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How to get a 3yr old to give up dummy?(11 Posts)
I would like DD to stop using her dummy when she is 3. It's a few months away. She only has it for naps and nighttime sleep though does often ask for it in the the day if she gets upset (I don't give it to her). She has a book about giving up a dummy but is not interested. I know we can go cold turkey but I'm wondering what to do if she wakes up in night crying for her dummy. It all seems a bit traumatic. She is an excellent sleeper and really loves her dummy. Also worried she might start sucking her fingers or thumbs instead. Any advice? Is it that bad that she still has a dummy for sleep past age 3? Teeth are fine and her speech is advanced. Ideally I would like to be her decision to stop using her dummy... we waited for her to choose to go into a big bed and she toilet trained herself so I do believe that things are best achieved when the child is driving it... but I don't think it's gonna happen anytime soon with the dummy
We got DS to give up his at about the same age - like your DD he only had it for bed time. His favourite TV at the time was Octonauts so we 'posted' all his dummies (put in padded envelope that I took to work with me!) to Peso the octonauts medic so he could use them to help poorly babie sea creatures. That evening when I got home I gave him a cuddly octonauts toy and said he'd been sent it to say thank you. At bedtime he asked for his dummy - I reminded him we had sent them to Peso - he said oh yeah and that was the last we heard of it!
We just did this (you can probably still find my thread). We cut down in stages - firstly only when travelling or sleeping, and then only in the bedroom (which meant that if he was distressed during the day he could still have it but only if he could be arsed to take himself upstairs).
We told him in advance that the dummy fairy was coming to take the dummies for the babies and would leave him a present. Involved him in gathering up all the dummies to put in a special bag and then we swapped them for a toy he really wanted.
I thought he would be devestated (he bloody loved that dummy) but it worked! Still can't quite believe it
In terms of timings we waited until 3.5 - but it was starting to affect his teeth by then.
I think you're on the right track with gently encouraging her to give it up herself. DD is 3 and a bit, she was a total dummy addict but had gradually been needing it less and less. She leaves it on her pillow in the morning now and doesn't ask for it all day. She also has a comforter which she still carries around.
I figure that the dummy makes her feel secure and calm, and taking that away from her will make her upset so we're not going the cold turkey route. I want her to get to the point where she feels herself that she doesn't need it any more. Also, as it's only at bedtime now it's just between us and her!
With DS2 we went to our local farm on his third birthday and left them in a special bag for the piglets, saying they needed them as they were such tiny babies and the Mummy pig wasn't getting enough sleep because of their crying at night. He loved it, we made such a fuss and took pictures and applauded when he handed them over. Ever since he's just said "I don't have dummies now, the pigs needed them didn't they?". No crying or fuss or drama.
With DS1 we gave them to the dummy fairy who left a lovely toy and a letter. And I have no idea if it's just different children, but he was mental about it, cried for weeks on end each evening that he didn't want the toy any more, just his dummy back. He was 5 when DS2 came along and would sneak into his room at night and steal dummies. I'd get up in the morning and find him in bed with three or four of the buggers hanging out of his fists. Madness.
Firstly don't make rules you can't keep. A close friend made the rule "you have to sleep in the cot till you give up the dummy" DC1 no problem, DC3 no problem DC2 still in cot after DC3 was in a bed (they were all very close together in age).
I weaned down so it was only at night, naps had been gone for over a year. I think they need to have a burning desire for something in DD's case we were at DLP and she was desparate for a snow white dress. I explained that if she threw the dummy away the dummy fairy would give the money for the dress. She threw it in a bin, got the dress (wore it non-stop for the next week) and only asked once when I reminded her of the deal.
I'm just not sure how to handle it if/when she wakes up in the night and asks for it
I haven't tried this myself yet but I read somewhere that one approach is to cut the teats off the dummies, the child doesn't get the same comfort from them and so decides themselves that they don't want it anymore. I think it's meant to give the choice to the child although it does seem a bit mean taking the scissors to them! The suggestions above sound nicer but it may be worth considering this if other tips don't work...I'm keeping it in mind just in case.
We didn't have a dummy problem with DD, but she was attached to a bottle at bedtime & wouldn't give it up
We kind of worked on the tooth fairy idea & on her 3rd birthday we left her a "Congratulations You are Now a Big Girl" certificate under her pillow explaining that was from the fairies, who needed dummies for their work with orphan babies in fairyland, with a £5 note as a thank you & a trail of glitter. The bottle went in the bin that night - she was so proud of the certificate & that her bottle was going to those who needed it more, she never even asked for it again
My DCs didn't have dummies but DS1 and DS2 were very attached to their bottles. I wasn't sure how to encourage them to grow out of it until we were in a Lego shop and they were both pleading for toys that were beyond what I was prepared to pay for a toy for no particular reason. I said I'd buy them if they gave up their bottles thinking they'd refuse and they absolutely leapt at the chance. Gave me the bottles straight away and we threw out the rest when we got home. No regrets from either of them and I was astounded it was so easy.
So I guess making it their choice and a well judged bribe is what worked for us.
We accidentally went cold turkey when DD2 was 3 - in fact it was a year ago this month! We went on a long drive to pick her sister up from summer camp and I forgot to take a dummy with us (she used it a LOT!) She went bananas in the car and screamed for an hour solid. I decided I might as well make the best of a bad situation and go cold turkey then and there, rather than make her go through it all again. She never once woke up for her dummy and only asked for it in the day a few times after that. I never tried the dummy fairy idea as whenever I broached the subject she flatly refused: "I don't want a present, I only want my dummy" - she is a stubborn little thing so I knew she meant it!
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