Dummies. Love them or hate them, most parents have some opinion on them. We decided to give Holly a dummy when she was about 4 weeks old. I breastfed her but she was using me as a pacifier, which meant I became quite exhausted very quickly. We didn’t particularly want her to suck her thumb. Our thinking behind this was that we could take a dummy away from her one day. However, we couldn’t take her thumb off of her.
When Holly was around 11 weeks old, I realised that she didn’t really need her dummy during the day. Mark and I decided that we would only let her use it, for naps and bedtime. This worked really well. It helped us to sleep train her. Since she was 6 months old, we can probably count on 2 hands how many broken nights sleep we’ve had (we feel very blessed!). Holly has never had an ear infection or had an upset tummy which can sometimes happen with babies who have a dummy. However, over the last month or so, Holly started to become anxious and fretful when she couldn’t find her dummy immediately at bedtime. This made Mark and I talk about how and when we should “deal with the dummy”.
To be honest, we were gearing ourselves up for a traumatic couple of weeks. We were even planning on waiting till Christmas (for Holly’s 2nd birthday) and taking some time off of work to allow for tears, tantrums and sleep deprivation. But, surprisingly none of that happened. About 10 nights ago, Mark and I got Holly ready for bed, read her a bedtime story as usual. However, we looked at each other and automatically knew what the other was thinking which was “we’re not going to give her the dummy”. We distracted her and settled her down to bed gave her a kiss goodnight, shut the door and waited.
Holly squeaked “mummy do do, daddy do do” after a couple more minutes she was silent. As the hour passed, we realised that Holly had gone to sleep on her own! No tears, no upset nothing. We thought it was too good to be true. She slept till 2am and woke for 2 minutes before settling herself back off to sleep. I wanted to make sure that Holly could sleep without it for both naps, and during the night and while she was staying away from home. She did.
We’re so proud. We’ve never been fans of “tough love” and have followed a more baby-led, instinctual style of parenting. It works for us and has kept our little family very contented.