Does your child have a dummy obsession? If so, then you have probably done a fair bit of research on what to do to get rid of the dummy and when the right time to do it is. Many experts advise that, if a child does have a dummy, that they should get rid of it before their second birthday. Other experts suggest that as long as a child has stopped using the dummy by the time he starts school, then everything will be fine. But, forget what the experts have to say – what about you? After all, you’re the one that needs to deal with the tantrums and tears when you do decide it’s time to go dummy-free.
There are plenty of suggestions on getting rid of the dummy and one may be the right option for you. Some options allow the child to decide when the time is right while others put the parent in charge of getting rid of the dummy. Some options work best for older children that have the ability to reason while others are best suited for younger toddlers. Below are some of the suggestions on getting rid of a dummy:
Go Cold Turkey
Parents who have taken the dummy away and lived to tell the story about it say that it takes around three days of kicking and screaming to get her used to life without it. If you’re up for the challenge and have a few easy days in your schedule, then go for it! Ear plugs are optional but highly recommended. Be firm – and make sure you throw them ALL out – otherwise your likely to give in at about day two!
If your child has the dummy throughout the day, take it away slowly. For example, only let her have it when she is at home, in the car, napping or going to bed. Then start taking it away when she is at home and in the car and then move onto napping and bedtime. This can take several weeks as well as several fights and tears but some mums swear is the way to go.
Another option is to poke holes in the tips of the dummies so that when she sucks, it is not as satisfying. Or, wait until she chews through them. She may stop wanting the dummy on her own if it is broken and not as fun to suck on. Or, she may kick and scream until you get her another one. But, hey, it could be worth a try!
Go with Bribery
With an older child you may be able to persuade them to give up the dummy in exchange for something better, such as a new toy. However, this will only work with children that are able to reason and remember.
Go with a Little White Lie
Another option is to gather up all the dummies in the house and give them to the “Dummy Fairy”, the “Easter Bunny” or “Santa” depending on when you are trying this trick. If your little one is old enough to understand these characters, he may be happy to put his dummies under the tree and let Santa take them away on Christmas Eve as long as there are presents in their place in the morning
Go with your Heart
At the end of the day, however, this is something that you need to decide on. If you do not feel comfortable taking the dummy away just yet, then don’t. If you know your toddler still loves his dummy, then let him have it. This is a decision and a transition that you, your partner, and your little one need to be all ready to conquer together.