6 March 2007

Death of a binkie

Two and a half weeks ago we decided that Noah had to be weaned from his dummy. He only had it at bedtime usually, although he was allowed it outside of his bedroom when he was ill or teething. Unfortunately, he had started wanting / needing it too much and asking for it a lot and waking us up in the night if he couldn't find it in his cot. It was the broken sleep that did it for me ... he's almost two, is generally a good sleeper, and I wasn't happy about having to wake up once or twice a night to see to him just because he has an addiction to a bit of rubber and plastic. Grant and I agreed that something had to be done.

We came home from church and I went upstairs and cut the end of the bulb bit off:

We'd been planting seeds in Noah's mind for a couple of weeks, occasionally saying that big boys don't need dummies and if they suck them too much sometimes the dummy breaks. Well, when naptime came I took Noah upstairs, put his sleeping bag on him as I sat with him on the rocking chair, and gave him his dummy. He sat and stared at it for the longest time in confusion, then put it into his mouth and immediately whipped it out again. He turned to me, holding the dummy up. I said, "Oh dear, is your dummy broken?" and he repeated, "Dummy boken!"

(See how we're not the bad guys for taking it away ... he thinks it was just one of those things that happens to dummies. Crafty.)

He wouldn't settle for his nap and cried that bedtime too but slept well through the night. I can't say the last couple of weeks have been plain sailing: for the first week and a half he kept saying, "Dummy boken" a lot, as if he was trying to deal with the knowledge, and it took him that long before he would willingly throw it into the rubbish bin. He's only recently stopped saying, "Dummy boken" when we tell him it's bedtime (it used to be the first thing he'd say). He does still cry at every bedtime and half the time won't nap, but I think that's part of the terrible two's as he'd started doing that before the breaking of the binkie and Daniel was exactly the same at this age. He's also been waking earlier (6:30 instead of when we get up at 7:20) and cries when he wakes, but I suspect that's because of the mornings being lighter as we move into spring. He has a blackout blind on his window but still insists on sleeping with the door open so we need to ensure we close the bathroom blind and put something over the landing window to keep his room dark enough in the mornings. We'll see if that helps.

All in all I'm glad we tackled the dummy issue. I could have solved the waking-in-the-night problem by simply buying 50 dummies and strewing them around his cot, so he'd always be able to find one, but I figured we'd have to go through this sooner or later so we might as well tackle it and since Grant agreed we went for it.

It's crazy to think that the only remains of baby goodies around the house are Noah's high chair, buggy, bibs and nappies. My baby is growing up.

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