How to get rid of the dummies

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I haven’t felt brave enough to write about this until now. Now though, now the dust has settled, the battle is won. Pebble no longer has a dummy! I think that Paul and I were more apprehensive about this than necessary (no? us? who would have thought?). We put off getting rid of the dummies (pacifiers for you USA folks) for as long as possible. Much like getting to the gym, there is always an excuse to avoid it. Then Pebble chewed through two dummies in one week, while simultaneously getting more and more demanding for her dummy during the day. It. Was. Time.

I had heard a few people talk about the Dummy Fairy. Fat Mum Slim did it. Friends and work colleagues did it. Paul and I talked about the possibility of giving the dummies to the toy shop, or throwing them off a jetty (my little brother’s experience), or throwing them in the bin… but the Dummy Fairy just seemed to make sense for us.

This is how we got rid of Pebble’s dummies:

1. Talk about it then DO IT

We didn’t have a lot of lead up time in talking with Pebble about saying good bye to her dummies. We thought a quick “rip off the Band-Aid” approach would be best, giving her less time to fret and worry about it. Sure, a few times over recent months we had mentioned that when she was a big girl she wouldn’t have a dummy any more, but we didn’t make a big deal of it, or make any direct plans. Once the decision was made though, we made it clear – we said that the Dummy Fairy was coming today, and she did.

2. Find a the most enticing object in the toy store and buy it.

Our Dummy Fairy brought two toys in exchange for Pebble’s dummies. One was a Dora mermaid – linking with a new found love of Dora that Pebble had developed. The second was a pink Beanie Kid that would replace the dummies as a comforter. If you go for one toy I would highly recommend the comforter, as bed time is likely to be your biggest hurdle in Operation Dummy Drop.

3. Stick to your guns

Under NO circumstances bring the dummies back. We explained that the Dummy Fairy had taken the dummies to the hospital, to give to the newborn babies who needed them, and that Pebble was a big girl now. Sure, she cried and said “I’m not a big girl, Mummy!”, “But I love my dummies”, “Are my dummies coming back now?”. It was heartbreaking, yes. But not as much as we thought, and only for a day or two. Before we knew it she stopped asking and now the only reference we get is when she sees a photo of herself with a dummy, and she says “That’s my dummy!”. No distress, no “I want it!”. Just a memory of days gone by.

But what about bed time?

Bed times were the hardest from this point on. Not because Pebble was asking for her dummy, but because she seemed to find it more difficult to go to sleep. For us there is a direct link to the time that Pebble said goodbye to her dummies, and the time that she dropped her day sleep time dramatically. That’s a whole other story, stay tuned!

For us the trade off was worth it and now, a month or so later, we have absolutely no issues and bed time problems have become almost non-existent – or at least returned to the same as the days of the dummies.

The positives:

Since giving up the dummies Pebble is more confident, more grown up and much happier. And she is talking so much. Her language has exploded, and we think this has a lot to do with no longer having a piece of plastic in her mouth during the day. How could it not?

My final piece of advice – if you’ve been thinking about getting rid of dummies, but you’re just not sure, JUST DO IT. It will be much easier than you think.

So, this week… I am grateful for the Dummy Fairy!

How did you get rid of the dummies?

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6 Comments

  1. We got rid of Boyo’s dummies when he was about 5 and a half months old. He had been sleeping really well, waking overnight for one feed, until he outgrew being wrapped for sleep. I stupidly introduced the dummy for night when i stopped wrapping and he woke up constantly. He never went into a deep sleep with the dummy. It was a nightmare.

    So we stopped the dummies and did Controlled Comforting and he went to sleep in 7 minutes. It was hard during the day when we were driving and for day sleeps but this stopped soon. He did become addicted to his Blankie and Super Pooh though! X
    Kim-Marie recently posted..Thankful Thursday : Feeling BetterMy Profile

  2. This seems like a good approach, and I’m glad it worked so well for you!
    Lior doesn’t take a dummy at all (has never liked them), so we won’t have to do this. We will however need to find a way of getting him out of his swaddle sleeping bag! He’s six months and rolling both ways, and man is it a tough mountain to climb! I have given up twice now. :-/
    Hopefully this is the motivation I need to give it a proper go, and keep him out of it!
    Talia recently posted..Positive Parenting Course (half way debrief)My Profile

  3. Were in this spot right now with Violet and it’s more the fear of not having it for our sake that stops us. Sadly I don’t think the dummy fairy will work for us but I think we will go with splitting them in the middle and hope she decides to toss them!
    Danielle recently posted..Territory Wildlife ParkMy Profile

  4. oooh good topic. Our little one was about 2 when we decided it was time for it to go. She got an horrible cold and poor kid couldn’t bretaher through her nose and having the dummy in made it very difficult to breathe at all. I pretty much just confiscated it and said she was too sick and too big for it. Two days of grumblings and it was forgotten! : )
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  5. My 3.5 yo Ned just gave up his dummy about a month ago. It was a big deal for both of us. He named his dummy “mumma’ before he called me Mum! He’s never had a night time cuddle toy, just his mumma that he loved so much.

    We’d been talking about it through out this year saying that the Mumma Fairies would come and take his dummies when they thought the time was right. But then, like Pebble, he bit through two in one week so I just told him he was too big for dummies.

    Ned didn’t like it all. He kept telling me over and over that he was my baby and then he would say I needed to find him some big boy mummas. On the third night he cried and cried for it but by the fourth he was fine. A week later and he had pretty much forgotten. Over it.

    I really thought it was going to be harder. I had to use all my strength not to go and buy him some more because I hated seeing him sad that first couple of days. But I did the right thing because his speech is so much better! He talks NON STOP.

    Good post.

    V.

  6. I’m not sure how we ‘lost’ your dummy, maybe it fell out the window of the car one day or was that one of the others?
    Well done on your special way of overcoming one of lifes little hurdles.

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