Like an addict waiting for our next hit, the relief we felt when I found a dummy in the bottom of my nappy bag was like a high like no other. I was as addicted to my sons Dummy as he was. I am the first to admit it, Dummies were a blessing for us. I understand that some babies will not take one and some parents prefer not to offer one however when the midwife said Daniel was one of the worst little suckers she had seen we took her advice and Daniel was offered a Dummy. He practised daily until one month later the Dr declared him able to successfully feed and gave us permission to finally take our baby boy home from the hospital.
Over the next two years, Daniels Dummies came everywhere with us.
Daniel would sometimes have two or three in his mouth and even used them to play within his cot a self-settling tool. By age 2, Daniel and I were at the height of our Dummy addiction and sucking a Dummy got us both through his hungry uglies, tiredness and the common 2-year-old emotionally explosive tantrums.
The dentist was the first to pop my bubble saying Daniels' teeth were starting to curve, quickly followed by the Dr who commented on the number of ear infections. Finally, a Speech Pathologist said it was now time for the Dummy to go as the pronunciation of the letters p, b, t, d, s will be affected. I will be honest, the anxiety I felt just thinking about what life would be like without the dummy was real. I had visions of tears, tantrums and sleepless nights, both his and mine.
Unsure how to tackle removing his dummy I asked around and was surprised to receive advice which would cause great distress to my 2-year-old toddler. I was told “ just cut the tip off “ and, “tell him the dog ate it “ and “ just lose it somewhere”. I considered carefully how I would feel if someone snatched my iPhone, the thing I often look at before going to sleep and often reached for first thing in the morning. In honesty just might throw a tantrum too.
"Daniel and the Dummy Fairy" Read this book to create a visual for your child of what is going to happen when the Dummy Fairy visits your toddler.
It’s normal to feel uncertain about whether you are ready to make the change and If you have what it takes to quit your child’s Dummy addiction and not give in. I knew snatching was not the answer for us so after careful consideration, I chose to embrace pretend play and introduce Daniel to the Dummy Fairy. Sure, I made her up, but through her, I could gradually get Daniel to use to the idea of his Dummy going.
With thanks to the Dummy Fairy our road to recovery was without the horrid bumps, pitfalls or setbacks I imagined. It was actually pretty smooth sailing and after discussing the Dummy Fairy for two months and then reading the book “ Daniel and the Dummy Fairy “ we are officially cured.
We now live a life without dummies, a happy life without the anxiety and fear of being at the shops and looking in the bottom of my bag for a dummy and not finding one there.