Friday, 15 January 2016

Pacifying Without a Pacifier

We went to the dentist the other day for a check up and on discussing Etta's use of a dummy I was advised to try to ween her off it. Knowing that we had been told this before, I took drastic action and exclaimed that we were leaving all our dummies with the dentist. Thinking about it now, I am a bit heartbroken. It was so immediate, but it needed to be done as I knew I would be having the same conversation 9 months later at our next check up.

I simply said to Etta that we had to leave them to keep our teeth healthy. It all made sense, we were at the dentists, there was the distraction of a new Cinderella toothbrush and we got in the car and had a sandwich as it had been an early morning appointment and they hadn't had breakfast. 
There was no need for it, so we just went along and said that the dentist had them all. 
She was so good. That night she asked for it and we just said that we didn't have any more. She had her blanket and that brought her comfort. No tears though. But she could not settle and at 9.30 that night we laid on her bed until she fell asleep.

What appears to have happened is that the tool that calmed her and made her relax has gone.I didn't realise how much she needed it to unwind, to relax. Since, she has not stayed in bed and has been waking up in the night and just being awake as she has nothing to soothe her. This has resulted in her being in our bed each night, but no crying, it's just like she needs comfort.
At the moment I am happy to give it to her, she has not fussed of thrown tantrums at all so if it is extra snuggles she wants I think that is a fair swap!

After mentioning it to people, a lot have asked: did you send it away to a fairy or give it to another baby? No! But if we hadn't been going to the dentist we would have had to start thinking about what we were going to do. 

As the days pass Etta is more talkative (not always good), louder (again, pros and cons) but also so much more active in play and conversation. It's like she has stopped her downtime and replaced it with full on engagement. It is exhausting to say the least but I am sure as it is forgotten about completely a new pattern of behaviour will appear.

My top tips of getting rid of the dummy; Do it in whatever way will suit your child but make sure you are strong about it. Do not confuse them by giving it back, then taking it away again; that is just unfair. It takes 3-7 days to make a new routine so just accept it is going to be a tough week and if the child gets over it quickly then it is a blessing!

Good luck to any of you who a trying!


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