'Mama, look! Lollipops are growing in the garden!' said excited Little Person with Big Imagination. The look of awe on our toddler's face when he saw his favourite treats in bloom and in place of where his dummies had been planted will always be a magical memory :)
There are many ways of getting rid of the dummy such as weaning it off slowly, calling upon the dummy fairy to take it or simply saying goodbye to it. Then I learned of a creative approach to completely ditching the dummy; planting them! Since digging is one of our middle kid's favourite things to do, this approach was fun, imaginative and meaningful.
As a parent, you are best placed to decide on the right time for the dummy to go – it's your decision. Our toddler only used it to soothe himself to sleep. When he was about 2.5 years old, we started to tell him how big he was growing and how he wouldn't need his dummy by the time he turned 3. So, it was a great parenting win to see him spit the dummy sooner, rather than later! Read on for a recount of our experience.
WHAT WE USED:
On the morning of planting the dummy, I explained to our toddler that today we would be saying goodbye to his dummies by planting them in the garden, before he went for his nap. I also told him that when he woke from his nap, something special would have grown in their place ('some dummies grow very fast, you know!'). It's important to note here that this creative technique works well if your kid is still quite young and willing to believe in magic.
Engaging him was a no-brainer! He gleefully dug some holes, filled them with dummies and watered the dirt down with his brother. Sleeping without the dummy was a little trickier but thankfully, with some patience, there were no tears. When he repeatedly called for his dummy, I repeated back that he had planted them and they would be growing into a surprise, by now.
While he was sleeping, I dug out the dummies from the dirt and replaced them with a few lollipops. Another important note here to say that replacing the dummy with a less sugary treat, a small gift or planting seeds and watching them grow into flowers or vegetables is also special. When he woke, he ran to the garden bed and could not wipe the glee off his face when he saw his favourite treat in bloom! I had so much fun playing along with the magic :)
CONNECT & INSPIRE...
Whilst he sucked on a lollipop, we connected over how special it was for his much-loved dummies to transform into something he loved, as well. He went to sleep without much lament that night knowing that he had a couple of 'dummy-lollipops' waiting for him, over the next few days. He woke once to ask for his dummy and went back to sleep when I reminded him that they had grown into lollipops.
Luckily, he never asked for his dummy on subsequent nights - or for more lollipops. I'd like to think that the experience really captivated his imagination :) He wouldn't agree with me now that he is 5.5 years old but he still thinks it's a great story! It will be interesting to see how our toddling girl responds to planting her dummy in a few months time!
Have you had to get rid of your kid's dummy? I would love to hear how you did it and what you think of this idea in the comments. Let me know if you try it and please share this idea with your parent friends!
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