While most children stop using dummies on their own between ages two and four, others may need a little help breaking the habit.
When it comes to soothing your baby, a dummy can be extremely useful. It transports your tot to “their happy place”, providing them with comfort and tranquillity, while also providing you with some much-needed peace and quiet. But, as we all know, dummies – otherwise known as pacifiers – can cause issues as your child grows.
Normal pacifier use during the first few years of life generally doesn’t cause long-term dental problems. However, prolonged pacifier use might cause a child’s teeth to be misaligned.
Giving up a dummy can be difficult, but these helpful hints might just be the ticket.
Choose the appropriate time
The sooner you decide to get rid of the dummy, the less difficult it will be. Your baby will become increasingly strong-willed after 12 months, which may be difficult, so you’ll need to change your tactics.
If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind
Keep temptation at a distance. If throwing away your emergency stash of dummies seems too drastic, at the very least gather them and store them somewhere safe – out of sight and preferably out of reach. This is because you will be tempted to give in when your baby cries for her dummy.
Other calming options are available
Other comforters, such as a blanket or a teddy bear, should be encouraged to be used. Anything that diverts your baby’s attention away from sucking their dummy will be beneficial.
Is it a good idea to quit cold turkey?
Many mothers have had success going cold turkey. If going cold turkey seems too extreme, gradually reduce the amount of time your baby spends with the dummy each day. Alternatively, keep the dummy in your pocket and lengthen the time you wait before handing it over.
The dummy fairy – as well as other magical beings
Why would the Dummy Fairy – or Dummy Mouse – collect dummies if the Tooth Fairy collects teeth? You can tell your child that the Dummy Fairy (or Mouse) came to collect all the dummies to give to the new babies, but she also left him a small gift.
Persistence is crucial
Don’t get discouraged if your first attempt at ditching the dummy fails. Remember that your child’s desire for one is not a sign of naughtiness, nor is it a reflection of your parenting abilities. Every year, millions of dummies are sold for good reason. They will eventually give up when the time is right. So, in the meantime, take it easy. There are worse vices than this.