesn't suck it all day long (although I'm sure he would given half the chance ) and thankfully would never wish to be seen sucking it outside the confines of the house, so he's coming to know that as much as he loves it, it's not really "socailly acceptable" for a child of his age to be seen sucking one. I'm forever threatening to throw his dummies away to his absolute horror. He has 2 but they're getting fairly old now and I've told him I don't intend to replace them when they sprout holes - I think he thinks I'm bluffing but I really don't intend to replace them. In a way it will be a sad day for me when he stops, it is so much a part of him and who he is - almost an integral part of his sweet little character so a part of me is happy to let him carry on. It is funny that he doesn't want to stop because he is so grown up in all other ways and not in the least bit baby-like. He reads and writes fluently uses a computer extremely competently and chats on for England - it is in a way rather incongrous to see him sucking his dummy!

We often rib him about it and have tried all the usual things like suggesting he leaves it by the fireplace for Father Christmas to take in return for his Christmas presents but, to be perfectly honest, he'd choose his dummy over his presents any day! He often says things like, "when I'm 5 I'm going to stop sucking my dummy" but I'm not sure he'd be so keen to he held to that.

There was a thread on here recently about the natural age at which children would give up breastfeeding if left to their own devices/instincts. From memory I think research had shown that anywhere between 5 - 7 seemed to be a natural average age to do this. If the comfort sucking thing is part of the need to breastfeed as much as the feeding itself this would perhaps tie in with the need for an older child to suck a dummy. On this premise, I'm quite happy for my son to continue sucking his dummy in the privacy of his own home until he wants to stop and personally I'm not prepared to make an issue out of it.

As long as we're both happy that's all that matters. There are far more important parenting issues to worry about in my book.

Sorry I haven't been able to offer any constructive advice but good luck with your attempts to wrestle your son's dummy away from him anyway.

KarenThirl Sun 03-Apr-05 08:28:14

You might want to bear in mind that dummy sucking can affect dental growth and the angle the teeth come in. It might be worth discussing it with your dentist at checkups to be sure the dummy isn't causing any problems.

samjandwich Sun 03-Apr-05 15:09:52

hiya, thanks for the replies,
I think i agree with you, i'm going to let him have it in the comfort of our house and let him give up the dummies when he is good and ready to, he starts nursery soon and that might be the change in him as far as dummies are concerned as he might see that his new little friends don't have dummies but i would really like to stop him from using my hair as a comforter, my scalp is so sore and hurt so much when i brush it .
His teeth are good and have not been affected so thats good.

mummyhill Mon 04-Apr-05 08:04:46

My thre year old dd now oly uses hers at night or if she is ill i am also trying to wean her off it though as i am due to have child number two in september and worry about them sharing especially as dd is asthmatic and prone to colds and chest infections. if she was staying an only child i don't think i would be worrying so much as long as she only used it at home.

ambrosia Mon 04-Apr-05 08:58:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kath4kids Mon 04-Apr-05 09:58:36

Hi samjandwich, if this is any use to you regarding hair stroking as a comforter, my nephew who is now 24 loved playing with my sisters hair as a baby, realising this could be a problem, she gave him a wig as a comforter. ploblem solved, until he wouldn't go anywhere without his "IGGY". we thought we solved it when he lost it in a dept store, but realised he still really needed it, he screamed and screamed so much we had to embarrasingly go to customer services and ask if anyone had handed in a rather bald wig. they had, needless to say we soon afterwards weaned him off his iggy.

jennifersofia Mon 04-Apr-05 14:49:48

Just wondering if anyone does have experience of or knows anyone who has experience of a child who did give up the dummy of their own accord? I don't mean giving it to the fairies or whatever, but the child just decided that s/he wanted to be a big girl/boy and gave it up? What age?
I have been going along with this train of thought in regards to my daughter and her dummy, but I am wondering if it will ever happen naturally, or she will still be having it at night when she is 12 or so - in which case I would be more than prepared to go through the trauma and get rid of it now! I don't want to traumatise her though, if she will most likely give it up soon on
her own.
samjandwich - I have also heard stories about putting them overboard from ferries for the fishes, or being able to choose out a present when the child has done without for a week. As for the hair, what happens when you wear it back? Does he understand if you tell him it really hurts mummy?

samjandwich Mon 04-Apr-05 18:55:21

Hi all,
thanks for the replies, Jennifer i have worn my hair back and he just pulls my bobble out, also my hair is layered and not all of it goies into a bobble or stays in a clip, i have even worn a cap around the house, he just pulls it off lol. I have explained to him that it hurts me and u say ouch alot, as he understands what it means, but he just does it more gentle, bless him.

choccychic Mon 04-Apr-05 20:42:58

Hi Jennifersofia,
Yes I have 2 of them who gave up of their own accord. The first one was 4.5 yrs and sat on the loo on the way to bed, he opened his mouth to say something and it dropped into the loo! I was about to look for another but he said he would try without, and he never looked back. I think he enjoyed telling everyone what happened to it!
The second resisted my gentle(ish) persuasion to stop having it at night until he was 5. He was really tired one night having spent the day with friends, so I asked if he could do without it, he said he would try. I told him I'd be back in 10 mins and if he was too upset he could have it back. He was fast asleep and having got so easily through one night he was happy to try again the second night and that was it! I did give both of them a small present to show how proud of them I was. No. 3 is now just 3yrs and I am taking the same approach with him, he only has it at night and we will get rid of it when he is ready.

smasher Mon 04-Apr-05 23:08:41

I managed to get the easter bunny to take my 3yr olds dummy, and traded it in for an egg. I took the dummy whilst he was sleeping and then left the egg by the side of the bed. In the morning he was so pleased the easter bunny had come to visit he completley forgot about the dummy, until bedtime and then we told him that the easter bunny had taken it. He seemed ok about this, and suprisingly enough he has been really good for the past week without it. I've noticed he's talking a lot more and now doesn't have afternoon naps.

jennifersofia Tue 05-Apr-05 00:49:18

Thanks for that choccychic - very helpful.

Chandra Tue 05-Apr-05 02:25:11

My sister is 31 (years not months!)and still uses the straw beaker she got when she was 2yrs old. My mother is still waiting for her to give it up on her own accord. We all have tried to provide different more "mature" or even trendy beakers but she always gets back to good old yellow hard plastic beaker with its integrated straw.

So my advice would be to set a reasonable time for him to leave the dummy (like 3) and if by then he's still using it, to do something about it!!!

P.S. Just to be fair to my sister I must also say that she also knows how to drink from a normal glass. And that not even her bestfreinds know that she still uses it from time to time

andif Tue 05-Apr-05 14:20:51

Ds2 gave his up at about 3 with help from 'dummy bear'! We told him that if he gave up his dummy at night, he could choose a teddy to cuddle instead. We had a special shopping trip - he loved being able to choose exactly what he wanted. Dummy bear still sleeps with him every night (age 5). Our main problem was interrupted sleep when he lost the dummy in the middle of the night - it was driving me mad!

mummyhill Tue 05-Apr-05 16:19:15

If any one has a n answer on the hair pulling i would really apprecaite it my hair gets pulled out in great big handfulls even though she has made me cry and has even had her hair pulled in return my dd still does this to me when she is sleepy. She can't do it to dh as his is a number one all over, does not do it to the nans thank god as one of the greatnans had alopecia as a child and wears a wig!!! But my sister and sister in law both have long hair and if they are there and she can't get at mine they receive the same treatment and it is a little bit awquard.

bonym Tue 05-Apr-05 19:17:08

DD1 was about the same age (3) when she finally gave up her dummy. At this stage she was only having it at night and I constructed a star chart - for every night that she went without the dummy she got a star and once she had 10 stars she could choose a "prize". Much to my amazement, it worked!

Chandra Tue 05-Apr-05 19:19:48

For the hair pulling: Be sure to get her attention and don't say anything about the hair until she has esablished visual contact, once she is looking at you say in simple words: "You should not pull my hair (or anyone's), it's not nice, it hurts". If she insists tell her repeat the instructions above but add that if she does it again she will be sent to her room for 3 minutes, if she insists explain her that she needs to go to her room for some time because she has pulled your hair which it's not nice and it hurts. Be serious when talking to her but DON'T show any emotion, don't allow her out of the room even if she trashes it. At the end of the three minutes enter the room, establish visual contact first and then ask her if she knows why she was sent to her room, if she says no, tell her (again) that pulling hair it's not nice, and it hurts, ask her if she has understood, if she says yes, ask her if she would do it again, if she says no give her a big hug if she doesn't seem cooperative enough repeat the process from step one. This process may be harder for you than for the child, but it is well worth it, I'm using with DS (25m) and it's responding much better than to other tings I tried, for some reason he found it terribly funny to see me get angry, now that he doesn't have that treat he is far more cooperative. HTH

calcium Wed 06-Apr-05 08:56:43

we have told our dd that when she turns 3 ( in a couple of months) that she will be saying goodbye to her noo noos as they will be going away and she will then be a big girl, she seems OK with this at the moment but who knows what will happen when the time comes I have made up my mind as I cannot bear seeing older children sucking on them in public we are lucky she only uses it at night. dd 2 has not been given one as I just don't want to have to go through the whole ordeal again!

MandM Wed 06-Apr-05 10:22:21

We had got dd down to only having her dummy in bed at night (she had to leave it in there with her teddy in a morning and could only get it out once she put her PJs on). I wanted her to be rid of it completely before starting school in September so as I was off work over Easter I decided that was as good a time as any incase we had sleepless nights. We collected up all her dummies from her bed, under the bed, in her drawers (they seem to get everywhere!) and left them on the fireplace for the 'Easter Bunny' before she went to bed on the Saturday night before Easter Sunday. The 'Easter Bunny' whisked the offending items away and replaced them with some lovely treats and new clothes and touch wood, she has only asked for it once since and has slept absolutely fine. That has led me to think that really the dummy at bedtime had just become a habit rather than a comfort thing. Having said that, I know that if I had tried this too early we would have had a lot of tantrums at resistence, so as long as you and your child are happy, like most things it will just happen naturally anyway.

madmumof4 Wed 06-Apr-05 12:27:00


My daughter was 7 years old when she finally gave up her dummy. She would only have it in the house. No amount of Father Christmas will bring you a big toy if you give up, or the Dummy fairy coming to get the dummy would persuade her to give up her dummy. She had a big hole (gap) in her teeth at the front where her teeth did not meet in the middle because of the constant using of the dummy. Cos she got rid of her dummy before her big teeth came through, there was absolutely no problem with her teeth at all. She now has her big teeth and they all meet in the middle, no gaps and are perfectly straight.
I think my advice would be dont worry about it, its not hurting anyone else and ds will give it up when he is good and ready and not before. I was under a lot of pressure from health visitor, dentists and other mothers to get the dummy off ds but she did it on her own in the end.

oatcake Wed 06-Apr-05 13:00:05

I'd probably still have my 'do-dee' now if it hadn't been taken from me at age 4! It was very comforting! Mind you, don't know what state it would be in after 32 years...

scully Wed 06-Apr-05 14:42:28

We left our dd's dummys for Father Xmas to take on xmas eve. She knew about it for weeks before hand, and that he was going to give them to babies who didn't have a dummy...... he also left her a present to say thank you (a rather loud talking barney ). We had one performance on Xmas day when it come for her to have a nap, but since then she's been fine without them, no tears or even asking for them. She does have a couple of favourite soft toys for cuddling with though, so I think that helped with the comfort side of things.

lmccrean Wed 06-Apr-05 23:15:39

Easter bunny took my dd (2) dummies. Every time i see a baby with a dummy, i say it was probably one of her old ones, and she beams with pride!

Has mentioned it a few times when she got quite sick 2 weeks ago, but has accepted it pretty well, and I was blown away - I had thought it would be a much bigger deal to her.

Just stand your ground - make it perfectly clear that there are none left in the house, and make sure that you really dont - its harder to give in when you gotta go out and buy one right then!

samjandwich Thu 07-Apr-05 21:56:13

hiya, wow look at all the replies they are great, thanks guys
We went shopping last night and let ds choose a toy to swap with the day dummies, so the dummy now gets left in his bedroom or ours as he comes into our bed part way through the night, which is another story lol. So today was the first 'no dum dum during the day' day, It has been better than i thought it would be, he was grumbly throughout the day, but this prob was general tiredness, and he only had two tantrums regarding his dum dum, but i think he will soon get used to it. We took him to visit his preschool today and he loved it, he starts on tuesday, this will keep his mind off dum dum too (hopefully)

sam and bradley (3)

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