The story of how Willow went from having a dummy, to not having a dummy, in one afternoon.


how Willow went from having a dummy, to not having a dummy in one afternoon.

For years I have struggled with the idea of Willow giving up her dummy. I have written about it time, and time, and time again. Additionally, I have fretted about my image as a mother because of Willow having a dummy. We’re all aware that dummies can sometimes get a bad rep.

I guess you could say, deep down I am a strong believer in the power of dummies, and that without one, I would have failed as a mother harder than someone trying to recreate a pinterest cake. But, I also know that dummies can have an effect on a variety of different things like speech, breastfeeding and dental health. However, having struggled with none of those issues, I can’t pass judgement. What I do know, is that Willow loved her dummy almost as much as I did.

Honestly, Dummies for me were a big thing, I mean, look how long I had mine for. I was bound to have a child who used a dummy, and I openly admit that I kind of forced Willow to use one. I probably made an excuse at the time, saying something like “she needs it.” when really, what I should have been saying is, “I need her to have this.

A decision was made when she was still a fetus and I stick by my decision. I didn’t really think she would still have it until she was almost 5, but in all honesty, I don’t really care that she did either.
Yes, it annoyed me at times, especially when she would talk with it in her mouth or sneak off with it or steal it. But, guys, I really love my sleep and a dummy meant that my baby slept. It helped me be a better mother by calming my irritated child, and helping when she had colic. Which, in turn, made me less anxious, frustrated and overwhelmed.

I think I was probably addicted to the thing as much as she was.

I have some great news that I did not think I would be sharing anytime soon….

The Dummy Is GONE.

End of Era.

It has died and gone to dummy heaven.

Or, as we told Willow when we fabricated a whole mythical being called the Dummy Fairy, it is hanging in the Dummy Tree where birds use it as a perch and fairy children use it as a swing.
It cost us a £1 too, because no fake story about a fake fairy in a fake universe is believable unless she (as in me) leaves behind a ‘golden coin’.

Happy Days.

The reason for the untimely departure of Willows prized possession was none other than…….drum roll……………..HANK.

The little shit managed to steal it while we were out and he chewed the teat off it.

Willow, of course, got upset… here’s a little run down of what happened when we discovered the chewed up remains of her dummy…

Willow : *cries* HANK CHEWED MY DUMMY!

Me : HUH?

Willow : HANK CHEWED MY DUMMY!! *more cries*

Me : Oh, well…uhh…well…well…I guess you should have put it away. That’s it now, your dummy is gone.

Willow : *wails*

Me : Weeeeeeeeeeeeell, I did tell you to put it away. You will be okay, lots of children sleep without a dummy. You will be fine.

Willow : Can we buy a new one?

Me : *sees the opportunity* No, sorry baby, we can’t buy new ones.

Willow : Why?

Me : Because you’re a big girl now. We can only buy dummies for babies.

Willow : AWWHHHHHHHHHH *sob, sob, cry, cry.*

Me : *pulls her in for a hug* Listen, you’re nearly 5 now and you would have had to stop having your dummy once you got to your birthday anyway. *imagines the tooth fairy….makes up dummy fairy* And anyway, now you’re going to finish with your dummy, you can leave it under your pillow for the dummy fairy.

Willow : *stops wiping snot in my sleeve* The dummy fairy?

Me : Yep. The dummy fairy. She’s just like the tooth fairy who comes and collects teeth from under your pillow, except she collects dummies.

Willow : Will I get a gold coin?

Me : yes you will.

Willow : Okay. *jumps off my lap and runs to play on the trampoline.*

I seriously sat there wondering what the hell had happened, one second she was sobbing, brokenhearted, at the prospect of never having a dummy ever again, and the next, she’s screaming at me to watch her back flip (which translates as: landing on her back after doing a big jump) because she’s SO GOOD MUMMY!! COME SEE!! LOOK! LOOK! LOOK! LOOOOOOOOKKKKK….. MUUUUMMMMMYYYYYY……

I just rolled with it and didn’t mention it again.

Bedtime came and we did have a few tears. From both of us. I may have sounded a bit cold hearted when I was talking to her about not having put it away. In all honesty, I saw it as a chance to teach a lesson about responsiblity, but bedtime was different. It was the first time since she was a baby that she would be going to bed without a dummy. It was scary for her, not having that comfort. It was scary for me too, because I was reliant on it to keep her settled, or better, asleep. So we both cried and Kaboodle Dad gave Willow a big hug and told her that she would be fine (while I quickly wiped away the tears so she wouldn’t see them) and reminded her of the Dummy Fairy and generally trying to cheer her up.

Funny story… the piece of the dummy that Hank didn’t chew, got lost during the day, so we had to write a letter for Willow to put under her pillow for the Dummy Fairy.

On the first night, I thought Meirion had put the ‘coin’ under her pillow. He hadn’t. Willow woke up and asked about it, we said perhaps her letter needed to be tucked right under her pillow.

On the second night, Meirion thought I had put the coin under her pillow. I hadn’t. So willow woke up yet again with no coin. So we told her that perhaps she had to wait for a few days, because the Dummy Fairy wouldn’t want to collect a dummy in case the little girl or boy changed their mind and wanted the dummy back. So we told her that that night, she would have to make sure that she put the letter really safely under her pillow, in case tonight was the night the Dummy Fairy came.

She came that night (desperately trying not to laugh like a 13 year old at that statement #InuendoBingo!) after Meirion and I both made a conscious effort NOT to let our child down for the third night in a row.

Really not setting the bar very high with this parenting lark, are we?

So yeah, there we have it. The story of how Willow doesn’t have a dummy anymore.

In all fairness, Willow has been shockingly good with the whole thing. After spending the last 5 years (pretty much) debating how and when to get rid of the dummy, and fretting about it too, she just takes it in her stride and copes.

She coped so well in fact, it’s like she never really had one at all. I think she’s even forgotten about it completely, to be honest.
She hasn’t mentioned it since she got her golden coin (just over 2 weeks ago) and I can’t see her mentioning it again.
Maybe when looking at photos in the future, but otherwise, I think it’s safe to say that the dummy is well and truly behind us.

As parents, Meirion and I are so proud of Willow. We really couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome from a bad situation and the way Willow has taken this huge change on board makes our hearts feel full. We’ve talked about it together since that day and we’ve both said that Willow has surprised us beyond our imagination and that we both feel a huge amount of pride and love for our strong, brave and awesome daughter.

Well done Baby girl! Sorry we lied to you about the Dummy Fairy, but you really didn’t mind and if it made things easier for you, then a little white lie was worth it. You make us proud Whump! Love you lots.


As always guys, Thank You very much for reading.

Have you ever had to go through a dummy break up? How was it for you? let me know in the comments!


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14 thoughts on “The story of how Willow went from having a dummy, to not having a dummy, in one afternoon.

  1. Emma B says:

    Oh dummies, they have been a life saver for me, I have used them for all four of my kids. Although getting rid of them was a hassle, every time. With my eldest, he was about 5 when we got rid of them, and we did my daughter, who was 2 and a half at the same time. We told a similar story to yours expect instead of the dummy fairy, it was the easter bunny. It worked a treat, as I remember, not a word from the eldest and only some bedtime sobbing from my daughter.

    With my middle son it was the most difficult. We pitched the idea of a dummy fairy type character, but he was having none of it, so we just decided to take the plunge and bin his dummies. Unfortunately this turnedout to be an unwise decision as his behaviour completely changed. He didn’t listen, he was a nightmare in public, and his perfect sleep was ruined. He was about 3 or 4 at the time. We gave the dummy back. He ended up having it until he was nearly 7!😰

    With my youngest we ditched his dummies last year. What we did was cut the end off of the dummy teat so it didn’t work properly anymore(mean, I know, but it worked. ) I should say before this we stopped buying dummies, so he was left with only a few. Once we cut one we would tell him “oh no, it’s broken, better put it in the bin.” Until there was only one dummy left, then told him that if it go lost there weren’t any more and he would have to go without. Them we “accidentally” left it on a bus, (sneaky mummy.) He just accepted it was gone and moved on.

    Every child needs a different method to suit them, and with us expecting in August this he/she is likely to have a dummy too. So we will need to fnd the right method when the time comes. But that’s just my experience, I’m glad it worked out for you and I hope Willow is doing just fine without it.

    • KaboodleMum says:

      oh wow! having to go through dummy withdrawral 4 times must have been difficult lol! I couldnt have done it! You brave mama! I know what you mean, sometimes chicldren are just able to move on and others aren’t, its just theyre nature. It’s good that you took a different approach that helped with each little on of yours, and I’m sure you will do the same when bump have grown up and needs to get rid of it too.

      well done!

      I am happy to report that willow is doing really well without one, it’s almost like she never had one 🙂
      Thank you for your comment!

  2. Kate says:

    My 3 1/2 still has her dummy at bedtime. I’ve been slowly weaning her off of it since her third birthday, I love the idea of the dummy fairy I might just use that.
    A huge well done for getting it away, I don’t expect it to be as semless in our house. I guess I will just need to brave out the tears.

    • KaboodleMum says:

      awh bless, that’s lovely, weaning them off it is a huge help and we were the same, we kept it for bedtime only too. Before we had actually got rid of the dummy, or should I say when Hank chewed it and we didn’t repace it lol, I did think it was going to be a really difficult time and that I would have to brave it out too. Luckily that wasn’t the case. But Isn’t it crazy how we can build something up in our minds only for the outcome to be completely different. You might find it’s the same when your little one gives up hers (well, hopfully, fingers crossed) Thank you for commenting 🙂

  3. catherinestribs says:

    My little girl is only 16 months and has a dummy. It’s mostly for nighttime now but I still worry about what is to come and addressing it when the time comes. Sure it will all be fine but there is always the fear! Lol!! Glad it all worked out for your little one though. She did a great job! 😀

    • KaboodleMum says:

      Thank you! She has done excellently.

      Yeah it’s a big worry isn’t it? I know I spent ages worrying about the day I’d have to get her to give it up but look how things turned out, the decision was taken from me lol. (Thanks hank!)
      16 months is young, I personally wouldn’t be in a rush to get rid of it myself, not at that age. That doesn’t mean your little one is too young, and it’s certainly not a passive judgment towards you. I just mean, I would be way to scared to get rid of it at that age lol, and so I would just happily let her continue to have it haha! Thanks for your comment 💕💕

  4. Laura S says:

    What a great post, and well done to you and Willow for getting through this. I am very worried about this as my two girls are dummy addicts. They are 4.5 and almost 3, and they are completely in love with their dummies. They would have them in their mouth 24/7 if I let them. They will both only have specific brands or types, making it a nightmare for me to find a dummy that is acceptable. I tried to go cold turkey last October/November time, but that didn’t go as planned and so I caved and bought new dummies. I really want them gone as they are a source of great embarrassment. For example when I was out shopping with the kids and my 4 year old was in a terrible mood due to lack of sleep, a whole other story, and just wanted to go home. But then she saw another child with a dummy being pushed in a buggy, and as a result she wanted a dummy. So I was then presented with the choice of either, abandoning the trip and going home, soldiering on with a screaming child, or nipping across to boots and buying some new dummies. I chose the former as I really needed to go shopping, and I couldn’t stand the screams any more, ( all attempts to calm her down had backfired.) So I entered Boots and purchased two brand new dummies, of the correct variety of course. The dirty looks I received were absolutely horrendous. First from the cashier who through a look of disgust in my direction, and then won of shock when my darling daughter ripped open the pack of new dummies and stuck one firmly in her gob. Strangers stared, one child pointed and asked his mother what my child was doing with a dummy, and a shop assistant told my daughter she was too old for a dummy, making her feel intimidated and causing her to recluse into me for about 5 mins. It was all in all one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life.

    I really hope they give it up soon especially with the eldest starting school in September. We don’t have a dog so I can’t rely in the destruction of the dummy via the means of chewing. Well I suppose I have to hope for a miracle.
    P.S. sorry for that rant, I really needed to get that off my chest.

    • KaboodleMum says:

      Don’t apologise! It’s lovely hearing from other people and their experiences. I’m sorry you had to go through with that, I have had looks myself too. They aren’t nice but my best advice would be to ignore it. I know it is easier said than done but you’re their mother and what you decide to do is final. I was apprehensive, but I think the cold turkey thing worked well for us. We had no choice in the matter really and I just figured rather than diving out to buy a new one, we would ride it out.
      I really did benefit from using the dummy fairy thing. I think it really helped willow come to terms with it in her own way. It’s not the approach I would have done if I had it my way, I would have drawn it out over a longer period of time, talking it over with willow, explaining why she needs to get rid of the dummy and deciding on a date for it to happen, and sticking to it. She’s 5 in May, so I think her age helped. Your eldest might benefit from something similar? But I think I would be scared if I were trying to take it from a 3 year old.
      In all honesty, I had mine taken away cold turkey, so did my brother and so s didn’t sister, and obviously willow too. It can work. But it’s hard work, which is why I have avoided it for this long.

      My best advice would be to wean them off it during the day. Willow hasn’t had hers during the day for a while. Then, when they get fussy for it, use the distraction method, maybe take them for a walk or play a home. Explaination is always fantastic for kids too, taking time to explain everything so that they understand it better is really beneficial. And then, I guess it’s one of those things where you have to be cruel to be kind. I know from in the past willow and I have argued like mad over her dummy, but in the end, I put my foot down and become the stern mummy I hate to be.
      They will get there, with small steps and lots of encouragement, you can make it happen!

      You got this mama!

      Good luck!

      If you ever want to chat, feel free to pop on here, or email me, or insta/twitter me 🙂 always happy to help, or listen or just interact with other people 💕💕 thank you for your comment!

      • Laura S says:

        Thank you, cold turkey was always my first thought as in my previous experiences it has worked. I find it amazing how some families are “dummy families”, that use dummies with every child and often keep them to a ‘socially unacceptable’ age. My family is certainly like this and your family sounds like it is too. I had mine taken away at 6 and my sister at almost 9. My nephew still has his at 8, and I think my cousins had them past 5. I am going to try and make it a long, and ideally painless process, so I am not in a huge rush.

        Thanks for the offer I always love a good chat.

      • KaboodleMum says:

        Me too, talking is one of my favourite things to do lol!

        You’re welcome though, and yes you’re right, we definitely are lie that. A dummy is a baby essential in my opinion and I have never felt a rush to get rid of it. I have felt more recently that the time to let it go was quickly approaching, I was kind of going in for the 5th birthday and using that as a cut off date lol

        I don’t know if your clicked the link and saw, but I had mine until I was 12. I was inevitably going to have a child that had one for a while lol!

      • Laura S says:

        I didn’t know you had your dummy that long, no offence but I wouldn’t want my daughters to have a dummy that long. Saying that, I suppose that if it isn’t effecting their teeth or speach then it doesn’t really matter how long a child has a dummy. Talking to you has really made me doubt my stance of wanting to get rid of the dummies. Another thing to consider is that Williow sounds like she olny had one dummy we have many scattered around the house, in the most unusual of places, so if I try to restrict them a dummy can always be found. Oh well looks like I will need to think this one through.

      • KaboodleMum says:

        Hah! You said it. No One wants to let their kid have it that long, except my mother. Who was lazy.
        It was ridiculous, my mother never made any attempt to get rid of it and I was addicted to it and so didn’t want to get rid of it myself. An effort definitely should have been made while I was younger to get rid of it but nothing was ever done. That’s why I felt a different way about willow, I didn’t want it to get to a point where she was all of a sudden much older than is ‘the norm’ to get rid of a dummy, I guess that’s why I did feel a pressure to get rid of it. But also, because I had mine for so long, I was more relaxed with it too. If that’s makes sense? Haha!
        In what sense do you mean doubt your stance on dummies? I’m intrigued lol.
        No, willow had about 5 which she would switch between, but about 6 weeks ago she started favouring a particular one. So I collected up all the others and put them in a cupboard in case anything happened to her ‘favourite’ one. On the day the pup chewed her favourite one she asked about the others. I forgot I put them in the cupboard so told her they were gone but theyre still there now lol

      • Laura S says:

        All I meant was that you being so relaxed about it mademe think maybe I should just sit back and wait for the right time to wean them off of the dummies, as you did. I often jump into these things and make it a lot more difficult than they need to be.
        We have a lot more than 5 dummies in our house, I find them everywhere. I found one in my shoe last week, there are some in the car glove compartment, there was one in a cerial box lol. It is impossible to go anywhere in my house and be unable to summon a dummy instantly.

      • KaboodleMum says:

        hahahhaa!! Thats what it was like when willow was small but I stopped buying them and let her work her way through them for a while lol. i kept it from getting out of hand lol.

        Yeah, absolutely. You move at a pace that feels comfortable for you and your girls. Thats what matters. That’s how to remain a happy family. Do what you feel is best and dont worry what others think. There are thousands of families out there that use dummies in the same way we have x

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