A sleep coach shares how to wean off dummy dependency!
Are you thinking it's time but Bub is holding on to that dummy for dear life? Kelly Martin, a qualified sleep consultant, shares how to wean off dummy dependency!
Who would have thought back when you were longing to become a parent that you’d be finding ways to stop your little one from using dummies?
Making this decision is a very personal choice for parents and making an informed decision leads to the best outcome.
So from newborn to toddler, let’s get into the top 5 tips that can help you ditch the dummy for good.
One: The Newborn Stage
Babies are born with a strong sucking reflex so dummies can be really helpful to soothe and calm a newborn under 3-4 months of age. If it soothes your baby and helps them go to sleep, it can prevent an overtired baby which makes it a positive. A dummy can be introduced from the newborn stage, but should be only after breastfeeding is established.
This ensures that you do not use a dummy to space out feeds to set times on a “routine” as newborns need to be fed on demand.
Two: The Toddler Stage
Toddlers have the cognitive understanding and can be prepared for when their dummy can be used and when to wean off its use. At this stage, you can put a plan in place to limit the dummy to set times such as only naps and bedtime and put it somewhere special each time they wake.
Three: The Tricky Middle Stage
Between 4-8 months of age, your little one may develop a strong like for their dummy (but won’t have mastered the art of finding and replacing it). The Four Month Sleep Regression often shows the dummy’s “true colours ”. This is where you may need to make the decision to continue popping the dummy back in until they can learn to do it themselves or remove the dummy and teach the art of self-settling without reliance on an external sleep prop.
Four: Cold Turkey
If your baby is under 7-8 months of age, saying goodbye to the dummy is best done “cold turkey ”. If you decide to remove the dummy, choose a settling approach that suits your little one’s temperament and your parenting style. We want to establish healthy sleep habits that are sustainable long-term.
Five: Smart Baby Tech For Sleep
Something I recommend first-time parents lean on is smart baby tech, with one of my must- haves in the sleep space being the Owlet Monitor Duo smart baby monitor.
The Owlet Monitor Duo combines the Smart Sock which tracks Baby’s heart rate, oxygen level and sleep patterns, and the Owlet Cam that streams video and audio to your smartphone so you can hear and see your baby from anywhere.
This smart baby monitor provides parents with the peace of mind knowing they are getting the most complete picture of their baby's well-being as they begin to wean off the dummy.
Additionally, you can view your child’s readings and sleep patterns in real-time via the Owlet Care App, so you can rely on past patterns of sleep to create the best routine for your child.