How to discourage my six month old to love his dummy. I feel the dummy could become a huge problem in the future but don’t know how to gently discourage my son’s reliance on it after all I’m the one that popped the thing in his month as a one week old.
Your timing in considering how to move on past the dummy couldn’t be more perfect. I believe that you can generally get about six months of dummy use and then it is time to start moving past being reliant on the dummy. Why six months? A few reasons one being your son is no longer a newborn baby and six month old babies are pretty good at picking up new sleep cues. That is learning how to go to sleep with different routines and aides. Some other reasons are to do with orofacial development.
If you go past the six month mark and your baby loves their dummy it becomes exceedingly hard to remove it later on.
How to gentle discourage your son’s use? Firstly just keep it for sleep time. Set yourself and him this goal. So no dummy’s driving in the car, or going for a walk, or shopping or generally just up and around. Keep them in the bedroom and only one for your nappy bag if out and it’s sleep time. Secondly add in some other lovely sleep cues and cut down the amount of time that he uses the dummy. By that I mean, have a sleep comforter/toy that is appropriate and start to add that into your sleep routine – I can hear you saying buy he’s not interested keep trying as the dummy is probably his main comforter however when you take that out he will attach to something else.
When you do use the dummy there is a range of techniques like start to wean. Like when he is sucking to go to sleep, let him suck for 30 secs then remove the dummy from his mouth and gently hold him under the chin. He will root and look but wait. If he starts to get desperate, wait as long as you can ie. 10 seconds or more then pop it back in for him to suck. Repeat the above again and again aiming for longer non-sucking times. At some point you may just give it too him to fall asleep and try the whole process again next sleep time. Yes going to sleep may take a little longer however you are starting to shake up on him the sucking, it is no longer constant. This is a gentler technique than just removing the dummy altogether. Keep doing this for the next week or two and you will be surprised how he adapts.