Dummy Patrol all night long!?
It’s the middle of the night. You’re crawling around on the floor, looking for your little one’s dummy. You feel blind, because it’s so dark in the room! Now your baby is even more frustrated because you are taking too long to find it…
As you get back in bed, you start thinking where you’ll be able to find a glow in the dark dummy tomorrow!
The dummy is such a helpful tool when it comes to newborn babies Read all the benefits here. Some of them need the non- nutritive sucking to calm them down. But after month 4 your baby might be very dependent on it and that’s where dummy patrol emerges…
When can the dummy become a problem?
The only phase where the dummy can really become a problem is during the 4-8 month stage as they are too small and not neurologically ready to put the dummy in their mouths by themselves, let alone find it in the dark. So when they wake up they will call for us to replace it for them.
We all partially wake up during the night during light sleep phases. Our babies on the other hand may wake fully as they would need their sleep association (dummy) to fall back asleep.
Oftentimes you might think that your little one is not dependent on the dummy because after it has fallen out they did not wake up… Which is not really true. The dummy would have fallen out while they were in their deepest sleep cycle. Then as they start going into REM and light sleep into the next sleep cycle, they would cry for the dummy to fall back asleep again. Linking the sleep cycles.
Dummy Patrol, what now?
You basically have 2 choices:
- Dummy patrol until 8 months until they can learn to replace it themselves
- Weaning them from the dummy between 4-8 months
Our preference as qualified sleep consultants, and the easiest route, is to wean your baby from the dummy if they are between 4-8 months.
- It’s the best age to drop it.
- Saves you months of replacing dummies
- They forget about it really quickly. It can take 3-5 days and then it’s forgotten.
- It contributes to better sleep as they are not constantly waking looking for the dummy
But I am not ready? What am I going to do to calm them during the day?
Most of us are very scared to take this leap, as the dummy is helpful during the day too.
Sometimes we are not ready to let go of it just yet. Luckily, this is your decision to make and if you are ok with the dummy patrol until 8 months it remains your choice.
Try not to feel pressure from friends and family, you know your baby best. Also try to not allow your baby to have it in their mouth 24/7 as you would like them to experiment with words and sounds and language development. Try and keep it for nap and bedtime only.
Dummy patrol until 8 months then teach them to find and replace the dummy by themselves
The Find and Replace method:
Attach the dummy to a soft toy or his muslin blanket.
• Hand the dummy to your baby and take his hand with dummy to his mouth ( you
stop to replace it for your baby)
• Do this step for 2-3 days until baby can do it
• Then hand the soft toy/blanket to your baby and see if he will find the dummy and
replace it by himself. Do this for 1-2 days until baby can do this step
• Put the cuddly on baby’s chest for 3-4 days
• Pat the mattress where the soft toy is for 4-5 days
• Practise during the day and then attempt it at night
A great time to wean your baby from the dummy if you decide to keep it is to have a BIG farewell party at the age of 2,5 years of age.