The damn dummy. We are down to the final one. All other dummies have been lost and we have been holding on dearly to the last one.
I have a love hate relationship with the dummy. I love that it can settle Elliott down during tantrums, that it helps when he’s upset and it helps him get to sleep. But I hate it because I know he relies on it too much and so do I. I hate it because I know how hard this weaning off the dummy business is going to be and I worry that once we do, it will be the end of his day sleeps when I get what I can done.
What to do?
I think it comes down to being a very personal thing, personal in terms of parenting style and personal in terms of Elliott. I know there are heaps of ways to approach this dummy weaning business, but we won’t know until we try it. It’s also about me knowing Elliott’s personality and how this will determine which methods work better than others.
One thing I do know is that it has to be easy for him to understand otherwise it wont work. He’s still only 2 years and 4 months so it can’t be too complicated and confusing for him. He will not understand why if I tell him ‘no more dummy’ but if he can see when I say ‘dummy is broken’, he will connect the two together.
I’m really unsure of going completely cold turkey and so have looked into some other approaches I could take and I’m sure these may be helpful ideas for others in my situation:
- Cut the top off the dummy so Elliott soon realises it’s broken
- Wait until Elliott is ready, whenever that may be.
- Give the dummy to our friends baby now that Elliott is a ‘big boy’.
- Give the dummy to the Dummy Fairy
- Wait until Elliott can understand the explanation of ‘why’ better (in conjunction with no. 6 & 7)
- Cut out the dummy in phases (sleep time only, then cut out day sleeps, then night time)
- During the day, get Elliott to put the dummy to bed because dummies have to sleep or in the dishwasher to be washed. Out of sight, out of mind.
- When removing the dummy for the day, emphasise that it’s ok to miss the dummy and remind him of the other activities that he loves and pull out these activities.
- Tighten our bedtime routine to build more reassurance. Ensure familiarity like a bedtime story and staying by Elliott’s side each night so these then take the place of the dummy. Ensure Ellie the Elephant (Elliott’s blankie) is always available.
- Trade the dummy in for another toy at the toy store (perhaps get the shop assistant on board with this and Elliott can use the dummy as money). I’m not sure if he’ll understand this but it could be a last option.
When the dummy weaning day comes for real, I am going to make sure I’m mentally and physically prepared. I will be prepared for days of crying, tantrums and aching eyes from lack of sleep. I will have my coffee pods well stocked and my calm hat on. Wish me luck (and good luck to those of you going through the same!)
How is your dummy weaning going? Or if you’ve already done it (lucky you), how did it go?
Image by jdurham on morguefile.com