For many babies and toddlers, a dummy is one of life’s great pleasures. The humble pacifier takes tots to their happy place by providing comfort, calm and even reducing the risk of SIDS during nap time.
However, like the last Tim Tam in the packet, all good things must come to an end. And when it’s time to part company with their pacifier, your tot may be reluctant to give up their dummy.
Fortunately, help is at hand! We asked the Mum’s Grapevine community on Facebook for their tried and tested ways to give up their dummy – and here are eight winning ideas.
The Dummy Fairy
The Tooth Fairy collects teeth, so why wouldn’t the Dummy Fairy collect dummies? A little white lie can go a long way, so explain to your tyke that the Dummy Fairy takes all the old dummies left out overnight and gives them to new babies.
“After plenty of pre-warnings, one night the Dummy Fairy came. All the dummies disappeared (taken for all the new babies) and a small pile of fairy-themed gifts and fairy dust (pink sugar) appeared.” – Linda White
The joy of giving
Speaking of new babies, another technique is to talk about donating your child’s dummy to a newborn ‘who needs it more than them’. Then pass the pacifier on to some new parents for top secret disposal (their newborn can do without a pre-loved dummy!).
“Baby cousin was born just after her second birthday so she ‘gave’ her dummies to him. She asked once or twice about them, but she seemed content when we reminded her where they went.” – Leanne Shelton
Another idea is to gradually reduce how often your kiddo gets their dummy. Once your baby is walking, you might want to reserve the dummy for bedtime and when they’re upset. Then move towards weaning them off the dummy altogether.
“We have started by cutting it down to naps/sleep time only and then I will only give it when he asks and then not at all.” – Peta Jauch
A bit like pulling off a band-aid in one rip, you can take the approach of throwing out all the dummies at once. Your tot might be a bit upset at first, but they’ll soon focus their attention elsewhere, especially if you emphasise that dummies are for babies, not big kids.
“We went cold turkey and put them all in the bin on bin day so I couldn’t get them. My daughter was nearly one. We had established a good routine by that age and she had always had blanket comforters as well and only had her dummies in bed.” – Amy Villalobos
Whether they get a sticker or some other treat, a reward chart is a great way to convince your sprog that maybe, just maybe, they can do without their dummy after all… You know, if the stakes are attractive enough.
“We used a sticker chart for day and night sleeps and said she was a ‘big girl’. First three days had tears, then it was fine.” – Renee Perkins
We all know that Santa brings presents, but did you know that he takes away old dummies too? Leaving the dummy out on Christmas Eve is a great way to get rid of it. Christmas morning is filled with so much excitement that a dummy whisked away by the big man barely notes a mention! Ditto for the Easter Bunny.
“Santa took it. We pre-talked to the little one telling her ‘Santa is going to take your dummy and leave you big girl presents’ and it worked a treat.” – Kerry-Ann Hodda
A twist of fate
If the dummy accidentally gets dropped in mud, split open or forgotten somewhere, then seize the moment to throw it out or abandon the search. It’s Dummy-free Day from now on!
“His dummy broke and I simply said ‘no more now’. He never cried or chucked a tantrum about it either. Was fine with it.” – Ashley Meier
Take your tot’s lead
If your tyke just doesn’t want to give up the dummy, then let them choose the time to let it go, Frozen-style. Chances are, they won’t have a dummy when they’re seven, so let them decide when they’re ready to bid farewell to their pacifier.
“My daughter turned four today. She left it for the fairy last night. I’ve tried multiple times before but she wasn’t ready. Let them do it when they are ready. It’s not like they’re going to take it to school!” – Kate Gibson
Want to know more?
Join the conversation over on our Facebook page and ask other mums what works for them… click below!