Updated: Mar 23
Many parents find using a dummy with their little one in the first 3 or 4 months a life saver, however as your baby gets older you may find it seems to cause more sleep issues rather than solve them!
If your baby is 7 months plus, I find they rely on it too much and it is a too deep rooted sleep association and therefore ditching it altogether can potentially be pretty traumatic for them and you!
Instead I recommend teaching your baby to find and replace it themselves.
By teaching them they have control of the dummy they will be more likely to replace it themselves when they wake and then resettle (go back to sleep) without needing you to do it for them.
Most babies will be able to develop the co-ordination to nail this skill by 9 months and trust me it will be so much easier for everyone when they do master this skill!
To help your baby learn how to replace their dummy follow the steps below:
1. Begin by putting the dummy in your baby’s hand and guide it to their mouth for 2-3 days.
2. Then put the dummy in their hand for them without guiding their hand to their mouth so they can put it in themselves for 2-3 days.
3. Last step, place the dummy on the mattress beside them and pat the mattress to indicate where it is, so that they can reach over and grab it for themselves.
Use this method at the start of a nap, at bedtime and if they call out for you to replace it during the night.
It’s also really worthwhile doing this with your baby during the day, make it a game and give lots of praise when they are doing well!
Your baby may be able to do this from a slightly earlier age than 7/8 months so why not give it a go but don’t feel too discouraged if it doesn’t work, just try again in a few weeks :-).