The headline of this post was initially “How Aidan ditched the Dummy”, but it wouldn’t have been accurate.
Aidan was not the one who decided to ditch his dummy. Kurt and I did.
That sounds a bit harsh, doesn’t it?
But hear me out.
Aidan turns 3 this week and the reality is (as sad as it is) he is not a baby anymore. Aidan’s dummy or pacifier has been his comfort since the day he was born and unlike his big sister, he seemed to be even more attached to it as he got older.
Alyssa loved hers too, but she never used it as often as he did. At the age of 2, she randomly threw it in the bin and said “I don’t need it anymore” and that was that.
So with Aidan, our approach was always – “He will give it up when he’s ready”. But that didn’t happen.
But as time went by, we could see he was just becoming more and more attached to it. It’s as if he became a different child when he had the dummy in his mouth. It’s as if he was “in hiding” or being shielded.
He’s a sensitive little guy and when he’s nervous, tired or out of his routine he needs some form of comfort – and that’s exactly what the dummy gave him. We knew this but didn’t realise the full extent of it until he’s teacher mentioned it to us.
And after some thought, we realised it was probably doing more harm than good and prolonging this dependency would just delay Aidan from finding confidence in himself.
So how did WE ditch the dummy?
We first tried the gradual weaning process of only giving it to him at sleep time, but this little guy is so smart. He knew all of the hiding places and would find one when he needed to.
Funny enough, Aidan also threw his dummy in the bin a few times, but he would look for it 5 minutes later. He’d kick up a huge fight and then literally screamed until Kurt or I gave in.
But then one day we just decided to do the cold turkey approach when he threw it away. When he started looking for it, we told him that the dirt truck had come to collect all of the dirt and that he’s dummy is now far, far away and not coming back.
Then he done his usual kicking and screaming routine. But that lasted all of 10 minutes and we just ignored it and reassured him that he doesn’t need it anymore.
At bedtime, he asked for it again, but with no tears and he fell asleep peacefully.
And that was that.
Kurt and I HIGH-FIVED a few times that night 🙂
And I’m happy to report that it’s been a full week since then. He’s asked for it a few times and is still adjusting to life without it. Whenever he sees a truck, he now says “look Mom, there’s my dummy going”
He misses it most in the morning at school drop off, as that was his comfort when saying goodbye to me.
BUT – he is talking, singing and laughing so much more now! And that is so lovely to see.
Aidan turns 3 this week and he really is my big boy now!
So proud of this little guy.
Did your toddler have a similar journey? I would love to hear about it.