You’re visiting the Birmingham branch of Little Dreams. Click here to view the main site.

When to Bid Farewell to the Dummy.

Removing the dummy

Share This Post

The use of pacifiers, commonly known as dummies, in infants has been a topic of debate, but research from The Lullaby Trust suggests they might lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in the first six months, providing much-needed comfort to newborns without constant parental intervention. However, knowing when to bid farewell to the dummy can be a difficult decision for some. I’ve guided families through this transition with success.

When to Bid Farewell to the Dummy?

While dummies offer immediate soothing benefits, dependency can emerge as a concern, especially when they become sleep “props.” The real challenge arises when babies rely on dummies to bridge sleep cycles, leading to disruptions when the dummy falls out. Although some babies may naturally outgrow their reliance on dummies, for others, the dependency persists, needing a thoughtful approach to removal.

Strategies for Successful Dummy Removal

The Cold Turkey Approach: Once the decision to remove the dummy is made, employing a “cold turkey” approach often produces the best results. This method involves removing all dummies from the environment, including those hidden in bags or stowed away in cars. Consistency is key; once it’s gone, it’s gone. Exceptions, like allowing it for long car rides or cranky days, will only confuse your child. By maintaining a firm stance and demonstrating consistency, you can effectively communicate the new sleep routine to your baby, paving the way for smoother nights ahead.

Transition Strategies: Transitioning away from the dummy isn’t merely about taking away a comforting object; it’s about replacing it with an alternative. Introducing a comforter or teddy bear can serve as a transitional object, providing a source of comfort and familiarity during sleep. However, please remember that there should be nothing else in a cot with a little one under the age of 12 months. Selecting an item with your scent can further enhance its soothing properties, fostering a sense of security for your child. However, you should anticipate resistance during the initial stages of the transition, as babies adjust to the absence of their familiar sleep prop. It’s important to remain patient and supportive during this period, reassuring them through gentle gestures and consistent routines.

Customising the Transition for Toddlers:

Transitioning away from the dummy becomes increasingly nuanced when dealing with toddlers, who thrive on predictability and routine. Engaging all caregivers, including parents, grandparents, and childcare providers, ensures a unified approach and minimises confusion for the child. Creative strategies, such as the “dummy tree” or tales of the “dummy fairy,” can develop excitement and anticipation in the transition process, transforming it into a memorable milestone for your child. Additionally, gradually phasing out the dummy from non-sleep situations before tackling nap and bedtime routines can help toddlers adapt to the change without overwhelming them. By maintaining realistic expectations and demonstrating consistency, you can guide your toddler through this transition with confidence and support.

Ultimately, the decision to remove your child’s dummy is a personal one, guided by their unique needs and developmental stage. If you’re facing sleep challenges or considering dummy removal, remember that support is available. I’m here to provide guidance, reassurance, and practical strategies to help your family achieve restful nights and peaceful mornings. Let’s embark on this journey together towards better sleep for all! Book a call now.

You may also like

Mother feeding her baby

Dream Feeding

For parents of newborns, the quest for longer stretches of sleep can feel like a never-ending journey. Those precious moments when your little one finally

Read More »
Mum holding baby while feeling guilty sleep teaching

Sleep Teaching Without Guilt.

As a sleep consultant, I encounter parents who feel guilty about teaching their little ones to sleep. However, contrary to popular belief, sleep training is

Read More »