Sunday, 6 January 2013

The End of an Era: Bye Bye Dummies!

Before we had a baby, my husband and I had some very strong opinions regarding it's imaginary upbringing. For example, we decided that we wouldn't smack our fictitious child, that we would avoid gender stereotyping as far as possible, and that we would definitely not be giving our hypothetical baby a dummy. Oh no. No way jose. Not us.
Skip forward to the start of 2010. We were now parents for real and it was time to put our beliefs to the test. We were given a dummy amongst all the baby gifts people were kind enough to bring, and it went straight to the back of the wardrobe. We had no need for that.

Skip forward six or seven weeks. We were tired parents. So tired! Our darling bundle of joy cried. A lot. A lot of the time. We tried all manner of things to soothe him: cuddles, distraction, peace, white noise (the extractor fan in the kitchen was particularly effective) but sometimes nothing worked. One particular morning, nothing was working and then I remembered that thing in the back of the wardrobe. I was ready to try anything by that stage, but I still felt guilty. I was about to break one of our rules! (A rule, by the way, that we still have no real idea why we held it.)

But it worked. Oh boy, did it work! Wiss took to the dummy immediately. It soothed and comforted him when nothing else could. It helped him to put himself to sleep and calmed him down, and so it stayed. We all loved the dummy!

Skip forward to the end of 2012. Wiss is nearly three and although he was relying on the dummy less and less, he still loved having it whenever he could. While he slept we could hear through the monitor sucking noises like a baby cow! It frustrated me when he talked with the dummy still in his mouth, and I suppose I was worried that it may begin to affect his speech. It was also a bit of a crutch for us, it was still a guaranteed way to get him off to sleep, or to calm a tantrum. But it just felt like the right time to give them up. But how on earth could we persuade Wiss to say goodbye?

Step forward...Father Christmas! Yes, Father Christmas had been watching, as he does, to see which kids are being good and he noticed that Wiss was now a big boy. Such a big boy in fact, that he thought that Wiss didn't need those dummies any more and he'd like to take them to give to the tiny babies that did need them. If Wiss agreed then he should leave the dummies out (along with the mince pie and carrot) and Father Christmas would leave him a big boy present to say thank you and well done.

I have to say, I couldn't have imagined how well it has worked! Wiss happily collected all the dummies together on Christmas Eve and put them in a box, and was over-the-moon that Santa had left him a present in the morning. Only once have we had a melt-down, (Wiss suggested that Father Christmas could take the present to the babies so that "the big boy can have the dummies back!") I think it helped that Christmas was such a busy time and there were so many distractions, and we combined it with taking the sides off his cot so he has a 'big boy' bed too. But it's been nearly two weeks now and we're all surviving just fine.
Bye bye dummy, thanks for all your help but we've got it from here!

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