I am not anti-dummy, despite the fact I am a speech and language therapist and probably should be. I think they are a useful tool to help a child suck and soothe.
I dislike dummies when they are used all of the time. I call them the plug because they stop kids talking and I truly cannot stand that. I hate seeing a lovely little toddler walking down the street with a plug in, either not talking or worse still, talking with it in their mouth.
Anyway, this is not the time for a debate about the pros and cons of dummies. I have used them in the past and wanted DD to use one too.
When she was born she didn’t want to take the dummy and I couldn’t understand it. My other two loved the dummy and when you are breastfeeding it provides some much needed respite for the nipples! So we kept trying until she accepted it and loved it. Now she loves it too much….
So DD is 4 1/2 months old now and we have hit the wall of desperation due to lack of sleep. I recall this moment with my other two when they were babies but this one is different – I blame the dummy. I am just trying to work out if I am the dummy for giving it to her in the first place.
One night this week, I saw at least every hour on the clock because every time the dummy fell out of her mouth, her eyes popped open and she cried. I think by about 4am, I nearly started crying too.
So about 5am I said my other half to take her so could have an hour or two sleep before the day ahead. But at 5am I knew something had to change – goodbye dummy!
I pulled out by Baby Whisperer book and re-read all the information I had read with DS1 and 2 but somehow had ended up needing it again. So the next night I turned into the a baby whisperer/determined mother, desperate for some sleep. With no dummy to help summon sleep I stayed with my baby girl and she cried, not understanding where her little plastic comforter had disappeared too. I felt awful but still determined. After 40minutes of rocking and pick up/put down (yes I know rocking is not part of it but I couldn’t stand the crying, especially since it was my fault), my baby girl fell asleep in her cot. Yay! Battle number one had worked and she had gone to sleep without her precious dummy. So I was filled with hope for some extra sleep.
So that night I did an hour of baby whispering. What a ridiculous name for it. It’s more like tearing my hair out and trying not to cry and give in. Baby whispering sounds quiet, calm and enjoyable. What I did for an hour certainly wasn’t enjoyable. However, two nights in and I am getting more sleep and she will now go down to bed in her cot with next to no crying. Woohoo!
Let’s hope the third night brings a full night or at least 4 or 5hours in a row. My GP once told me you need 4 hours sleep in a row to be able to function so that is my goal. I need to function for the sake of my other 2 kids and my sanity. I don’t think I am asking much, just a few hours in a row.
I will keep you posted on how it goes and whether I reach my goal.
PS I know everyone’s parenting style is different and some people are anti crying etc. but this is what I decided would work for me. I never left her alone and I feel it will benefit not only my sleep but hers too. Also, third time round I realise that what works for one child doesn’t always work for others. So this may not be your answer to the problem I had and that’s ok.