Your babe's dummy has saved you through all sorts of WTF witching hours, right? They're a great tool for (some) parents, but the time comes when the dummy needs to go. Overwhelmed by the thought of taking away babe's beloved - you might not need to, yet? Read this first.
Nobody told you that you would be getting up every few hours just to replace your baby's lost dummy, did they? But, yeah - one of the sleep associations your babe uses to get to sleep can become a total nightmare. Here's how it goes down:
Your babe peacefully drifts off to sleep, silently sucking on their dummy. You saunter smugly to the lounge room, ready for an (uninterrupted) Real Housewives marathon, followed by 8 (blissfully interrupted) hours of solid sleep. An hour passes. Screaming starts (the baby, not you, yours comes later). Babe has lost their dummy and can't replace it themselves (damn motor skills). This happens another four times throughout the night. Now you are screaming!
There's other (physical) reasons to ditch the dummy too (generally, beyond age 4 or 5 can present a problem for teeth). Middle ear infections can be more common in kids who use dummies, and they can affect speech in some cases.
Is it time for babe to say goodbye to the dummy, or can we help you keep it for a little longer? Find out, below.
1. Layer in other sleep associations (try this, first!)
Use a baby comforter( a positive sleep association) that can hold a dummy - This not only teaches babe to replace their dummy (meaning you might not need to rush to ditch it so quickly), but it also means babe has something soothing and cuddly to help them get to sleep. When the time comes to say goodbye to the dummy, it won't be such a shock! Pssst - our Kippins can hold up to four dummies/soothers on their self tie legs.
2. Start with daytimes
You'll be able to more easily distract your babe if they're missing their dummy during the day. It's far less overwhelming starting with daytimes than at the end of a looooong day.
3. Remove the dummy if it's not being used for settling.
Is baby using the dummy for comfort or habit? Start to limit dummy use to the cot only, and go from there.
4. If babe is older, talk to them about it.
We've all heard about the Dummy Fairy who comes when it's time to take the dummy away. Older kids can understand this better, but keep in mind that habits are hard to break, so be kind and gentle on yourself through the process.
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