Dummies work so well for many babies and are an instant settler and soother, but if it has become a hindrance to your baby's and your sleep (read: you're getting up multiple times a night to pop it back in) then it might be time for it to go! It’s only a quick get-up, sure, but still can be very disruptive to your sleep.
So what can you do? I have three options for you…
1. Once it’s out, it’s out!
The approach we use the most with families who are wanting to move away from dummy reliance is to keep it for the initial settling-to-sleep bit, at the start of a nap or at bedtime. But once the dummy has fallen out and your little one is crying, to then use a different settling method to help them get back to sleep.
Ultimately, what the dummy is doing is helping your baby settle back to sleep. By using a settling method instead of the dummy we can help them to learn to settle themselves back to sleep. Usually this doesn’t take longer than a few days if you are consistent.
2. Cold Turkey
If you feel ready to go without, you can try going cold turkey and using a consistent settling method instead if your baby is unsettled. Luckily babies forget very quickly all about their dummy after the first few days. For babies over six months you can try introducing a comforter in place of the dummy before removing it all together.
3. Ride it out
If you’re not far off 8 months, the third option is to ride it out as your baby will soon be able to put their own dummy back in. You can help them learn this skill by putting it into their hand and guiding it back into their mouth each time it falls back and you’re needing to pop it back in. Once they’ve got the skill nailed, you can dot a few round the cot at night so that they are bound to find one themselves when coming in and out of sleep cycles during the night.
Need help with getting past your baby’s dummy reliance? Get in touch for a consultation if you’d like some hand-holding through those first few days.