I actually googled the word dodie so forgive me if its wrong but that seems to be the way most people spell it. I could have said soother (or pacifier to my American and Canadian readers) but in our house it has always been a dodie.
I can’t believe I am writing this but little man has officially stopped having a dodie. It’s been three weeks and he hasn’t even asked for it which is more shocking than anything. I wish I had a step by step guide which might help other people wean their child off their dodie but the truth is I really didn’t plan for this to happen.
Little man turned four in June and was absolutely mad about his dodie. We had stopped allowing it during the day unless he was sick or something but in general we kept it to nap and bed times. In recent months we have made a big effort to cut out the nap because although he needed it and slept easily for the nap, he was not settling at night until 11pm most evenings. Cutting out the nap has meant that the dodie is literally just for bed-time. He got it about half an hour before going to bed, so during that cosy time when he was in his PJs winding down.
When we went on holidays this year I packed three dodies. I also packed them in different bags in case our luggage got lost. Little man is very particular about the type of dodie (MAM) he likes and I knew we wouldn’t find them on holidays so I wanted to make sure we had backs ups. That should tell you just how united he was with his dodie just three weeks ago.
On holidays the routine couldn’t be more different than regular daily life. We allowed naps, more treats and the day was generally a go-with-the-flow affair with late bed times. One of the nights he just happened to go to sleep without the dodie. The next day he was so tired he didn’t look for it and fell asleep cuddling up with me in the bed. I didn’t for a moment even consider that this was the beginning of something huge. By day seven myself and my husband started talking about how amazing it was that he had gone a whole week without a dodie and that we couldn’t make this happen if we tried. It would have been strange to not take advantage of this. We started to congratulate him on being such a big boy. We told him that a week had passed and he hadn’t even asked for a dodie and we were so so proud of him. We told him that a little birdy had let us know that the dodie fairy would be taking his dodie away and letting him pick out a present for being such a big boy. He was ecstatic and did not question it.
Two days before we were due to come home we let him leave his dodie out for the fairy. After a couple of minutes we encouraged him to run back and see had it been taken and he was so excited to discover that it had. We went straight to a little shop and he picked out some Power Ranger Figurines.
My husband wasn’t 100% convinced that it would go so smoothly when we got home from holiday. He feared that little man didn’t really understand and that when the novelty of holidays was gone it would be more difficult. For the last couple of days we kept referencing the fact that the dodie fairy had taken his dodie and we couldn’t wait to tell hisgrandparents and pals about the good news. We repeated this a couple of times a day and made sure that he really understood it.
When we got home he didn’t ask for it. He was cranky at bed time after a long day of travelling and the chaos of living amongst suitcases and piles of washing. But he didn’t ask for it. That was ten days ago and he has not asked for it once. I seriously cannot believe it.
I know some people will think it’s strange that we allowed our son to have his dodie until he was four but honestly it was not big stress to us. We planned to give it to Santa this year and had hoped that by the age of four and a half he wouldn’t have it anymore, but we didn’t stress about it. Phasing it out during the day and limiting it to bed time was a huge step in the right direction. Up until then he had it a lot.
It’s hard not to be sentimental and nostalgic because so many of the images in my memory involve my son with his dodie. It represents something that gave him comfort and that, well, made him a baby. This is another step in the direction of our little man becoming a big boy and while it’s bittersweet to see him moving away from being a baby and toddler, I can’t help but feel really proud and grateful that it happened in such a gentle way.