One parenting decision I made early on with Roo and then Tigger I stand by… I gave them a dummy!
Dummies aren’t for every parent but for me they worked, they were a lifesaver and constant source of comfort for my children.
There does however come a time when dummies are no longer needed. I have seen some lovely examples of how parents have weaned their children off their dummies most notably the use of the dummy fairy. Take a look at A Scandinavian Sojourn for a fabulous post about a dummy tree.
|(Image Credit – The Dummy Fairy Workshop)
As beautiful as the idea of the dummy fairy is and no matter how much I planned how to take away their dummies in a nice way, that day or opportunity never came.
Roo must have been around 30 months old when she only has her dummy for bedtime. One day she was crazing and crazing for her dummy. I tried explained it wasn’t bedtime and she didn’t need her dummy, however she persisted.
So came the parenting fail moment… I grabbed the dummy off the mantelpiece and walked into the kitchen with Roo following close behind. I opened the kitchen bin, threw it in, turned to her and said ‘no more dummy!‘. In that split second I thought to myself ‘what have I done? how will she sleep tonight?‘. Roo just looked at me, looked at the bin and walked away.
That night although she did ask for her dummy and I explained that it was in the bin and that she no longer needed it, she turned over and went to sleep.
Tigger on the other hand was a completely different kettle of fish. He would quite happily go all day at nursery or if we were out and about without it, however at home he wanted it all the time.
A few weeks ago I bought a pack of new dummies to replace the ones that he’d had for a little while. Within a few days he had bitten a hole in one of them so had to throw it away. As I handed him the last new one from the packet I explained that this would be he last dummy.
Thinking he understood what I saying he made that dummy last a week or so but then he bit a hole that one too, however decided to poke his finger in the hole and parade it around the living room. I ask him for the dummy which he gave to me with a sullen look upon his face as if he could guess what was going to happen. I took the dummy and placed it in the bin, explaining to him that he had broken his last dummy and that there was no more dummies to replace it.
Hoping for a similar reaction to having his dummy taken away as Roo gave me and boy was I wrong. Tigger looked at me with utter disgust and screamed at me. Needless to say the first few nights were not good. Whilst he seemed fairly happy to go to bed after being told that his dummy was broken, it was the middle of the night waking that was the hardest. With no dummy to pop in and soothe himself to sleep again we suffered a week of broken sleep, getting up anywhere between twice and seven times a night (not fun).
I think we are over the worst of it now and he only occasionally asked for his dummy, but I think it is safe to say…