Baby Hints & Tips

How to remove a dummy cold turkey

We discuss how to remove a dummy cold turkey.  Sucking a dummy can help soothe a baby and there is some evidence that a dummy during sleep may reduce the risk of SIDS.  However the use of a dummy has been shown to increase the risk of middle ear infections, causing dental problems and when the dummy falls out can be an issue for baby settling to sleep.

How to remove a dummy cold turkey

Removing a dummy can be a slow and painful process.  Our community discuss how to remove a dummy cold turkey.  With a few tips from other parents hopefully we can make the process of weaning your child from their dummy a little smoother for the whole family.

Community Question on how to remove a dummy cold turkey

Any advice on how to remove a dummy cold turkey for a 1 year old? My daughter only uses a dummy to go to sleep, but lately has started waking up for it during the night. She can’t find her dummy so I have to get up and give it to her, I put 4 in there and she doesn’t find it.

We got rid of the dummy cold turkey and had no problems

  • My daughter threw her dummy out of her stroller while we were down town when she was 10 months old while I wasn’t looking. She had lost all the rest so when I put her down for her nap that day I told her she had lost it down town and she never asked for it again and slept a lot better without it. Mara
  • Dummy gone just before first birthday but honestly it was more hassle giving it to him because he would chuck it across the room every time. Til he finally fell asleep. Most nights he sleeps through except when sick or teething. Lisa
  • My son was addicted to his dummy so I threw it out at 16 months. Threw it in the bin and told him it had yuckies on it. He never asked for it again. Lol. Rosie
  • Not worth it. My son was the same, had a dummy just to sleep but started waking for it during the night about the same age when previously had slept through. I got sick of getting up through the night so just took it off him and never gave it back. Best thing I ever did. First night without it he slept through again and he never asked for it back. All kids are different but I’d say ditch it and don’t give in if she asks for it back. Kerri
  • I took it off my daughter at 18 months I threw it in the outside bin in front of her and said it’s all gone now she didn’t even ask for it. Samantha
  • Our son actually weaned himself off at one he has a bottle at bedtime and that’s enough for him to go to sleep sometimes he doesn’t even need it. Nicole
  • I went cold turkey with my first daughter after she turned one. She was fine and didn’t miss it. I’ll wait for my other daughter is at the same age and see if I have such luck… But her dummy is currently on a little chain that clips onto her shirt (u can buy fabric ones too) and she puts her dummy in by herself now when she wakes. Amanda
  • I threw DD1’s out at 16 months because I didn’t want her to have it when DD2 arrived (18 months apart) after whinging for 1 nap and following her usual bedtime routine she had no issues at all. Continued to sleep through the night and never really missed it. Kayla

3-4 hard nights after getting rid of the dummy and then our child slept through

  • My daughter went cold turkey at 7 month, did well the first 2 nights then the 3rd was a nightmare, once she got past the 3rd night she was sleeping thru and has been ever since! Best thing I ever did, she woke up at least 10 times a night before that! Katherine
  • My LO took 3 nights of 4-5 times resettling without dummy cold turkey then another 3 nights of once or twice resettling until she slept right thru! Now sleeps like a dream! She was only 7 months when I took it away thou! I figure if it takes around a week of tough nights it’s worth it rather than getting up however many times every night til you decide to do it anyway! Cara
  • Be persistent with it . Just think it is for the right reasons and the crying wont last forever. The crying to sleep for our almost 2 year old daughter got gradually less each night and after 4 nights, the crying stopped altogether. ReRe
  • 4 nights in total and he sleeps amazingly now!!! It’s worth the tough first two nights of tears! Rhiannon
  • I took the dummy away as soon as a reliance began to appear with mine, as I was worried about dealing with a stronger attachment later. 3 nights of pretty broken upset sleep then we were all good – 3 terrible nights was worth it for me. Sam
  • My son is just under 2.5yrs old. He was a huge dummy boy. Like you we limited to night time (from 18months or so). We used a dummy clip and attached it to his favourite toy or sleeping bag so he knew where it was. 2 weeks ago he threw the dummy away and ‘couldn’t’ find it again. We had 2 nights of tears at bed time but he still slept through. I think it’s a case of having to wait till they are ready. We tried earlier and it didn’t work for us. Samantha
  • My little girl was a little older about 18 months, she did really well only a couple of unsettled nights. Kylie
  • Yes I did cold turkey with my son taking the dummy. 3 nights of struggle them he slept amazingly  good luck! ! Natalie
  • My daughter was 8 mths when she lost hers…I wasn’t keen to keep buying then so we went cold turkey. Had to sit and settle her to sleep for a few days/nights with pats, after that she would self settle with a little initial crying. After a week, crying was minimal and she was self settling at each nap. Would sometimes wake through the night and need to be resettled but it happened a lot faster than I thought it would – Amy
  • I got my daughter to throw hers in the bin when she just turned two, it took 3 nights of a few tears before falling asleep and then she’s forgotten all about it! Good luck – Emily
  • Only took a 3/4 days for sleeping and self settling again, it was longer for the car and pram. My LO was only 4 months – Teagan
  • I’m almost finished day 2 of taking the dummy off my two year old son cold turkey. Last night took him 20 mins to fall asleep and that was him yelling out and having a whinge. Can take a few days to over a week for some – Steph

Took a few weeks – months to learn to settle without the dummy

  • My LO now 4 used a dummy I took it off her cold turkey when she was 2 she had it from birth and the first few nights were horrible I’m not gonna lie haha but a max of two weeks and she had forgotten all about it and no more waking up to give it to her now she sleeps all night… Most nights anyway  good luck!! Sammie
  • We went cold turkey when the last dummy got dropped in the toilet! It took a while, as in a couple months before she didn’t need me to sit with her to fall asleep, but we got there eventually! She wasn’t any trouble if I sat with her while she fell asleep. That was around her second birthday and we haven’t looked back:) – Justine
  • I took my son’s dummy away from him cold turkey when he was about 2yrs old. It took 10 days of him screaming himself to sleep before he would self-soothe. By the end of the 3rd week he wasn’t even waking during the night anymore, he was just sleeping straight through. Was the best decision I ever made! Good luck with it – Cassiopia

Leave dummy for Santa, it worked for us

  • We left the dummy for Santa to give to another child who doesn’t have one, and I was trying to teach my girl to give to others who r less fortunate. Helena
  • My daughter was 2 when we took her dummy away. She gave her dummy to Santa. It was tough for 2 weeks and than she got over it. If you are going to do it you just need to do it and stick to it. Kimberly

Gave the dummy to the dummy fairy

  • The dummy fairy visited us.  Toni
  • We went cold turkey at 1 talked about it and told her the fairies needed it for the little babies, she understood this.. She is 2 1/2 and still talks about her yummy (dummy) and asks about the babies that have it, but honestly we had one bad night all was fine after that one night.. My little girl was waking lots and before I got rid of it I just put heaps of dummies in the cot she would wake and find one, if your not ready to get rid of it you could try this. Rebecca
  • I went cold turkey with my 3.5 yo and 19 mo same time, got them to leave all their dummies at the front door so the “fairy” could give them to little babies who are sick. They got a gift in return the next morning. It took 5 days/nights. It was a struggle but definitely worth it. Just used redirection when they asked or ignored the request. Katrina

Give the dummy to a baby

  • I went cold turkey on the dummy with my little one. I got him to give them to his new baby cousin as a gift (all of them so then there were none in house and I couldn’t cave) he asked maybe once a day for roughly a week and now almost 6 weeks later he has forgotten they ever existed. Joanna
  • My DD was older. 2 years old. I kept telling her she was a big girl and didn’t need them for about a month or so. I’m pregnant with No. 2 so I suggested that because she wasn’t a baby anymore, she could perhaps give her dummies to the new baby when he comes. One hour of “I want my ‘ummy” and she fell asleep and never asked for them again. Colleen

Encourage child to throw their dummy in the bin

  • My daughter threw them into the bin. We told her they were yucky and had poo poo on them. Lol it worked. No dummy from then on. Sarah
  • We got rid of dummies for eldest cold turkey, just told her she’s a big girl and didn’t need them anymore and they are yucky… She threw them in the bin herself and asked for it at bedtime that night, we just said “You threw them in the bin, remember?!” and she just went to sleep and never asked for it again. But she was closer to 2yo so I guess she could comprehend it quite well, not sure if a 1yo would understand though? Michelle

Dummy broke and we didn’t replace it

  • My 1st daughter elected to ‘cut’ it herself so we helped her and she used the handle part with no tear attached for about 3 nights, it was hard but we kept reminding her that she ‘cut’ it herself and then after a week she was over it. She was 20 months. Her speech is perfectly clear so it didn’t affect her at all. Frida
  • My 2 yr old has recently gone cold turkey. We tried for ages to get him off it. The tip of one split so I told him they were all broken. He hated sucking it like that and doesn’t want it anymore. Alarna

Dummy went to the Easter bunny

  • We went cold turkey with the dummy when the Easter bunny took my daughter’s dummy. She asked for it a few times and was a bit restless the first few nights but didn’t take long before it was forgotten and she got over it. We just kept telling her she was a big girl and the Easter Bunny needed it for his babies. Kerri-Ann

Swap dummy for a toy at the shops

  • I took the dummy away from my daughter cold turkey. She was STTN (sleeping through the night) for a long time and just over 2 at the time we took the dummy. She only had it for sleeps too. We had previously had 3 in her cot and gradually weaned down to 1 only as she got older. She handed her dummies in at the shops in exchange for a toy of her choice. Surprised me how easy it was! First day nap she cried for over an hour but eventually slept. That night asked for dummy but no tears and off to sleep. Next day no mention of the dummy. I guess age and understanding may play a part but if u think she is ready why not go for it!! Danielle

Stop offering the dummy so much

  • I really think it was us as parents who were attached to the dummy for our eldest. It was so easy to give her a dummy every time she cried. When she turned 2 we decided enough was enough and agreed not to buy any more. We had a few around the house/in her bag. We started talking to her about it, saying that once a dummy got too yucky we would throw it away and mummy & daddy couldn’t buy any more. She then started biting holes in them! We got down to the last one & were quite nervous about how long it would last but then one day she said she didn’t want a dummy any more and actually went to the bin & threw it out herself! She had already been in a single bed for over 4mths and always slept through the night. She only asked for the dummy a few times but we would remind her that she threw it in the bin and then she was ok. Christmas is coming up, perhaps you could leave all the dummies out with cookies & milk for Santa, in exchange for presents. That was our original plan. Nicki

Don’t take the dummy away – look for other solutions if baby wakes when the dummy falls out

  • Get a couple of glow in the dark ones. Let her have it of it’s a comfort. She’ll give it up when she’s ready. Victoria
  • My eldest was pretty good. we took it away and she was fine but she was around 2 at the time. My youngest though I feel like if I were to take it away now she wouldn’t sleep long. Try getting glow in the dark dummies. She has them. I keep them out in the lounge room or near a light source and before I put her to bed with it I get the torch app on my phone and run it over it to make it brighter. If she loses it she can usually find it if not I keep a spare by a light and give that to her if she doesn’t self settle and then when she’s calm hunt down the 1st which is usually under her or above her head. Hailey
  • Yes I did but they were much older… My bub has just turned 1 n there’s no way I’d take it off him. I just put a heap of them in the cot maybe 4-5 so he usually finds one if he needs it. Angela
  • We had the same issue at around 1. We decided not to take it away yet due to our circumstances at the time, but instead attached a short dummy clip (not long enough to go around her neck) & every time she woke for it I would grab her hand & drag it down the clip to the dummy then into her mouth. Took maybe a week I think & she has been doing it herself since. Natalie
  • My daughter was waking up a gazillion times for hers until I put it on one of those straps. We played games with it before bed like “uh oh dropped it, oh there it is” so she knew where it was. Then she steadily improved and over about 2 months has just started sleeping through. So I haven’t taken it off her but that’s how I got her to sleep longer! Amy

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