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  1. #1
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    Default Inconsistent dummy weaning

    I am a step mother of a beautiful girl who is 3 years, 9 months. Her Dad (my partner) weaned her off her dummy at around 2 years old, however her Mum still gives it to her.

    They have a shared care arrangement in place so she goes between houses. She is a happy, independent and very confident girl (when with us) and never asks for her dummy, however as soon as she sees her Mum she asks for it and cries if she doesn't get it.

    She has recently started Kindy and her Dad picked her up to find a dummy in her bag. Is he correct in thinking that a) she should not be having a dummy at her age and b) she should definitely not be taking one to kindy? Or is her Mum correct in thinking that a) she needs it to cope with her emotions and self-soothe and b) she will get rid of it when she is ready to?

    At this stage I agree that a dummy is not age appropriate but I also worry that the inconsistency is also not appropriate.

    I hate seeing her upset and out of character and if we (Dad and I) are placing extra stress on her, I would love to be able to help reduce that. In case you haven't noticed I just adore her!

    Any ideas/suggestions/opinions/experiences/information would be much appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    My kids never took dummies so I am no expert but my ds's best mate still has a dummy when he has naps or asks for it and he is 4 and a half and is a bright, developmentally on par and an all round awesome kid. I know lots of people freak out about stuff like dummies past certain ages but I really wouldn't worry too much about it.

    Kids are also remarkably resilient and adaptable in my opinion. They can go between home, school and grandma's house and adapt easily to the different rules and routines of each place. We have different house rules and routines to my dsd 's bio mums home and she copes pretty well and moves between both worlds pretty well. its always a bit of an adjustment the first few days but she falls into our routine pretty quickly. I wouldn't worry... she sounds like a pretty normal 3 yr old to me and is lucky to have so many people that love her. The best thing you can do for her imo is provide a harmonious environment by keeping any discord amongst the adults in her life to a minimum.

  3. #3
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    I would personally let the child decide.
    My dd is 3 and still has a dummy and it won't be taken away until she wants.
    It's her comfort, it soothes her when she is tired or sad.
    Her oral health is great and so far we haven't had any ill effects from her dummy.
    I think if her mother finds it helps her whilst in her care then that is her decision, if you step daughter is just happy to have the dummy at mums and is ok without having it at yours then is just let it be.

  4. #4
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    Has your partner talked to the mother about it? I would say to do the same thing across both houses. If she doesn't need it at your house then I'd say she doesn't need it at all and discuss with the mother about taking it from her.
    I personally don't agree with dummy's after 2 years of age but DD4 is about to turn 2 in 3 weeks and there's no chance of weaning it off her so guess I'm stuck with the dummy until such time she decides to get rid of it.

  5. #5
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    My DD1 loved her dummy but after 2yrs old she was only allowed it in bed she did take it to daycare for naps till 2.5yrs.

    Id get your DH to speak to her mum about it so you can have a consistent approach as it could be confusing for a 3yr old.

    I agree that by 3 she shouldnt need it at all so you need to work with her mum on getting rid of it altogether

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    My 1.5yr old boy doesn't use a dummy but does suck his thumb. I think that giving up thumb sucking might be more difficult than giving up a dummy.

    What I like to point out to friends with kids who use dummies is that I know of at least one kid who sucked their thumb up to age 12, but I don't know of any kids sucking a dummy up to that age. A dummy can be taken away, a thumb can't. I wouldn't worry; I reckon that one day she'll see it as something only for babies and will voluntarily give it up.

  7. #7
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    I think if she is happy and content at both houses, then it's ok. I do think a discussion with the mum would be beneficial though. IMO nearly 4 is too old for a dummy and definitely shouldn't be taking it to kinder. BUT that's just me.

    My DS1 only ever had a dummy for nap time and was weaned off at 2yrs. When I told daycare, they looked at me and said 'he hasn't had one for over 6mths'!! Umm..thanks for telling me! But it does show that he was perfectly fine with 'two rules' IYKWIM.

  8. #8
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    I do think its weird when I see a kid that old with a dummy in their mouth. I personally have a problem with it.

    However, perhaps one thing you should consider is how you would feel if the bio mum said something to you about the way things were done in your house? It may be a good idea to pick your battles. I don't think it would be any different to a daycare day routine vs a SAHP day routine.

    My DS had a dummy day and night until 9/10 months and sleep times only until about 16 months. I'm even guilty of giving it to him very occasionally during naps now (at 21 months).

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