To Break The Dummy Habit, Poke A Hole In It

To Break The Dummy Habit, Poke A Hole In It
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The dummy is a wonderful thing. It helps our littlest ones soothe themselves to sleep when nothing else will quite do the trick. Eventually, though, you want them to be able to self-soothe. They grow from babies into toddlers and you pine for one picture without the binky in the mouth. And as tooth after tooth grows in, you may be worried that prolonged dummy use could start to affect the alignment of their teeth.

You could go cold turkey. You could “lose” them one by one. You could jump on the “Binky Fairy” bandwagon and leave them all out in a pile one night to be collected (with a special reward left as payment). You could even have a farewell ceremony.

Or you could sabotage them, just a little bit, in a safe way—by poking a tiny hole into the tip of the nipple. Poking a small hole in the dummy releases the air and makes it less satisfying to suck. It’s effective in helping kids lose interest in their former friend, but there are a couple of caveats:

  • Keep the hole very small (it’s best to use a needle) and make sure you don’t leave any pieces behind that might be swallowed.

  • Don’t cut off the whole tip. This used to be a common method for dummy-weaning, but small pieces could break off over time and become a choking hazard.

If they say their binky suddenly doesn’t feel the same—or as good—as it used to, simply tell them that’s because they’re getting big and are outgrowing the habit.

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