My itty bitty Newborn
Last Monday Aidan gave up the dummy, cold turkey. I should probably explain that he wasn’t a willing participant but it was time, it had to happen eventually. Aidan’s relationship with his dummy hasn’t been intense but it’s been there for him since he was three days old. The nurse popped it in with sincerely good intentions and I must admit it’s saved our sanity on occasion but it was time to go.
When Aidan was about 5 months (when I had to stop breastfeeding) I weaned him off it during the day, he only had it when he had a nap or went to sleep at night and that continued up until last Monday. Now I should mention that he also has other comforters, I wasn’t sending him off into isolation at sleep time. He has his “Moonie” and his “Snuggie” and we have a bedtime routine that hasn’t really changed in months.
Just the other day, 14mths
He’s a little boy now. He chooses his outfits, brushes his hair and teeth. He can run, kick and throw balls and loves to dance and sing. He’s learning so many new words everyday and uses them with meaning. He eats everything I put in front of him and does brilliantly on the potty. He can chuck a tantrum that’s so dramatic it makes you want to laugh in spite of his behaviour and he giggles at his own farts. The only thing he didn’t do well was sleep and it was effecting him and the rest of the family.
We found that he’d sleep really well from 8-11 and then he’d search for his dummy and cry out until someone went in to help him find it. This also happened at 1:30am and 3-4am every night. After months of this I couldn’t take it anymore. I was sure that if he didn’t have his dummy he’d sleep through, he only kept it in his mouth for a minute or two before spitting it out just before he dropped off to sleep anyway… couldn’t hurt to try, right?
Apparently it hurt Aidan for all of 30 minutes and then he fell asleep. It was the hardest 30 minutes Steve and I had ever gone through as parents. After putting on his music and placing him his cot we said goodnight and left him crying out. We laid on our bed and our hearts hurt. At first he was just yelling at us, I went back in and explained as best I could to a 14mth old that he was a big boy and dummy was gone and it was ok to miss it. He stuck out his bottom lip and wailed. I sympathetically patted his back until he calmed down and said I was leaving him to sleep now and walked back to our room where Steve was waiting. Aidan continued to cry but soon enough it was all over and he was sleeping.
The first couple of nights he woke as usual and this is when I started to doubt my reasoning for tossing the dummy but we stuck it out and on the fourth day he slept right through… and has continued to do so. 12 hours of unbroken sleep. He still cries when he goes down for a nap or his bedtime sleep but it’s only for about two minutes. His daytime naps have gotten shorter but I don’t mind, it’s totally worth it. He’s going to find better ways to manage stress and soothe himself to sleep and we’ll all get more of it, win-win in my book.