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baby development

Top tips for helping your baby or toddler get rid of their dummy

And weaning them off slowly

So you want to help your little one give up their dummy.

You probably aren’t looking forward to it and maybe your little one won’t be too keen either, as many use these for comfort.

Dummy tree

However, with a little creative thinking your little one won’t be that demanding that dummy for much longer.

We’ve got some of the best tips from those who know best – mums.

Use your imagination – a lot!

We know it’s not easy to fool a toddler (or younger child for that matter) meaning you’ll have to be really creative when it comes to thinking up stories as to why that precious dummy needs to go.

‘My daughter was obsessed with dolphins so we asked if she'd like to give her dummy to the baby Dolphins at the seaside. Whilst on holiday she threw it into the sea and never asked for it again’, says one Bounty mum.

Another mum used pigs, taking her little boy to a farm where people can donate dummies to the piglets. ‘There are loads all linked up on long strands of string where the pigs are so it helped my son see where his dummy was going,’ she said.

Or, use their favourite character like this Bounty mum… ‘I told my son that Power Rangers needed it to save the world and I told him they had said thanks by buying him a Power Rangers DVD.’ 

Make the most of seasonal saviours…

For some mums it seems the Easter Bunny and Santa are the best scapegoats when it comes to taking those ‘dodos’ and ‘dedees’ away.

‘We dressed my partner up as Santa just before bed time on Christmas Day.  My little boy gave all his dummies to him and has been without since’, says one mum, while another says she left her daughters’ for the Easter bunny.

‘I spoke to her about it and explained that the Easter bunny would leave her an egg and a toy as a replacement to her dummy. She was fine. It worked perfectly and never asked for it again,’ she said.

And talking of Christmas some just decided to take the “turkey approach”. The cold one… with one brave mum admitting she just took it away. ‘We had a tough couple of nights but we got over it,’ she said.

Face up to the fairies

Ahh the dummy fairy. She was around when we were teeny tiny and she’s still here now, proving to be one of our Bounty mums’ faves.

‘My daughter had the dummy fairy visit a few weeks after her third birthday. We got a gift bag, put in all her dummies, then put it outside her bedroom door. In the morning, she woke up to 'big girl' presents, a certificate and letter from the dummy fairy.

‘We put those on her wall to remind her that she was a big girl and after the second night, she didn't ask for her dummy again.’

Other ideas we just couldn’t miss out!

  • Blame the bin men – ‘My son loved the bin men so one day as they were coming to collect our bins I told him that they needed his dummies. We threw them in the van and he never mentioned it again.’   
  • Bribery – because in some cases it’s ok!  ‘I told my little boy he could have a toy he’d wanted for ages if we gave me his dummies. He agreed and every time he asked for his dummy I reminded him about his shiny new toy.
  • And our fave – ‘We took our little girl to a Build a Bear shop and she put her dummy inside the bear she made. She now cuddles the bear at night instead.’

Not quite ready to go all the way? Here’s some tips to help you gradually wean your little one off their dummy.

  • Destroy the dodo – ‘Use a tiny needle to make a hole in the dummy, which will reduce the suction and help your little one realise it doesn’t work. If your child is older, snip off half the teat with a pair of scissors. When my little one realised he couldn’t suck his dummy properly he soon gave up on it.’
  • There’s a time and place – ‘I began limiting the times and places my little girl was allowed her dummy. I explained that she wasn’t allowed it in the car, or in the shops but she was allowed it at bedtime. I left that rule for a few weeks and then told her it was time to give it up at night and she was fine!’

Top tips for helping your baby or toddler get rid of their dummy