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Toddlers with dummies - your experiences please

(31 Posts)
Elephanty21 Mon 29-Aug-16 22:05:23

Hi ladies,

I have found myself in an unusual situation which I didn't foresee.

My 14 month old didn't use a dummy at all before around 8 months old and I was very lucky that he was able to fall asleep independently from an early age.

However at 8 months old, he began waking for the day at 4.30am - nothing we tried worked to extend his sleep, so tried giving him dummy at this time. It worked, and he would then sleep an extra couple of hours. I worried about him becoming addicted and needing it at other times, but he never did.

Over the past 3 weeks, his molars have started to come through and I have never seen him so distressed, his previous teeth didn't cause anything like this level of upset. Nothing has worked to soothe him including calpol, so we have resorted to the dummy to get us through a difficult patch, and thankfully it has worked a treat.

However now his teeth are through, and we cannot get him to sleep without the dummy anymore - he is sobbing for it at nap time and bedtime sleep and over an hour of trying to soothe him in other ways is just not working. I won't leave him to cry so have tried all the other tricks I have to no avail!

I am feeling as though I have failed because nothing I can do will soothe him and all he wants is the dummy. I feel so frustrated because a few weeks ago he easily fell asleep without it. Part of me feels we should just let him have it if it soothes him and helps him sleep, but another part of me really hates the fact that we have essentially started using it after a year old!

Has anyone else had a similar experience? For those who have used the dummy past 1 year old how did you wean off it and was it a nightmare? To clarify, he hands it back as soon as he is awake and I will never allow him to have it aside from for sleep. He has lots of words already and am not worried about it affecting his communication.

orangebird69 Mon 29-Aug-16 22:09:53

No experience here but honestly, pick your battles.... 14mo is still so tiny. If it gets your dc to sleep but isn't required throughout the day, why not?

Mummamayhem Mon 29-Aug-16 22:11:29

Don't worry about it. Use it if it helps. Make sure you don't let him 'talk through it' and limit it so far as you can but very few older children keep them, they serve a purpose then they go.

I found some bribery most effective with my 2 1/2 year old! And they do just use them less - ie chew or just hold in mouth instead of needing the sucking motion.

My current 2 1/2 year old will, I can forsee use it for longer because I'm less worried about it.

Believeitornot Mon 29-Aug-16 22:12:33

Our dd stopped using a dummy at just over 4.... By then we only had it at home for naps/sleeps. We never took it out.

Her speech was perfect, advanced even and her teeth are perfect now (they were a bit out of shape but went straight again).

We weren't sure how we were going to ditch the dummy but were saved the pain by her losing it down the toilet grin

Believeitornot Mon 29-Aug-16 22:13:11

When I saw we never took it out - I mean we never left the house with it!

WatchingFromTheWings Mon 29-Aug-16 22:16:50

My eldest gave up his dummy at 2. I was due a second baby and the night before I went in to have her, he gave up his dummies for the new baby which were promptly thrown away and replaced with brand new. We discussed it for a couple of weeks beforehand and he was more than happy to do that. He had 2 unsettled nights, then nothing.

When DD was 2.5 she gave hers up for Santa. 2 unsettled nights, then nothing.

Third child refused a dummy from the start but did suck his thumb. Still does it occasionally but at 5 he's almost stopped.

Nothing wrong with letting your child use a dummy if he still wants one. He's still little.

Oly5 Mon 29-Aug-16 22:17:55

My daughter is just over two and has loved her dummy til now. Then we packaged them all up for the dummy fairy to take away overnight. The lovely fairy left her a large toy.
She was thrilled.
Job done... Never even asks for the dummy now.
Wait til your little one is older

LittleGreyBear Mon 29-Aug-16 22:18:40

Hi, I have two positive experiences to share.

Ds2 is 2.5 and I only started giving him a dummy when he was 1 as I was exhausted from not sleeping. 6 days ago I couldn't find his dummy so I told him he had to sleep without it. He was fine and 6 days later hasn't asked for it once! I'm actually shocked it was so easy.

DS1 was about 3 when he told me one day he was ready to throw them in the bin. We'd read a book together about a girl who throws her dummies away and he obviously took it really seriously! He had a few nights of taking a while to settle but was fine.

I wouldn't worry and my opinion is that it's easier if they are a bit older when they give them up. I agree it's best to try and keep it for sleeping though. The main thing I was worried about was their teeth being affected but this hasn't been the case.

Good luck.

SheStoodInTheStorm Mon 29-Aug-16 22:21:43

Id be interested in that book if you can remember the title?

OP my DD sleeps so badly I just cannot end the funny just yet, she's 2 and 1/2. I'm thinking maybe trying at Christmas.

Acopyofacopy Mon 29-Aug-16 22:23:00

Dentist recommendation iirc is to get rid of the dummy by 3. Both of mine gave theirs to Santa, to give to smaller babies, the Christmas before they were 3 (about 3/4 months before 3rd birthday). No dramas.

We did phase it out, though: at first dummy had to stay at home, then it had to stay in bed.

Dcs are 10 and 13 now, with near perfect teeth.

Frontstep Mon 29-Aug-16 22:23:02

Both mine had dummies until well past age 3, and both just decided one day they didn't need them anymore. We never forced the issue, it just happened naturally. Why not let him, if it's comforting?

NickyEds Mon 29-Aug-16 22:23:54

I would just let him have the dummy. My 2.8 year old still has one for sleeping and I really don't see an issue with it tbh.

AnneElliott Mon 29-Aug-16 22:24:13

DS had his til he was nearly 5! No problems with talking and he gave it up himself after the dentist advised him to do so.

Your little one is so tiny, if they get comfort from it, then let them keep it.

Trinpy Mon 29-Aug-16 22:31:56

14 months is still very young and if it's only for sleep I think it's fine.

Ds had a dummy until 2 years old. He was very, very attached he'd to them so I wasn't in any rush to get rid. Then one evening right before bed, I realised that he'd been chewing them and they were all bitten through, so I explained to him, we threw them away together and it was fine. He asked for one for the first few nights but I reminded him they were broken and he was fine with it.

The only drawback is not being able to plug him back in to make him go back to sleep when he wakes up too early!

Bellyrub1980 Mon 29-Aug-16 22:37:15

I had a dummy till I was six! Only at night and I gave up because I decided it was babyish. I consider myself a fairly well rounded adult, have straight teeth with no need for a brace and no speech impediment. I don't have any weird obsession with sucking things either!

My daughter is nearly 2 and sucks a dummy in her cot. It comforts her and helps her sleep. I've no intention of weaning her off it any time soon. She's not interested when she's not trying to sleep.

Why make life more difficult?

Elephanty21 Tue 30-Aug-16 07:36:03

Thank you all so much for your replies. They really have helped. I know you are all right - I need to just give myself a break and let him have it if it helps him and stop wasting hours of my time trying to soothe him when this works perfectly well. It is reassuring to hear your stories of children just giving them up with little fuss.

I think I will keep trying to put him down without it as that is what we have done since he was born but no more battling for ages if he becomes distressed, If he doesn't settle within a few minutes I will just hand it over!

golfmonkey Tue 30-Aug-16 09:08:00

I agree it's worth continuing until he can talk and you can use the dummy fairy/father xmas etc to get rid. My dd1 has one at 21 months and is a real addict - asks for it all the time. She uses it for sleep and when we read books before bed, we just tell her no at other times. She also has to take it out when she is talking and if she wants to walk round to get a new book. I find it massively calms her down if she's having a tantrum. rule is, if the tantrum is about a dummy, she definitely doesn't get one. If the tantrum is about something else and I haven't managed to calm her down by talking/distracting and/or dd2 is crying, she sits in the middle of the floor with a dummy and I don't talk to her and she doesn't get to move/play with anything until she gives it back. If both kids are screaming I just get more and more stressed and angry. Dd2 is a dummy addict too but still young.
I have agonised again and again over whether I'm causing damage or giving in by using a dummy but in all honesty, it makes my life so much easier and bearable. It's better than thumb sucking as you can control it more. I plan to get rid of both dummies together....initially I thought when dd2 was about 12 months but in all honesty I think I might end up using it longer.

Jackiebrambles Tue 30-Aug-16 09:14:25

Goodness me let the little one have the dummy! No need for stress or angst.

My son had a dummy for naps/sleep or if he was ill or in pain until he was 3. He gave it up no problem and it hasn't affected his teeth, speech or anything.

Jackiebrambles Tue 30-Aug-16 09:16:33

Also my youngest has a dummy to (she's 14 months now). She LOVES it as well. But we only have it in the cot. When we are in her room she grabs them and puts them in her mouth but when I ask her to put them back she does.

When she's verbal I'll do the same as I did with my son. No speaking with it in and no playing - its for sleep times only.

RainDancer Tue 30-Aug-16 09:21:08

Honestly, don't sweat it. I was one of those prospective mothers who vowed no child of mine would have a dummy. Then I had a baby who simply would not sleep and I was desperate to try anything. Dummies saved my life! My DD kept her dummy until she was about 2.5 years old. She only had it for sleeps but boy she loved that dummy. I was dreading her giving it up. I read her books about the dummy fairy and agreed the dummy fairy would leave a gift for her if she left all her dummies outside the door one night. She asked for an apple tree but that's a whole other story...anyway, the dummy fairy left her the apple tree and she has never looked back. Never once asked for them and sleeps like a dream without them. Don't worry about it. He will give them up when he is ready. For now, let him enjoy them.

DollyBarton Tue 30-Aug-16 09:21:35

Don't worry. Try not to let him have it in the day and get it off him by age 3-4 at night. They can at least be reasoned with then so it's just one day of miserable 'I want my dodo' until they get the message.

cuntinghomicidalcardigan Tue 30-Aug-16 09:26:08

My 21 mo loves his dummy. He only has it in the house, and I make him sit down whenever he has it so he quickly gets bored and throws it out unless it's nap time. We are now working on them staying in bed. My dd asked to send hers to the dummy fairy at 2.5, we plan on doing the same with ds.

Rollonbedtime7pm Tue 30-Aug-16 19:07:32

My DD had a dummy, it went at 4 months then she had it back at 15 months cos she was just so shit at going to sleep!

Gave it to the dummy fairy at 2 1/2 at a time of her choosing - it was fine.

DS had his til he was nearly 2, again, getting rid was so much easier than I expected.

In terms of speech, neither of them ever shut up so hasn't caused any issues here! grin

GoodLuckTime Tue 30-Aug-16 19:15:01

In my opinion if it's a big battle and causes lots of distress to remove something from a young child,
They're not ready to let it go yet.

My DD had a dummy until last three. She loved it and similarly it was essential for falling asleep, going back to sleep and getting through teething.

During the toddler years she also used it for emotional regulation,
To calm her self after sleep.

We cut down to only for sleep, then only at bedtime before doing the dummy fairy just after three. No bother at all.

farfallarocks Tue 30-Aug-16 19:41:00

I love dummies! Dd loved hers from the start, she had colic and cmpi and it really calmed her. Ds was a dummy refuser and sucked my little finger for months! In desperation I tried a dummy again at 7 months and he took it at last. I think the dummy is a wonderful self settling tool for children who don't find their fingers and we have had hours of extra sleep because of them. We only use it for sleep or extreme distress. We took dd dummy away at 2.8 months with a visit from the dummy fairy, no drama at all and dentist said much better than thumb sucking you just have to remove by age 3. I really would
Not worry about it, keep it just for sleep and wait until she can understand what is happening before taking it away.

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