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Should i be worried that my son is 4 and a half years old and still has a dummy#?
My son is now in full time school but still has a dummy, not just at nght time litrally, most of the time, he does get embarresed when he sees children from his school and wipes it in his pocket untill we pass (which only started to happen recently). I blame myself as he is such an affectionate little boy (mummys boy) that i dont like to see him distressed over not having a dummy, sometimes he gets really upset. I no how that sounds and no i am not a soft touch in any way but i have never forced anythink on either of my childern, but now i am starting to regret it slightly. Every year we send shoe boxes over to the less fortunate and both children enjoy giving generously and completely understand where and why we send these so i thought i could use this to my advantage and explained that the dummys were needed for the other children and that santa would kindly take them for him if he left them out on xmas eve in a bag on the tree and as he woud be becoming such a big boy santa may leave him a extra special little something and in theory it seems a good idea, but now as xmas is fast approaching he is going off the idea!!! I am sorry to have spilled my guts out and written an essy, but if you have any suggestions for me i would love to hear them, thanks for you time x
asked in children, help please, early years

rainchild answers:

I don't think you should be worried. Although it's unusual, many children have a security blanket or similar throughout young childhood. I would just accept it and ignore it. Other children's opinions will gradually get him to put it away, but from you he just needs unconditional acceptance.
It is a signal to you, however, that he's feeling insecure about something. It could be school. Try to keep really regular routines, talk to him often, make everything around him as secure and predictable as possible, and ignore the dummy. He will grow out of it.

Supplement from 12/17/2008 02:58am:

A Victorian webiste has this to say:

Decide on your strategy
There are basically two ways to break the dummy habit – quickly or slowly. When you and your child decide it’s time to stop using the dummy, the quick option means you simply throw the dummy away. Having a little ceremony involving the child might be helpful. Be firm and gently remind them of their resolve not to use their dummy anymore. Try to distract them with other activities and help them find other ways to soothe and relax themselves.

If you decide to get rid of the dummy slowly, this means reserving its use for designated times only, such as going to bed. Your child could perhaps tuck the dummy under their pillow every morning. Once again, be firm but understanding. Over time, your child’s attachment to their dummy will lessen, which means that throwing the dummy away will come easier. Avoid bribery or barter, such as making promises like “We’ll give it to Santa or the Easter Bunny”.

Use a reward system
Toddlers respond well to praise and encouragement. Think about using a reward system while your child is giving up their dummy. For children two years and older, you could set up a little chart with stars or stickers for a week or more. Compliment them often on their new behaviour and tell them how proud you are.

Resisting the change
Comfort objects can gradually become a habit as children approach school age, but children can also look for them when they are stressed and use them to help deal with anxiety. If your child seems despondent without their dummy, they may simply be tired or you may need to encourage them to use their words to tell you what is bothering them. Remember that changes in habits can take time.

Where to get help
Your doctor
Maternal and Child Health nurse
Parent Line Tel. 132 289
Tweddle Child and Family Health Service Tel. (03) 9689 1577
Maternal and Child Health Line, Victoria (24 hours) Tel. 132 229
Things to remember
Your toddler might need their dummy to feel safe and secure, particularly when they aren’t with you.
Ideally the child should voluntarily give up their dummy when they feel ready, rather than have the action forced upon them by others.
If your child is adamant about keeping their dummy, or if they seem despondent without it, you need to find out what is bothering them.


Welcome to Lycos iQ, btw.

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rasputin1309 answers:

Don't worry - he'll give it up when he is ready

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robinsamuels answers:


Not because he needs the dummy, but because you may well end up spending a fortune on dental work in the future.

Dummies are the biggest cause of occlusion problems in children. Occlusion is the way that the teeth line up, when the mouth is close and resting naturally. If it is wrong, then your child's bite angles may be upset, causing poor chewing and biting. Even worse, if the lower teeth are pushed forward slightly, a minor class 3 overbite may be caused. That is where the lower teeth tend to sit outside the upper teeth and not behind them.

Dental orthopedics cost a fortune, and this is very difficult to find on the NHS, once he no longer qualifies for NHS treatment. It will be hard, but take the dummy away now.

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blacksmith81 answers:

Making a fuss about it, is only likely to make the situation worse.

Maintaining a relatively calm atmosphere around the child, helps enormously, reducing the child's stress levels and the association between oral stimulation and comfort.

My eldest daughter was nearly 6, before she finally put away her dummy for good.

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tracieboo answers:

I think he's too old personally, can i make a suggestion of how you can rid him of it?

Leave it out for santa, tell your son that santa likes to take the dummies left for him for all the new babies that are born at christmas and that he will get a special present from santa for being such a good boy. Let your son put his dummy on a little tray or plate along with a mince pie (or whatever you normally leave for santa) then in the morning it will be gone (along with any others you have in the house) he might look for it later or cry for it at some point, but then you just have to remind him where it has gone and how proud you are of him.
It does work, i did the same thing with my daughter.

Another option is tying it to a balloon and sending up to heaven....i did that with my other daughter, she sent it up to her Nanny. She never asked for a dummy again.

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Maygs answers:

As mentioned above, he is damaging his teeth and it's not that he won't give it up; it's that you haven't taken it from him in the appropriate time. He is 4 years old, he does not call the shots. If he is embarrassed then clearly he knows it is no longer needed.

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