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Advice re dummy and sleep

(17 Posts)
SleepyAlpaca Fri 08-May-15 12:25:30

My 6 month old DS has had a dummy since about 4 weeks. He still doesn't sleep that well, but if we try to get him to sleep without a dummy he will scream. If he has it in he will just go down in the cot awake and get himself to sleep. The problem now is that if his dummy falls out he screams, and just now when putting him down for his nap it's fallen out (or he's actually managed to take it out himself without knowing what he's doing) 5 or 6 times in 7 minutes. Do I just go cold turkey for 72 hours and hope he forgets about it and deal with the screaming or do I keep getting up to put it in (also over night for 3 or 4 times)? Should i think about putting mittens on to stop him taking it out?

Crazybaby1 Fri 08-May-15 16:09:22

I have mittens on my dd...still pulls it out!!! I let her cry a bit a couple of nights ago and she stopped after 10 mins... She kept it in much better the next two nights and I thought I'd won!!!! But now she's crying even more, and waking up more, I think she's anxious Incase its not there?!! But deffo had the adverse effect. It was better when I let her cry for two minutes then popped it bk in over and over. She got sick of having to wait for me to come and Pop it back, so she kept it in on the 2nd or 3rd time....until she woke again then it started all over again!!! Wouldn't reccomend cio tho.

FATEdestiny Fri 08-May-15 19:29:48

Gosh, I would not consider dropping the dummy for a long time yet - your baby needs its comfort so removing it strikes me as cruel.

There is always a phase of repeatedly needing to reinsert dummy. But it is just that, a phase that you'll get through.

Once out the other side of this phase, I find the absolute benefit of being able to instantly sooth and calm an upset baby far out-weights any hassle.

My DD went through the pulling dummy out phase at 4 months when she discovered how her hands worked. We temporarily bought the swaddle back for the few weeks that the phase lasted. She soon stopped rubbing at her face and pulling the dummy out.

It won't be long before your DS will be able to put his own dummy back in. Just make it easy for him to find in the night. Some ways people do this are:

- Put four or five dummies scattered around the cot.
- Get a dummy saver toy/comforter
- Sew a dummy ribbon (with press stud at end) to the chest of all sleeping bags (or PJs if you don't use sleeping bags)

SleepyAlpaca Fri 08-May-15 19:38:55

Thanks- useful advice. Will keep going with the recurrent re-insertion trips! Fate, at what age would you consider taking it away?

bobajob Fri 08-May-15 19:40:40

I got DS2 a sleepy tot bunny - he could find a dummy and put it back in at about 8 months.

tryingtocatchthewind Fri 08-May-15 19:50:18

Was just about to mention the same thing as pp, sleepy tot bunny works well when they get a little older

FATEdestiny Fri 08-May-15 21:30:30

Fate, at what age would you consider taking it away?

There is research to show that children cannot self-settle as an adult would (tired, lie down, close eyes, sleep) until pre-school age and that expecting child to self sooth sooner than that is detrimental to their brain development. So from a psychology point of view, this would suggest somewhere around aged 4 or 5. All children are different and some will be ready at aged 3 years. The point is that when a child is ready, then taking the dummy away is not distressing or any hassle at all.

Mine have been around 4 years old and done with a simple one week sticker chart. Sat going through the Argos catalogue and picked a special £20 present if the sticker chart was filled. Then just waited until the child told me they were ready to start the sticker chart and get their toy (in all cases this was the same night as choosing the toy in the catalogue, but it was never insisted upon by me).

I should add the caveat that your dentist would recommend dummys are gone by 12 months and so this forms official NHS advise. B 12 months I aim that the dummy is only used at sleep time and never leaves the cot. By then the child is usually sleeping through and so the dummy is literally only needed for ten minutes to aid first getting to sleep. Which personally I don't think is going to do terrible damage to the teeth (and hasn't in my older children) and has no imapck on speech (another worry about dummies). I suppose it would be different if the dummy was in the childs mouth most of the time by 12 months old.

LillyBugg Fri 08-May-15 21:34:52

My DS is just eight months and learnt to put his own dummy in a week ago. I've had my first two nights of sleeping through ever. He has a LOT of dummies in his cot since I figured out this was the key to sleep. Stick at it! I do have the problem of them all falling out though so I'm off to google sleepy tot bunny.

waves at Fate smile

FATEdestiny Fri 08-May-15 21:37:40

waves back smile

bobajob Fri 08-May-15 21:57:04

That Sarah Ockwell Smith article is a load of crap though.

FATEdestiny Fri 08-May-15 22:02:49

It is a load of crap. I certainly do not buy into that Sarah woman's way of thinking. Not at all.

The science in her article, whilst true, is twisted ridiculously to suit her book. The whole article could be summarised as "all babies should have a dummy from birth to school age" - but of course that wouldn't sell many books!

Flingmoo Fri 08-May-15 22:04:11

I find the absolute benefit of being able to instantly sooth and calm an upset baby far out-weights any hassle. <--- I agree with this. We had the exact same concerns as you OP when ours was 6 months but I strongly believe that the dummy is so helpful after you get past that hurdle. When our 11 month old baby wakes up with a bad dream or a bit of teething pain we can give him some teething gel or a few sips of water and the pop the dummy back in and he goes back to sleep nicely 90% of the time without any further hassle. But most nights these days he sleeps all the way through anwyay, he must either sleep without it in after a while or puts it back in himself. I'm pro dummy smile I don't give it to him in the day time and we'll ditch it at night once he's ready.

FATEdestiny Fri 08-May-15 22:19:13

I hate the way dummies are demonised.

New Mums have a hard enough time as it is.

I read about so many distressed and exhausted parents. Some often say things like 'I tried a dummy but baby wouldn't have it'. I just wish I could get them to understand. Preserver, preserver, preserver until that baby accepts the dummy. Don't give up. It really, really will save so much sleep deprivation and stress. Not just through the baby months, but for a long time to come.

SleepyAlpaca Fri 08-May-15 22:50:52

Thank you for making me feel better. He gave up the dummy in the day quite easily; he's at the age that he's easily distracted by a toy or a slice of cucumber! I had worried about over night as people kept telling me to get rid of it completely but it's miserable for all of us without it. I agree ten minutes at night is not going to make any difference to his teeth. Looking forward to him sleeping through the night.... And I'll try to get hold of one of those rabbit holders!

FATEdestiny Fri 08-May-15 22:59:40

"people kept telling me to get rid of it completely"

Who are these people?! they deserve a slap! Ha! grin

I bet they either:
(a) don't have children
(b) had children so long ago that they've forgotten the worst of it
(c) are Holier Than Thou attachment parents who were their babies comfort at all times
(d) gave up the dummy far too soon and just dealt with a tearful, whiny baby every day instead. So in a manner of 'sleep deprivation is character building', they think everyone should have to go through the same.

Ignore them!

SleepyAlpaca Sat 09-May-15 12:59:59


Chocolateteabag Sun 10-May-15 21:33:59

Ds1 had his dummy til he was 3.5 - you can disinfect and renew dummies - can't do that with a thumb or "special" toy quite as easily.
We did wean him to night time only from around 3. By 3.5 he was ready to let it go (posted to the dummy fairy in return for a scooter)
Ds2 (16 mo) is a dummy refuser - oh god how I wish I'd tried harder when he was small as we could really do with him having one now!!!

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