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Dummy Disaster

(14 Posts)
Issymum Wed 02-Mar-05 17:39:20

DD1 (and DD2) have just been to the dentist and he has told us that, as DD1's front teeth are starting to protrude, we have to get rid of the dummy. Oh hell! DD1 has just turned 4 and looooves her dummy. She is allowed it only whilst watching Storymakers before bed and in bed, but it is a vital part of her bedtime routine and comfort.

We've already discussed how the "dummy fairy" is going to come and take all the dummies away forever and leave presents behind instead because the dummies are hurting her teeth (this seemed like a good time to invoke a little magic realism). DD1 has negotiated a 3 day stay of execution which is a good thing as it takes us to the weekend and gives her time to get used to the idea. She asked what the dummy fairy was going to do with the dummies and I suggested that she might give them to little babies who might need them.

To anyone out there who has done this - how bad is it going to be? The plan is to get her absolutely exhausted for two or three days so that she falls asleep easily. We'll also have to put that nasty tasting stuff on her thumb to discourage thumb-sucking. Anything else we might do to ease the blow for her?

The best part of this plan is the first night she goes cold turkey will be Friday, when I'm going out for a drink with another Mnetter so DH will have to cope. Hooray!! DD1 is actually very much a 'daddy's girl' so may be no bad thing.

Issymum Wed 02-Mar-05 17:40:53

I should add that this is not an invitation to debate the pros and cons of dummies. We're here now and we need to deal with it. Whether we should have given her a dummy in the first place ("yes, yes, yes" says Aloha!) is a whole other thread.

katierocket Wed 02-Mar-05 17:43:43

uh-oh. I have to say that I am putting this off - DS is 3.5 and I just can't imagine how he will sleep without it BUT BF had a little boy who was crazy for his dummy, one day they lost his only remaining dummy and she said she was dreading bedtime. Amazingly it was surprisingly painless and he played up for a bit but then went to sleep. I think they were actually gobsmacked. However I have other friends who have gone through a period of, ahem, pain, to rid themselves of the dummy.

I'd say expect the worse and then you'll probably be pleasantly surprised. And post back your experiences because we must do it too.

Merlin Wed 02-Mar-05 17:45:13

Issymum - I must be a very cruel mummy!!! DS gave up his dummy around 3 - I say gave up - in reality we just told him he was a big boy now and didn't need it anymore. This coincided with one of the 2 dummies he used splitting, so we just said that when the other one was gone we wouldn't get any more and that would be that. I can't lie - it wasn't much fun for a couple of nights, but then within a week he just seemed to accept it. Good luck!

lockets Wed 02-Mar-05 17:45:21

Message withdrawn

Issymum Wed 02-Mar-05 17:47:14

Oh yes - the glitter and fairy will definitely appeal to DD1. Good idea.

I must say I'm rather surprised as I thought that dummies didn't affect tooth position, but I guess I'm wrong .

Merlin Wed 02-Mar-05 17:52:46

Just remember whatever you do, once you've taken the dummy away *don't give it back* - however hard it is - hopefully she will be quite excited by the fairy coming to get it and be more willing to give it up.

PS. 10/10 for planning the first night while you're out!!!!!

Issymum Wed 02-Mar-05 17:54:49

We won't give it back, DH will throw them in the bin, preferably at the same time he empties the cat litter tray! He's way tougher than me.

aloha Wed 02-Mar-05 17:55:24

Well, of course I think that her sucking probably was very good for helping her deal so successfully with the transitions in her life and that you did exactly the right thing!
If you google non nurtritive sucking you will find lots of stuff but I thought this might interest you. Of course you shouldn't be dissuaded from a course of action you have decided on, but I thought you might find it reassuring whatever you do that you haven't caused permanent harm.
Good luck with going cold turkey - I don't envy you but realise I must do the same myself one day!
.4 Effects of Non-nutritive Sucking Habits

Non-nutritive sucking habits in children under age 5 may cause changes in the primary dentition but are unlikely to cause any long-term problems.

The effects of non-nutritive sucking habits on developing teeth are minor in infants and children under age 3 and are usually limited to changes in the incisor position. Some upper incisors become tipped toward the lips, whereas others are prevented from erupting.[4] Controversy exists over whether the effects of thumb or finger sucking vs. pacifier sucking on the teeth differ, but at this time there seems to be no significant difference, after adjusting for the intensity of the sucking habit.[5]

The ways in which teeth change as a result of non-nutritive sucking habits vary with the intensity (how strong), duration (how long), and frequency (how often) of the habit as well as with the manner in which the thumb or fingers are placed in the mouth. The most common dental signs of an active habit are

* Anterior open bite (the lack of adequate overlap of the upper and lower incisors when the teeth bite together).

* Movement of the incisors.

* Maxillary constriction (the hard palate becomes narrow because of internal pressures and because of the tongue dropping away from the palate into the floor of the mouth).

In most cases, any tooth movement resulting from non-nutritive sucking habits will resolve if the activity is discontinued before the permanent teeth erupt.[4] Non-nutritive sucking habits in children under age 5 may cause changes in the primary dentition but are unlikely to cause any long-term problems.[6],[7]

Although most children discontinue non-nutritive sucking habits on their own before the permanent teeth begin to erupt, some continue beyond that stage. If a non-nutritive sucking habit is not discontinued before the permanent teeth erupt, the teeth may be affected.[4]

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) supports the individualized approach of evaluating each child’s oral habits. Where appropriate, AAPD encourages interventions for non-nutritive sucking habits to prevent or intercept possible malocclusion (improper alignment of the jaws and teeth) or skeletal dysplasia from occurring.[6]

Issymum Wed 02-Mar-05 18:03:22

Thanks Aloha

So reading between the lines, the dummy may be pushing out her two front teeth, but provided we stop it before her permanent teeth start to come through, there shouldn't be any permanent effect. Phew!

This actually seems like a good time to do it. She is really settled and happy, we've got a few months before a holiday booked in late May and several months before school starts. Also, we can remove DD2's dummy at the same time, particularly as she's not really attached to it at this point. She likes it at night, but doesn't suck it. She rather bizarrely rubs it between her fingers and under her nose. Weird!

Hulababy Wed 02-Mar-05 18:11:32

We went cold turkey with DD on New Year's Day. DD was 2y 8m at the time and adored her night time only dummy. But she was starting to use it as a delaying tactic at night and wanting it at other times. And she would become very upset - nightmare really. So we knew it had to be tackled.

Didn't plan it BTW. Just she started playing up that night, after we'd been away for the weekend. So I simply stated, very matter of fact, that there was no dummy. It had been left behind at uncle's house, and that Rupert the cat now had it (had new cat that was not able to go out yet - sob stpry bit for DD's sake).

She did cry and whinge for it - butnot for as long, or as bad, as I had expected. Maybe for about 20 minutes before she was asleep. It did help that she was tired that first night. The next couple of nights she did ask for it, but the complaints didn't last as long, and she fell asleep much quicker.

It's not 2 months on and no more dummies. And DD still belives Rupert the cat uses it as his comforter!

samwifewithkid Sat 05-Mar-05 09:50:02

Interesting to read this thread. I can't be of any use and offer any tips but I would be interested to know how you got on Issymum? My dd is now 2yrs 9 months and I am thinking of loosing the dummy on her 3rd birthday. I like the idea of the dummy faries and am interested to use it. We have a new baby arriving in a month, so does anyone think that leaving it till 2 months after the baby is born will be a problem?

Anyone got any more tips for permanent dummy removal, I am firm and I do want to see it gone at 3. Thanks

Hulababy Sat 05-Mar-05 09:54:02

I was originally going to do the dummy fairy stuff at Christmas or at DD's birthday - but I thought about it, and mentoned it to DD, and then changed my mind. Being told in advance about it made DD bothered about it, and gave her time to think. SHe didn't want to get rid of her dummy - she liked it. It was me and DH who wanted it to go. So, as she was upset by the idea, I didn't want Christmas or her birthday to be thought of by her as something to dread and not look forward to. Does that make sense?

I know others have done it successfully at these times, but just thought I would give my own thoughts of how I figured it was going for us. In the end ours was not planned in advance at all, so DD had no warning - it was just a case of "oops, sorry, we must have forgoton it"...and it did work for us.

katierocket Fri 11-Mar-05 17:12:24

Issymum - really interested to know how it went?

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