When Calleigh was a baby we made the decision to give her a dummy. A lot of people had told us not to do it because it will be difficult to get rid of it later down the line. Of course (being new and first time parents and all) we blissfully ignored the advice and gave her one anyway. She took to it really well and it helped her sleep like a champ (pretty much through the night from 2 months old).
We figured it couldn't be that hard, I mean its just a dummy right? -Wrong.
We thought once she was old enough she would pretty much just spit it out and wave goodbye - Wrong again.
And so here we are, almost two years down the line, in the battle of our lives to try and get her to give up her dummy.
It started a couple of weeks ago, looking back on photos of Calleigh and realising that in almost every picture she has a dummy hiding her beautiful face. And in the ones that she didn't she was frowning because I had just taken it out to take a quick snap. Not the kind of pictures you want to look back on.
I noticed that when taking her to daycare not one of the other children had a dummy, most of them didn't need one anymore and the few that did got really upset seeing Calleigh walk in with hers in her mouth while theirs was stashed up on a shelf out of reach. I am also getting a bit worried about the effect it may be having on her teeth. She was a very late starter and still has quite a few teeth yet to make their way through and I don't want them to come in wonky.
So Daddy and I have decided that it's time we did something about this. It's time to start project Goodbye Dummy. We knew it wasn't going to be easy as she has become very, very attached to her dummy. It is her soother at night, her comforter when she is upset and her best friend in the day. I pretty much think that if her dummy could feed her and change her we would not be needed anymore.
Having never had a dummy when I was little (apparently I just didn't want one) I don't quite understand how she can be so attached to it, it's just a "thing". But I guess in Calleigh's eyes it is much more than that.
I started last week, what I would do is sneak up while she was having breakfast and quickly swipe the dummy away. I had to do it sneakily otherwise if she saw me take it she would instantly start crying for it. I found that this way it takes her some time to realise it has gone and by the time that happens I am already prepared with distraction techniques. It might sound a bit mean but this is the only way I could see getting it away from her.
It has been going really well so far, she can go the whole morning without her dummy and gets it back only when she goes for a nap. It's a bit harder to get it away from her in the afternoon, but we are getting there.
The next step is to try and get her comfortable with going for a nap without it, at the moment she just wont sleep without it, although doesn't need it when she is asleep. This is going to be much harder and I'm not quite sure how to approach it yet so we will just keep going with dummy free awake time at the moment. I also don't think I'm ready to give up uninterrupted nights sleep so we wont be trying that just yet either.
I guess I'm just still hoping that one day she will just want to chuck it away herself.