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  • Gareth Ellis

Dummy Dilemma

The dummy fairy stopped by our house recently.

No, this isn’t a character dreamed up by an advertising agency to get more parents to buy dummies, but rather a fictional fairy charged with taking Emilia’s night-time dummy from her.

So, let me explain, because I’ve made them sound like a right monster there, but the premise is that you tell your children that the dummy fairy will come along, take their dummy and give it to a baby who needs it more. Cute little story, right?

Some people even choose to do a little bit more and let the children place the dummies somewhere they have chosen to offer up as some kind of fictional sacrifice. I like that idea though as it gives control back to the children and allows them to see that it’s THEM giving up the dummy and not that the fairy is taking it from them. More to the point, it’s not Mummy and Daddy’s fault either.

We picked a random night and told Emi that she wouldn’t have her dummy when she went to bed as it was being given to another baby to help comfort them through the night.

We were of course met with a noisy protest that was only helped by books, cuddles and lying on the floor by the side of her bed.

The first couple of nights were a bit of a shambles. It was genuinely like having a new-born again as we walked across the landing every few hours to give her a cuddle and console her back to sleep.

Then, after talking with a friend we realised we’d gone about it the wrong way. We already knew we’d not given enough of a build-up to the fairy and rather dropped it on her quite suddenly, but I was so confident in our children’s receptiveness to change that I thought she’d boss it after a couple of nights – wrong.

We realised something incredibly basic, that all parents need to know about everything, most children will do things when THEY’RE ready.

So, we decided to give her back the dummy for a little while and maybe we’ll try again in a few months. We’ll let her semi-lead it and then she might be a little bit more understanding when the dummy fairy swoops in and steals her dummies.

Child not walking/talking/sitting up/eating/sleeping through/reading/writing? (the list is endless) please don’t fret. Most kids will learn to do these things in their own time.

Rupert breezed potty training because he was ready for it, Emi will do the same too and with giving up her dummy we’ll let her decide – just as long as it’s in the next year who is it hurting for our daughter to have that comfort at night?

When the time is right, I know she’ll march right up to the dummy fairy, take out her dummy and then…probably put it back in her mouth. Not today, dummy thief!

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