Ditching The Dummy

Life in the London household is bitter-sweet right now.  We’ve got to the point where we are forcing Little London to ditch the dummy.


It’s sweet because so far it’s actually gone ok (no tears or tantrums), but a bit bitter because we’ve substituted one bad habit for another *slaps forehead* (more on that later).

Anyone with a child that uses a dummy knows it’s brings great comfort.  When my Son is ill I relent and let him have his dummy more than I usually would.  But on a typical day Little London only ever gets his dummy when he’s due a nap or ready for bed.

During our holiday post-Christmas, Little London finally managed to give his dummy a name.  “Dub dub.”

This meant I was no longer in control of his dummy, he’d demand his dub dub and scream if we didn’t give it to him, knowing full well that we were withholding his prized possession.

We made the excuse that while travelling everything isn’t really scheduled like it is at home, so the dub dub came out more often than was necessary.

Nap times were all over the place, and Little London would happily request to sit in his pram with his dub dub so he could see and watch everything going on, and when it all got too much he’d fall asleep.

Of course this led to dub dub being used pretty much constantly, unless I managed to quickly swipe it from his mouth when he was unaware.  Yes, even when he wasn’t sleeping he’d be demanding his dub dub.  And throwing tantrums if he didn’t get his way.


For us though we had a turning point.  Little London’s dummy became an issue when it started to impact on his speech.  He’d point out aeroplanes, but when saying the word he’d have his tongue out of his mouth as if that was the correct way to say it.

So on return, we decided to just ditch the dummy.  We simply haven’t given it to him.

Because the routine here is so different to what we’ve had the last two weeks, Little London hasn’t actually noticed that he hasn’t had his dummy.  And I suppose that would be the one bit of advice I could give, giving them a different routine.

He’s requested it perhaps once in the last two days, to which I just replied ‘no dub dub’ and offered him something else to take his mind off it.

I’m the one that notices the dummy more than him at the moment.  For the past two hours, my tired baby has been sat bolt upright in his cot trying to drift off to sleep.  But without the comfort of his dummy he’s struggling to just get comfortable.  But I’m not giving in.  He has to learn to settle without a dummy- he’s not crying, he’s just really really tired.

So how are we managing to keep his tantrums at bay during this period?

Like I said earlier we’ve substituted one bad habit for another.

Firstly, milk is on tap at night-time.  Last night I think he had around 3 bottles of milk.  When he wakes up his immediate reaction is to search for something to suck, so we’ve replaced his dummy with a bottle which hopefully we can bring down in volume over time.  It’s currently doing the trick, but we did have a nappy leak in the night…

The other bad habit we’ve been allowing him to get away with is using his Kindle Fire when nodding off to sleep.  Again it works by just encouraging his attention else where, but I know that once we’ve managed to give up the dub dub for good we’re going to struggle with taking away the request for “tee vee.”

Oh well, I’m not super mum, I can only manage one bad habit at a time.  But currently this is working for us when it comes to ditching the dummy.  His other bad habits can wait their turn and be dealt with in an orderly fashion of necessity 😉

How did you ditch the dummy? Or any other bad habit?

(Update: Last night he only needed one and a half milk bottles, and he was so tired from refusing his day time nap he fell straight to sleep without requesting his Kindle… there’s hope!)



  1. i fear this is us soon! poor dub dub! nah, nice work lady. and sure he will have long forgotten about it soon xxx

    • Do it after Costa Rica. I think we would have suffered without it when we were away. And then back home he suddenly had all his toys again so it was just forgotten. Have a fab time away- I’m totally jealous and working on going next year 😉

  2. We did the whole cold turkey thing with my son too, and it really worked. He just accepted it was gone. Well done for ditching it - it’s never an easy decision, and so hard to know when the right time is!
    Kate recently posted…Eliza: 7 months oldMy Profile

    • I actually thought we’d probably do it when he was around 2 1/2 and I could come up with some elaborate dummy fairy story. I’m glad we went with it now though, because it’s worked better than I thought.

  3. I found this so interesting as I am getting to the stage that I think we need to ditch the dummy. Rosalie is 16 months now. How old is your little one? Rosie only ever had the dummy at night and when napping but lately, over Christmas, she has had it a lot more. Rosalie has a rabbit attached to her dummy called ‘ra ra’ which I usually leave in her bed but she goes and gets it out if she wants it. Her teeth are bad at the moment so I feel bad for taking it off her when she is in pain but I think I need to do something soon. X

    • My Son turned two just before christmas, I was actually considering waiting until he was two and a half because I thought once he had a better grasp of language I could make up some dummy fairy story. But the timing just seemed right when we got back from holiday.

      He has all his teeth though, and I’m not sure I would have survived teething without his dummy. Although his back molars are starting to come through but he’s currently dealing with them ok (for now *touch wood*).

      Good luck when you choose to do it! Distraction is certainly helping for us. x

  4. We never used a dummy with my daughter. I did, however, switch from bottles to beakers for milk, only to then swap back again when she was poorly. Several months on she’s still drinking her milk from a bottle. Ah well.

    • Trying to stop the bottle is a tough one too. at his two year review the health visitor asked me how it was going and I just gave her that look lol. My son uses his bottle as a comforter and I’ve tried switching his milk into every form of beaker or sippy cup but he just refuses it and tantrums. That’ll be another challenge for me!

    • That’s really impressive! I was a thumb sucker, and that was so hard to stop doing! I think I went up until a dentist threatened me at around age 12! lol

  5. Aww such a big step towards growing up! I didn’t have a dummy when I was little, and my older sister sucked her thumb, but the younger two did use them x

    • I was a thumb sucker, and I found it near impossible to give up.. I managed it but heading into my teens really. I think that’s why I encouraged the dummy instead of the thumb.

  6. You’re doing a great job, mate! Dummy ditching is hard. I watched my sister struggle with both of her kids which was when I decided I’d never use one. I’m too lazy to deal with the fall out! Good luck and keep at it!

    • I had no one as a reference, all I knew was I didn’t want him to be a thumb sucker because I was and I was pretty damn old by the time I quit that lol x

  7. I was really lucky that my eldest just grew out of it. She had a few odd nights where she wanted it but we just comforted her and she was fine again. My youngest didn’t like a dummy so she has never had one. Although, my youngest had a bad habbit of having a lot of drink to go to bed and in the middle of the night. It was a nightmare waking up in the mornings because her nappy would be so full (pee!) We have recently stopped the bottle in bed and changed it to her last drink with tea time and its been great
    Life as Mum recently posted…Budget Yourself This ValentinesMy Profile

    • I may have to copy you with the drinking thing in a few months. Mine loves his milk at night. And sometimes during the night if he wakes up for any reason I tend to change him just because if I don’t there’s a 70% chance I’ll wake up to find he’s wet himself through! arrrgghhhh x

  8. My daughter’s dummy broke and we couldn’t find a spare. We were forced to put her to bed without it. It was a challenge but she went to sleep without much crying. I then found it when I was tidying up after she’d gone to bed but as we’d done so well I decided to hide it and see what happened. She asked for it a couple of times but excepted it when I told her it was broken as she had seen it. We were lucky! Good luck! xx
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    • Maybe we just got really lucky with great timing! I’ve heard some horror stories which I honestly thought we’d have to endure. I’m so surprised he’s taken to not having his dummy anymore.

  9. Can’t believe we’ve both done this at the same time haha. I just tackle one bad habit at a time and am certainly not super mum either.

  10. Aw bless you, I remember this time very well with my first, my second never took a dummy. My daughter stopped having her dummy at 2 and a half and I wish I had let her have it longer and not worried so much wha others thought. x

    • I know what you mean. We were gonna keep going with it until he was a bit older, and then try some sort of clever tactic but the timing just seemed right when we came back. I never know why people have an issue with children using them for longer if they want because it does bring comfort, I was saying to my other half that I wish there was an adult version. I’d love to chill out with a book and a dummy like my child hahah he always looked so content!
      I sucked my thumb until my teens so I don’t know why the dummy is seen as different.

  11. its so good to know that were not the only ones that swapped the dummy for more milk! my little one is 2 and a half and i still cant get him away from the dummy. i tried and we had the same as you , leaky nappies, lots of milk at night ect. so we went back to the dummy and we’ve cut down the milk but its so hard to take the comfort away from them! does he have a blanket of any sort? my little one asks “milk,dummy,blanky” he knows what he wants but breaking habbits are probably harder for us than them!

    good luck though!


    • I wish mine did have a blanket or toy of sorts that he loved, but his comforter has always been his milk bottle. I can’t even remove it from his cot at night even if he’s finished it because if he can’t find it if he wakes up all hell breaks loose. It’s like a cuddly toy for him.
      The habit breaking is definitely tougher on us! The amount of washing and milk I’ve had to do/buy is ridiculous! x

  12. You’ve done s well! Lamb is 3 in March and still has his dummy. He’s so attached to it we find it impossible to say no. I need you to show me how it’s done! I really wish we ditched the dummy a long time ago, but when it comforts your child so much you feel terrible for taking it away 🙁 My aim has always to have it gone by 3, and definitely before baby number 2 arrives xx
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    • I think the only way we managed it really was because while we were away we were out every day doing things morning till night, and he’d constantly request it when he had walked too far and was exhausted. When we came home suddenly he had his toys and he just wanted to sit and play. And because he was occupied he just never noticed the lack of dummy because he wasn’t getting tired int he same way.

      If you have a change in his routine (like you go away or something) that is definitely the easiest time to do it (or at least it was for us!). I wouldn’t worry too much though, a friend of ours told us he didn’t stop using his dummy for a really long time. He wouldn’t tell us and age, so I’m assuming up until his teens lol. They’ll break the habit when they want if you can’t manage it. xx


    • I was going do the fairy trick when he was a bit older but we just took the chance and tried it earlier and we were so lucky!

  13. I got rid of my daughters pacifier on the 1st. I cut the end of it and when she put it in her mouth she spit it out and looked at it. I told her it was broken and she hasn’t asked for it since. I didn’t know it would be that easy! I’m glad I did it though because just like you said, it started effecting her speech. Good luck girl. Try to snip the end and see how he reacts and tell him its broken. Good luck!

    • Hahah that’s genius! So far it’s still going without a fight, but if ever we have more kids and need a different approach I’m totally using your idea! lol x

    • We were really scared as well about taking away his dummy, he was so reliant on it for calming down and for bed. I wouldn’t dare leave the house without a couple in my bag. So if we managed it I’m sure you can 🙂 Good luck!

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