I don’t know if there is meant to be a certain age for getting rid of a dummy… Maybe there is; I went along with what was gut feeling. It wasn’t easy, as we had a nanny who didn’t seem to want to play along, but I got there in the end- with the help of a fairy!
My daughter had turned 2 and was going on 3. To me, 3 is beyond that babyish age and becoming more of a little girl, so I tried encouraging her to not use it. It worked to some extent, but when she was tired, she pleaded for dummy and I gave in.
At Christmas, we went on holiday and stayed in a wooden chalet by the beach. As you can no doubt imagine, the chalet got full of sand, well so did the dummy! result? It split. Great! We had one more with us and one at home. I told my daughter I would not be replacing dummies from now on and if they got lost or broken, that was it. She accepted this (miraculously- maybe she didn’t think any more would get lost/broken?).
When we got back home, I started withdrawing the dummy at key times- it disappeared as ‘Florence’ the fairy hid it. If my little one really wanted it, we called Florence, went really quiet and asked her where it was. We would wait and listen while she whispered in our ears where it was hiding. Sometimes, she didn’t want to tell us (when I thought she could do without).
The final stretch:
This worked fine, until I found the nanny (who was looking after her most of the day when she wasn’t at school) had bought a new dummy for daytime use. Why? As she couldn’t find the hidden one! I had told her the plan, but she either didn’t understand or didn’t want to. I had to be firm with her too therefore and eventually, the last dummy disappeared. Florence didn’t come again and I am relieved to say, all was well.
Tales From Mamaville