Harper never had a dummy really. We tried to give it to her a few times – she spat it out 99% of the time – so didn’t bother. I also wasn’t keen on it from the start. My own personal reasons – I had images of my toddler walking around with it hanging out, I’d heard stories of mums going in multiple times a night when they lost the dummy in their bed, parents struggling to get rid of their 4 year olds – I wasn’t prepared for that shit fight to lose the dummy.
Until the twins were born. I stood my ground for the first 3 weeks – then silent reflux started and when 2 babies are crying at once you need some quiet. It was about 10pm one night – they were both crying and Chris said – that’s it – I’m going to the 24 hour chemist I’m getting dummy’s.
in went the dummys
Instant quiet – ah what bliss. In that moment I didn’t think about how I would eventually get rid of them – but had remember Christine from Happy Sleepers saying – as long as you get rid of it before 4 months it’ll be pretty easy. So the twins now had dummy’s.
Over the next few weeks – Harlow became disinterested in it anyway – she’d spit it out pretty soon after going to sleep and wouldn’t want it back. The dream baby – always has been. One less baby to worry about. Beau however – well – he bloody loved the thing. You’d put him down to sleep and you could see his little eyes waiting for that dummy to touch his lips. “Give me give me give me” you could see him saying. If only he knew he had to lose the dummy soon.
It wasn’t so bad for the first couple of month – even if he lost it at night – he wouldn’t wake. I thought – wow no harm in this then. Until around that 4 month mark. Chris said to me – aren’t we trying to get rid of it….the answer was yes but it was Christmas time- we were going to my parents over New Years – I didn’t want too many changes all at once – we also were about to navigate arms out of the swaddles – I made a call to wait until we were home in the new year.
ok now it was annoying
It did get annoying- he’d lose his dummy – he’d start crying – up we go – put it back in – back to sleep. During a nap it could happen once – during the night it started happening 2 sometimes 3 times. We had worked so hard on the twins sleep – and they’d slept through since 12 weeks – so this waking and putting the dummy back in was frustrating.
As soon as we were home we decided to take their arms out of their swaddles first. That took less than a day to adjust – so next was to tackle the dummy.
Tackling the dummy removal
I decided to start with day naps. It was lose the dummy day. His morning nap – I put him down without it. Of course he cried. As per our Happy Sleepers program – I left him for 10 minutes. Went in – stroked his head and walked out. Another minute of crying and he was asleep. Hmm that didn’t seem so hard.
Next nap – put him down – didn’t even cry. I thought yup I’ve nailed this first day.
Bedtime rocked around and we put him down – no dummy. He whinged and cried for a bit but fell asleep within 5-8 minutes without us having to go in. I was ready for the night though.
Around 2am it came. He cried – I left him for the 10 mins – went in – stroked his head, said “mummy’s here it’s ok” and walked out.
Still crying. It would’ve been so easy in that moment to give him back his dummy – but I knew if I did that – we would be back to square one and it would take longer.
Another 10 mins and I went in again – told him it was ok – go back to sleep – and walked out again. He cried for another 2 mins and went back to sleep. He didn’t wake again. I was pretty pleased with that result and wondered how many nights this would go on for.
The next day – his naps weren’t affected at all. He went straight to sleep without it each time. As bedtime came around I was ready for another couple of wakes.
Nothing. – put him down – no crying and didn’t wake. We’d done it. It was so easy too.
The end of that week unfortunately was when Beau got Covid (if you haven’t seen that story – I’ll link it here). At the hospital – I gave him his dummy back. He was sick, so sad – he needed that comfort. I knew we’d have to do the whole process again – but I wasn’t worried. My boy needed it.
About a week after we were discharged we did the process again. It only took 1 day again to remove it – which was so good.
I think sometimes we build these things up in our heads and in reality it’s not that hard. Not giving in – knowing why you’re doing it and it was so much more simple that I thought.
If you’re thinking of removing it – stick to your guns – it’ll be a quicker process than you think.