How and when to get rid of your baby’s dummy
Is your baby or toddler still reliant on their dummy? Want to wean them off? Find out how and when to get rid of your baby’s dummy.
Your baby might have developed an inseparable bond with their dummy, but there comes a time when they need to part ways. This can be incredibly challenging, especially if your baby is dependent on their dummy to fall asleep or stop crying.
UK baby brand Nuby has revealed some of the best tips to rid your baby’s dummy and make the transition smoother.
When is the right time to get rid of your baby’s dummy?
While there is a lot of taboo and judgement coming from the parenting police regarding using a dummy up to a certain age, you need to listen to your own intuition.
Dummies are there for a reason. They help soothe babies, provide a relief for teething, help babies with problems like wind and reflux, and are great for infants who like to constantly suck on something.
If your baby’s dummy isn’t causing a problem, then there is no urgency to get rid of it, and it’s entirely up to you when you do so. Nevertheless, if your baby is developing a dependency, especially when it comes to sleep, then you might need to consider a dummy intervention!
Not only can your baby become dependable on the dummy as a soothing mechanism, but it can also affect growing teeth and stop their tongue from moving freely as they grow older. The dummy can also impend their ability to chatter as they’re starting to speak and slow down their speech development.
Four signs your baby is ready to be weaned off their dummy
Four signs to look for that indicate it might be time to get rid of your baby’s dummy include:
- Your baby refuses to go to sleep without a dummy.
- They start waking up after every sleep cycle (about 45 minutes).
- When the dummy falls out, they wake up and can’t go to sleep again without it.
- The dummy ceases to help your baby stay asleep.
Generally, it’s recommended that babies are weaned off their dummy by the age of one, and you can start the process as early as three months. The earlier you start, the quicker the memory of relying on it as a soothing mechanism will fade out.
Five tips to help you wean your baby off their dummy
There are many different approaches you can take when it comes to weaning your baby off the dummy. Some parents like to do it gradually, while others go for the cold turkey method. Here are five tips to help you.
1) Cut it down gradually
If you want to start weaning your baby off early on, you can take a gradual approach. Start by reducing the time your baby uses the dummy each day. You can take off five minutes or more every couple of days or so until they no longer need it. If it’s easier, you can limit its use to specific times, such as nap time or bedtime. That way you’re adding more structure to the process.
2) Replace the dummy
If the dummy is causing problems, such as damaging your baby’s gum, you can replace it with another object that will serve as a soother but won’t cause damage. Try offering a soft blanket or a stuffed animal that your baby can cuddle instead of their dummy. These newborn essentials will provide them a much-needed soothing and comfort to aid the process.
3) Reward them
Getting rid of the dummy doesn’t have to be a horrible experience for both parties, and you can turn it into a fun game. If your baby is a little bit older, you can reward them for not reaching for their dummy. Why not make them a little progress sheet and give them stickers every time they’ve reached a milestone? Once they’ve collected a certain number of stickers, the reward comes!
4) Go cold turkey
If you’ve waited until your baby is two years old or older, it may be time to go cold turkey on the dummy. Take it away and be prepared for some resistance. The is where you will need to show some tough love. It may take a few days or even weeks for your child to adjust, but eventually, they will learn to soothe themselves without the dummy.
5) Bring in the Dummy Fairy
Have you heard of the Dummy Fairy? It might be a complete fairytale, but that’s the language of children, and it might do wonders!
Make up a story that will encourage your older children to give up their dummy. For example, tell them that if they leave their dummy underneath their pillow overnight, just like with the Tooth Fairy, a present they’ve wanted for a long time will appear instead in the morning.
Alternatively, you can tell them that the Dummy Fairy needs to give the dummies to the new babies and they need to give up their own. This will also promote compassion and empathy in your child. Feel free to use your imagination!
Patience and consistency are the key to successfully weaning your many off their dummy
Getting rid of your baby’s dummy might be challenging, but with these tips, you should be able to get your baby used to being dummy-free in no time. Remember that patience and consistency are key, and no matter how much your baby resists the change, it’s essential for their long-term oral health and development.