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Good people of Mumsnet. PLEASE help me introduce a comforter and ditch the dummy!!

(21 Posts)
Penguin13 Sat 23-May-15 12:15:44

I have received nothing but good advice and support on MN in the past and am hoping you can help me once again!

We use a dummy with DD, just over 5 mo, to settle her for naps and bedtime and have done for a few months. I try not to use it apart from for sleep with the exception being in the car as it's not always possible to stop immediately and as a new driver screaming in the back can be very distracting! Occasionally we will use in the pram too but try to restrict this to when she needs to nap in the pram.

Up till now dummy has worked well and DD usually settles fairly easily for naps and at night being put down awake but with the dummy. HOWEVER, we are stuck in the old trap of having to frequently replace the dummy. We have tried a sleepytot but she just pulls the attached dummy out of her mouth accidentally and can't seem to replace it herself just yet anyhow. I have no evidence to back this up but instinctively feel that DD would sleep more soundly and be able to resettle better if we got rid of the dummy. I would also like to get rid now before it becomes even more difficult. Just to be clear I am under no illusion that DD will magically sleep through once dummy is gone - I am ebf on demand and usually feed twice a night though with teething currently this can be more frequent.

I do want this to be as gentle as possible and ideally want to introduce a comforter whilst she still uses the dummy so that I am still leaving her with an aid to sleep rather than removing her sole comfort overnight.

Since I already had a Sleepytot I have tried to start using this as a comforter (minus the attached dummies - she still has one dummy in) The problem I have is that DD seems to be stimulated rather than calmed by the Sleepytot. She waves it about vigorously and rubs her face on it. Not in itself necessarily a problem but in doing so she knocks out her dummy and cries for it to be reinserted.

So : any ideas? Should I try a different comforter which may stimulate her less?Any other things you think I should try? I am thinking when we come to removing the dummy I will start with naps but will eventually have to go cold turkey. Have tried the Pantley gentle removal method from NCSS and it doesn't seem to work for DD. It's like I'm teasing her with it.

As an aside should mention that I am aware of the slightly increased SIDS risk when removing a dummy from a baby who previously had one but am comfortable with this very slight risk. I am looking less for advice as to whether or not I should remove and more for practical suggestions on how I can achieve this without distressing DD or me! too much.

Penguin13 Sat 23-May-15 17:33:04

Oh dear. Perhaps this means there is no hope for us! Or maybe my post was just so wordy no-one could be bothered to read to the end grin

Penguin13 Sun 24-May-15 09:09:46

Anyone? she whispered somewhat desperately

FATEdestiny Sun 24-May-15 09:22:14

I have read your thread several times since it was posted Saturday lunchtime, and when it was bumped. I never leave a thread on the sleep board unanswered but have nothing to help you with in regards to your post.

IMHO the dummy is worth it's weight in gold.

The benefit it gives in the long term to aid sleep and reduce upset in a baby for a long time to come far, far outweighs the hassle of having to re-insert dummy in the early months. It is a stage that is soon outgrown.

I would not consider removing my baby's source of comfort like this. Especially at such a young age.

In my experience of a child with a comforter, he chose and attached to his own and it was not 'introduced' by me. He had a dummy as well as his Ted.

trixymalixy Sun 24-May-15 09:29:34

I would leave it until she's older to get rid of the dummy.

blacktreaclecat Sun 24-May-15 09:34:04

She'll learn to replace it herself soon and then it'll help sleep.
We ditched the dummies at 2.5- took them to Santa in exchange for a Thomas present and that was it, he mentioned them twice then never again.

blacktreaclecat Sun 24-May-15 09:34:39

To add- he has a bear and a muslin in bed still as comfort objects

Penguin13 Sun 24-May-15 13:53:45

Thanks everyone for your replies. Despite what I said in my OP it actually is useful to know that you wouldn't consider ditching the dummy at this stage.

I guess if I am completely honest I have struggled against using a dummy to an extent from the beginning even though it worked well for us and for DD for quite a while. I keep thinking that people will think i am a bad parent for using them. I have been struggling with anxiety and whilst I am doing an online CBT course to help with this it is slow making progress. I keep panicking about helping DD to give up dummies in the future. I think I was partly hoping that by taking away the dummies now I would remove one of the sources of my anxiety as well, of course, as helping us both sleep better!

Not the answer I was maybe hoping for but helpful nonetheless. Hopefully it won't be tooooooooo long until she can reinsert the dummy for herself!!!

cogitosum Sun 24-May-15 13:59:23

Slightly off tangent but if you're worried about dummies this may be helpful.

Ds 22m has a dummy for sleep and sometimes if upset in car. He has sleepytot and can now replace easily (from about 7-8 months). My main concern was effect on teeth.

We were at the dentist last week and he said he wishes his chikdren had dummies as the affects are pretty temporary assuming it's gone before adult teeth come through. However his son sucks his thumb at 9 which effects his teeth much more.

cogitosum Sun 24-May-15 13:59:43

And you can never remove a thumb!

Penguin13 Sun 24-May-15 14:18:49

Good point Cogito although I imagine it's not unheard of for kids to switch to a thumb once the dummy us taken away.

I think I just need to toughen up and not worry so much about other people's opinion. The latest thing which has really stuck in my mind wasn't even a direct criticism, it was just one of those "oh no I'm not really a fan of dummies" comments, airily delivered but which somehow managed to make me feel about 3 inches tall and like I need to make excuses somehow for using one.

Penguin13 Sun 24-May-15 14:19:15

is obviously!

WindMeUpAndLetMeGo Sun 24-May-15 15:06:17

Keep the dummy for now, it's helping not hurting. My DS1 had his until he was nearly 2 and it wasn't a struggle, he gave them to Santa one year, DS2 sucked his thumb for a couple years but it didn't last (he didn't like dummies), and DS3 did neither.

Don't let other people's judgements interfere with something that works for you.

Penguin13 Sun 24-May-15 15:44:05

Bit of a change from the original intention of this thread but aside from using the sleepytot, any tips as to how to teach DD to find and reinsert dummy for herself ASAP?

Those whose DCs manage to reinsert for themselves, do you feel like they sleep soundly?

WindMeUpAndLetMeGo Sun 24-May-15 16:27:37

I cant remember what age he was was when he managed it himself, but he slept soundly with a little whinge sometimes while he was doing it.

trixymalixy Sun 24-May-15 19:01:53

Scatter them like petals over the cot grin

Increases the odds of them finding one in the night!

trixymalixy Sun 24-May-15 19:03:27

Getting my two to give up the dummy was way easier than I thought it would be btw.

My mum always regretted taking my sister's dummy away as she then started thumb sucking.

ODog Sun 24-May-15 21:54:31

My DS is almost a year. He can reinsert a dummy but sometimes he still cries out for me just because he wants me. Some babies sleep well on their own and others need more reassurance. He also has a Muslin as a comforter but this came about organically. I don't think you can introduce a comforter in my very limited experience. They either find something or not.

Penguin13 Sun 24-May-15 22:27:35

I completely appreciate that babies still need attention overnight and I guess even those who are lucky enough to have 'good' sleepers will have periods of greater wakefulness such as illness or teething. I BF during the night and don't expect this to stop any time soon. I was hoping to be able to stop the wakings that come from when DD has fallen asleep sucking but wakes between sleep cycles to find the dummy missing though. I had hoped that being able to reinsert the dummy would help DD resettle without necessarily needing my intervention every time but maybe I am operating under an illusion!

ChocolateIsMySleep Tue 26-May-15 10:58:21

Hi, I'm another vote for "don't ditch the dummy!"

I was very much the same as you with PFB and got rid of her dummies at 6 months using Pantley method - this was partly because I was hoping her sleep would improve as she wouldn't be waking for the dummy and partly the same reasons as you - I really struggled with the whole dummy concept.

The result was that she wouldn't go to sleep without me rubbing her back/rocking her and she went from a bad sleeper to a dreadful one. She only really began to improve from about 2 years old and now sleeps no worse that the average 3 year old.

DD2 was a very unsettled baby and had a dummy from 4 weeks. Partly because she was windy and uncomfortable and partly because I didn't have as much time and free hands as I did with DD1, she also had it during the day. From about 3 months old she would move her head to try and get it back in her mouth and she could grab it from 4 months and try and get it back in. I would say it was around 6 - 7 months that she started to really get the hang of it. Having the dummy in the daytime seemed to make a big difference to her looking for it at night and being able to reinsert so that would be my advice - I get why you might want to keep it for sleeps only but maybe an hour or so late afternoon when you're at home just let her play with it and practice while she is awake.

I night-weaned at 12 months and she now usually sleeps till 5 am when she has a feed and goes back to sleep. She has a sleepy tot in bed and a dummy clip for in the car. She only really has the dummy in the day now if we're in the car (she's not a good traveller) or if she's really tired and grumpy.

In short, its been a life-saver and I wish I'd kept DD1's for a lot longer!

FATEdestiny Tue 26-May-15 12:08:28

The fact that new parents are made to think dummies are evil is a travesty.

So many sleep problems would be solved if parents weren't made to feel so bad about dummies.

Too many parents leave it too late to introduce a dummy and have established poor sleep habits instead of just giving a dummy and allowing baby to sleep independently.

Or they are frightened of getting rid and try to remove the dummy far too soon (removing the dummy when child is ready is literally zero hassle).

Or (this is the one that makes me most cross) parents don't let baby have a dummy and persevere with attachment method sleep triggers like breastfeeding to sleep, rocking, cuddling. Then some point later they have had enough of the attachment methods and use distressing sleep training methods to teach a baby to sleep without parental help. A dummy would have done that with zero distress to baby and parents, from birth, if said parents hadn't been so precious about giving your baby one in the first place.

Sorry, rant over. I just wish dummies were not evilised in the way they are.

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