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Time to get rid of dummies with 2 children - any advice?

(15 Posts)
salesgirl Wed 15-Jul-09 14:21:08

Had my dd and ds only 17 mths apart, they are now 3.5 and 2. Always used dummies for sleeps and on the whole they have been very good sleepers. Up till recent past they have been good at not having them in the day (apart for naps and in car) and of course always meant to get rid of them sooner but it never seemed the right time. BUT things have gradually been getting worse with more and more dependency on dummies for general soothing when tired or emotional (and thats just me - no G&T better for that...) they now scream for them after breakfast and after lunch when they are tired and when they go in the buggy and in the evenings etc etc. They egg each other on in as much as if one is crying for it the other will be reminded and whinge for one too until you dont know whether you are coming or going. Recently had two week holiday and they were both unsettled and it got even worse on hol. I am so fed up with it that I want to get rid but am totally terrified - esp about the nights. I know they are total addicts and use them to fall asleep. Torn between feeling really mean as its all my fault for using them in first place and now I am about to tear away their most beloved thing/comfort object, and just hating the sight of the yucky things. They are too old now! Any advice from anyone whose had to do two at once? Is cold turkey really the best way?

lynneevans51 Wed 15-Jul-09 14:24:53

I'm afraid I didn't do two at once (ouch) but for both of my children, I used Christmas just before their 3rd birthdays (born Feb) as the excuse. In the leaving out of mince pies, drink etc for Santa, we also made a big song and dance about the child leaving Santa their dummy in return for presents in the morning.

They were both ready to do that as I had started talking about it from the summer - you know, that's what happens when Santa comes - or perhaps you could even write a letter to Santa and put the dummy in that to do it earlier...?

Just some thoughts for you - but it maybe you reach for the G&T before December LOL!!

salesgirl Wed 15-Jul-09 14:32:05

Yes thanks lynneevans - I've had other mums say they used christmas and birthdays - I dont feel I can wait for dd birthday in Nov as she will be 4 then and I would like to ditch dum before she starts nursery end Sept.

Would rather do one at a time but I think she will just nick his and as they are so close in age it feels a bit mean on her letting him carry on.

If they were better about daytimes I would let them give up naturally for night but the daytime stuff really starts to grate!

littleboyblue Wed 15-Jul-09 14:35:54

My friend told her ds that it was time to give his dummies to the babies now. She wasn't having another baby, but she told her 2.5yo that today was the day they had to leave the dummies out, so they got a nice present bag (you know the kind from the card shops) and went around the house and collected all the dummies and put them in the bag. They wrote the tag with a message saying that the dummies were for all the new babies in the world, and before her ds went to bed that night, they left the bag out on the doorstep. In the morning she took her ds out to check and the dummy fairy's had left him a Noddy toy in exchange for his dummies. She said he asked after the dummy for about a week and she had to remind him of the fairies and his Noddy toy.

salesgirl Wed 15-Jul-09 14:46:53

I love the idea of the gift bag LBB will def try that - dreading the first night really, but maybe I can remind them of the present that might be on the doorstep if/when they wake in the night...thinking of going for it this weekend.

littleboyblue Wed 15-Jul-09 14:47:47

goodluck. grin

lynneevans51 Wed 15-Jul-09 15:21:20

Excellent idea from littleboyblue - my next one is due Jan 2010 so I guess I'll use the Xmas excuse again in the future - but this is one I'll deffo pass on to friends etc who ask!

smartiejake Wed 15-Jul-09 15:42:47

We bribed our 2 out of their dummies when they were nearly three.
Took them to Toy's r us and let them choose a new toy.

It had to stay in it's box on the end of their bed and when they had been without their dummy for one whole night they were allowed to open it. They asked for it for a few days but then it was forgotten.

I love littleboyblue 's ideas though.

pranma Wed 15-Jul-09 18:20:35

We used the 'dummy fairy' who swapped dummiies for presents for good children-tied dummies onto tree one night and by magic there were balloons in the tree next morning!

Hildabeast Thu 16-Jul-09 15:10:50

I had this problem as I knew my DD would not be ready to give it up at night so couldn't get rid of dummies altogether!

I told her the dummy fairy would visit soon as she was getting older and did point out friends who did not have dummies (maybe wrong, but did help). We left the dummies by the tree in the garden overnight and the fairy left a lovely heart shaped box with her dummies in, but all with pink ribbon tied on to them to show they were for sleepy times only and had to be kept in the box in the bedroom. The fairy also left a couple of comfort objects , for my DD it was something with long hair as she likes pulling it through her fingers, and a set of cheap russian doll which she adores.

I have to say it worked a treat and she accepted the box in her room. The dummy fairies would be cross if she took one down stairs. Cannot believe I went through with all the fairy stuff, but hey ho it worked so what the hell!

Still have not had the energy to get rid of night ones and my DD is 3 and a half. So that may not be too easy as she ADORES it!

salesgirl Thu 16-Jul-09 16:05:15

Thank you everyone for some really good ideas. I think I may try and ease them off gently like Hildabeast. I was thinking as I got up to see to DS at 1.30am that there is just no way we can survive both of them with disrutped nights - we both work and even on the weekend now DD has given up day time naps you cant catch up on sleep the next day. I would feel a lot better if I got them back to only having them at night and sleep time. Then maybe some good old peer pressure once she starts at nursery in Sept will take care of it for me.....(hmm)

krugerparkrules Thu 16-Jul-09 16:52:33

My dd has just given up her dummy - 2.2 years old ...

i just went cold turkey!!!! To be honest it was WAY LESS difficult than i thought it would be. I just kept telling her, you're a big girl now ... no more dummies
i also let her decide (in the middle of a teary first late night) that she could have a chocolate egg and an umbrella (I'm not sure she got the whole exchange thing, but she sure was excited at getting an egg!!!)

The first two nights were the worst (think back to those teething nights, took about 1-2 hours to settle her) - by third day we were over the worst.

I bought really nice snacks to give her when she was in the pushchair - this also kept her from asking for a dummy

It has been a week, and was so much easier to do than i thought - just give it a go and see what happens!!!! Once you get over the first night (I started the cold turkey at night) you realise it can be done, and i felt empowered to just get it over with ...

She has occasonally asked for it, but more in the way they ask for juice, or a treat - not really expecting it, just trying!

I honestly thought it was going to be really difficult and had put it off for months ....

good luck, let us know how it goes

MoonchildNo6 Thu 16-Jul-09 17:10:51

I used the easter bunny, although not sure that swapping a dummy for chocolate was the right lesson hmm

OptimistS Thu 16-Jul-09 17:11:31

Agree with krugerparkrules. Just gone cold-turkey with my DTs (2.7) and was unbelievably easy. Thought it would be a nightmare as they'd got increasingly dependent on them, not less.

We went and chose a shrub (they chose a fuschia for £2.99) from our local supermarket) and I told them it would become our dummy tree, and that if we planted the dummies underneath, it would grow even better. Then I explained that they were all grown up now and didn't need the dummies anymore. I asked if they agreed to it. They said yes, so we planted it (made a huge mess as I let them do it themselves with minimal supervision). I had some fears about it, but it's been dead easy. They have asked for them a few times in the first few days, but I calmly re-explained what we'd done and showed them the 'dummy tree' again and they accepted it no problems, even when tired and tantrummy. Now all our visitors have to see the 'dummy tree'...

Not sure where I read the idea, but thought it might be helpful, as, like you, I didn't want to wait until Christmas or their birthday.

Hope it helps.

girlsyearapart Thu 16-Jul-09 17:16:43

Watching this with interest as dd2 10mo has dummy when dd1 has a (disgusting) comfort blanket. Have heard about the dummy fairy idea. Have had two friends tell me their methods. One cut the ends off the dummies so they were no fun to suck. The second had a child who was sick one night. The mum told her it was the dummy that made her sick and she never wanted it again. Though for that you have to wait until they are sick! Hmm..

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