Your baby’s sleep and their dummy

Tell someone your baby or toddler has a dummy and they are bound to have an opinion!

Heck I had an opinion before I had children, there was no way I would let my baby have a dummy.
(Insert your laughter at me here….)

Then I had my first baby, and obviously every preconceived idea I had about being a parent went out the window, and by day 3 my baby had a dummy.
What a life saver!
She could have her feed, and then use the dummy to fall asleep, not my very tendor, slightly falling apart nipples!

But I wondered when would I get rid of this dummy? Would I need to, or would my baby have this until she was 5?

I had no idea!!! Literally none, ultimately I made the decision to take the dummy away at 3 months and work on self settling, but having worked with thousands of clients since then, I now know we have choices.

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baby with dummy

Dummies come in 3 phases.

1. Newborns
2. Toddlers
3. That icky in between stage

1. If you have a newborn who needs a dummy, great! Give it to them. You can tug on it slightly to teach them to hold it in tighter, you can hold it with one hand and pat their bum with the other, or you can use to help wind a newborn. Magic, honestly! Don’t feel any panic or like you are setting up some huge sleep association, at this age I would rather your baby slept with the dummy, than skipped a nap! An over tired newborn = screaming.

2. Toddlers, if you have a toddler (12 months +) who still has a dummy, we often get asked when and how do you ditch it. Now your dentist and I have different opinions on this. While he would rather your child never had a dummy, I think once they have it that long, you really need to wait until they are 2.5 years + to explain that its gone away, and there is no more dummy. Trying to remove one in those in between years is really tricky, and often not an enjoyable experience. I’ve had many clients try to get rid of it sooner, and their toddler is very confused as this is the only way they have learnt to sleep.

Some things which you can apply at this age are a small plastic cup with dummies next to the bed or clipped to the cot bars, it is very easy to teach your toddler to find their dummy from there.

3. The icky in between stage: This is where you have to make a call; wean baby off the dummy around 12 weeks and gradually onto self settling, or be happy to pop the dummy back in for them for up to 6-8 months before they can learn to do it themselves. This stage 12weeks – 8months is a common one for us to be helping parents with better sleep as the constant dummy runs means broken sleep for baby, and you…………this over tiredness can then result in shorter naps, more night wake ups, earlier starts…. and a cycle which often feels out of control and like no one is getting any sleep!
Self settling strategies are the goal, if this is you.

“Before having a baby, we knew that sleep would be an issue we had to deal with – but we didn’t know just how debilitating and challenging sleep (or lack thereof) would be in reality. When we contacted Baby Sleep Consultant, we were at our lowest ebb – we felt physically and emotionally drained, lost, out of control and fearful over what the future held. It honestly felt like nothing would ever get better.

The consultant came at just the right time. She listened to our worries and fears, she offered us empathy and understanding, and most importantly she affirmed us in what we were doing and gave us a plan to work with. With some simple tweaks, she helped us understand why our baby was struggling to sleep, and gave us tools, guidelines and support to stick with our sleep training methods to help our baby help herself, and us.

We saw immediate improvement in our baby’s sleep habits. It was really hard work, but our persistence and consistency has really paid off. Sleep is an ongoing journey, and nothing is a magic pill – we still have bumps in the road – but the support and skills she provided us with has been life-changing and means than future sleep challenges are much more manageable and sustainable for us. Life feels possible again.

We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Baby Sleep Consultant. If you are thinking about getting help with sleep, just do it. You have nothing to lose by seeking out help, and everything to gain.”

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