It was lovely to read an article in the Daily Mail today where Coleen Rooney (one of the celeb mum’s I really like as it happens) had tweeted her excitement at her son Kai, who is now 3 giving up the dummy. As a mum who has been through the whole ‘when will my child give up the dummy’ debate with friends, relatives and well meaning passers by in the street (yes really random people will give you advice on all sorts of things these days it seems!) it was lovely to read about her celebrating this milestone as for some children giving up their dummy is a huge step as it can be a real comforter when they are scared, tired or unwell.
When Roo was born I was adamant I didn’t want her to have a dummy, but she was so contented with it from an early age and it calmed her when she slept I had no problem with it. As she began to get older though and into the terrible two’s and her speech developed I was keen to start weaning her off it. None of her friends at her old nursery had one, and we began talking how big girls didn’t have dummy’s and it was only for babies. Like Coleen we tried all sorts of recommended scenarios to get her to ditch.
We tried the dummy fairy, we tried the promise of an exciting gift that she wanted, we even said that Father Christmas would take them away the Christmas before she turned three. Nothing worked. Whilst we could get her to relinquish it during the day at night time she wouldn’t be without it and would cry incessantly if we tried to take it away. As we persevered it became obvious that Roo was only going to give up the dummy when the time was right for her and forcing the issue was only going to make her dig her heels in further. So we backed off and still kept it out of sight during the day as we didn’t want to let this achievement slip.
Then after we’d been to America last year something happened. I don’t know what changed in her little head – what goes on in the head of a child would be a fascinating place to be, but we came back from the US and as soon as we were home and settled Roo announced she was putting her dummies in the bin. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing or seeing when she did it and we’ve been dummy free since and it’s been lovely.
Since then she’s rarely asked for it – only when having her extreme meltdowns and as there are none in the house she has fat chance of getting one from us so soon gives up asking after a while.
Only you as a parent can decide when the time is right for getting your little one to give up the dummy, but in the daily battles of being a parent when they do give it up celebrate with joy your achievement and theirs for getting rid of it as it’s a milestone moment to remember in years to come.