Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Weaning them off day time dummies!

 
My relationship with dummies
I was one of those kids who loved their dummies. In fact, I only gave it up when I was 4 years of age. My maternal grandmother who cared for me in the early years did everything she could leading up to that event - from threats to smothering dummies with spicy chilli sauce which I flung over the balcony in disgust, then threw what I believe to be an earth shattering tantrum that busted the ear drums of all the neighbours in the apartment block and my grandmother retrieved it from the ground floor, sterilised it and returned the dummy to me in the name of PEACE.
 
My view of dummies while pregnant
When I was pregnant, I was adamant that they would never be introduced the dummy because of the hard time my grandmother and parents had in weaning me off PLUS it's really not a good look on a child who is walking-running-talking-eating independently.
 
My reliance on dummies when the twins were born
Fast forward to the birth of my twins. Rooming In with the twin infants in my private room was a blessing and curse all rolled into one. We learnt very quickly that infants are not quiet when they nap / sleep and they cry very loudly & desperately. Attempting to sleep was near impossible what with the euphoric hormones, the mental realisation that I was finally a mummy, getting them on a routine, changing their nappies before every feed, bathing them, trying to speed up the recovery post c section, etc. Anyway, out came the dummies!
 
Initially, it was frustrating. They could suck it in but it wouldn't stay in their mouths long enough, then they would wail and we would stick the dummy back in, etc etc. Fast forward a few more weeks and the dummies become our sanities. The children were content and quiet - they love sucking it.
 
Before we know it, each kid had 8 dummies. In fact, there were dummies everywhere - in the car, in their cots, in the kitchen, in my handbag, in my bra, etc. It was my GO TO HELP for keeping my twins quiet and it lulls them to peaceful slumber. Win-Win.
 
Check out the photo on the left. Daniel with no dummy - all hell breaks lose. Charlotte with dummy - quiet and calm.
 
Unsurprisingly, I prefer the quiet and calm child.
 
Our love-hate relationship with the dummies continue. Trust me, we tried a couple of times to wean them off and eventually gave in due to the melt-downs from not one kid but BOTH OF THEM AT THE SAME TIME!
 
Suffice to say, the dummies ruled our lives. We'd never left home without them and I never went to kindy to pick them up without them either. Yes, I cannot handle those twin melt downs - they can be rather epic!
 
From time to time, I will meet parents with multiples who have weaned their twins off the dummies. Their strategies vary from outright cold turkey to giving dummies away, cutting the tops off dummies to giving their used dummies to a newborn (rite of passage) who obviously won't be using them. I liken weaning my twins off their dummies to sleep training infants. Either you do it or you don't.
 
What I have been doing with the support of the husband
Fast forward a month ago, I realised the children were no longer using their dummies for their day nap at childcare. When I spoke to their teacher about it, apparently, it has been the case for the last 6 months! WHAT?! My kids were no longer using their dummies for day nap at childcare for 6 WHOLE MONTHS.
 
I have been made a fool by my angelic looking cherubs. Right. It's time for mummy intervention.





 

 

For about a week, I told that kids that they are no longer babies. To illustrate my point, I used Baby Hugo across the road as an example. The conversations goes like this, several times a day over the first 3 days:

 

Me:
Baby Hugo is a baby and does not use the dummy.
Charlotte and Daniel are not babies.
So why do you still need your dummy?
 
Them (in unison):
I WANT MY DUMMYYYYYYYYYYY!
 
{I remove their dummies and they howl for minutes. I loose count. Ear plugs to the rescue. Dummies given to them at nap and bedtime at home. Dummies forcibly removed from them after nap and bedtime, followed by more howling - tears - tantrums. Yes, no more dummies in the car too. Let's just say, I have the windows wound down so that their howling can escape the confines of the car.}
 
Upped the ante with the conversation over the next 3 days:
 
Me:
Are Charlotte and Daniel babies? Because only babies use their dummies!
Charlotte is a girl and Daniel is a boy. You are no longer babies.

Them (in unison):
I WANT MY DUMMYYYYYYYYY!
 
{I remove their dummies and they howl for minutes. I loose count. Ear plugs to the rescue. Dummies given to them at nap and bedtime at home. Dummies forcibly removed from them after nap and bedtime, followed by more howling - tears - tantrums. Yes, no more dummies in the car too. Let's just say, I have the windows wound down so that their howling can escape the confines of the car.}

Then on the 7th Day, something amazing took place when they woke up in the morning:
 
 
Me:
Good morning babies!
 
Charlotte:
I am a girl.
{Hands the dummies to me willingly. Wow.}
 
Two mornings later, the following took place:
 
Me:
Good morning babies!
 
Charlotte:
I am a girl. Not a baby.{Hands the dummies to me willingly. Still wow.}
 
Daniel:
Daniel, boy.{Hands the dummies over to me willing. WOW. WOW. WOW}


 
NOW
To this day, I am delighted to advise that my children are dummy free during the day and no longer howl - hanker - melt down over them. They willingly hand their 2 dummies over after their nap and bedtime. Yes, I no longer have dummies in the car, in the kitchen, and certainly not in the cups of my bra for emergency!
 
The only times I am offering those dummies are their afternoon nap (peace and quiet for 2.5 hours) and bedtime at home (peace and quiet for 11.5 hours overnight). My goal is to get them weaned off their dummies totally by the time they turn 3 years of age.
 
You may be wondering, why don't I just wean them off completely? Well, I am chicken. I love that they still nap and sleep very well for us and really, I am mentally not prepared for the melt downs during those two sacred times.
 
In the meanwhile, I love looking at my children's faces without their dummies stuck to their faces.
 
 
 
Happy Hump Day everyone (6 more days to Christmas),


 
 
 
 

 

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