Ditching The Dummy

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I wrote a few weeks back about the battle of the dummy (here)┬áand Alex has since been looking to it more and more for comfort. So┬álast week we decided to try and ditch the thing for good and I’ve documented the process. Hopefully so we can look back and go ‘wasn’t that tough but we’re glad we did it’ or maybe it’ll help out anyone in the same situation?

Day 1

We’ve been trying to limit the dummy usage in the day for a few days now but I’m concerned that we’re confusing her if we’re not letting her have it in the day but then happily giving it to her at night? We’ve both being doing a lot of reading up on methods and a lot of people advocate going cold turkey. Tonight is as good a night as any.

She’s getting overtired and screams for 45 minutes before she goes to bed. I’m sat on the landing outside her room not knowing what to do for the best. I’m about to give in (and am whatsapping my mommy friends for support!) when she finally drops off. I give it a while before I move, scared she’ll wake up, and then creep downstairs. That was probably the most stressful bedtime we’ve ever had with her.

It gets worse when she wakes at 12am and screams for a full hour. We try giving water, comfort etc but she’s in a full on rage and is pushing us both away. This is really horrible. Finally, finally she gives in and drops off until the morning.

Day 2

I’m having a day in the house today as I’ve got so much work to do. I get practically none of it done as she spends most of the ten hours we’re on our own for screaming. I don’t want to give up on the good work we’ve done so I stick in there but it’s tough. When you know you could just magically make them stop crying with one thing that’s right there in your bag but you can’t do it. She naps for 20 minutes twice, both times just after having a bottle, but you can clearly see she’s still tired but from the broken sleep last night.

She spends most of the evening being absolutely ratty – not the cheery child we’re used to – until we go out for a drive later on and she finally falls asleep in her car seat. As we pull up we debate just leaving her sleeping the whole night in the car! I’m nervous we’re going to have a repeat of yesterday but she barely wakes as we change her for bed. Daddy pops her into her cot and we wait with baited breath to see how long before the screaming starts. It’s 8.10am before we hear anything from her room. I’m shocked!

Day 3

She’s cheery for about an hour in the morning while we all get washed and dressed for the day and she has her breakfast. Then the whining starts. I’ve got lots to catch up on today and I’m feeling thoroughly exhausted so I’m hoping we can have an okay day.

She sleeps for a bit (20 minutes which is her normal nap length) around midday and is generally okay, with a bit of whinging in between. I wish she’d let me cuddle her when she’s upset but she’s not a fan of that at all!

Towards the evening is generally when she’s the least happy, cause she’s getting really tired but isn’t ready to go to bed yet. She’s definitely nowhere near as unhappy as she was yesterday though and after about two minutes of grumbling (not full on screaming) she falls asleep shortly after 9pm.

Day 4

She makes it through to 6.50am without any interruptions at all (we’re used to sometimes having to get up and replace her dummy if she loses it overnight so we’re pleased to have no wake ups at all) but then she’s up and refusing to settle even though we’ve put her in the big bed between us. Just before 7 would be a massive lie-in for most parents but it’s unusual for us as she’s normally asleep gone 8am. We get up and she’s fairly cheerful until about half 9 when she begins whinging again. I’m wrapping her birthday presents so pop her in her cot to nap instead of her being downstairs where she normally naps. After about 20 minutes she gives in and actually sleeps for quite a while! I enjoy the silence!

Later in the day she drops off to sleep again in the car, I’m very impressed. And it’s an ever better result when she goes straight to sleep in the evening having been tired out by swimming, dinner, jigsaws and books. I think we’re almost there with cracking it, apart from the occasional howling at nap time – but we had that with the dummy anyway! She’s just got that baby logic of being so tired yet not wanting to fall asleep and miss anything.

Harriet and Alexandra x

 

11 Months Old

Helping daddy do the garden.

Helping daddy do the garden.

I can’t believe this is the last update post I’ll do before Alexandra’s a whole year old! I feel like in every single update post I and most other bloggers write, there’s some sort of variation on a phrase about time going so fast and they can’t believe how old their little one is. Non-parents are probably rolling their eyes wondering whether our sense of how time works dropped out along with the placenta. But the parents among us are all nodding along understanding that time works differently when you’re looking at a little tiny thing you created.

So, on to the update and the first big thing is WE HAVE TEETH! Finally, after us beginning to think dentures were going to be the only way she’d ever have a set of gnashers, we got two through in the space of a week. Predictably, they’re the bottom middle two and while they’re not fully grown yet they’ve most definitely broken through the gum. It’s funny the little things you think about, like Dylan remarking it was odd to hear her crunch food for the first time!

Which brings us neatly on to food. Alex is down to two bottles a day now, with the intention that she’ll drop to one in the next month (if she’s happy to of course, but we’ve always dropped a bottle by offering more snacks and changing round meal times and she’s always been fine about it) and then once she’s one she’ll come off formula and start drinking cow’s milk (she has this currently in cereal but it’s not recommended as a drink for babies before their first birthday) from a sippy cup. This means no more bottles and, more excitingly, no more sterilising! I could not be more overjoyed about this.

In terms of actual meals, she’s still on three a day with snacks in between and she’s now stopped eating puree altogether. I’ll probably do a weaning update at some point in the next month so I won’t focus too heavily on that for now!

Very excitingly, she’s also doing really well practising standing up. She’ll now confidently stand just holding on with one hand and is trying every day to stand unaided. Alex can do it for about five to ten seconds and even managed 30 seconds one day. We think it’ll be like crawling and sitting where she’ll practice loads and then one day it’ll just click into place and she’ll be a pro. She doesn’t really make an effort to walk that often, but probably because she can crawl to places quicker. She does love a good cruise along the furniture though.

A few months ago we spent all our time trying to teach her to clap and she kind of waved her hands round like someone stranded on a desert island trying to attract the attention of a passing plane, without ever connecting her two hands. We’d kind of slacked on practising with her lately but then all of a sudden about a week ago she started clapping ALL the time. I’m quite enjoying it, it’s very encouraging when you do something and she claps you, like your very own appreciative audience following you everywhere.

Those are probably the main updates although I could ramble all day about her progress! See you next month for her one year update!

Harriet and Alexandra x