Weaning your toddler off their soother takes a lot of determination, perseverance and a hell of a lot of patience if we are being honest.
And while some mums have their baby off their dummy before they even reach the toddler years, it is important to remember that every child is different so don’t be concerned if friends have already managed to do the weaning - don’t feel pressurised to do it within a certain time frame.
If you have decided that it is time to put it away, the following tips will help you:
Choose your timing wisely
There is no point trying to take away their soother when they are sick, upset or there is a lot going on in the home. Things like the arrival of a new baby can make your toddler feel a little unsettled so perhaps leave off getting rid of the dummy until things have calmed down.
Talk to them
Try not to suddenly have the soother disappear – your little one may become more stressed over the fact that they don’t actually know what happened to it rather than not having it. If they are old enough to understand, sit down with them and explain that now they are a big girl/boy they don’t need it anymore.
Do it gradually
Take the soother off them gradually by restricting it to bedtime only or during nap times so that over time they start to use it less often, rather than having it one day and not the next. This can make the process a lot smoother and more manageable.
Get rid of all of them
Make sure you get rid of all your soothers in the home otherwise, even after they are finally weaned off, they might want it again just because they see it.
Give it to someone special
Many mums believe one of the best ways to get rid of the soother once and for all is to give it to someone special like the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus.
On the day they finally give up the soother make sure you mark it with a reward or celebration. A book or trip to the zoo is a great way to say well done.
Don’t give it back
It is important to remember that once it has been taken away you can't give it back. It is not uncommon for kids to go looking for it a few days or even weeks after it has been taken away, but it is vital you don’t give in. Otherwise you will just end up having to start all over again.