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How to encourage DD 3.3 to give up her beloved dummy?

(54 Posts)
yeeyeelovesraaraa Thu 01-Feb-18 22:43:21

DD (3.3) is very attached to her dummy & it gives her a great amount of comfort when she is tired or upset.

She is usually fine without it whilst at preschool / childminders / out doing activities however the moment we get home she is desperate to have it & we feel its become a problem.

She wants to have it all the time but we can't understand what she is saying when its in & are also concerned about the dental effects of her using it too much.

So we started leaving it in her room in the morning - which worked ok for a time though we discovered she'd been hiding them around the house for a sneaky suck!, but lately she's becoming more & more upset at leaving it or not being able to have it, & spends a lot of time crying / wailing for it.

She's dropping her nap so is often tired which isn't helping. And at times, if she is especially tired or hurt, we do let her have it for a short while for comfort, but then she (understandably) gets very upset when we say its time to put it away. No doubt the mixed messages aren't helping there.

We think it probably needs to go and have been discussing the idea of the dummy fairy with her but she's really not keen & says she doesn't want to give them up - even the suggestion she might get a present won't persuade her.

Would you just take them away in these circumstances & deal with the inevitable upset? Or wait for her to decide she doesn't need them anymore on her own? Ideally I'd like her to be willing to part with them but don't want this dummy misery to continue for another 6/12 months!

Any suggestions on how we can encourage her to give them up much appreciated!

Jasmine1111 Fri 02-Feb-18 11:58:06

My boys were both around 2.5 when they gave theirs up. Both absolutely loved their dummies but it was actually painless.

I started with a week of being v strict and them only having it in bed and at no other time. Used a particular teddy instead to comfort when they were upset.

Both chose a toy which they wanted - one was a rocket and the other was Lambie from Doc mcStuffins! And then we just took them away. The build up was the important part and I think I was more worried than I should have been - they went from never having slept without once from a day old to just sleeping without it!

Good luck!

AmethystRaven Fri 02-Feb-18 12:11:11

I was in the same position but DD lost hers in the house! First night she cried, second night she whinged, then she forgot it. When she found it wherever she'd stashed it she wasn't interested anymore. It wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting and I'm glad I had my hand forced. She might surprise you.

Tobebythesea Sat 03-Feb-18 14:35:09

Supernanny talks about the dummy fairy. Maybe worth a look/try?

Needsomezzzz Sat 03-Feb-18 14:40:26

We gradually cut it down to bedtime only. Then Easter Bunny came and swapped the dummy for an Easter egg (Thomas the Tank engine) and the bunny left a note explaining that the dummy was needed by the new babies being born and as a thank you left the egg.
We had 1/2 nights of struggling to settle and then was fine.
Our eldest we 'accidently' left it at my in-laws 2 hours away.

Lj8893 Sat 03-Feb-18 14:45:24

We had the same problem with our dd at the same age.

She was obsessed with mermaids at the time so SIL rang DH pretending to be a mermaid and told DD she wanted her dummy's for the baby mermaids and she would send her a mermaid tail in return.

3 days later courtesy of eBay a mermaid tail came in the post and off the dummy's went!

alletik Sat 03-Feb-18 15:00:24

My DD loves her dummy. To get rid we did two things....

1) every time she put the dummy in her mouth, we put her to bed.... she'd protest, we'd reply "but dummies are for sleeping, so if you want your dummy, you need to go to bed". She very quickly got the message and would spit it out straight away.

2) then to finally get rid, we found the thing she wanted to do more... dancing! She used to say dancing, and we'd say "when you're a big girl you can go, but you're not a big girl yet because you have a dummy." After a few weeks, she got the message, and gave us her dummy, declaring she was now a big girl and could go dancing. Once we had taken them away, she did ask once for her dummy, I said yes, but she'd need to hand back her ballet shoes. She had a think, and decided she'd stick with the ballet instead!

All very painless and no tears. She gave up around 3 1/2.

evilgiraffe Sat 03-Feb-18 16:07:05

Interested to see ideas. DD1 is a thumbsucker, aged three and a half. We've insisted with her that she only sucks her thumb in bed for the last several months, which she's pretty good at, but we are a bit at a loss as to how to get her to stop completely. It's not as if we can take her thumb away!

DD2, on the other hand, is 22 months, has had dummies on her person at all times since she was about four months old. In the last week we've stopped giving her dummies during the day and she hasn't really noticed. Tried it at bedtime too and she hasn't asked for a dummy, so it looks like we'll be chucking them all out soon (when we're sure it's stuck!). It was much quicker and easier than we were anticipating.

AndWhat Sat 03-Feb-18 16:59:19

We just removed it one day as it was becoming more of an issue than for comfort.
I was braced for hours (days) of tantrums and upset. However I got the shock of my life when we had 5 mins crying and then forgotten about.
Distraction was useful when he started looking for one

waterrat Sat 03-Feb-18 17:21:27

Well im a total softie and for a child dropping nap etc I would probably just ket them have it whrn tired for another few months.

Or the other path is cut down by being v strict on only allowed at bedtime

But my 3.6 yr old still has hers for when im weak! I think if it's their little comfort let them have it...

TittyGolightly Sat 03-Feb-18 17:24:46

DD1 is a thumbsucker, aged three and a half. We've insisted with her that she only sucks her thumb in bed for the last several months, which she's pretty good at, but we are a bit at a loss as to how to get her to stop completely. It's not as if we can take her thumb away!

DD is 7 and a thumbsucker from birth. It’s gradually tailed off, and now she has 2 massive front teeth through it’s become very awkward for her to suck her thumb, so it’s becoming less and less frequent.

Crumbs1 Sat 03-Feb-18 17:35:07

So much easier to get rid of dummies than stop,thumb sucking.
A dummy you can just go cold turkey. Stick it in the bin and say it’s gone, sorry I can’t find it. No point trying to ask a tiny one to give them up, it’s down to the parent.
Thumbs are so much harder. One of ours still does if stressed, unwell or very tired. Her thumb is deformed with one being bigger than the other. It was just something we could never stop.

TryAgainAndAgain Sat 03-Feb-18 17:56:49

I think trying to gradually wean them off is just prolonging the upset. I'd just throw them all away.

Only one of my DC used a dummy and I was stunned at how quickly they got used to not having it. I was prepared for lots of tears but apart from asking for it a few times my DD didn't seem that bothered.

I also had a compulsive thumb sucker and was worried he would grow up to adulthood still sucking his thumb. Luckily the dentist gave him a 'magic' ring to wear on his thumb and he stopped sucking his thumb immediately. He wore the ring for a couple of days but never sucked his thumb again. It couldn't have been easier.

I also stopped breastfeeding them all using a cold turkey technique and was amazed at how quickly they got used to it.

DollyLlama Sat 03-Feb-18 18:07:14

I moved dummies to bedtime only for a month or so and it was never allowed to leave her room. Then I did the dummy fairy idea and had a special bag from amazon with her name on it that we hung on the front door every night. We gave mummy fairy one dummy each night for three nights (and others were quietly thrown away) and every morning my DD would check and there would be a coin. On the third morning there was her requested present.

It was actually surprisingly painless as we worked up to it and any requests for the dummy was met with a reminder that she very kindly gave them to the babies and how lovely that was of her.

I really would give the dummy fairy another whirl, but stick to your guns. Mixed messages are the worst thing you can do.

Good luck!

LittleCandle Sat 03-Feb-18 18:22:51

DGD was a nightmare with her dummies, but DD finally only gave one to her a night (and spent days hunting around all the little hideyholes they were stashed in) and then just got rid of them. There was some protest initially, then that was it. She was much younger, though, under 2. I think you have to be strong or else bribe her with something she wants. We used to get lots of people coming into Build A Bear to swap the dummy for a new teddy - might be an idea?

matt1978 Sat 03-Feb-18 20:38:29

My DD was 3.5 when we got rid of hers. I wanted to ditch it earlier but her brother came along and I thought both upheavals at the same time would be too much for her. But it got to the stage when she had them attached to her on a chain thing and could just pop it in whenever lol!
Funnily enough though she is now 8 and told me she found and old one in a drawer and couldnt help herself having a little suck haha!
So we spent a few weeks talking about the dummy fairy and how they needed to come on (set date) and take the dummies so they could give them to other kids. And now she was a big girl etc etc etc.
Leading up to the event, i went to the pound shop and found a little wooden box which she decorated for putting the dummies in and discussion of D DAY increased as it came closer. The idea was that the dummy fairy would take the dummies but leave treats in their place.
At poundland I found a load of fairly things and some fairy paper. I wrote a letter on the fairy paper thanking her for the dummies.,
On the final night she put the dummies in the box and put them in the mailbox to exchange from the fairy. The first night she did cry a little but nothing like i had prepared myself for at all. The next morning she found the letter and some (cheapo) gifts in the mailbox for her.
She cried a tiny bit night 2 then that was it.
Honestly I was surprised as had expected weeks of drama and hysteria. Perhaps it was the long preparation etc.
Good luck! \
My son wouldnt take a dummy (i did try!) but he still sucks his thumb at 5 which is almost worse as how do you stop that!

Phineyj Sat 03-Feb-18 22:03:03

We were getting desperate and thought we'd never get DD to get rid of hers (she bonded with it/them like some kids bond with a particular cuddly toy). Finally, we managed to link it to her starting Reception and she gave it up just like that, with no fuss at all because she was now a 'big girl'.

It's funny, it seems awful at the time and then...poof...all over.

Friends did have luck with the Dummy Fairy book you can get on Amazon, but DD loved the book but still saw no reason to do what it suggested!

matt1978 Sun 04-Feb-18 05:11:30

I forgot to add that for a while prior to this we only allowed the dummy at bed time (before she had it always attached to her !)
I think a lot of people here are saying they expected it to be harder than it was and I certainly did! Good luck

mmarmalade Sun 04-Feb-18 05:58:44

DS1 (21months) is hugely attached to his dummy and has wanted it all day since DS2 was born 6 weeks ago. On Friday the dentist told us he needs to give up before he's 2 as his teeth are growing forwards around it. We decided to strictly impose a rule that he could only have it for sleeping - yesterday was hard work and full of tantrums but to my amazement he didn't ask for it at bedtime and has slept through! I'm not assuming this is over but hopefully it won't be as traumatic as I was expecting. Good luck!

mumgointhroughtorture Sun 04-Feb-18 06:02:27

I work in Argos and the other morning a Mum come in with her little girl and told the assistant on the till that the little girl was here to buy a toy she really wants because Argos takes dummy's in payment for toys . So they ordered her toy and the little girl handed over her dummy to the lady on the till . It was so cute ! I don't know if that worked lol .

gracielooloo Sun 04-Feb-18 11:09:19

DD(now 9) was exactly like this. She used to stash them around the house like an alcoholic.
We removed them all on her 3rd birthday and were fully prepared for massive meltdowns, amazingly she really didn’t bother.
I think the thought of removing them for us was worse than the reality.
She never became a thumb sucker either.

TheSmallClangerWhistlesAgain Sun 04-Feb-18 11:17:31

My friend who used to be a nanny recommends the quick and brutal approach. Get rid of all the dummies, wrap them up and shove them deep in the dustbin if you think it's necessary. Keep saying that there aren't any, they've all gone, and be smiley and upbeat. Make sure you've got some fun things to do with the children as a distraction.

She says that all of the children got used to the fact very quickly and moved on.

(She does stress that all the childrens' parents asked for her help in getting rid of the dummies.)

MsHarry Sun 04-Feb-18 12:40:55

Easier if done before 3 but our DDs were around 2.5/3 and we started to when them off it so only in the house, then only in the bedroom, then only in bed and naps. Finally said the fairy was coming and needed them for new babies so they left them out and in the morning a post office set was in their place. All worked well, no issues. Good luck.

ilovekitkats Sun 04-Feb-18 14:15:38

I used the Dummy Fairy to get rid of DD's dummies when she was around 3.5. She woke up one morning to find a beautiful dress hanging up in her bedroom, but for the dress to stay, all the dummies had to go, so we went around the house and collected them all and put them into a bag and the next morning the Dummy Fairy had taken them all away.

DD never asked for one again, although she did go back to using her comfort blanket that she hadn't used for a while.

SpiritedFlame Sun 04-Feb-18 19:41:58

I have just done this with 2.5 year old.

I explained initially that I felt he was a very grown up boy now and that perhaps he would like to donate to younger children who might still need them...he was sort of taken with this idea so I ran with it an introduced the dummy fairy who would collect them and take them to those in need.

It was actually met with very little resistance which I was incredibly surprised by as he had been very attached to his dummy, especially for bedtime and naps.
The first night did take an extra hour to get to sleep but with a few gentle reminders that he no longer had a dummy, he has accepted this and within 3 nights it was only very briefly mentioned by him and then met with a brief "you don't have one" and again, it was accepted.

It's been 2 weeks and in the last week the only time I have heard him requesting one was today when he was miserable but he settled for a cuddle and the dummy was soon forgotten.

Can't believe how mostly pain free it has been, minus a 20 minute ear-splitting car journey where I'm glad I didn't have the dummy with me because it would have been too easy!

Good luck

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