Zachy did not look too convinced when I started to prepare him for a visit from the Dummy Fairy.
I have written before about his dummy love and how I have procrastinated over taking it away from him.
Mostly because I needed to prepare myself for what I was sure would be the toddler equivalent to all hell breaking loose.
We started slowly and restricted use to nap times only. He made a bit of a fuss about this the first morning that we insisted he leave his dummy in his cot, but adjusted very quickly to the new regime with minimum tantrum and toy throwing. Minimum, not none.
However, I was dubious he would ever go to sleep without it. At 2½ years old, he has had the comfort of his dummy for the whole of his life and it’s effect on calming him down and getting him into his happy sleep place was immediate.
But nothing lasts forever and as his old dummies were almost ready to be replaced with new ones, I felt it was now or never (or at least another 6-months, anyway).
We arranged for the dummy fairy to visit on a Friday night. As Zachy’s current obsession is Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, I told him that Nanny Plum herself would be visiting in a few nights time and that she would take his dummy off to the Little Kingdom and give it to the elves. The elves would then wash it* before delivering it to all the new babies being born in the world.
In return, Nanny Plum would leave Zachy a present to say thank you.
In theory, he quite liked the idea. Well, he quite liked the idea of the present. Actually handing the dummy over might take a bit more persuading.
So, for the next few nights we told him the same story and when Friday night arrived, we collected all his dummies up around the house, popped them into a nappy bag ** and left them on the mantle for Nanny Plum.
‘I want my dummy’ Zachy sobbed as I tucked him up in bed later that night. I explained to him again that Nanny Plum was going to take them off to the elves but when he woke up in the morning he would have a present waiting for him downstairs. This seemed to cheer him up a bit.
He made a bit of a fuss but after about 30-mins, all was quiet and when I checked in on him, he had drifted off to sleep.
The Greek God(zilla) and I were on standby mode all night, thinking he could wake up at any moment and scream for his dummy.
In the morning, we made our way downstairs early to see if Nanny Plum had been. Just beneath the exact spot where we had left the dummies the night before, was a talking Ben Elf soft toy, Little Kingdom fridge magnets and a sticker book.
Zachy was thrilled to bits and beside himself with excitement. He spent the whole morning playing with his new toys and sticking Princess Holly stickers in his sticker pad… and on the furniture.
When 1pm arrived and it was time for Zachy to go down for his afternoon nap, Ben Elf went with him. No fuss.
Later that night, it was the same.
And, that was it really. There was no big drama. He did not cry for his dummy again.
I did not believe it could really be that easy, so slept on standby mode for a few more nights but if anything, he is sleeping better without it.
So, we are dummy free.
Just like that.
Clearly, I have an awesome child.
Next parenting challenge is potty training, although I do not get a sense that the transition out of nappies will be quite as seamless… watch this space.
*Note important hygiene point made
**a clean one (it was all I could find)