Little Legs came home aged three and a half. We’ve just recently passed the two year mark of her coming home.
At the time she came home, her brilliant foster carers had been contemplating taking away her dummy, but had changed their minds once we were matched. During Introductions we had chatted with her foster Mummy about it and agreed that she probably needed it now more than ever.
Over the last two years Little Legs has revealed herself to be a very sucky little girl – meaning that like many children who experienced early trauma she has gaps in her sensory experiences, which she is still having to fill in. She tended to suck and chew lots of things including her dummy, the cuffs of her sleeves, cardboard, paper, toys, etc. So we left her dummy in situ. A job to be tackled ‘another day’.
A couple of weeks ago we realised that she was not often asking for her dummy during the daytime and only using it when she went to bed. She has two chewy toys (https://www.chewigem.co.uk/product/child-tread/ ) that she has at her disposal all day every day. Sometimes she really does need them and can be found wandering around the house with her bright purple tread bangle hanging out of her mouth! At other times she can go days without chewing them.
I had also noticed that when I went in to kiss her at my bedtime, her dummy was more often than not lying on her bed next to her.
So I bit the bullet and spoke to Little Legs about giving up her dummy. I said we would choose a new teddy or blanket that she could have in bed instead. We would get rid of dummy at the weekend and she would be doing big girls sleeping from now on.
Despite me expecting a battle, she has been pretty chilled about the whole thing!
She has chosen a small snuggly teddy with a little blanket attached, that she can cuddle in bed easily. We picked ‘Patch’ up from Mothercare on Thursday and Little Legs decided that that was it – she was going without dummy from that point onwards.
First night, she took a while (just over two hours) to settle and drop off to sleep, but stayed in bed during that time. She woke once at around 4am and came in telling me that she couldn’t find her dodie. I reminded her gently that she didn’t have dodie anymore and took her back to bed. I heard her making quiet little noises for about ten minutes and then she went quiet.
The second night (Friday) she fell asleep quickly – it was after ninety minutes of legging it around at Kids’ Club – and slept through til 8.30am!
The last two nights, she has slept through until 7.30am, but has taken at least two hours to settle at bedtime.
So we’re winning! We’ve done it and the dummies are no more! She’s finding it harder to settle herself to sleep (which we had expected) but is sleeping through for now (which we had not!).
Here’s to constantly second guessing ourselves, making tricky decisions in how to best parent our children and sleep!