To Dummy or not to Dummy?
I love the dummy…..you may be surprised to hear a Baby Sleep Consultant say that, but I do, I love it. I have 3 children 2 that love(d) the dummy and 1 that loves her thumb (she is now 4). I know which one I personally prefer.
However, as a Baby Sleep Consultant, I will not judge either way whether you want to choose to use a dummy or not that is completely down to your personal choice and I will not advise you to use one or remove one unless I thought it has something to do with your little one’s sleep.
Harvey Karp is a well known Paediatrician that has developed what he calls the 5Ss that turn on baby’s calming reflex that helps them settle and fall asleep. One of them is Sucking and when used in conjunction with the other 4, helps babies calm and settle to sleep. Sucking can either be with a dummy or babies can even use their hands as they get a little older and out of their swaddle or even sucking on a bottle or breast.
But if you have chosen to use a dummy as I did, there are ways to wean off the dummy if you do not want them to get too attached to it:
You can remove it early. Before 6 months is a great time to do so and you can do it gradually or cold turkey. Removing it before 6 months is a lot easier to do than when they are older.
When baby has fallen asleep, remove the dummy so that they haven’t got it in for their entire sleep.
The dummy fairy is a great one for older children to remove the dummy with minimal tears. I personally used this tactic with my first born when he was around 3 years of age. It worked a treat and I recommend it to a lot of people. We even did a little ceremony, I made up some silly song, put the dummy in a bag and put it on a tree branch in the backyard. The next morning my son woke up to find a present left in place of the dummy. For 2 nights following he asked for the dummy but we reminded him the Dummy fairy took it, he said ok and went off to sleep. This may not work so smoothly for some, but I think it is definitely a great way to get rid of it when you have an older child that understands.
Now I just need to figure out how to wean one of my children from her thumb….?
By Shannon Andrews
Shannon is a Certified Infant and Baby Sleep Consultant at Baby Sleep Consultant Australia. She is mother to 3 beautiful children and loves helping other families get the much needed sleep they want. You can find out more about Shannon here, or if you think you have a sleep problem, you can phone Shannon directly on 0433440170, and she would be happy to help you.