I’ve decided to write a post about Monkey giving up his dummy because when I first started looking for ideas on how to do it, I was surprised by the lack of information or experiences I could draw on. So here is our story…
When Monkey was two days old we decided to give him a dummy for a number of reasons, yes it was easier and yes I needed sleep (he’s always been a great sleeper). I also justified it partly on the suggestion at our NCT classes that it could help reduce the chance of cot death – although I am not sure how much merit there is in this although they do give premature babies dummies.
I know there are many parents out there who chose to do the same. I also appreciate that many don’t and I have a number of friends in this camp. Its an individual choice and I completely respect both alternatives.
However when you choose to – how do you then get rid of it? Monkey will be three next month and I would like him to be without it by then. However he has appeared in the last few weeks to be more attached to it than ever! Requesting it at other times of the day instead of just at bedtime or nap time.
Initially the Easter Bunny was going to take them away, but it transpired we were staying with relatives over the Easter weekend so it wasn’t really practical. If I’m honest I wasn’t ready to give it away either. Taking it away makes me feel mean, he uses it for comfort, so its not just a dummy I am taking away from it, its the comfort too – I needed more time to get my head round it.
We thought doing it over Bank Holiday weekend would give us more time if the adjustment was going to be difficult. So on Saturday night we decided to go for it and this is how we did it.
- We first mentioned a week or so ago that the Dummy Fairy would be coming
- We took the tact that she was going to take his dummies to give to the babies, as he is such a big boy now and doesn’t need them anymore.
- There was a promise of a ‘surprise’ left by the fairy in exchange for the dummies
- Saturday night before bedtime Monkey helped us gather all the dummies up including the one in his nursery bag and any that had fallen down the side of the bed – he placed them on the hearth
- Monkey went to bed as normal, after story time he was reminded of the impending fairy visit
- I wrapped a carefully chosen present and added a certificate from the fairy and placed these in the spot the dummies had been put. I added a sprinkling of glitter as ‘fairy dust’
- I threw all of the old dummies away – I found this a little difficult as it appears Monkey wasn’t the only one who had grown attached, I picked his favourite one to go in him memory box
I should say here that Monkey also has a muzzy which he takes to bed with him. On Saturday night the promise of the surprise was enough to keep him happy, he went to bed at the normal time, yet he didn’t go to sleep straight away as normal. We could hear him singing and talking to himself, although happy he didn’t settle for a whole hour.
Sunday morning he was really excited about the present. We chose something that he’s specifically into at the moment, and significant enough to be a reward – we wanted to make it a big deal. In this instance a Disney Planes Fire and Rescue Blastin Dusty Toy (affiliate link) He is really into Planes Fire & Rescue so this worked for us, it normally retails at £49.99 but amazon are selling it at the moment half price with free delivery so it met the budget too. Its not left his side since. Sunday nap time he asked for his dummy partly force of habit partly trying it on a bit. We reminded him of the fairy and re-read his certificate to him thankfully there was no tantrum. You could easily put together a hand written note, I was up against it time wise and brought one from Etsy here. Nap time went well. Sunday night we stayed with relatives and made sure he was absolutely worn out by bedtime, because he was so tired he just dropped off. He didn’t even mention it when it came to nap time today.
All in all he’s been amazing about it – there haven’t been tantrums or melt downs. He’s taken a bit longer to fall asleep in the evenings and was still a little unsettled tonight. But I have genuinely been surprised by how well he has taken to not having it, which actually makes me feel less guilty about taking it away in the first place!
Our Key Learns
- Actually maybe I was more attached to it than he was
- Both of us were joined up on our messages to him, as were other family members
- We have given him a bit more support and attention at bedtime
- We have not mentioned dummies once to him unless he has asked for it
- I have pre warned nursery so they can also do the same