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.