Before I had kids (Isn't That a Phrase You Hear Often:) I was adamant that I was not going to use a dummy..... then the crying starts. Before I knew it, my first baby girl and her pink little dummy were inseparable.
Every parent deserves a little peace, right? I thought so and I felt absolutely great with my decision. I had dummies everywhere: in the pram; car seat; a purse in my bag full of them; 5 in her cot so she could find them at night; some back ups in the drawers at home. Even my mum and dad had one they kept as I would often pop by.
My first insight into the fact that some people were going to judge me for using them came fast and close to home. My father in law: "Dummies are for dummy's ..... take it out". Immediately I felt judged. Did he have a screaming baby who cried for what seemed like forever at his house? NO! So I decided to make a dummy out of him. I'm sure you can imagine.......I left my screaming child with him for 10 minutes. What did I come back to, a dummy in her mouth and my Father In Law understood.
After that, I pretty much made it known to anyone who had a say that I was A-OK with dummies and it's a parents choice. I had made my choice and felt great about it.
That was until my second baby girl was born and reached two years old. Now I had a two year old and a 3.5yr old who acted like parole officers of their dummies. It started that they would usually have them to sleep, then it progressed to when they were tired then it seemed they never NOT had one in their mouth!!!
They would mumble words; cry when they didn't get one; ask in advance when they could have it and quite frankly that was a HEADACHE! There were days when I would forget to pack my dummie purse and the whole car ride was a crying, screaming mess. I felt like to cry. ENOUGH I thought!
And what gave me more resolve was when the girls were at daycare, they never had the dummy! Clearly I was either a pushover or daycare was more fun, but when around me they knew they could break me - aka: handover the dummy. And they did break me. I valued my sanity. It was a quick fix and it gave them joy.
INTRODUCING THE 'DUMMY FAIRY' (#genius #JustLikeSanta)
I always knew that Imaginary characters were incredibly useful when it came to bargaining with a feisty toddler (as is anyone who has told their little darling that Santa only visits tidy bedrooms will know). This is where the dummy fairy comes in. Like the tooth fairy, the dummy fairy turns up while your little one sleeps and takes away their dummy (in my house it was literally a bag full of dummies, 15 to be exact) and replaces it with an exciting gift.
I had let the girls know that the 'Dummy Fairy' was coming about a week in advance. Every time they wanted the dummy I would explain the concept. I knew my 3.5yr old understood as she asked a lot of questions, but I was convinced my 2yo had NO CLUE! I told them that the fairy would take the dummies to new babies in hospital who needed the dummies and they would be left with a BIG present. It was going smoothly. And if anything I let them have the dummy more in this week as I knew this was the last HOORAH so to speak.
So, I made sure we started the weaning (COLD TURKEY HERE) on Friday night (As I knew I might need my husbands support if it was going pear shaped). Bedtime came and we had kept all of our other bedtime routines in place, then into bed with NO DUMMIES! I was petrified but GUESS WHAT? They both slept through the night. Sure I had to sit with them longer to get to sleep and maybe pat them just that little bit longer (Seriously, my arm was falling off) but it was worth it!
The next day. The presents. OK, I may have gone overboard. But it was the 'Fairy' so no harm done and we opened the presents and the distraction was great. During that day our 2yo cried on and off and we had to distract, listen to it, soothe her with hugs and be CONSISTENT. One thing I have leaned with this 'Parenting Gig' is CONSISTENCY is KEY! Not for everything but for most.
We are 6 DAYS DUMMY FREE TONIGHT! And we all feel good. We actually can't believe it was rather easy, we had prepared for way worse, but we were a team. And we have a dummy free house and love it.
******* FAST FORWARD A WEEK **********
We are still DUMMY FREE and both of the girls have only asked for the dummy a handful of times and I remind them of their presents and the fairy. And we push on through a slight stunned face.
It is so nice to take a photo and neither of my girls has a dummy in! AMEN!
What if it doesn't go so well?
Like everything in parenthood, if it proves too difficult and you are losing your sanity, you always have the option to give them the dummy. A happy parent is better for a child than a parent who is losing a battle and their emotional well being too. So be kind to yourself mums. This goes for everything in life, and in motherhood. Being a good parent means YOU ARE THE BEST MUM THEY HAVE! Don't be too hard on yourself.
THE DUMMY FAIRY ISN'T FOR EVERYONE. There are a million other suggestions online that are available to you. So whatever you choose, stay calm and focused....
Lets FACE IT, I'VE NEVER SEEN A CHILD AT SCHOOL WITH A DUMMY. Have you?