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2.5 year old giving up dummy - have I ruined bedtime for evermore?

(11 Posts)
blackcherries Sat 27-May-17 21:24:17

My 2.5 year old has had a dummy since 1 month old. He's become more and more attached to it recently even though he only has it during sleeps (although that's extended to 'in the bath' 'around bedtime' etc). We have been putting off taking it away from him for about 6 months but took an opportunity a couple of days ago as it had a split in it so we pointed it out to DS and threw it in the bin etc.

He's been surprisingly unbothered by it (!! unbelievable) not really asking for it but he used to go to bed very nicely for nap and night time. Even though he would lie awake he'd be peaceful. Now he's up running around his cot for hours - until 10.30pm the first night and not much better the other nights - chatting and singing and just generally being mad. The first night was interspersed with crying as if he couldn't understand why he was awake or felt different I suppose but that's let up a bit.

I feel like he no longer has the 'cue' to go to calm down and go to sleep and must have been using a lot of energy to suck the dummy which is now being used on jumping around and gabbing away. I'm slightly dreading bedtimes regressing as we are exhausted by the end of the day but now we're having to go in several times to calm him down.

Has anyone else had this? Anyone relented and given the dummy back? (Really don't want to but if my evenings are ruined longterm I will have a breakdown). I know it's coincided with hot bright summer evenings but it's such a difference....

FATEdestiny Sat 27-May-17 21:59:18

2.5 is young to sleep without any comfort. I'd give it back.

There's research showing that children need comfort to get to sleep until about school age. So his difficulty getting to sleep is more about his brain physiology than anythig else, he can't help it.

It's fine to take dummy away from children who have established alternate comfort (toy, blankie, ritualistic soothing movement), or if you are happy to give physical comfort (sitting by bed, bringing into your room). But otherwise, the only way to do it is to leave baby to cry until they give up and accept no comfort is coming (if that's your thing).

We removed dummies around 4 years old and it was a simple, easy process with no hassle or change to sleep.

I would restrict the dummy to only being available in the cot though. Ours are in-cot only from 12 months old.

It's great being able to say: "Shall we go and find your dummy for sleep time?", will get my toddler running upstairs to go to sleep. No nap time battles, she's so grateful to be able to have her dummy and the comfort it brings.

blackcherries Sat 27-May-17 22:09:44

he has a soft toy he takes everywhere and does bite/suck on its nose, as well as a blanket thing. I'm worried about dummy interfering with teeth and speech development - he does have a bit of a lisp (like many toddlers?). But yes, I miss being able to say 'let's get your dummy'....

I'm not exactly letting him cry - if he's crying, I'll go in - more just letting him wear himself out. He's always taken ages to go to sleep, but now he's more active during this time.

FATEdestiny Sat 27-May-17 22:22:04

Dummies affect speech development when a child has a dummy in their mouth whilst talking. Or instead of talking.

Don't put yourself in that (chavy) bracket of giving your child a dummy all the time and you solve it. You wouldn't expect child to be talking at bedtime or nap time, so as long as that's the only place for dummy I can't see an issue.

Dental development - yes, this is definitely a thing. Your call really. I know my toddler has her dummy only for going to sleep. Once asleep it drops out. It takes her 5-10 minutes to fall asleep. So 10-20 minures or so per day (naptime and bedtime) isnt much.

I guess it is your personal view in weighing up the extent of dental development against the physiological need for the comfort.

I have three older children, two with adult teeth now, who have no dental issues whatsoever. They had sleep-time only dummies until preschool age. But it's a very personal decision to make based on how much your child does (or doesn't) need dummy for comfort and the payoff you are (or aren't) willing to make for the sake of that.

Zebrasinpyjamas Sat 27-May-17 22:24:02

Ds loves his. At 24 months he managed two weeks without it (he kept biting through them so we didn't have any to give him) but his sleeping was dreadful and I had a newborn. I ended up caving and giving him a different, harder to chew brand. His sleep is great now. He's three and speaks incessantly!! He only has it when he's in his bed. Similar to a previous post, it gives him comfort and I limit it to sleep times. The dentist told me it wouldn't impact his teeth until he was four.

Zebrasinpyjamas Sat 27-May-17 22:25:11

I'm sure most people will tell you to stick to cold turkey though!

blackcherries Sat 27-May-17 22:48:27

I was expecting everyone to tell me to stick with cold turkey!
zebras what was the harder to chew brand? That was another reason for wanting to stop - I've found a couple of splits before, one was split right at the base.

But it's a very personal decision to make based on how much your child does (or doesn't) need dummy for comfort and the payoff you are (or aren't) willing to make for the sake of that.

Thing is I don't know how much he does need it for comfort!
He's not a very cuddly kid although he does carry his soft toy everywhere and wants to cuddle it. He also self-weaned fairly early (10 or 11 months) despite being fully breastfed until 6 months so I assumed he couldn't like sucking as a comfort that much. Not sure if that has any relevance though.

He's also pushing boundaries loads at the moment by hitting/throwing things even though he knows he'll be 'punished' (toys confiscated temporarily etc). This started long before we took the dummy away. So he's quite up and down and hard to get a measure of at the moment.

blackcherries Sat 27-May-17 22:51:10

I think once he knows the dummy is back in the game it's a permanent temptation and he's always trying to negotiate having it when he's upstairs (and in his mind, near bed and bedtime). It was a constant battle trying to limit it only to bedtime so in a way it's easier that we don't have that incessant battling any more.

FATEdestiny Sat 27-May-17 23:00:31

he's always trying to negotiate having it when he's upstairs

That's because he usually gets it when he's upstairs. It just needs complete consistency until he realises that he will never get the dummy outside of the cot.

Our dummy is attached by a ribbon to the sleeping bag. This is the only place there is access to the dummy - when in a sleeping bag in the cot. Because that's established and the option of anything different is never (has never) been available, it's not questioned. So it wouldn't occur to my 2y7m old she could have dummy (and blankie) at any other time than bedtime. She never asks.

he does carry his soft toy everywhere and wants to cuddle it

This also isn't a sleep comforter then. I would limit his comforter toy to in the cot only, likewise dummy.

Zebrasinpyjamas Sun 28-May-17 10:56:03

I agree whatever you decide (cold turkey or dummies only in the cot) you have to stick with it. Ds is a good negotiator but I don't do it with the dummy. I just put it back and carry him away if needed.

I found Tommee tippee cherry shaped dummies pretty much indestructible. Much cheaper than the avent ones that we used to have too.

I forgot to add another factor in my decision was when I took his dummy away he sucked his fingers which I decided was worse.
Good luck with whatever you decide. Don't worry too much. In the grand scheme of life he won't even remember ever having one!

blackcherries Sun 28-May-17 22:08:06

thank you! I must admit I don't feel like I know what I'm doing. I'll give it a week or so and see where we are.
FATE is right about the negotiating, at nursery he literally only has it when he naps and isn't bothered otherwise because he's not known any different.

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