We've had a love hate relationship with dummies from the start. We hate them, bubba loves them.
From the start we were cautious of using them too much but they did calm her so we flitted around and waited until she was settled and would whip the dummy away. Not wanting to get in a situation of getting up in the night to replace it for her, we were always on tenterhooks and discussing over use of the dummy (I know, now it sounds to lame and over worried).
This worked a treat, she has never gone to bed with a dummy and instead has self settled herself with her 'rag' and only on the odd occasions has she had a dummy at bed time (which I can count on one hand). During the day she has it at nap time (my fail as I used it for convenience, knowing it gets her to sleep pronto) and only if she is really funky teething and is just simple unhappy. As soon as she is awake she knows to hand over the dummy.
So it came as a massive shock when she started waking at 4am most mornings when she had a cold and wouldn't settle to sleep again. Hubby and I fell into a pattern of plugging her in and she'd sleep again until about 7 or 7.30am. Lovely. Except she (obviously) got used to this and so we couldn't break the cycle once she was well without lots of stress for all of us. She still goes to sleep on her own of a night time regardless. So imagine my surprise when at 11 months old, after all our early on careful dummy removal it seems we created a monster. For quite a while I was beside myself as 3am or 4am we found ourselves trotting into her room to give her a dummy and she would instantly fall back to sleep.
So I came up with a ingenious solution to let her self medicate and not wake us in the night. I knew she wouldn't find a random dummy in her cot (or several) she isn't the kind of girl who will do it herself. So I attached a ribbon to her rag, knowing she keeps this close to her during the night. How proud I felt after that first night when she didn't wake us at all, I felt refreshed and calm...until I found this.
She had kept herself busy by unraveling the ribbon, no wonder she was quiet. It was totally wrapped around her and for the rest of the day I felt tearful and ashamed that I could have injured her.
So I tried again and this time folded and stitched the ribbon together to within an inch of it's life. Now when we go to bed we tie her dummy onto the rag so she can find it in the night. It's not the perfect solution but it's working for now and hopefully we can wean her off it soon.