When your baby needs the dummy to self-settle at night and is waking because she can’t find it in the cot, there are some ways to help get her back to sleep.
Field of Dummies
The first thing I’d be doing is putting as many dummies as you possibly have in the cot. Somewhere between about six and ten dummies is perfectly fine. What I like to call it is a field of dummies, so they’re kind of lying there and they can’t help but find one.
That way we’re increasing her odds as much as we possibly can, so that if she moves, she can find one and boom, put it back in herself. She’s at a perfect age to help start learning to find her dummy herself. You certainly don’t have to just go cold-turkey and get rid of it. I would much prefer you try to teach her to find it herself.
The Plot Twist: Teaching her to put it back herself
Then the other step, the next step, would be to, every time you come in to give her back that dummy, don’t put it into her mouth. Just put it into her hand. So find one of the ten dummies that are in there, pop it into her hand, and if you even need to take it a step further, help guide her hand up to her mouth. So that you’re teaching her hey, remember these things? You can use them at night time too. You can use them, plot twist. You can find your own dummy and put it in.
And then after a couple of nights, you might just need to touch her fingers with it. You mightn’t need to pop it into her hand – fully into her hand. After a few nights, then just touch her fingers, touch the end of her fingers, make a little noise with the dummy. You know, you’re just slowly weaning her off you putting it right into her hand. So that way she’s remembering, oh wait, I can get these myself. So that’s one way you can do it.
The other thing you can do is use what’s called a sleepy tot. Sleepy tots come in two sizes. I think they’re really cool because they’re really big and it’s a lot easier to find a big thing like this. Now you can actually Velcro four dummies onto one of these things. They go onto their little, rabitty limbs and then you put the dummy there, and then it’s attached.
So these are really cool, because they’re easy to find and they don’t fall down the side of the cot. But, now remember we’re only talking about babies like eight months on. So that’s a perfectly acceptable time to be introducing a small cuddle toy in the cot anyway. I’m not talking about putting these in cots of babies under six months of age.
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