After 3 years of the dependable dummy, Frankie has bid it farewell. We have been telling Frankie for months and preparing him that when he turns 3, his dummies will be going in the sky!
I honestly thought we were in for a horrendous few weeks of getting rid of his beloved numma, he’s had one since he was 6 weeks old and always seemed to have them hidden in random places, so when you took one off of him, he’d toddle off and find another stashed in amongst his pile of toys! But my little man has surprised us all, a week in and he hasn’t mentioned the D word once! & no one is more surprised (or as emotional) as I am! The third night he gave me a kiss goodnight, rolled over and fell straight to sleep was when I found myself watching him with tears falling!
He sleeps with a ‘blank’ but has never been attached to any soft toys, which I think is a blessing when I hear stories of bulk buying Jellycat bunnies and identical blankets from M&S but it hit me all at once that he could pacify himself to sleep without needing an item from me to comfort him! My dependent little baby had grown into a self-sufficient toddler and it happened quicker than I was prepared for! No babygros, nappies, no bottles & now the dummy.
For those that know Frankie too thought we were in for a tough ride, so if you are reading this yourself worrying how on earth am I going to boycott the dummy here is my best advice for you:
- Much like potty training, commit commit commit! Set you and them a firm date, we chose Frankie’s third birthday and have been drumming into him for months that when he turns 3 his dummies are going in the sky.
- Get everyone on board, grandparents, aunties, uncles, companions, nursery, playschool and tell them that the dummies will soon be going, so they can also drum it into them!
- Wean dummies down to nap/bed time only, when Frankie went into his ‘big boy bed’ was when I cut off giving into the dummy during the day time if he was simply ratty or tired, if he wanted it he had to get into bed! A few times he tried getting into bed during the day to have a few suckles to secure his cravings but after a few weeks he realized I meant business! He only naps now at nursery so I stopped sending him in with dummies a few weeks before D Day and they were really supportive and he actually napped fine without one!
- Make friends with the Dummy Fairy, no I am not nuts, just think of it this way, if a Wine Fairy was coming into your house to steal your comfort would you like the idea of her? NO! We had a ‘magic phone’ which we rung her on every night to countdown to D Day, I was over-enthusiastic that he would get a special treat when he finally banished the nummas & luckily for us Frankie is of course a Firework baby, 5th November, so we had the magic of fireworks (which he now thinks the Dummy Fairy controls, one for next year to explain!)
- Comfort them, explain why it’s happening, there are babies that need them, their teeth will be wonky, they don’t need them! Make it all playful for them, if they ask for it, make it a joke & tell them they won’t need it soon!
D Day, we chose the day after Frankie’s birthday as not to upset him on his actual bday, he started asking for his dummy so we went and told him to look in the sky and that’s where his dummies had gone, he was emotional for a good hour (it was hard to watch) we had a lot of cuddles in bed and talking it through and he understood what was happening but kept saying ‘but I need it!’. He eventually fell asleep, not hysterical just to add, he was just emotional. When he woke up he bounded into my room and was so happy with himself, he kept saying to everyone we saw from the postman to the shop assistant in Tesco ‘my nummas are in the sky now, I’m 3 and I’m a big boy!’. Night Two, he kept asking for ‘something else’, saying ‘Mummy I think I need something else’, but he didn’t really know or want to say dummy, he went to sleep with no tears.. As I said above, by night 3 it was as though the dummy had never happened, he put himself to bed and it hasn’t been mentioned since! So that next day we went and picked out a toy with him from the Dummy Fairy (after discussing on the DF phone what to buy of course!) we brought it home and everyone that has been round since he tells it’s from the Dummy Fairy!
I am still in shock and awe of my resilient little boy, after dreading taking the dummy away more than I did potty training, it’s another milestone over and done with for my baby bug! Proud Mama!
Let me know how you get on!