Weaning off the Dummy

Written October 2011

Are dummies evil?

My gut reaction right now is yes! I am one day into weaning my six month old off the a-fore mentioned teat and can only describe it as a trial of biblical proportions! WhenHannibalcrossed the Alps I’m pretty sure that it was an excuse to get away from the same thing, crossing theAlpsseems pretty attractive right now I can tell you! It’s six in the morning and after waking at 4:30 and screaming blue murder for his dummy Isaac has finally drifted off to sleep…with a very sore throat and a very upset mother.

I’m not one to gloat but up till now he has been a very easy baby, happy and contented, he only ever really cried when he was hungry and even then not properly…I never knew he had those kind of screams in him, and right in you face for two hours when you are trying desperately to sooth them without resorting back to the teat…this should be in the forces special ops training, help them prepare for stressful situations cause I can tell you that I am the most stressed that I have ever been! I can only pray that it gets better, and soon, I’m not sure how much more I can take!

They say that we, as humans, are creatures of habit. As children we suck our thumbs and have a blankie, as adults it gets more hardcore with caffeine, sugar, shopping, drinking so I guess the dummy is the first bad habit that as a person you need to break, and if we are already set in our ways when we are just a number of moths old is it any wonder that as adults we find it so hard to break habits ourselves?

Day four and this is the first time that I have cried when my mum has left me since Brownie camp when I must have been seven years old! Where has my beautiful, happy little boy gone? Where has my sleep gone? As parents you have it drummed into you in books and classes, routine, routine, routine. I felt quite strongly that I wanted Isaac to have a good bedtime routine early on to help when he was older and I really do think that this was a factor with him sleeping happily from 7:30pm to 7:00am daily. I think I became fairly accustomed to having a good sleep at night after he dropped his 11pm and 2am bottle. Now he’s waking up every two hours or so it’s worse that when he was new born. I have to keep on telling myself that I’m doing this for his own good but I’m beginning to question whether I am or if now it’s just turned into a battle of wills…I would have hoped that mine is stronger than that of a six month old but I’m pretty sure that I’m beginning to waver and if I do give in how much worse will it be next time I try, am I doing the right thing or is this stress just too much for the both of us? Any kind of sleep has gone out of the window, no naps and no bed (for mummy or Isaac) which makes for a rather frazzled mummy and grumpy baby! We all know that life in general is more difficult when you’re tired and this is by no means an exception! There is only so much jiggling, pacing, singing and patting that you can do with no sign of the wailing stopping.

Day five and a breakthrough, when I put Isaac down in his crib last night he went to sleep with out being rocked and only cried for a minute or two, when I snuck in to check that he was still breathing as the last of screaming was pretty disconcerting it would appear that he decided to replace his dummy with his bunny blanket, you may think that I am substituting one crutch for another but I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now I’m just happy that I didn’t give up and yes, if you were wondering I would give my next child a dummy because when he was tiny it gave me piece of mind, I felt more relaxed knowing that if he was upset I could sooth him and when I put him down to bed he was safe. And yes again I would take it away at six months, before the baby was too attached….and yes, I would probably feel the same as I did when I wrote this, but do you know what…it does get better, you get your happy baby back and in the end aren’t they worth it?

Six months later and he still has no dummy; we have gone through various bunny blankets as each gets so dirty and disgusting that not even the washing machine can save it. We are now on to “sleepy tiger” who’s tail is possibly the most disgusting thing I have ever encountered after months of Isaac sucking on it every time he goes to sleep or needs cheering up but my goodness does he love that tiger, we can’t leave the house without it, our wonderful childminder had to send her daughter running after Isaac and his daddy one day after he was collected because he was forgotten and she now knows (after forgetting it on the school run one day) as well as I do what no sleppy tiger means…I’m beginning to wonder if Isaac will ever be able to function without him…Isaac 12, starting secondry school with a hairless stinky tiger stuffed into his backpack, praying the other children don’t notice him…I guess I can only hope that when he is old enough he will decide when it’s time for sleepy tiger to stay at home, if not I have a good few years to prepare my self for a battle that will potentially be a thousand time worse than the dummy…Emily, what have you done?!

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