Holly has always been attached been attached to her dummies, right from being born, so I expected that when the day came for her to give them up it would be a battle. I had in my head that I really wanted them gone by the time she was three, but as that day loomed closer and closer I got a little anxious as she was still just as attached, if not more so.
The only time she would fall asleep without the dummy was in the car, and often she would demand it even then. If she was ill it was her comfort and when we were on holiday there is no way she would have settled without it.
But nevertheless for the last few months I have discussed it with her and that once she was three she would be too big for them. I told her that Santa would send the fairies to collect them, to deliver them to other babies that needed them (as her birthday is 19th December this was relevant to her). Over the weeks proceeding her big day I kept reiterating this to her and she seemed to understand. We watched a Youtube video of a baby crying and she pointed out it needed a dummy and we discussed who was collecting the dummies and that she may get something special in return.
I knew on her birthday that she would be worn out – with her party at soft play and then a visit to Santa with her friends – and so hoped this would ensure little fight when it came to bed time.
She went around the house with daddy and collected all her dummies from various places they had been dropped or thrown. They placed them in her new dolly’s nappy bag and hung it on the front door for the fairies to collect.
A week before I had found a lovely store called Little Ella James and ordered some fairy dust, a pendant of fairy dust and a beautiful bracelet with a fairy charm on from Lisa Angel Jewellery.
I moved the nappy bag to outside her door, sprinkled some fairy dust underneath it and placed the gifts inside. I then threw the dummies in the outside bin. That was it – they were gone.
The first night didn’t go as bad as it could have been – she took a while to settle and was quite upset that she couldn’t have her dummies. She even argued that she could have one of J’s as hers were gone to the fairies, but I stayed strong. It was hard, though, and I questioned whether I was doing the right thing forcing it upon her, and whether I should let her do it in her own time. My husband felt it was time, though, and as I had already begun the process I stuck with it. Eventually she fell asleep, with a little help from Ben & Holly on the iPad, and stayed in bed for the night.
Over the next two nights she got to grips with her loss. I kept reinforcing what a big girl she was and how happy the babies were who had received her dummies, and eventually she accepted the change.
However we noticed over the weeks that followed her mood has been affected. She has been more grumpy and clingy, and we can only think that she is not getting into quite a decent sleep as she was as her comfort has gone. I am sure over time, though, that this will right itself.
After a month she no longer even contemplated asking for her dummy, in fact one night she accidentally asked for one then laughed at herself, saying dummies are for babies. It seems strange to me now when I look back on photos of her with a dummy in – all of a sudden she seemed grow up. These milestones sometimes seem small and insignificant, yet every one of them is step away from your arms. Sometimes I wish for time to pass, and yet when it does it just brings it home to me how short these years are.
I was very proud of my big girl for relinquishing something I know she loved and accepting the change. These are the first step in many for our children as they become their own people. For more on how we did this for both our children you can watch my video below: