Ah the magic of Christmas. It’s back with me full force now I have kids, especially as my daughter will be three in January and now has a bit more understanding of what’s happening and who the famous Santa Claus is. I’m not going to lie; I’ve been taking full advantage.

Earlier this year, around Summertime, my daughter was still heading to bed every night with a bottle with at least an ounce of milk in, routine more than anything as it was getting to the point where she’d take it to bed and fall asleep without drinking it. Obviously, this resulted in her bedsheets smelling rather foul in the morning and that would add another load of washing to my already ridiculous washing pile. I attempted to convince her that she was a big girl now and no longer needed to take the bottle to bed, but she wasn’t having any of it and the tantrums she was throwing before bedtime just weren’t worth it; so, she kept the bottle.

She also had her dummy, pacifier, plug, whatever you want to call it, that thing that shuts her up for five minutes, every single day. This one got on my nerves, the older she was getting I just couldn’t stand to see it in her mouth all the time. The dribble and not being able to understand what she was saying, which then resulted in frustrated tantrums from both of us, was just far too much to handle. I love seeing babies with dummies in, they look super cute and I love the comfort they provide, but heading on 2.5 years old it just starts to get in the way of things.

This is where the fat man stepped in. Not my other half, Father Christmas, aka Santa Claus or Santy to us North Easter’s.

My daughter came home from nursery one day asking some questions about said fat man; they must have mentioned it within the session. So, I showed her some pictures and generally explained the jist of it in toddler lingo- “If you’re a good girl he’ll bring you some presents!” Well her face lit up like a Christmas tree and I had a lightbulb moment; the classic threat of ‘Santa’s watching’.

The next day I decided to go for it and told my daughter that Santa had been on the phone and said that she’s getting such a big girl that she no longer needs milk in a bottle to take to bed and should start having milk in her cup with her supper. At first she didn’t seem too convinced, so I explained to her that Santa is always watching and that he would know if she was being a bit naughty and not listening to him. Harsh maybe but my word it worked! After the usual bath routine, we headed up the stairs, read her story and that was it; no kick off’s, didn’t ask for it more than once and ever since then she’s always asked for a small cup of milk with her supper. Done. Bottle gone.

The next day I decided to push my luck slightly and try to get rid of the dummy! As we sat down to breakfast I told her that Santa had been on the phone again and told me how proud he was of her for ditching the bottle but he’d been watching and thought that she was such a big girl, she no longer needed her dummy during the day. This one she pulled a bit of a face at and looked a little worried, but she then handed me her dummy with an “okay Mammy” and seemed to forget about it. This one is obviously a bit more difficult for her as she’s used to having it whenever she feels upset or tired, but I’m pleased to say that she’s come so far and with the help of my rather crafty ‘Santa’s watching’ threats, she now only has her dummy for bed time.

So, if you’re trying to get your little one out of some bad habits, give it a go, you just might be surprised at how well it works.

And remember, Santa’s watching…nicholas-1817081_960_720

This post was first featured on MeetOtherMums.com

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