It has come to that time when you feel you want to remove your baby’s habit from sucking a dummy. Maybe it’s you are worried about his/her teeth later on, or you just simply think it’s their time to grow out of it.
The earlier you do it, the easier it is. Leaving them far beyond 12 months can lead to its final removal being more complicated, and less chance of going cold turkey for them working.
So here are some five useful tips to helping you wean your baby off a dummy:
Dummy removal tip #5
When your baby starts crying for the dummy then give them a new toy, watch nursery rhymes, going for a walk, give them a bath, or anything that you know which happily deters them.
Warning: Stay away from comfort snacks – as you don’t want to replace one problem with another unhealthy one.
Dummy removal tip #4
Gently does it
Instead of going completely cold turkey, then instead reduce dummy time gradually from each day. When they cry for it, prolong giving it to them; so your child can eventually realize they can manage without it.
Dummy removal tip #3
Keep the dummy hidden
Ensure no dummy is left around to give your child a reminder that they are available. They should all be gathered up and locked away somewhere, giving to your child in times of emergency or the allocated allowance time.
Hint: Throw away all the dummies, and just keep one emergency one. This will just be assurance that your child won’t stumble upon one without your knowing.
Dummy removal tip #2
Going to bed without a dummy
When putting your child to bed, the best method is to replace the dummy with a different sleep trigger for them. E.g. a music box, reading a bed time story, or staying by their cot longer than usual just to reassure and comfort them to sleep. After a few nights of persistence your child will unwillingly get over it and adapt to their new routine.
Dummy removal tip #1
Tips on going cold turkey
This is a method for getting the quickest results from your child. Make sure you prepare before doing so with plenty of distractions, and just be very determined and patient. The goal is to keep the dummy from them full stop, no matter how loud, how angry or sad they get. You are teaching your child to learn how to live without one, and it will make them feel stronger in the long run. When they are successful make sure you give them plenty of praise and attention; as learning to give up things they want but is bad for them is also a good life skill for them in the future.
The rule is if you give in, then you are back to the beginning; so this method does require a lot of will power from both of you.
Warning: Always ensure the time is right, do not attempt when they are feeling poorly or outside their routine or comfort zone. A good time may be a period of holiday when you’ll mostly be home, but take them out to a special place like the park as a means of distraction.