I well remember, as a new mum, reading that children should have their dummies taken away by the time they reach 1 year old, and as that time arrived for my first daughter I bit the bullet and took it away.
What a mistake!! She was absolutely lost without it. It wasn’t that she used it all the time, but she did like to carry it around with her and at night she was a great little sleeper, so contented and cute with her dummy in.
When she fell asleep I always removed her dummy but it was left beside her so that should she wake up during the night it was close at hand.
I must say I did relent and gave her back her dummy as by now I was heavily pregnant with what turned out to be daughter No.2.
I remember telling the midwife that (much to her disgust) I felt children should be born with dummies attached to their toes – and I must say that to this day I still think this!
As a daughter No 1 became a Big Sister she no longer needed her dummy and we talked her into giving her (well used) dummy to her new baby sister which she did and from that day there were no dummy related tantrums from her.
So confident was I that I thought come the time for tiny terror No.2 to give up the dummy – it would be a breeze.
Think again! This child was a dedicated dummy lover. We hid them, we threw them in the bin, we even talked her into getting rid of it herself – but as soon as we turned our back, out came another dummy.
Where she hid her supplies we never did find out and she held on tightly until she was around 3 when she put it in the bin herself and never asked for another – we think by now she must have depleted her hidden stash and knew we were not about to get her another.
Along came, yep you guessed it, daughter No.3. By this time I was an old hand at this dummy game and quickly presented her with a lovely pink dummy.
Nighttime was a dream as she, with the aid of her dummy, quickly slept through the night. However, this time I was more prepared and as she got to around 2 years old we encouraged her to give up the dummy as she was a big girl now, like her sisters.
So happy to do whatever you asked she dropped her dummy into her Dad’s hand and headed off to play. We never did get any tantrums or tears from her even at bedtime.
Unfortunately I cannot shed any light on the dummy situation but this I would say – don’t get all uptight and stressed about it – they’ll give it up when they’re ready and if you take it away too soon you may end up with an unhappy little one who cries at bedtime and resorts to sucking their thumb or a blanket.
If it is any help, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a little one heading off to school in their new school uniform sucking a co-ordinating dummy!
Do you have any advice for mums who’d like their little ones to give up their dummies? Post your advice comment below.