Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Spitting the Dummy!

I have nearly reached the 6month mark of having my little baby Poppy in my life. One friend who has been along this crazy journey with me, from the very beginning, was the Dummy. The good ol Dummy. Always there when Poppy was having a massive tantrum, always there to help her drift off to sleep at night. Suddenly one day, the Dummy decided that it no longer wanted to serve a positive place in my quiet and contented babies life, instead it wanted to create a living hell where no parent will ever sleep or be fully functioning ever again. So it was destroy the dummy.

 (My little bubba, Poppy, don't you just want to eat her...)

I know giving your child a dummy is a very controversial topic. A lot of Mums get very heated on the subject, both the "Yes I love the Dummy" to "No you're ruining your child's mouth" Mums. I get it, each to their own, I am not going to judge you either way. When Poppy was born, we were in the hospital and she was having problems settling. It was 3am on the second day and she was going bat shit crazy. I am a massive over packer, I like to make sure I have everything you could ever possibly need and so I had a dummy with me. Amazing silence. There began our Dummy journey. I know some babies don't take to it but Poppy loved it. It provided not only quiet time for us, but comfort for her.

Over the next couple of months it was great. Then we hit the 4 month mark and leap 4 kicked in (Leaps are developmental leaps from 'The Wonder Weeks' book, also an app. Definitely worth checking out!) and all hell broke lose. Poppy was an amazing sleeper from birth. She literally slept 7pm-7am. Yep we were those parents that other sleep deprived parents hated. Once leap 4 kicked in, sleep was no more. They say during the 4-5 month period, whatever your baby uses to help them sleep, is what they begin to rely on to sleep. So Poppy would start to wake up in the night and could only go back to sleep if the dummy was in her mouth. But it would fall out when she was asleep. So she would wake up, no dummy - cry. This would repeat itself literally 8 times a night. I thought maybe it was a phase, but one day past, then 2, then 5, then a week, then a month and this went on and on till we got to 6 months. I did so much research on what it could be and it kept coming back to the freakin dummy.

(Doing her best 'Mr Burns' impression...)

How could it be? Something that once served so much purpose was now a pain in my ass. From all the mums who have taken the dummy away from their child, I heard it wasn't pretty. So I avoided it as long as possible, but after months of broken sleep, fighting with my partner, crying, feeling so frustrated and down, I knew it was time.

So my plan was this. Poppy would have the dummy all throughout the day, to help settle her, if she was grumpy or emotional. So I stopped giving it to her, only for naps. Whenever she would have a nap in the car or her pram, I wouldn't give it to her, relying on the movement to help her fall asleep. So gradually she was learning she could settle herself without the aid of something. Of course if she was upset she would get extra cuddles, but no dummy! I did that for about a week and then it came to the big cold turkey. I took the dummy away completely. Paddy (my partner) and I braced ourselves for war. I heard they could cry up to an hour because they want the dummy so i was mentally ready for this. But Poppy was upset for about 10 minutes and off to sleep she went. Next nap, grumpy for 5 minutes then off to sleep. Next nap, 2 minutes and off to sleep. It was FUCKING AMAZING. That night, we only woke up once.

Now it could have just been a fluke, so we continued on and on for the next couple of days and now we are back to sleeping through the night. If Poppy wakes up, she has a chat to herself and falls back to sleep. She is so much calmer, she is happy to just hang in her bed and my god do I feel like a new person. I understand that every baby is different, so yours may react better, worse, the same. They will react, so prepare yourself for it. But it won't be forever.

(My happy, crazy Minnie Mouse is so much more content after losing her frenemy, The Dummy)

If you are a Mum who is thinking about giving the dummy the flick, I want you to know, it is scary and it is hard. You will feel mean and there will be times where you want to give in. But stay strong. Tough love can be a wonderful thing. I feel that slowly taking it away was so much better for everyone, than going extreme cold turkey. I'm all for tough love, but not that tough, I'm too much of a softy. Baby steps all the way. You can do it!

I just wanted to share that story because for me, it was an absolute Mum win!! I'm so happy I did it and I wanted to give some motivation to those other Mums and Dads out there who are dealing with the same thing. It's tough but it's worth it!

If you give it a try or have your own stories, or questions please let me know on any of my social media! I'd love to here it! Plus for more Mummy meltdowns, wins and random stuff be sure to follow me on any of the following:

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