Parents Reveal Their Tried And Tested Methods For Weaning Babies Off Dummies

When it comes to weaning babies and toddlers off dummies, most of the advice out there is centred on doing it very gradually – so you’re reducing the time they use it during the day and night.

While it might work for some, other parents have found this approach to be pretty painful. So what can you do instead?

We asked parents who’ve actually weaned their kids off dummies how they went about it. From giving them to the ‘fairies’ to cutting them up or bribing them with sweets (sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do), here’s what they found worked.

‘The dentist told her she should send it to the ‘Doddie Fairy’

My daughter was three when she gave up her dummy. I was dreading it as she was so reliant. We went to the dentist and they said it was impacting her teeth. They told Emilie she should send it to the ‘Doddie Fairy’ to take to new babies. Emilie decided for herself that night that she was going to. It only took a few days and we were all done! The Doddie Fairy sent her a letter and some magic dust and a Tinkerbell!

Louisa Herridge

‘I cut the ends off all her dummies’

I’ve got two daughters who I weaned off dummies in very different ways! My first – this sounds awful now when I type it – wouldn’t do any of the ‘standard’ ways I had read. So I googled loads of photos of kids with rotten teeth and showed her them and said that her teeth would be like that too if she didn’t give up the dummy. She spat it out there and then!

I tried the same with my other daughter and she said ‘she liked the black teeth’. I cut the ends off all her dummies so that they didn’t feel the same in her mouth and she gave them up! I did try many of the conventional ways and they didn’t work.

Claire Gregory

‘We told a story about the fairies who collect dummies for their babies’

We tried to go cold turkey and remove the dummy one night when my daughter was about two-and-a-half but she got so upset when we tried to take it away we put it on hold for a while.

At around three years old we tried again but this time had her decorate a box with paint, stickers and feathers. We told a story about the fairies who collect dummies for their babies and it was time to pass hers on.

We took it to a tree in our garden and left it for the fairies then the next morning we went out to check. The box was gone and I had written a note and left a pot of ‘magic dust’ (glitter) for her arts and crafts.

Elaborate? Embarrassingly so! But miraculously she went to sleep relatively easily and that was that, it was honestly overnight. I think she needed to be old enough to buy into the story and we found that worked for us.

Emma Hooper

‘I told him he could have a little box of sweets if he put his dummy in the bin’

My son was two. I told him he could have a little box of sweets if he put his dummy in the bin at a show. He put the dummy in the bin, ate the sweets, had a flaming tantrum later when he was tired & didn’t haven’t dummy. I reminded him he’d put it in the bin. He didn’t ask again.

Melissa Talago

‘I told them the tooth fairy took it’

Both of my children were around 18-20 months old when we took their dummies away. I geared them up for ‘the day’. They left their dummy out for the Tooth Fairy one evening – and I promptly took it away. When they asked, I simply explained where it had gone and changed the subject. It’s easy to backtrack for a quieter life, but the thought of them having one hanging out of their mouths aged four spurred me on.

Rae Radford

‘We went cold turkey’

We did cold turkey – he was seven months old. He’s had two unsettled nights, but I’m glad we did cold turkey as he adopted to it so well. I was anticipating a nightmare, but it was a lot better than I thought.

Michelle Treacy

‘We donated it to piglets’

I took my sons, who were about two, to Ash End Farm in Staffordshire where they can donate their dummies to the piglets to suck at night. They loved the thought of this so handed them over and it worked a treat.

Cath Harrison