If you’re experiencing difficulty getting your baby to sleep, think about the routine you’ve established…
What’s your advice on getting rid of the dummy for a 7-month old? My daughter loves her dummy and won’t sleep without it.
A dummy or pacifier is commonly given to babies as a way of settling them. The sucking action is known to soothe babies and for obvious reasons, you can’t always give them your boob for that purpose.
My advice though is to lose the dummy for better baby sleep.
Dummies teach babies to need the sucking action in order to sleep. Remove this crutch and she will learn to self-settle. Just as she developed the habit of sleeping with a dummy, she can learn a new habit of sleeping without one.
Every baby is different. As a mother, allow yourself to be guided by your intuition. Listen to your baby and understand the differences in her cries. If you remove the dummy altogether, does her sleep suffer or does she show signs of getting used to it?
I recommend that you try going cold turkey and see how she responds over a few nights. If it’s too traumatic for her, consider weaning instead.
Two mums from my Facebook group had great success with going cold turkey at five months.
I did cold turkey when my daughter was 5 months as we got hit hard with the sleep regression. It’s the best thing we did as she is now able to self-settle and generally sleeps better. It’s easier to start at night as they naturally want to sleep. It’ll be up to a week of screaming but better to do when they’re still young. Good luck, I cried a lot that week too but worth the pain!
We also went with cold turkey at 5 months. Best decision I ever made. It didn’t take more than 3–4 days all up to completely forget about it. They learn quicker than we think. My girl isn’t still a great sleeper but she self-settles with no fuss now.
It’s a natural thing for a baby to complain and cry when things are frustrating and she is figuring it all out, getting used to a new way of doing things.
Try to remember that your ability as a parent should not be measured by how quickly you stop your baby crying. How you respond is what is important. Listening to your baby’s cries is important.
We don’t like hearing crying – we are hardwired as adults from prehistoric times to be alert to this sound. But if we can listen and be present when babies cry and communicate – not only at bedtimes – and offer a calm, compassionate energy, as well as a sleep-friendly environment (dark, quiet, predictable), babies learn to trust that and start to self-soothe.
Communicate with your babe, give her space and she will work it out. She is capable. The older they get the harder it is to remove crutches so as soon as you instinctively feel she’d be better off without it, start weaning her off. The earlier you start, the easier it will be.
Infant sleep is major parenting puzzle. Inspired by Magda Gerber’s RIE approach, I’ve been advising families for over 20 years on how to put the pieces together. I’d love to help you too.