The Dummy. That controversial parenting tool. Any parents use it with their babies – it helps to calm them and helps them to sleep. Others are dead set against it, thinking it may impede their ability to express themselves or simply through worry that they’ll never get them off it.
We chose to use a dummy with our now three year old – it was a great sleep aid throughout her baby months and into her toddlerhood.
And pre-school days, it would appear! It’s our fault as parents – we didn’t try soon enough to get her off the dummy. It was too easy when she was shouting and screaming for it to just give in. There was also a lot of guilty at trying to take something away that she was so used to. Our bad.
By age three, she was only having her dummy at bedtime – we had at least managed to wean her off any daytime usage. But still, we needed to get her off it. We had tried introducing the topic of the dummy fairy, that when she was ready, she could put her dummies under he pillow and the fairy would come and leave her a present.
To no avail.
Well, let me let you into a little secret. Just last week, we successfully weaned our three year old off her dummy in one night, and she did it herself and she felt proud of herself.
Don’t believe me? I can hardly believe it myself! Let me tell you how.
A magical journey…
I was given the opportunity to review a kit from The Dummy Fairy Workshop.
The Dummy Fairy Workshop was created by a Mum who also had the same issue of ditching the dummy with her children. She created a magical story aimed at helping her son to make his own decision to ditch his dummy, complete with a range of imaginative props.
Here’s what The Dummy Fairy Workshop website says about the idea:
At The Dummy Fairy Workshop, we believe that ditching the dummy should be FUN, EASY & MAGICAL, both for parent and for the child. We believe that when a child is coerced into doing something they don’t want to do, they are more likely to resist. Should the child, gently guided by the parent, make the decision to ditch the dummy themself, they are more inclined to not only see the process through, but enjoy it also.
I was quite sceptical at first, as it just seemed like we had tried everything. I was resigned to and dreading having to forcibly take away her dummy at some point and endure hysteria and great sadness.
Instead, she was quite pleased with herself.
Our kit arrived and I was impressed with the contents:
The Kiddie’s Kit :
A Letter of Invitation from the King or Queen of the Dummy Fairies
The Enchanted Dummy Bag in a choice of bright colours (we chose pink)
Fairy Dust, Magic Spell & Gift Tag
A Colour Your Own King or Queen of the Dummy Fairies
Reply Card & Envelope
The Parents’ Kit :
A Thank You Letter from the King or Queen of the Dummy Fairies
Personalised Certificate of Generosity (with optional inclusion of child’s photo which we did – a lovely touch).
Polka dot ribbon to wrap around the certificate
2 x Gift Tags to attach to the Certificate & child’s gift on Dummy Day
Instructions on how to implement our Dummy Fairy Workshop weaning tools
Dummy Fairy Workshop Fridge Magnet
The Dummy Fairy night
We had begun by reading her the letter from the Queen, which really caught her interest. The letter explained that the Queen of the Dummy Fairies really needed her help – that she needed dummies to polish up with fairy dust in her workshop I she could make them all brand new for babies who needed them. She especially needed purple ones (a nice personal touch – we’d supplied the information that our three year old loved her purple dummy).
To my surprise three year old responded and said “I’ve got a purple dummy!”.
The picture for her to colour in was a great idea – she enjoys ‘colouring in, in the lines’ at the moment so she did this immediately and it made the Dummy Fairy somehow less daunting.
We showed her the pink dummy bag and explained how on the appointed night she could hang the bag on her door with all of her dummies in, sprinkled with fairy dust, and that the Dummy Fairy would come when she was asleep and replace the dummies with a special treat.
I asked her to choose a day and she chose one a few data hence. I was gearing myself up for that day, but then the very day after we had introduced her to the kit she told us she wanted to do it that night.
So here goes…
She hung the dummies in the bag on that evening and we had fun sprinkling the fairy dust. She read her books as usual and didn’t ask for her dummies.
She had a slight wobble after we turned her light out as I heard her get up and get the dummy bag. But I gently reminded her about her treat she would get, about how she was going to help the babies who needed dummies.
Phew – she went to sleep without the dummy.
At about 11pm, as we were going to bed, I replaced the dummies with her treat (an Angelina Ballerina doll), her brilliant personalised Certificate of Generosity, the other letter from the Queen thanking her and telling her how grateful and thankful she was, and erm, a reasonable amount of chocolate.
She actually awoke at around 1am. She came into our room and said “I can’t find my dummies”. Tummy lurching with anxiety over whether this would work or not, I took her back to her room and together we looked in the bag.
Well. I read her the letter, showed her the doll and her certificate. She loved them all. We told her how proud we were of her, that she had given her dummies to the Fairy.
She wasn’t upset at all. I was surprised – she went back to sleep cuddling her new ballerina doll. I’d thrown the dummies away already so as not to be tempted to give them back.
Was this really it?
Yes it is really it! The next day, she mentioned dummies a few times, but among the lines of “I sent all my dummies to the Dummy Fairy, didn’t I, Mummy?” or (very cutely) “I felt like I needed the dummy then, Mummy, so I just asked for a big cuddle).
It’s been three days now and to be honest, if she did have a meltdown and ask for her dummy now, I would just correctly say we don’t have any – they all went to the Dummy Fairy. But I honestly don’t think she will.
We made sure we told friends and family what was happening so they could all praise her. I can’t say enough how proud of herself she is, and us of her.
It must be such a wrench to give up something you’ve relied on for so long. She was so brave and this simply, magical story helped so much.
I strongly recommend the kit to all parents who are struggling with ditching the dummy. It’s perfect. I still can’t believe it, to be honest, even as I’m writing this.
I won’t miss you, dummies! Luckily, our one year old had never had one so our home is now a dummy-free zone.
I was sent a free Dummy Fairy Workshop kit in return for this review. All opinions expressed are my own. The kit is £19.95 – a bargain if you ask me! Visit The Dummy Fairy Workshop store to purchase.