50 WAYS to get rid of the dummy

50 ways to get rid of the dummy

Dummy, soother, pacifier, binky – whatever you call them, these little suckers become a much-loved part of calming little ones when they’re ready for bed or feeling distressed.

But what happens when it’s time to ditch the dummy? It’s been a constant companion for so long, a habit and comfort, so simply going cold turkey sometimes isn’t an option. So we asked the almost half-a-million mums on the Mum’s Grapevine Facebook page to give us their top tips for saying ta-ta to the dummy.

Here are 50 ways to ditch the dummy.

Call in the big guns

From sneaky sabotage to enlisting the help of Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, even Dora the Explorer – there’s bound to be a trick here to help your tot wave bye-bye to binky.

1. Plant it

“We planted them and the dummy fairies came and turned them into treats.” – Nardia

2. Give it to the Easter Bunny

“We left ours out for the Easter Bunny to take for all the baby bunnies and he left an extra special treat to say thank you.” – Feli

3. Give it to the Tooth fairy

“Tooth fairy took them and left a few coins … worked a treat.” – Devine

4. Santa gave it to new babies

“Santa took it a few days before Christmas to prepare and freshen it up for the new babies that don’t have one yet. Three-year-old talked about it for a couple of weeks leading up to so no surprise.” – Rach

5. Reindeers take the dummies

“Popped all the dummies in a magical box and on Christmas day the reindeers take all the dummies. They left behind a trail of sparkles and glitter and a special present. It worked too.” – Shelley Hawthorne

6. Hang it on the Christmas tree

“My son hung it on the Christmas tree in return for a little scooter.” – Penny

7. Dummy Mermaid

“We had a Dummy Mermaid who left little presents in exchange for a dummy in a special box. Then the dog ate the last one.” – Kate

8. Send it to Dora the Explorer

“To get my daughter off the dummy we send it to Dora the Explorer! We talked about it for a while before with her to get her used to the idea and picked a day. On that day we got an envelope and addressed it to Dora and went to the post box and she put it in. Made a big song and Dance about how much Dora would love it and use it for kids that didn’t have a Num Num’s (dummy) and how brave she was, big girl etc. Dora then sent a special note back and a treat later that day! It was really special for her. Had a bit of whinging that night and the next for it but alas it was already in Dora’s hands and couldn’t come back!” – Kate

9. Send it to Peppa Pig

“With my first I sent it to Peppa Pig.” – Amy

Get them involved

Little boy with dummy & blanket

If your super sucker is a little older, getting them involved in the process helps them get excited and feel more in control.

10. Watch the garbo take it

“My son is obsessed with garbage trucks. So on garbage day he put it in the wheelie bin and we watched as the garbage man took it away. He was so excited and didn’t get upset or ask for it again!” – Alli

11. Mail it to someone

“We put it in an envelope and addressed it: ‘To a baby that needs a dummy’. Then we walked to the letterbox with my young daughter and she posted it. My daughter was very happy that she’d given her dummy to a baby that needed it and never asked for it again. Bet the postie had a laugh.” – Bern

12. Give it to the postman

“We left them in the letterbox for the postman to give to a new baby who didn’t have one yet. The postman even left a thank you note.” – Sian

13. Not allowed in big beds

“My first four I told them they’re not allowed to go into ‘big girl/boy’ beds with a dummy, so they gave it up.” – Belinda

14. Plant a dummy tree

“I planted the dummies in the back garden so we could have a dummy tree. After the second week, they stopped checking to see if a tree was growing.” – Kellie

15. Babies waiting to be born

“We told her that new babies can’t be born until a child gives up their dummy, so she wouldn’t be able to have a brother or sister until she gave up the dummy – worked a treat, and I was already pregnant!” – Anna

16. Buy a toy with them

“I teed it up with the toy shop and my son picked out the toy he wanted (a Sherrif Woody) and paid at the counter with his num nums (dummies). It was so cute.” – Juanita

17. Give it to a duck

“Went to the park and the ducks were quacking. He dropped his dummy and I told him the baby duck had it cause he was missing his mummy and we drove 120 km home, no dummy. He asked at night and told him the baby duck had it! He was 2.” – Janine

18. Donate to a baby animal

“Taking it to the zoo and donating it to a baby animal. With lots of preparation for our daughter and a gift. We donated it to the baby giraffe. Our daughter just threw it into the trash can in front of the giraffe house.” – Ada

19. Read a dummy fairy book

“I regularly read both of mine a book called Florrie the Dummy Fairy.  I had no crying or anything.” – Kirstie

20. Tie to helium balloons

“I tied my sons to a helium balloon and when it was dark we let them float up to the babies in the sky. I think he took it better than me, and never asked for it again.” – Angela

21. Stop on the third birthday

“My daughter stopped at three years. We started talking about it at 2.5 years and told her every day that on her third birthday she had to get rid of them. On her birthday we gave her a bowl and told her to go get them all (she hid them everywhere … even in the toilet paper roll on the holder in the bathroom!) and get the trashcan. She got all her pacifiers (dummies) and we got the camera. We took pictures as she dumped them in the trash and as she jumped up and down clapping and proud! We made a big deal of what a big girl she was to throw away her own pacifiers! She never looked back! And NO, she didn’t start sucking her thumb, thank goodness.” – Jennifer

22. Make a bed for dummy

“Try creating a house for the dummy with a bed. Tell him dummy needs rest too. It will take a lot of time and patience no matter what you try.” – Sara

23. Give it a new baby sister

“My daughter was two and I just told her she needed to give them to her baby sister when she came, it was hard the first few days but we got through it. I do catch her every now and again having a sucking fix with her little sister’s.” – Ellie

24. Give it up at the second birthday

“All my kids gave it up on their second birthday – kept telling them leading up to their birthday that the garbage men were going to take the dummy away as they are big kids now! They watched them empty the bin and drive off, never had a problem – only one of them said to go to the shop and buy another one but we didn’t.” – Debbie

25. Throw a big boy party

“We had a ‘big boy’ party – balloons, cake the works. Part of that was saying goodbye to the dummy. My boy put it in the bin himself. Had a rough week, but it was needed to happen at some point.” – Sophie

26. Take on a tour of school

“We took our daughter on her school tour with us the year before she was starting school and asked her to tell us if she saw anyone with a dummy. She soon realised she couldn’t have it at school, so it was a good way to kickstart the process.” – Jamey

Sneaky sabotage

stopping dummy baby toddler

Sometimes, a mum’s gotta do what a mums gotta do. And that involves some cheeky dummy tampering.

27. Put holes in it

“Poke a few holes in it so it doesn’t work properly.” – Elizabeth

28. Cut the ends

“Cut the ends then gave them to my daughter. She hated it.” – Maree

29. Leave it on holidays

“We went on a holiday and ‘left it behind’.” – Lisa

30. Dog ate it

“Say the dog ate it and there are no more – it works with the bottle as well, that way they can’t get cranky at you.” – Amber

31. Drop it in poo-like substance

“My dad mixed coffee, sugar and a little water which made it look like poo. He put it on the ground and then ‘dropped the dummy in it’ in front of little. She was so grossed out, he then (as any good pop) said he’d clean it and stuck it in his mouth…making horrible sounds and faces he ‘cleaned it’ … she never wanted it again.” – Janke

32. Give it to a friends baby

“We gave ours to our friends baby who was still in her tummy… worked amazingly only two days of asking, wanting to see the photo. And she was addicted at a time for two years.” – Bec

33. Cut a slit in it

“Dummy fairy didn’t work for us, neither did cutting it in half. What did work for us is I said I will put it in the dishwasher and wash it because it’s a bit dirty and when he was at daycare I took it out and slit it down the middle (didn’t cut the top off like last time). I left it in the dishwasher and when it was time to go to bed he remembered that I put it in there and when he got it he said, ‘oh no mummy its broken’. He tried to put it in his mouth a few times but it wasn’t the same so he said I don’t want it any more. If I had of known it was that easy I would’ve done that a year ago!” – Deanna

34. Gradually cut it shorter and shorter

“Cut the end off it and cut it shorter every couple of days.” – Kirrily

35. Put Vegemite on it

“My three-year-old hates Vegemite, so I put a teeny little smear on the end of the dummy and the look on her face was enough to tell me it worked!” – Rose

36. Drop it in the toilet

“Dropped it in the toilet accidentally-on-purpose while he was watching – yucky dirty now!” – Margaret

37. Throw them away

“Threw them away and never talked about them again. It was a long week, but she forgot about them quick.” – Brittany

38. Send it on holidays

“It went on holidays with grandma.” – Kira

39. Break it

“We got rid of the dummy by cutting the nipple off and showing her it had broken. She went to bed with it a few times and had it just as something to hold on to (the plastic part). But she soon realised it was broken and lost her attachment to it. It helped that she also had become attached to a little comforter before this transition. (Her tiny ‘taggy’ blanket).” – Celeste

40. Stop before school

“We told my son that we would need to stop using a dummy well before he starts school and that he needs to show us he can be a big boy before school starts. After about two weeks of just talking about the fact he needed to not have it to be a big boy he came and gave them to me one day and said he didn’t need it anymore and was now a big boy. Never asked for it again.” – Kimberly

41. Dog licks it

“I told her the dog licked it and the water wasn’t working in the house so we couldn’t wash it. She gave up there and then.” – Jo

42. Tie to one spot

“We tied the dummy to a spot in the house, and if he wanted it he had to stay still in the spot. Wasn’t long before he got sick of standing still!” – Jane

Slowly does it

NUK Soothers

Kiddos love doing things at their own pace – by gently guiding them you’ll find less resistance and more independence.

43. Wean at bedtime

“Weaned to bedtime only, then cold turkey.” – Michelle

44. Put it in a bag

“Are you at daycare? Out educators started ‘putting it in the bag so it didn’t get dirty during playtime’ and then once she was doing that, we started doing it home when we could. Now we mostly only have it for bedtime or when teething.” – Anne

45. Rewards chart

“We set up a reward chart, giving little treats if he could do without it for the amount of time we set each day. Eventually, he just got used to having it less and less, then not at all.” – Lucy

46. Tie it to the cot

“I tied all the dummies to the cot so whenever he wanted his dummy he had to go nap time. After a couple of days he wouldn’t give up play time for dummy time!” – Suzanne

47. Cuddle them to sleep instead

“I just cuddled him until he fell asleep again and eventually he stopped asking.” – Caitlin

48. Change the routine

“We changed his routine so that instead of having his dummy when we read a story, we had a cuddly bear to hold. It took a little while but it broke that sleep association.” – Sally

49. Wean slowly

“We just weaned her off a little more each day. We drew up a chart and showed her how much time she was allowed to have it each day until eventually there was no more time.” – Cait

50. Set a date

“We set a date on the calendar that we would be visiting the zoo (his favourite place) but said we could only go if he had given up the dummy by then. So he had time to get used to the idea, and a reward at the end.” – Rach

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50 ways to ditch the dummy for good