There was a lot of interest in the post in praise of dummies, but even fans of the plastic sleep enducers were undecided on one topic: what's the best way to get rid of the dummy once you think it's time?
The first thing I would say is that you as the parent need to be ready to give up on the dummy before you expect your child to. We do get reliant on them to soothe a fractious crier. So make sure that you're mentally prepared to say no or find other alternatives for a few days at least. If you're already exhausted or stressed out about other issues, leave it until those things pass.
Start breaking your dummy habit by stopping taking one out with you during the day. Here are some ways to break the habit completely:
You will make it easier on both of you if you decide to drop the dummy either when your baby is very small, so they forget about it quickly, or when they're old enough to talk to about why you're giving it up (around 2 or 3). In between these stages is probably the hardest time, because they'll be old enough to make an attachment to their dummy, but not old enough to understand why you want to take it away.
- If your baby is still quite small, simply chuck it away
Brace yourself for some confused, but hopefully short-lived, crying as your baby learns how to settle itself again.
- Appeal to their sense of maturity
Yes, they've got one. Some children love to be 'the big boy' or 'the big girl', so appeal to them on this level. Point out that they won't want something that marks them out as a baby.
- A visit from The Dummy Fairy
This is the Tooth Fairy's cousin, who leaves gifts for children who give her their dummies.
- Send it to Father Christmas
Did you know that Father Christmas collects up dummies to distribute to all the babies around the world? And also leaves a special gift in return? You do now. The advantage of this technique is that the child is likely to be distracted by the excitement of Christmas
- Sheer naked bribery
A basic motivational technique -- make change more attractive than staying the same. When my child spotted something she liked in a toy shop, I'd say "You can have that in exchange for your dummies". Eventually she caved in when she she spotted a particularly ugly hot water bottle cover that she wanted more than the dummies.
How did you get rid of the dummy? What are your best tips?