The D-U-M saga
Living without a dummy can be quite an adjustment in a toddler's life.
By Kim van der Merwe
Leaving the house always came with a checklist. Luke’s bag – check. Bottle bag – check. D-U-Ms – check. If we realized with dread that the D-U-M had been left behind, Dada would have to turn around and fetch it. Without a second thought on the matter.
Article originally in Parent24
Luke loved his dummy! There is just no other way to put it. It was a love affair that started very early and recently came to an abrupt end.
Life without a D-U-M
Did he survive it? Yes he did. A little heart broken and lost for a few days but he made it through!
It’s never easy watching your little baby going through withdrawals but there are just certain things in life that they have to learn to do without. And Luke’s time to say good-bye to his D-U-M had finally came.
In a way it was almost a blessing when he got a cold about 3 weeks ago because he realized that without the D-U-M clenched firmly between his little lips, he could actually breathe properly. So I thought, well, he’s gone one night without it so let’s just do this thing!
My mom warned me and said that taking a child’s dummy away cold turkey is like taking a cigarette away from a smoker. And after 3 kids, she would know.
Like a cigarette to a smoker
I’ve never quite understood the soothing effect that sucking on a piece of latex could possibly have to a child but as an ex-smoker of about 8 years I could sympathize when that object of misguided affection has suddenly disappeared.
It took a few days of whining and a good few restless nights but eventually he did it! Luke was triumphant over the D-U-M and is now truly a big boy. I must admit though that when he sees one, he does look it at rather longingly but Mama knows best on this one.
But just like a smoker giving up the nasty habit, Luke has also tried to substitute his missing D-U-M with something. Anything! During the day, he’ll try fit his fist in his mouth and chew on his fingers and at night when I’m putting him to bed, he takes my fingers and tries to bite them. Both dirty and painful habits that will not be allowed to carry on.
The main thing I had to remember is that for the last 19 months, his D-U-M was with him everyday, his bestest buddy, his companion and now it’s gone.
So patience has definitely been the name of the game. Obviously he wasn’t allowed to get out of hand (tantrums are a big no-no in Mama’s book) but a little more lee-way than usual was given in certain circumstances. You’ll be amazed at the things you can come with on the spur of the moment to distract an unhappy, D-U-M craving toddler.
So after 19 months of dreading this day and few uncomfortable days and nights, I can finally say that now when I look at my big boy, all I see is a big beautiful toothy grin instead of that ugly D-U-M staring back at me.
Have you weaned your toddler off of his D-U-M yet? What strategy did you use?