Helpful Tips to Ditch the Dummy


Out of three children two of mine had a dummy, one of them however just wouldn’t entertain the idea. This means I have had to ditch the dummy twice. One gave up their dummy at 6 months old and the other at two years old. The 6-month-old was actually the easiest to give up their dummy and we went cold turkey.

Cold turkey

Simply put you take the dummy away one night and it never returns. I had had a series of very restless nights, where I was basically getting up just to put the dummy back in. I figured I was getting up so frequently to do that I might as well give the cold turkey method a go and soothe them another way instead. It went so much better than expected, yes the first night was tough but I had expected it to be. The third night however I wondered why I hadn’t done the cold turkey method with my other child and why I hadn’t removed the dummy much earlier.

Leave the dummy for Santa/Easter Bunny

Many people I spoke to when ditching the dummy actively encouraged their child to leave the dummy out for Santa [or similar]. Santa would then take away the dummies and leave the child presents in return or in the case of the Easter Bunny chocolate or a gift. Some nurseries and even schools have a dummy tree which encourages children to hang their dummy on the tree and Santa then brings them a gift in exchange. I know many people who have had success with this method but the important thing to remember is to make sure you leave all the dummies and not just the odd one or two.

Gradual weaning

Another popular method is to gradually wean the child off them. As one breaks do not buy a replacement until eventually they are all gone. It is similar to going cold turkey but more visual and sometimes can be easier for an older child to accept that they have broken and are therefore gone. In a similar way, I have known some parents cut the rubber part of the dummy during the night so when the child wakes up the next day the dummies are broken and the child themselves thrown them out.

Pretend to give to a new baby

Explain to the child that the new baby needs the dummies now and how kind it is that you are bigger and giving your dummies to them. It is similar to the Santa method above and in the same way, the new baby could give them a gift of thanks. This works better with more empathetic children.

Whatever method you choose to do make sure that once the dummy is gone, it stays gone. It is hard at first but having been there twice I can assure you it does get easier. If you are wondering how my second child ditched the dummy well, we went to feed the ducks and as she threw a piece of bread to the ducks she accidentally threw her dummy with it. We were stood on a bridge at the time and there was no way I could get down to the water in time with two young children with me to rescue the dummy. Instead, we watched it bob away, she said goodbye and never asked for it after that.

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