The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Milestones of a different nature – goodbye nummies.

We have had lots of milestones in the White house over the last few months, first day at school, first sports awards, first wobbly tooth and first visit from the toothfairy followed very quickly by the second visit from the toothfairy! Mostly they have been positive and happy milestones, although a little tinged with emotion, on my part. There has been one milestone that I have been dreading however and this has to do with our precious youngest and her dependence on her “nummies”. Yes, Stella still has a dummy and over the last few months she has become very stubborn about her nummies, insisting on carry them around, needing three or four in each hand at bedtime and calling out for them at night.

It has gotten to the point where the usefulness of the dummy is far outweighed by the sheer annoyance factor. I have let the fact that they are still useful cloud my judgement about when the right time was to get rid of them. Bedtimes have been a horribly stressful time for us since Amy started school, it’s a topic for a whole other blog post but basically as it turns out, Amy is one of those rare children that actually doesn’t get tired from school and she has turned from a child who was in bed and asleep by 7:30pm every night, into a child who is still wide awake and over stimulated at 9:00pm most nights. This has meant that Stella going to bed quickly and easily has been invaluable and most nights after teeth brushing and a quick story she is in her cot and cuddled up with a dummy and asleep in seconds. I haven’t been able to cope with the concept of two children refusing sleep and there would be tears all round, mostly from me.

So. We have been putting off the dummy decision indefinitely until one morning last week. From the minute Stella woke up she was demanding more dummys and angrily throwing them at me when I offered her various choices, all mostly half falling apart and disgusting. We haven’t bought any new dummys for months and the few that she had remaining were a motley collection, some from when she was a baby, one she nicked off another baby and a few that came from more recent times.

I lost it and chopped the ends off three dummies that were worse for wear and with Stella we threw them in bin. Then I asked Ron if he was on board getting rid of them altogether and he agreed so we had a chat with Stella and suggested she might like to take the two remaining dummys in a purse to the shop to buy the blue Dora doll she has had her eyes on for a while now. She seemed mostly agreeable, muttering something along the lines of “give nummies to Santa” which goes to show how long its been since we started discussing the possibility with her that she might like to trade in her dummys for a special dolly or present.

Which is how I found myself in Target on a Friday morning trying to communicate to a bored looking sales lady that I wanted to pay for THIS doll with THESE dummys! Thankfully she got the message, must have been my freakish eyebrow lifting and facial gesturing and she accepted the two rather sad looking dummys from Stella and handed over a giant Dora doll in a blue dress. Stella was happy enough to give away her nummies and seemed thrilled with her new doll.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, she told everyone we met that she had given Santa her nummies and this was her Dora doll and she didn’t ask for a dummy once. Until bedtime that is….. after her bath she started crying for her dummy and because she hasn’t learnt how to soothe herself without one, her crying quickly turned to hysterics and we had a situation on our hands. This is where team work is vital and parenting tag teams are an invaluable way of dealing with these kind of stressful situations. Ron and I took turns with her in the bedroom trying to get her to lie down in Amy’s bed and listen to a story until eventually she calmed down enough for me to cuddle her and after about 40 minutes she was asleep and we moved her to the cot. Time for a stiff drink and to talk strategy for when she woke up in the night.

As a rule Stella sleeps though the night, mostly, and has done for about six months now, another reason I was reluctant to give up the dummys. She has been such a poor sleeper for so long that the fact that we were all getting regular, unbroken, restful sleep meant a great deal and I couldn’t face giving that up just yet. Stella woke just after 2am and cried for her dummy. She wouldn’t settle in her cot and kept asking if she could come to our bed so I brought her in with us for a little while and once her wriggling had calmed and she was drifting off to sleep again, I took her back to her cot. She was awake off and on for over an hour, crying in a different way, clearing exhausted and wanting to go back to sleep but just not able to soothe and calm herself without her comforting dummy. Poor little bub. Eventually she did fall back to sleep while I was lying on the trundle mattress on the floor next to the cot, shushing her.

The hardest part about the night for me was that Ron went a bit mad halfway through this process and was begging me to just give her a dummy! With hindsight its quite funny, he was tired and stressed and couldn’t bear hearing her cry and once I confessed that I had NO dummys left he went rummaging through the collection of shoeboxes in his wardrobe looking for an old dummy from when Amy was a baby that he remembered was there somewhere! We were able to laugh about it in the morning but at the time it was really hard, I hated letting her cry but I knew we had to remain firm and that this wouldn’t last forever.

Sure enough last night was a bit better, she hardly asked for her dummy before bed but she did get hysterical quite quickly and wouldn’t calm down at all, escalating to this horrible thing she does where she blows snot out of her nose and rubs it across her face in anger. Its disgusting and distressful but thankfully she was super tired and she was asleep after about 20 minutes, her fringe sticking up with dried snot and her little body hiccuping in protest. The best thing is that although she woke a few times last night, I only had to go into her once and she settled really quickly, settling herself the other times she woke up. Its been difficult but Ron and I both knew it was something we had to do, a milestone we had to tackle together and that calm and consistent parenting would help us get through this together. Fingers crossed that the bedtimes get easier and Stella settles into a routine of self-soothing quickly and no one has to regret paying that lady in dummys!

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3 Responses to Milestones of a different nature – goodbye nummies.

  1. Trish says:

    I feel for you and I am glad you used teamwork too.
    Love the Dora idea.
    We had a similar battle with J too – it was funny and not so funny at the time. It took us about 2-3 nights and finally it was done.
    Hope she self soothes soon.

    He would still ask at times (he was 2 yrs old ish ) and whinge a little but I stayed firm – though we had new ones my husband bought hidden away – He had bought some and J just SPAT the dummy literally because they weren’t his old ones (we had Avent ones from newborn even)
    Lucky I was still BF’ing though it made it easier.

  2. Oh yes. Sticking together is the only way. But you both did it! Oh and miss S wont even worry about it .. One day. Good on you guys… X

  3. del says:

    Hooray for super parents sticking it out together. Fortunately it doesn’t happen often (now) but I hate seeing one of my guys hiccing in their sleep because they were so distraught. I am glad that you survived and that there aren’t (m)any more long nights. xo

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