Getting rid of the dummy

It has been in the press recently about Coleen and Wayne Rooney’s son Kai still having a dummy at age 3. There was outrage in the press, and whether it was in response to this, or something that the parents were doing anyway, Coleen has this week taken to Twitter to confirm that Kai has successfully dropped his dummy habit.

Dummies are quite often controversial. Before I had kids I hated dummies and couldn’t see the need for one. Then Bean was born and 4 weeks of colicky crying later my mum said to me that she NEEDED a dummy. Ok I said, I’ll try. And it was indeed a miracle worker. Bean slept much better…phew! But of course it got to the point where she needed a dummy to sleep. We had about 6 in her cot at a time so that when she woke she could easily find one.

I was very against toddler’s with dummies so was very careful that when she turned one she would only be allowed one for naps and bedtime. No walking around with a dummy. I have also seen the horrible mis-shapen teeth that kids get with too much dummy use. This worked as she was too young to miss it much in the day. But it was harder weaning her off it at night. She stopped napping at 18 months so naps weren’t an issue, just bedtime. Her dad and I got married when she was 2 1/2 and we had a fab honeymoon planned on a cruise and we were taking Bean. We didn’t want to struggle putting her to sleep on our honeymoon so we delayed dummy weaning until after then. I simply told her at the end of the holiday that the dummies needed to stay on the boat for the babies who were coming on holiday after us. She was happy with that – the babies needed the dummies more than her. We made sure we threw them all away and we never looked back, she didn’t have a problem.

4 years later, with Jelly Baby I was prepared to give her a dummy. Little monkey wouldn’t take one (wouldn’t take a bottle either). She liked to nestle her face into something to go to sleep and eventually found a toy that she could suck. Now she won’t go to sleep without that toy.* Strange but true. I wonder if in 6 months I should wean her off the toy, but for some reason it doesn’t seem as bad as a dummy, and she is not allowed to carry it anywhere, it is strictly for bed. Maybe she’ll grow out of it on her own.

*It should be noted that Jelly Baby still sleeps with an Angelcare sensor monitor. I say this because I heard a story where a child in a nursery sucked a muslin square to sleep. Fine, until one day he inhaled it in his sleep. He went blue. They saw him in time and no resusitation was needed but the nursery banned sleeping aids like that in the future. Just saying. Better be safe than sorry.

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