The dummy, the pacifier, the plug; all names for the weird little things that young ones stick in their mouths and become clinically addicted to.
We’ve been lucky with two out three of our kids, they’ve not wanted a bar of it, however two of three has a literal strangle hold on the rubber nipple. We’ve half heartedly suggested she quit, we’ve provided nicotine patches as it were, but still she clings to that fragment of comfort from her childhood.
The dummy acts as a source comfort for her, almost a meditative device that relaxes her into a state of calm. Not such a bad thing really.
But there is steadily coming a time when she’ll need to abandon her old friend and start finding other ways to slip into her calm space.
First some considerations:
- Why are you taking it away? Is it social pressure? Is this an issue that you have and will it negatively impact your child?
- Are they too old? How old is too old? Probably when they’re going to school is too old.
- What do you hope to achieve by removing it? Will it be a positive experience for your child?
Going Cold Turkey
There are no patches for dummy extraction, so ditching the thing is an option. Many experts (google experts no less) seem to thing that this is best done when they are younger and haven’t formed a strong attachment to the device, nor will they have a serious means to object while they also quickly adapt. True enough, but as we all know some kids just keep on keeping on.
Going cold turkey on an older kid is certainly harder for all involved, and the adaption will definitely take longer, while the separation anxiety will undoubtably be far more intense.
But by snatching those suckers up and disposing of them suddenly and permanently you prevent any chance of a relapse.
Give it Away
No I don’t mean give it to a third party or charity for some unwitting family, I seriously hope that there isn’t a second hand dummy market out there; however in my twisted mind I do envision a dummy black market only accessible through the deep web.
“The dummy fairy’s really need these pre-sucked, discoloured, horror’s from your mouth for their babies, do you want to leave them a note and all your dummies?”
You get the picture, some kids will buy this wholesale while others have the capitalist mentality of, “I paid for these dummies and it’s my right to keep them.”
Pick your timing carefully for this elusive method.
The Fragmentation Approach
Take one at a time and dispose of it, like cold turkey you’ve got to get it out of the house, burn that sucker if you need to, it can’t come back. But only gradually remove them, one and a time.
This way you’re kind of weaning them off the addiction slowly, also it places it in both your control and theirs, “shall we destroy another rubber mouth blob today?” if yes, blast that thing, if no bide your time.
In a similar vain you can leave these weird nubs thing, places to disturb and disgust people; on the plate in a cafe, on the floor of a toilet, etc.
The Natural Way
Just let nature take it’s course, many kids outgrow the dummy and stop using it in their own time. If you’d like to hasten this course then start by restricting its use to nap and bed time, then just let it slide into obscurity.
It would probably make a good movie, a rouge group of discarded dummies wage war on the unsuspecting public that discarded them ages 2 to 4.
Just a random thought.
So you’ve done it, you’ve removed the dummy, your baby’s free from the evil grip of manmade nipples, but wait, there’s something new…
OH THE HUMANITY!
– They have a blanket to suck on,
– A thumb,
– Their sisters ear,
Will it never end?
As stated before, choose you battles and make sure they are ready to abandon the thing for good, there ain’t no going back.
Free Extra Information
Some health considerations
Long term dummy use may lead to:
- Upper teeth may be pushed forwards.
- It may induce mouth breathing which can lead to excessive dribbling.
- Language difficulties; talking around a dummy can restrict the child’s ability to explore sounds used for speech.
- Tooth decay can ensue if you’re dipping it in sweet things like sugar or honey.
Dummies v’s Thumbs
Studies have shown that dummy suckers have a greater propensity to quit sucking than thumb suckers, this seems to be due to the fact a dummy can be removed while a thumb can be removed but it’s ill advised.