Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dummy Diary

With the new baby due to arrive just around the corner, I am trying to have Hannah weaned off her dummy and bottle. I have been meaning to do this for a while, but just like transferring her into a "big girl" bed it has been put off and put off and now she is over two and still has them. I just want it to be clear that I do not judge anyone depending on when they wean their children off dummies and bottles etc. I believe it is up to each parent to make their decision based on their child. I have made the decision based on two things. One that I want to take care of Hannah's teeth the best I can. I have horrible teeth and will do anything for her to not have to go down the same path I am on and secondly I would much rather this ordeal be over and done with long before a newborn is thrown into the works. Yesterday I decided to take the plunge and start making positive steps towards my goal.

Day one:
Time taken to fall asleep: a bit over 2 hours.
For day one I decided to just start "no dummy" with the day time sleep. It was hell! I didn't realise how depended Hannah had become on her dummy. I knew she loved it but I totally under estimated the intensity. I went cold turkey and just told her she couldn't have it until tonight. She cried her little eyes out leaving me to feel broken hearted and a horrible mother. She constantly got out of her bed to play or to come to me crying and I went in to her many times to try and calm her down again enough for her to settle and go to sleep. Through out this process all I could think about was how I regretted not taking those little windows of opportunities that I missed through out her life so far where taking away the dummy would have been not really an issue. When she was 6-7 months-ish she didn't even like it that much but I hung onto it as she would still wake many times through the night. Then again when she was about 18 months I had her in a routine where she didn't need it to fall asleep at all, I gave it to her only when she woke through the middle of the night to get her to go back to sleep again. I tried to focus on the positives and what we would do when she woke up, but she was hardly listening. Eventually I layed with her until she fell asleep. I tried to escape four times but she woke up and demanded I layed back down or she was coming with me. All the while I was thinking "gosh, how do I get rid of this dummy without creating another bad habit!!!"
*Hannah had her dummy that night and fell asleep no problems at all. Hannah only has her bottle for her night time sleep which I have started reducing the amount.

Day two:
Time taken to fall asleep: Maybe around the 40 mins mark.
Today started off just like yesterday and I decided that the easiest way might be to remove the dummy completely. No dummy at night either. Hannah was a little reluctant to hop into bed once she knew I wasn't going to give her the dummy and insisted on having her water bottle which I allowed. I must say the crying was no where near the scale as yesterday but she was still clearly upset. I decided to tell Hannah I couldn't find the dummy's and removed them from their usual home which I allowed her to check for herself they were gone. She calmed down almost instantly. I then allowed her to have a look around the house for the dummies and then tried to focus on what we would do once she woke up and tried to be positive. For a short time she wanted to go back to sleeping in her cot which was the first time she had requested that since she had been in her "big girl" bed! But I convinced her that she was a big girl now and needs to go into her bed. We read one of her favorite stories to distract her some more and I left her room with her completely settled in which she fell asleep shortly after!
*Today when we were up town I purchased some multivitamins to try for when she is completely weaned off her bottle. I am a little worried she isn't getting all the nutrients she needs from her food as she is a small and fussy eater. This is the main reason she is still having formula bottles at this stage.

Day three:
Today went by in a bit of a blurr. Adding spice into the mix Hannah's daddy was home from work, meaning she didn't want to lay down for a sleep. She was constantly getting up out of her bed and running around the house until I ended up closing her door and after a short time of tears she fell asleep on the floor directly behind her door so you couldn't open it! I am noticing however that her day time sleeps are not as long as they used to be with her dummy. I am hoping this will return to normal when she fully adjusts to the new changes.That night we went out for dinner so it was late to bed. We didn't offer her a bottle and she didn't ask for it yay! She kept getting out of her bed again but after returning her several times she was happy to settle and lay down until she fell asleep. I think we are finally making progress!

Day Four:
Time taken to fall asleep: Maybe 30 mins?
Today I noticed even more progress. Hannah doesn't ask for her dummy any more. One of the biggest battles with getting her down for a nap is trying to get her to hop into her bed. Once she is in initially even if she gets out a few times that is half the battle won at the moment. Today I have started a new positive nap time routine to help with that. I ask Hannah if she would like to read a story. This is no new thing to night time bed routines but I haven't really practiced it much through the day before. Hannah loves reading so she is keen to choose a book before we both lay down on her bed. Then after the story is finished, she doesn't want me to get up but I have been encouraging her to read the story to her dolly and she was happy to go along with this today. No tears and she was asleep in no time! I did need to remind her a few times if she kept getting out of her bed I would have to shut her door and it seems to reduce the offences quite a lot. (Does this make me a bad mother?) This evening We offered her a bottle to try to use up the last of the formula we have brought. Well I didn't offer it to her exactly, just put it where she had access and I noticed she did drink it. I hope this doesn't set us back in the removal of night-time bottle process!
P.S: Hannah loves taking her multivitamins which I have been giving to her once a day.

Day Five:
Time taken to fall asleep: 15-20 mins.
This will be my last "Dummy Diary" entry as I think we are officially weaned off the dummy!!! Still no mention of the dummy from Hannah's part and getting her into her bed with the story time routine is getting easier. The amount of times she climbs out of her bed is reducing each day and the time taking to fall asleep is slowly declining as well. I must say 5 days is much better then I was anticipating on day one when I realised how dependent Hannah had become and how distressed she was when I wouldn't give her the dummy!

It really is a huge relief to have her dummy free, knowing it is much better for her tooth development and she seems happier. I am also finding she doesn't stir through the night now when she would normally be looking for her dummy when it had fallen out. Next step... that last night time bottle and we will have a big girl on our hands!

At what age did you take the dummy away from your baby/child? And do you have any other tips that might help other readers who is looking at tackling this milestone in the near future?

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