That age old debate….”ohh he has a dummy?”, yes, yes he does, he has a dummy and I have a full night sleep, sounds like a deal to me!
I was one of those Mums that took a dummy to hospital, I was more than happy to offer Albie a dummy from day one. Us mummies are exhausted enough so anything that offers a baby comfort and helps them sleep (even if for an extra 5 minutes) in my eyes, is a god send. Unfortunately he didn’t play ball for the first three months, he refused a dummy, every time I offered, he spat it out.
When Albie was three months old, he had his first little cold and cough, poor guy. I offered him a dummy thinking it would help his cough a little by producing more saliva, I was amazed when he took it straight away. Albie had just started to sleep through the night, he would occasionally get unsettled and the dummy really helped with this…
Or so some may have you believe. Now comes a couple of dilemmas…
It’s 3am, the kid is moaning, not crying, just moaning, do you
a) run as fast as you can to shove said dummy back in mouth, risking that he sees you and becomes more awake
b) close your eyes and pray he finds one of the ten dummies you have scattered in his cot (to save that 3am commando crawl under the bed to look for said dummy)
c) get up and find the dummy is secured in mouth and hate that you got out of bed for no bloody reason and hope it was just a blip.
I am an a/b, although Albie can settle himself very easily at bed time, I put him to bed wide awake and he’s in the land of nod without a squeak from him, however if he does wake at night he finds it really hard to settle without a cuddle from Mum or Dad, I can just tell by the cry if we are going to have one of those nights, I have tried controlled crying but it’s just not his thing. I personally think he must really want to see one of us, otherwise he would send himself back to sleep. So there are times when I run as fast as possible, trying not to scream when I stand on a toy train to get in there ASAP and pop it straight back in there. Recently I have become a little braver, rather than making the mummy sprint on the slightest noise, I give him the benefit of the doubt to find the dummy and go back to sleep. It has helped, but you’ve gotta be brave Mum. I know! it’s a risk but you get to stay in bed for at least another minute, fingers (toes and every hairstrand crossed)
When to take it away?
Albie only ever has his dummy at nap and bed times, occasionally if he has fallen flat on his face and he’s hurt himself, I will let him have it just to calm him down and it really helps. Albie is 14 months now, I tried to take it away when he was about 9 months, he managed to fall asleep at bedtime with only ten minutes of moaning, but he woke up 2am and just wouldn’t go back and at 2am, that dummy goes straight back in !! Sticking to something is so much easier said than done. I hold my hands up to mummies that can carry these things through but I’m just not one of those. I have decided to take away Albies dummy after he has settled into sleeping in his bed rather than his cot, I am hoping he will go into that at about 20 months, possibly sooner, but as he isn’t walking yet it might be a good idea to push it back. Once he is fully settled in there we will attempt removal again, hopefully he will have a better understanding of the Dummy Fairy by then and we can explain how little babies need his dummy now!! Why she can’t just come and tell him herself I don’t know. It would make our lives that little easier! She doesn’t even leave a pound under the pillow in exchange!!
* if you are going to use a dummy always use an orthopaedic friendly make. We use advent, they are teeth friendly and I prefer them because they are completely transparent.