Dummy use comes in 3 phases
Dummies come in 3 phases
3. That icky in between stage
1. If you have a newborn who needs a dummy, great!
Give it to them.
You can tug on it slightly to teach them to hold it in tighter, you can hold it with one hand and pat their bum with the other, or you can use to help wind a newborn.
Don’t feel any panic or like you are setting up some huge sleep association, at this age I would rather your baby slept with the dummy, than skipped a nap!
An over tired newborn = screaming.
2. Toddlers, if you have a toddler (12 months +) who still has a dummy, we often get asked when and how do you ditch it.
Now your dentist and I have different opinions on this.
While he would rather your child never had a dummy, I think once they have it that long, you really need to wait until they are 2.5 years + to explain that its gone away, and there is no more dummy.
Trying to remove one in those in between years is really tricky, and often not an enjoyable experience. I’ve had many clients try to get rid of it sooner, and their toddler is very confused as this is the only way they have learnt to sleep.
Some things which you can apply at this age are a small plastic cup with dummies next to the bed or clipped to the cot bars, it is very easy to teach your toddler to find their dummy from there.
3. The icky in between stage: This is where you have to make a call;
Wean baby off the dummy around 12 weeks and gradually onto self settling, or be happy to pop the dummy back in for them for up to 6-8 months before they can learn to do it themselves.
This stage 12weeks – 8months is a common one for us to be helping parents with better sleep as the constant dummy runs means broken sleep for baby, and you…………this over tiredness can then result in shorter naps, more night wake ups, earlier starts…. and a cycle which often feels out of control and like no one is getting any sleep!
Self settling strategies are the goal, if this is you.
Emma is the owner and founder of Baby Sleep Consultant, she is a certified infant and child sleep consultant, Happiest Baby on the block educator, has a Bachelor of Science, and Diploma in Education. Emma is a mother to 3 children, and loves writing when she isn't working with tired clients and cheering on her team helping thousands of mums just like you.
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