So there is a lot of love for dummies in our house. Why do we call them dummies? Just to be clear a dummy or 'nummy' as Carys calls it is a pacifier, comforter, soother... or as Alex and I have come to call it 'the silencer'! I am a dummy fan. Both Joseph and Carys are major dummy fans. From both were teeny tiny they got a lot of comfort from it and it played a major roll in stretching out feeds when they started to get a little tetchy. For me, there are more pros than cons to giving your baby a dummy. It's just about how to control its use and how to get rid of it when the time is right. When we started out at the parenting game I reckoned turning two years old would be the right time. It didn't go according to plan.

Joseph, as you know, has just turned three. He still uses a dummy. Now, just to clarify, he's not one of those kids at the park running about with a dummy hanging out of his mouth but his dependency on it was not on the decline. We set out to allow it in the car and in bed but really we weren't strict enough on enforcing these boundaries. It got to the stage where, when I was taking pictures of them around the house, I was always saying 'take your dummies out' or I'd take a picture of Carys and Joseph would be there loitering in the background with a dummy. I started to hate the dummy. I don't want to hate dummies. Dummies are my friends. But, dummies are for babies. Just babies. 'Operation: Au Revoir Dummy' was becoming urgent.

So last week, Monday I think it was doing the usual morning duty and decided today was the day.

Day one: No dummy. It was exhausting. All day long he begged and he moaned and he cried 'I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy...' I was tired. I ran out of distractions. Puzzles, games, duplo, cartoons, cuddles. It was a looooooooong day. Long, I tell you. So desperate for his dummy was that boy of mine, he went to bed and had a nap. He hasn't napped for about 10 months!

Day two: No dummy. Less exhausting but a little weary. He moaned less, he begged less, he cried less. He played more. He talked more. He napped again.

Day three: Joseph's Third Birthday. No dummy. No problem. Happy dummy free birthday party!

And just to remind you of how cute he is sans dummy... and show off my appaling cake decorating skills{!} here are a couple of pictures from Joseph's birthday.

Top a bad icing job with a favourite toy and hope nobody notices!

Birthday treat from the staff at our local Auberge. Merci!

A week on, its become clear that having the dummy during the day was relaxing him a little bit too much. Whilst it was not in his mouth every waking minute of the day, it was enough that he hadn't need to nap. I have two pretty laid back children and a dummy makes them REALLY laid back. A week on, he still has his dummy in bed and has napped most days since cold turkey started. The nap request is most definitely an excuse for time out with a beloved dummy. He is going to bed much easier. Marching himself to his bedchamber and clambering onto his bed without assistance and falling asleep really quickly without fuss. The next step is of course, to rid ourselves of the dummy completely.

Do I regret using a dummy?

Would I use the same method again?
Yes, just wishing I'd started sooner.

Will I use a dummy for the next baby?
Yes ma'am.

What about Carys?
She is on the same regime and is totally cool about it.

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