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what should we do about the dummy?

(14 Posts)
Maria2007 Tue 23-Sep-08 09:28:44

Hi girls, good morning.

I have a question to ask. Here's what's been happening.

My little boy Linos, who is 7 weeks old (our first child) has been sleeping in our bed, between us, until last week. This worked well for the first weeks, it helped with breastfeeding, apart from the fact that from the beginning he was using my breasts for comfort sucking (while lying down) in order to go to sleep. I wouldn't have a problem with this, apart from the fact that I soon saw that he was actually getting agitated & waking himself up every time my breasts fell out of his mouth (basically every time I moved!). So after thinking carefully & discussing with my partner, I went cold turkey with the me-as-dummy thing 5 days ago. It initially worked very well by using a dummy instead, which Linos very quickly took too. Also, at the same time, we tried putting him in his cot, right next to our bed, for more & more sleeps during the day & night, which has also been going relatively well. When he cries a lot, we take him to our bed (usually in the early hours of the morning), & generally we don't leave him to cry, but comfort him back to sleep with cuddling, talking softly to him, patting him, sh-sh-shing him etc.

However, more & more the dummy is becoming an obstacle rather than help. Last night was the worst. Linos went to sleep fine at 6.30, very easily, very peacefully, loving his dummy, seeming perfectly happy in his cot... But every time his dummy fell he would scream & cry & wake completely & we rushed & put it back in. Unfortunately this went on ALL NIGHT. Basically he got very little sleep (and the same with us, obviously). When we would take away the dummy (e.g. every time he fell into a deep sleep & spit it out), he would wake a bit later & screech & squirm until we put it back in. This didn't happen once in a while, it happened ALL THE TIME, until the morning. He's at it right now, screeching (& my partner trying to settle him unsuccessfully by cuddling him & sh-sh-ing), & we are trying to not give him the dummy, because it seems clear he can't deal with it in a way that helps him: it actually robs him of sleep & agitates him (plus it agitates us!)

My question is, how to go about cutting out the dummy, & also are we right in wanting to do so, since he's only 7 weeks? I know sucking is a very strong need for young babies... & I don't want to take away something that he so clearly wants. It might help to say that I'm letting Linos eat (he's breastfeeding) more or less on demand- mostly he eats every 2 to 3 hours, but sometimes little snacks in between, & I let him plenty of time on my breasts, if he wants it, for comfort (although he's gradually going on his own for less frequent feeds, closer to every 3 hours nowadays). Any ideas & advice in cutting out the dummy & in whether we should do so?

A very tired & sleepless & distraught from hearing Linos crying so much Maria!

Maria2007 Tue 23-Sep-08 09:32:03

Oh, I also wanted to add that last night because of all his screeching & asking for dummy & constant waking, we took him back in our bed around 2 am in order to get some much-needed sleep, & it worked for 2-3 hours by cuddling him to sleep. But eventually he still woke up squirming for his dummy... so it's not as if taking him back into our bed for now is a great solution, although it will probably be something we try in the short run until he stops using his dummy altogether (if that's what we decide to do).
As I said, any advice welcome. Sorry this was such a long post!

Becky77 Tue 23-Sep-08 11:31:55

You could try reading the "giving up dummy" thread on here. I've just done it with my DD but she is 14 weeks. I would say 7 weeks is really early and she probably is still really sucky. Are you sure she's not hungry? Also the cot may be making her cry... My LO has been in a moses basket and sleeps so well in it (better than she did co-sleeping) but now trying to get her into the cot is still causing her to wake more often

Good luck with everything

Maria2007 Tue 23-Sep-08 14:00:44

Hi Becky,

Unfortunately he really can't use the dummy well (at least so far) because it keeps waking him!! As for the moses basket, he never accepted sleeping in it for some reason, so from the start he's been in our bed, & now gradually in cot (right next to our bed). He is definitely very sucky, which is why I let him breastfeed completely on demand, & so I'm certain he's not hungry (he's been putting on weight very well). I'm at my wit's end, to be honest, & I hope that after a few difficult nights which we'll spend comforting him in other ways, he'll forget the dummy... I'm feeling really distraught with this whole issue today, because so far he hasn't slept a wink today, apart from 40 mins in my arms, & has been crying on & off all day, despite all my efforts, cuddles, hugs etc. At this point I'm sure he's crying out of overtiredness... but I know that if I give him the dummy it'll just make it worse... Oh, I really don't know what to do, I've been crying too today, just by seeing him cry so much.

Becky77 Tue 23-Sep-08 14:09:01

Oh I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time. It does sound like he is overtired. Not really sure what to advise at his age... My LO used to sleep for ages as long as she was on me so if she was getting overtired I'd give her a finger to suck, pat her on the back and shhhh in her ear and she'd be off...

I hope you get a breakthrough soon

pudding25 Tue 23-Sep-08 14:14:07

I am not sure about getting rid of it so early...becky and I are the getting rid of dummy experts when they are a bit older!! grin

First of all, he is now really overtired. He needs to get some sleep otherwise it will get worse. Can you take him out in the pram/car now and just walk and walk so that he gets some sleep before bedtime tonight? Do another nap in the pram/car around 4.30pm too.

If you are sure he is not hungry and you are brave and willing to endure some crying, then I would probably get rid of the dummy now if it is causing that much disruption.

Maria2007 Tue 23-Sep-08 18:02:36

hi again girls,

Yes, he's been definitely overtired- VERY MUCH SO- as he didn't sleep all day! I tried everything (except giving him his dummy)... mainly I fed him a lot during the day, & he had a lot of sucking time on my breasts. He cried & cried, poor thing, just out of sheer exhaustion I'm sure. Finally, 2 hours ago I decided to try swaddling, out of desperation I suppose, because I've never tried it before. It worked beautifully, he stopped crying, & is now finally sleeping in his pram for the last 40 minutes, with DP pushing the pram back & forth. Since it's 6 pm, it might even become his first chunk of night sleep... let's see.

Will keep you posted. I'm definitely determined not to go on using the dummy, it simply disrupts him too much! I'll keep cuddling him & letting him sleep in my arms, & breastfeed more, until he finally forgets the dummy (hopefully soon, since he's so tiny).

Thanks again for your help.
M.

Maria2007 Wed 24-Sep-08 08:37:48

Good morning everyone.
Well... not really a good morning for me at all!
We had a horrible evening yesterday, and a very difficult night. We tried swaddling Linos again in the evening, to calm him down from his constant crying & get his mind off his dummy, but it SO didn't work the second time. He squirmed & screeched until he went completely red in the face & all sweaty! Then I took off the swaddling & tried in vain to put him to sleep in his cot without a dummy, but the crying only escalated & became so bad that it was like a paroxysm. All this with me holding him, singing to him, etc etc, I never let him cry on his own without trying to comfort him, but still: nothing worked!

In the end DP & I gave in & gave him his dummy, & went to bed with him between us, in our own bed, at 9 o'clock... He immediately slept when we put the dummy in, & seemed so relieved, although we had the same dummy-falls-out-us-putting-it-back-in thing throughout the night, so very little good sleep in the end. But the baby did have a couple of 3 or 4 hour stretches of sleep, just out of exhaustion I suppose.

So the going cold turkey thing failed dismally, since we had such a horrendous day yesterday. So now I feel like a very bad mummy, having him cry like that all day, despite my comforting, & then on top of that giving in too... We have no idea what we should do about the dummy situation, it's robbing Linos & us of much needed sleep....and we're both very aware that we didn't handle the situation well...
Oh, what do do...

Becky77 Wed 24-Sep-08 08:54:56

If I were you I'd leave him with the dummy for another month and then tackle it again when he's about 12 weeks if it is still disturbing his sleep. 2 stretches of 3 or 4 hour sleep is great at that age.

Are you still trying to put him in his cot at the same time? If it were me I'd stick to tackling one thing at a time so that you can have a better idea of what is causing the upset but also so that your LO doesn't feel completely out of sorts...

And don't worry about "giving in" on the dummy thing... At that age (before 12 weeks) they apparently don't form habits.

pudding25 Wed 24-Sep-08 09:29:28

I agree with Becky. Leave it until he is 12 wks. Please don't beat yourself up (hard I know as I do it all the time!).
One thing to be careful about (and I know I will get shot down for this) is that he needs to start learning to settle himself. At the moment, you are cuddling/feeding him to try and get him to sleep, along with the dummy too. Until he is 12 wks, try and put him down in his cot/basket awake but with the dummy. I am sure he will fall asleep that way.

When he is bigger, and you want to take away the dummy, you can still comfort him while he is getting used to doing without it, without feeding him. You could try the pupd method (this just used to make dd angry though) or what I did was sit next to her, holding her hand and stroking her head.

Do not feel that you are a bad mummy!!!

Maria2007 Wed 24-Sep-08 16:33:32

Hi again girls,

Thanks for the advice. After yesterday, which was a disastrous day, we've decided to tackle the 'cot' issue (try to get him to sleep there more regularly) & to leave the dummy issue for now... although it definitely is a problem & I suspect it'll be more so in the future. Today was better though. L. had a nice 2 hour nap in his pram in the morning (with no dummy) & a 45 mins nap in the afternoon (again, with no dummy). However, it was 45 mins because he woke up rooting for a dummy/something to put in his mouth. So I gave him his dummy & I've now left him in his cot to see what happens, in case he goes back to sleep.

...No luck though. He's now whimpering again. This goes on for hours sometimes.

pooka Wed 24-Sep-08 16:45:41

Does he have colic? DD did and if I recall correctly this time was her most unsettled phase. He is still so so young that I would keep on with the dummy - he's obviously sucky and after comfort and I found (as did dd) that having a dummy really helped with windy tummy and colic.

Maria2007 Wed 24-Sep-08 17:18:12

Pooka: Yes, he might have colic (although it's very unclear what that means really!) because he generally cries very very much & he's hard to comfort... He also often strains a lot & seems in pain when he poos....

Maria2007 Thu 25-Sep-08 10:27:03

Well... one day later L. had a wonderful night! Really strange shock. He went to sleep at 7.30 with his dummy (in his cot) & didn't stir at all until 11. I then fed him & transferred him to our bed (again with his dummy). We then all slept & he woke again at 2.30. Feed again, dummy in again, & sleep until 6 am. And then feed again & 2 more hours sleep!!!

As I said, except for a few mins putting dummy in when it fell, there was no problem, it fell out in his sleep & he just carried on sleeping! I'm in shock, it's like he's a different child... Perhaps he has started getting more used to the dummy? Or perhaps he was generally calmer? Or maybe it also helped that DP had the ingenuous idea to put L.'s right hand inside the sleeping bag, so that it wouldn't flail around too much (that's one of the reason dummy falls out all the time, L.'s hands flail about uncontrollably in his sleep, & he knocks the dummy out).

Who knows what made the difference. Babies are mysterious creatures! It's almost as if after a few bad days they give us a good few days, just to give us a breather...

So for now the dummy stays. As long as he uses it relatively well, I'm happy to keep it, since he's far too little to deal with the stress taking away the dummy would involve.

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