How to get rid of the Dummy

There are many reasons why parents choose to ditch the dummy but the most common reason I hear about is for helping a baby to sleep through the night.  Because the dummy tends to fall out of the baby’s mouth at night time, mum and dad usually get summoned to retrieve it countless times every night!


If you have decided that you want your baby to ditch the dummy then the most effective technique is for him or her to go ‘cold turkey.’  This idea terrifies most parents because they envisage endless sleepless nights and an unwinnable battle of wills.  However, most parents report that it is not nearly as bad as they had anticipated and the joy of not having to get up 15 times a night is well-worth the initial challenge.


Rather than trying to get rid of the dummy sneakily and hoping the child doesn’t notice, it is far better to explain to the child what is going to occur and to get them involved so they feel like it is their decision to get rid of it because they are a big boy or girl now and so no longer need it.  It is remarkable how much even very young babies understand so it is always worth doing.  Asking Father Christmas or the Dummy Fairy to take the dummy away so that a younger baby can have it works for some parents and it is not uncommon for them to leave a token of their gratitude behind!


Be prepared that the first few days might be quite tough and come up with a list of ways to distract your baby – games, cuddles, stories etc. so that you are providing the extra comfort that the dummy offered.  Make sure you get rid of the dummy and any spares and are not simply hiding it so that you are not tempted to give it back.


Good luck!

Comments (3)

Cheryl Murch
March 2, 2011 - 11:05 am /

Hi, my son has just turned 20weeks and the repeat getting up in the night for the dummy has become a night mare.
He isn’t hungry as he will happily go from 7pm – 8am for his next bottle and porridge. He is a big boy so more food would be against the Health Visitors advice.
He goes down without it and settles himself by 8pm around 10:30 he screams for the dummy, I have tried lullabies, patting the tummy, cuddling and putting back, winding, face stroking. I tried encouraging him to find his fingers (he finds them all day long) but nothing seems to work. At his age I am uncomfortable with controlled crying. He also uses it to sleep during the day.
Please help if there is any advice you can give me.
Many Thanks – Cheryl

natalie jestico
March 29, 2011 - 8:55 am /

hi, i have the same problem with my son who is now 7 months. he has the dummy to go to sleep with and settles fine but when it falls out i end up putting it back in anything up to 10 times a night, he does however wake for a bottle around 4-5am although he does on occassion go til 6am.
I have managed to get rid of the dummy in the day when he is awake, but all naps/bedtime and occassionally in the car he has a dummy. I think reading all the advise i am just going to go cold turkey and if after that he still wakes i will try controlled crying.
i dont think there is ever an easy answer
good luck

Jones sabo
April 12, 2013 - 12:14 pm /

Cheers! It is the best time to make some plans for the future

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