Self settling 3 wo dummy(7 Posts)
My ds is 3 weeks old - till yesterday I was rocking him to sleep but I suffer a bad back and it's a struggle. He is bottle fed so feeding to sleep doesn't work because he needs burping and is then wide awake. I'm keen for him to learn to self soothe as fast as he is able without crying; last night we were able to PUt him down in a basket sucking his dummy and he went off to sleep- he then spat it out when fast asleep. Does using a dummy count as self soothing or is this a rod for my own back? Should he settle without this? My dd was always good at putting herself to sleep so no experience.
It's not a rod for your own back at all leave him with it. It doesn't matter if it's called self settling or dummy settling the fact is the settled without you rocking him to sleep so call it whatever you want.
Dummies are great, definitely no rod for your own back.
I would call it independent settling, as opposed to self settling.
True self settling is not possible until the child is of pre-school age because research has shown a child does not have the emotional brain capacity to sleep as an adult would (tired, lie down, close eyes, sleep - both when going to sleep and also during the night for slight wake ups).
Until then babies need something to offer then comfort and security to help then sleep. Many parents become this comfort (BF to sleep, rocking, cuddling, carrying, holding, patting, or indeed just their presence). The joy of a dummy is that baby can settle without the involvement of an adult - they settle independently.
Effective use of comforter toys also allows for independent settling. Or thumb/finger sucking. Or self-stroking, self-tickling or hair twiddling. Most of these come with an older baby though.
A sight aside would be that within the first 4 months of babies life, many babies can easily fall asleep in this newborn phase because basically they are just programmed to feed and sleep at this age. But as baby gets older, sleep is less easy to come by and dummies come into their own.
At some point you will need to get rid of the dummies. But handled well at a time when the child is emotionally ready for this, I have never had any difficulty getting my three children to get rid of their dummies.
Thanks fate that is helpful. At what age did you remove dummies with your children?
Around 3-4 years old. Responsible use of dummies is needed though, so that the dependency (and tooth damage) is significantly lessened. For example:
- Up to 12 month dummy use is never restricted
- From 12 months old dummy is for sleep only, not when awake
- From about 18 months dummy is only allowed in the cot
- From about 2y the dummy is removed from the cot about 10 minutes after going to sleep, so that it is not there upon waking.
Then from about 2y old we start a negative association offensive. So constant talk about dummies being babyish, that child is too big for a dummy now, they child doesn't really need a dummy. etc etc
Then introduce the idea of a special toy child can have if they do 2 weeks without a dummy. No pressure to get rid of the dummies. Just that they can have this special thing if they choose to get rid of the dummies.
In the case of all three of my eldest children (youngest is 10 months, so still has free use of a dummy) they have been the ones to tell me they were ready to earn their special toy by not having the dummy. It would involve no pressure from me. Any bedtime whining is met with 'you can have a dummy if you want, no toy though' - so the while process was on the child's terms and under the child's control.
In all 3 cases dummies have gone without any difficulty or tears whatsoever. But the key factor in this is age. I have not rushed to get rid of the dummy completely. Instead focused on gradually restricting it.
Thanks so much for this post- really helpful. He seems happy to settle with it for now so we are happy to stick with it while he is so tiny and review at a later date!
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