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Dummy weaning wasn’t so bad after all!

Dummy weaning

Would you believe me if I told you that Princess Porschie will be turning 2 years old in a few days time?? Every time we reach a new milestone, and it really happens each and every time, I think back and I am beyond shocked at how quickly time has passed by. I still remember it as though it was yesterday, when I was pacing my non stop crying baby around the house during her 4th trimester, with the dummy being one of my saving graces!

Dummy weaning

Because Ammaarah suffered with gas during the first 3 months of her life, I felt as though I had no choice but to use a dummy. She needed to suck for comfort, and being the human dummy all day long was way too exhausting for me to handle. Sometimes I wonder if I really had no choice, sometimes I wonder whether I tried hard enough so that she didn’t have to make use of the dummy. I suppose those type of feelings are normal, where you second guess some of the choices you made in life, wondering if it would have been better had you done something differently. But not long after those thoughts have entered my mind, I slowly remind myself that everything happens as it should, only by the will of the Almighty, and that Ammaarah using the dummy was most certainly meant to be.

Dummy weaning

As you know, Ammaarah has been the face and main representative of the Treatmesweetlie handmade pacifier (dummy) clips. And rightfully so, as she was the one who inspired the idea in the first place. Because of this, I must admit, I delayed dummy weaning as long as I possibly could because I selfishly tried to hold onto that precious memory for as long as I could….until I went shopping and I saw a 5-year-old kid (I am convinced the kid must have been 5!) sucking a dummy while watching YouTube videos on a mobile phone! Now I do apologise if that was your kid and believe me when I say that I am not judging you, but this image scared the living daylights out of me as I slowly began to imagine the same scenario in my mind, except with Ammaarah as the kid.

It was at that moment when I realised that it was time for the dummy to go!

I used to have nightmares about it though, wondering how on earth I was going to get Ammaarah to stop using the dummy. She absolutely LOVED her dummy and went nowhere without it. (Obviously, that was partly because we always attached it to her clothing!) It had become a habit for her, a habit more than a necessity. She only really sucked on it when she realised she was wearing it, when she found it while playing, or when she wanted to sleep. She began to use it less as a method of soothing herself when she was crying, another sign for me that it was pure habit. I unfortunately stopped nursing when Ammaarah was 6 months old (working and nursing was just too difficult for me to uphold), so there was thankfully also no need for me to hang onto the dummy for that type of weaning.

We started weaning soon after that incident in the shop, and we did it as follows:

  • We stopped attaching the dummy to her clothing. We didn’t refuse her when she asked for it though, or when she found one lying around and decided to use it, or when she wanted to sleep. And after a few days she stopped asking for it other than at sleeping time.
  • We started making sure there were no dummies lying around anywhere for her to find. For those whose kids uses dummies, you know that there is always more than 2 in your home, hiding somewhere in the weirdest of places! We tried our best to make it impossible for her to find one, and often failed because we didn’t ever realise how many we actually had at home!
  • I then started detaching the dummy from her after she had fallen asleep. It had also become habit for her to just reach out for it while sleeping and pop it into her mouth. Sometimes she would wake up looking for it (causing Zieyaad or I to have to walk to her room and give it to her), and sometimes she slept right through the night.
  • Once she started sleeping right through the night without looking for the dummy more frequently, I began to start her bed time routine without the dummy. The lights would be off, the milk would have been drunk and only once she realised she was falling asleep she would ask for the dummy. Which is only when I gave it to her.
  • I then started delaying giving her the dummy in the evenings, often until she eventually cried for it. She would ask for it and I would make up any excuse to say where it was, or why I was delaying fetching it for her. Eventually, she started falling asleep without it.
  • Once that happened, we packed away all of her dummies and managed her requests for it by saying that we left it at grandmas house (and when at grandma’s, saying that we left it at our home). This lasted for about 2 weeks, when she asked for it quite frequently. (Shame, I could tell that she was having withdrawal symptoms!) It was difficult at times, I must admit, especially when she really started crying for it. But much like any type of training, we needed to persevere and push through the most difficult stage.

And before we knew it, and without much stress or time, she was completely weaned off the dummy. It felt as though we succeeded at completing a marathon, with the stress being not knowing when we were going to decide to give in to her requests and give her the dummy!

We weaned her off the dummy just before we went on vacation. We were a little nervous for the flight, as we thought the sucking would help with blocked ears as we reached different altitudes in the air. But I refused to give up on the month-long process we had just been through to help her wean. And you know what, we were just fine! Ammaarah didn’t need the dummy at all, throughout our entire trip. Yay for more milestones!!!

We truly have been so blessed with an easy child. Those first 3 months was most certainly the most difficult thing I have ever endured, but it was totally worth knowing how blessed I would be after successfully passing through that 4th trimester! Always thankful and grateful to the Almighty for my countless blessings!

And now for the next stage in Ammaarah growing up…potty training! Oh how I am dreading this stage, especially those moments when she may decide to relieve herself when she is not on the potty or wearing a nappy!! But much like anything else in life, I am certain that everything will happen as it should and when it should.