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help me get rid of the dummy

(30 Posts)
GirlWithTheMouseyHair Mon 23-Feb-09 22:58:19

DS (16weeks) is waking hourly between his bed and dream feeds, then wakes prob every 2-3hours during the night but it takes up to 50mins to get him back to sleep because as he falls asleep the dummy falls out and it wakes him up again...I'm a walking zombie and DH has broken a rib and is on codeine which a)makes him super sleepy so he sleeps through it all and b)means he's in agony when lying down so it's unfair to make him get up over and over again

I'm pretty sure it's the dummy DS is waking for - he doesn't seem hungry (once he's drifted off he then sleeps for a few hours, when he's hungry he won't sleep), he's the right temperature, not uncomfortable in his nappy (happens even when I change him every time he wakes up)...I guess it could be teething (he often grinds rather than clamping down in the night) but he doesn't always wake crying, he'll often whimper or call to me (then shout then cry!) and the dummy does calm him down straight away.

I seriously can't continue like this - he's clearly learnt he needs the dummy to sleep and can't self-settle without it. Feeling horrendously guilty because it's my fault he's addicted to it, he used to settle himself fine when he woke in the night. I can't help thinking the half hour naps are a product of disturbed nights too.

So what do I do to get rid of it? I know it's prob best cold turkey but what do we do to help him sleep without creating another prop? I really only want to go to CC as a last result, I think he's still too young anyway...any ideas?

AccidentalMum Mon 23-Feb-09 23:18:27

Maybe rocking him to sleep as an intermediate step? That would take a while if you are set on LO returning to their own bed. Or sleeping together? 16wks is very little to go without milk from 10/11 to the that what you are hoping for?

Not sure at all about the evening there any point putting him to bed at all if he's up every hour?

Sorry to be so useless....hope tonight is better.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Tue 24-Feb-09 08:39:54

he used to sleep all evening, and sleep well at night, or atleast resettle, before i got him so dependant on his dummy. I'm not forcing him not to feed during the night, just realised after his cold he woke and wanted to be fed to sleep - he'd literally feed for a minute, fall asleep and not take anything when he woke. I always double/triple check he's not hungry when he wakes, last thing I want is to starve him!

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 24-Feb-09 08:50:02

I feel your pain. We went through this and in the end I ended up using a sleep consultant to help sort it out. She said that a child who needs a dummy to go to sleep only gets worse and that by 10 months old is waking up every half an hour to have it reinserted (obviously not all babies are like this but sounds like your is). Will come back and be more helpful soon but DS is currently hungry and must feed him now.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Tue 24-Feb-09 09:35:41

Thank you! I always said I wanted to try to get rid by 4months as by that stage he doesn't need it for comfort in the same way a newborn does. 4 months is this weekend, eek! It was a life saver when he had colic but I don't think I can expect him to resettle while he has it...trouble is I know cold turkey is probably the only way forward, just how to manage that without giving him another prop

EllieG Tue 24-Feb-09 09:41:28

Hey there - I had exactly this situation with mine. At 4 months I was getting up every hour and a half because her dummy would drop out and she couldn't settle without it. I found cold turkey the only way to go but DO be careful not to replace dummy with cuddling. I did this and, as you say, it replaced one prop with another and I still had to teach her to self-settle. Eventually did baby whisperer PUPD, (cuddle/pat til sleepy and calm but not asleep and put down awake so settles self). We had a fairly hairy couple of weeks but she was so much better after - she could sleep better herself, and we were both much more cheerful in the day.

Good luck and stay strong!

lulu05 Tue 24-Feb-09 09:56:31

Same problem with DS. I guess it started about 4 months and we struggled on until 5.5 months then went cold turkey and did CC. DD has a dummy and atm its fine but feel like we are only working towards the same problem. Don't think I would do CC again so young (was ill-informed at the time) but not sure why not as it did work amazingly. There is a section on dummy dependence in the NCSS but it didn't work for DS but it might for yours.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Tue 24-Feb-09 09:57:38

thanks...i've been thinking about attempting cold turkey through pupd, but want to make sure i do it properly. We have issues with naps too, he'll only nap for half an hour at a time so I'm in a quandry as to which problem to address first.....

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 24-Feb-09 10:00:31

OK here goes. We did go dummy cold turkey in the end. It took a fair while (over two weeks although I am told this is unusual) and I can honestly say it was the hardest two weeks since he arrived. But boy oh boy was it worth it. We now have a 9 month old who sleeps from 7pm to 8am and has done since he was 4 and a half months old. I feel like a new person.

We got rid of the dummy at night first and allowed it for day time naps for the first three days. We put him down in his cot at night without the dummy said night night and walked out. He cried. After 1 min, we went back in and cuddled him in the cot for 30 seconds. Really important not to lift him out at all. We repeated this until he eventually went to sleep (e.g. leave for 1 min then go back in for 30 secs). It took a long time the first night and you have to repeat it for every night waking so you end up shattered. Take a book and sit outside the room. But it got slowly better and now he is a dream sleeper. With us it was just a question of teaching him how to self settle. He now knows and is a brilliant little sleeper. I honestly believe he sleeps better now than before and he is such a happy, sunny little boy.

Good luck. YOu need a cast iron resolve but really if you want to stop doing the dummy run, then I cold turkey is probably the only way to go.

micromum Tue 24-Feb-09 10:01:57

My little one went through the same thing, waking all the time.

First of all for a few days when she fell asleep (with dummy in her mouth) i would wait 5-10 min then take it out. If she awoke again would put dummy back in until alseep then again 5-10 min take it out.

Once that started to work i put all the dummies into a draw down stairs so i wouldn't use them and when i put her down to sleep she would cry and i would use the pick up put down. ie when she cried pick her up until stopped crying then put her down again and keep doing it until alsleep.

It wasn't as bad as it sounds. give it a go you have nothing to lose. It took about 2-3 days but each time it got easier, she is not sleeping through but awoke every 3-4 hours.

Good Luck

Good luck.

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 24-Feb-09 10:02:53

ps I remember that the break through came the night I heard him wake up in the night and sing to himself for 30 mins. I lay there on tenterhooks waiting for him to start with the crying and then suddenly realised that he had gone quiet - he'd fallen back to sleep on his own.

Also not sure if he is still in your room? DS was when we did this. I banished DH to the spare room and when de started crying in the night, I got out of bed and went and sat outside the door.

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 24-Feb-09 10:05:43

On the nap front, babies have short sleep cycles (around 30 to 40 mins) and if they don't know how to self settle, then they will wake up after 30 mins and not resettle. Now we have cracked self settling, ds, who also used to wake up after 40 min naps, manages to sleep for anything up to 2 hours in the day. I hear him wake up after 40 mins or so but if he is still tired he goes straight off back to sleep. It's all part and parcel of the same issue.

meercat71 Tue 24-Feb-09 10:25:28

we had a similar thing with our DD (who still has a dummy for sleeps) - we used to go into the bedroom and it was like a dummy battlefield with them thrown across the room -

we bought a device that you can get from most places that sell dummies - an atachment device dfrom Mam I think - it attaches to her grobag and means if it falls out she can find it.

Ok for all those dummy haters it probably doesn't sound like the best advice but I used to despise dummies with unbridled passion but if it's the difference between DD knawingher hand off which is what she used to do pre-dummy and actually sleeping versus no sleep I am afraid I have become a dummy allower (I can never say I am a fan even now)

When she's a bit older and able to understand why she doens't need it we'll wean her off it but until then dummies are for sleep only and we don't leave any lying around as then we get the pointing frantically and whinging for it ... hope this helps you xx

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Tue 24-Feb-09 12:21:40

blameitonthebogey thank you so much for sharing all that - it does sound like a long and hard way to do it but I'd rather it be hard on me than hard on DS and do CC. Did you continue using the dummy for naps during the day or use the same technique? I have a battle on my hands getting him to sleep in the first place for naps.

I'd be fine letting him keep his dummy to be honest if it weren't for the constant waking up and taking ages to settle cos as he drifts off it falls out and so we repeat ad nauseum, so we have a situation of dummy=no sleep...also hoping that if he can then learn to self-settle we'll crack the naps too. I suspected that's what the 30min naps were about, and it has been happening in the last few weeks as the dummy has been used more and more

We're in a different room to DS, but there's a sofabed in his room which I've taken to napping on when he first wakes in case he then wakes again.

I guess now just to decide if we try PUPD first and if that doesn't work do the drastic cold turkey 1min crying, 30sec settling

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 24-Feb-09 13:14:30

Just seen this now. I also had hellish naps during the day with ds. The key really has been teaching him how to se;f settle and sleep. After three days, I took the dummy away for naps too and used the same technique. These days he has two good naps a day - sometimes up to two hours. I feel like I have my life back. I used to be so jealous of people who 'just popped their baby down to sleep'. But that's me now. I don't want to give you a false impression though; he will cry and that is really hard to deal with. But now we are out the other side, I have no hesitation in saying that it has helped both him and me and that it was the right thing to do.

I also had no issue with dummy use and would happily have let him keep it but it had clearly become much more of a problem than a solution so we felt it was time for it to go. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Tue 24-Feb-09 13:36:51

Thanks hun - just one other question, do you only comfort for literally 30secs? even if he isn't calm by then?

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 24-Feb-09 13:40:37

Yes, I'm afraid so. And he won't always be calm by then - in fact I sometimes found that going in made him worse. But it really doesn't last long, I promise....

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Tue 24-Feb-09 13:50:32

cool, just want to make sure I'm doing it properly! Did you work this out yourself btw? I know he won't calm after can take up to 10mins to calm him even with the dummy sometimes!

lulu05 Tue 24-Feb-09 14:46:13

We actually did exactly as BIOTB but with a longer interval (3 mins, then 5) and went in and rubbed his tummy and spoke quietly for no longer than 30 secs then left again. Never actually got to 5 min interval though as i was just about to go in and he stopped. This is controlled crying. I think if you go down this route you need to go cold turkey at naps aswell else it is confusing for your DS. Will he nap in the buggy? DS cried for 17 mins the first night and that was it. He was a 45 min napper and from day one these extended but I know some babies who self settle who still only have one sleep cycle naps. So you need to decide if you continue with pu/pd when they wake from a nap or just get them up. Also decide when morning is just so you know what you do if they wake up at 545 or something similar. Good luck, its wonderful when you can pop them in their cot, give them a kiss and they sing themselves to sleep!
If you do pu/pd will you let us know how you get on?

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 24-Feb-09 15:31:27

OK so I confess that I took advice over the phone from a sleep consultant who was wonderful. She advised me not to take dummy away for daytime naps during the day at first and said that babies can tell the difference. For me, I know I couldn't have left him to cry for 3 mins (I'm definitely not judging anyone who did but it wasn't for me) and one minute felt about right. Actually her advice was that if you want to go in sooner, then you can do that too but you mustn't stay with them until they fall asleep or else that creates a new dependency.

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 24-Feb-09 15:33:09

Oh and final thing, it is essential to learn the difference between crying and grumbling. Crying you go in for, grumbling you don't. Lots of babies grumble as they go to sleep and you only wake them up by going in.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Tue 24-Feb-09 17:59:46

thanks again everyone.

I don't think I could do 3mins either to be honest - the 30sec I will struggle with cos it can often take 10mins to calm him down so not sure how this will work. I'm terribly for going in before he starts really crying as well.

Just taken him swimming for the 1st time and it's knackered him out so our usual routine will be buggered tonight anyway, in which case I'll re-read about PUPD and make decision about which to try first, though my mum is babysitting thurs so might be best to wait til friday before we start anyway (and then it's the weekend, yay!)

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 24-Feb-09 18:02:18

I think the key to cracking this is to decide what you are going to do (be it PUPD or 1 min crying etc) and then stick to it. Consistency is really important. Good luck and do update us.

lovelymama Tue 24-Feb-09 18:42:18

You've already had loads of brilliant advice on this so probably not much more to say but just to say you've got to be strong and get rid of the dummy now if you want to get rid of it quickly. 4 months is a time when babies are really 'pliable' and they respond well to changes. This is when I got rid of DS's dummy, which he was very attached to. It took 1 night of 20 mins of crying to get rid of it and he never seemed to look for it after that. People will say it's very wrong to leave a 4 month old baby crying for 20 mins but I'd had one of those days where I'd just had enough and needed to be away from his crying so put him to bed where I knew he was safe and just sat in the garden to compose myself for a bit. When I came in he had not only gone to sleep but slept the longest he had ever done.

You're right that 4 months is too young for Controlled Crying. 6 months is the very earliest you should do it - my method wasn't CC, it's just that I had to have a break from the crying for a while because he'd been really cranky all day!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Wed 25-Feb-09 18:51:33

thanks lovelymama, reaffirms my belief we should get rid of the dummy now

OK, I think we'll go with the 1min/30secs thing, just because it can take so so long to calm him down so even though the other method will take ages too, hopefully it won't seem as long because of constantly keeping an eye on times, but going to re-read BW over the next 24hrs and begin one or the other on Friday night...will keep you posted (fingers crossed whichever way doesn't take us 2 weeks!)

thankyou so much for all your help

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