When I was pregnant, I was adamant that my child would not have a dummy. Pacifier, dodie, dumdum, dummy… I really disliked them! I thought that they were used as a lazy way of keeping babies quiet. I thought they looked-and I am cringing writing this, sorry- common. “I’ll find other ways to pacify her” I, in retrospect rather smugly thought. By the end of week 3, she was having a dummy to send her to sleep at night. We’d tried a free one we got in a baby pack during the early hours of a morning after little sleep in desperation when we’d run out of ideas.
She seemed to get comfort from it and at that point I put my dummy snobbery aside for the sake of peace. And so it became a night time thing. I didn’t bring it out during the day and I didn’t tell anyone we were using it. It was our secret dummy and I enforced strict rules (with my other half) of when it could be used. Namely, to get her to sleep. Never when she was awake and settled. Never during the day. And my most important rule- absolutely never in public.
I came downstairs during the day when she was about 2 months old and she was in her dad’s arms whilst he watched whatever rubbish on the telly. And she had a dummy in. When I asked him about this his response was “ah, but it’s the weekend and we’re relaxing!” as though it was the infant version of cracking open a beer and watching the football.
I was so unimpressed.
I remember thinking “oh my god do I even know him at all? Are we even matched to being parents together?!” because I’m dramatic at the best of times never mind when super post-baby hormonal. And so it carried on that I would stick to my rules and he wouldn’t. I mean, they were mine after all, not his!
After a few weeks, I needed to actually buy some dummies so that we weren’t relying on our single one. I felt so embarrassed going into the shop to buy them. What will people think? The new mum fear of being judged on my parenting was very real in those moments. I presumed that most people would have my dummy prejudices. I didn’t get that no one really cared that much away from the internet!
Once home and officially (now that we had bought some) dummy users, I made myself feel better by reading
positives of dummy use-there was a weak link to suggest the benefits of dummy use before sleep as a preventative to SIDS. That had to be good! It satisfies the suck reflex and helps babies to soothe themselves. Also a good thing! I tried to ignore all the bad things about dummies. Like teeth problems and language problems. And told myself it was okay to use a dummy for now. That I hadn’t failed at being the good mum that I had planned on being whilst pregnant. That being a ‘good mum’ had fuck all to do with dummies. This is true. The handled plastic dummy may be ugly but she kind of looked like a cute little piglet really. I could accept the dummy.
At nearly 7 months, my daughter loves her ‘dodies’ and I am happy for her to have them at this point in time. She uses them for comfort alongside muslins generally when she is feeling sleepy or in an unfamiliar environment.
I’m glad that she can find comfort in these situations.
I worried that a dummy would inhibit her communication. I make sure that she isn’t attached to it constantly though, for example when we are playing and I’m encouraging her to ‘chat’. She makes all the sounds that I would expect a baby her age to make.
So far, not inhibited!
However one is almost always available to her if she wants it thanks to*hangs head in shame* the dummy clips I said I was definitely never ever going to buy because that was where my line was at. And she knows to find the dummy at the end of the clip. I take it out of her mouth in the pram whilst she is awake so that we can have a ‘natter’ walking along and then she will pop it back in if she fancies.
When pregnant, I didn’t ever think I would have a child that used a dummy but now that she is here and has one, I just cannot find myself getting worked up about it. I don’t want her to have a dummy for too long but haven’t yet started planning the Great Dummy Wean. Current advice from the NHS says to avoid using dummies after 12 months, so I still have a little while to wean her off before I feel like I’m doing any real harm. It’ll be hard but in some ways I think that weaning off a dummy will be a lot easier than if she were a thumb sucker weaning from a thumb! I’ll remember I said that when the time comes and no doubt will cringe at myself again.
Do you use dummies or have you managed to steer clear of the teats of doom? Have you weaned your babies away from dummies quickly or are they hard to let go?
My daughter was adopted at 18months and she came complete with about 12 dummies one of which was always in her mouth. I was amazed at the number of judgemental comments we recieved about it. She used one to sleep until she was three, when, to be honest I got fed up of always having to ransack the house for one. It took a while for her to sleep peacefully without it and we had to provide more support st bedtime for a while. But she has beautiful teeth and it isn’t a problem. I don’t think they look great but I think if they help the child feel soothed and they aren’t used in place of human contact I don’t see the harm. Some of her peers still suck fingers, hair, clothes all day which I think is worse! Sorry for rambling #fortheloveofBLOG
Not rambling at all! It’s great to hear from other mums!
I’m ashamed to be a previous judger of dummies! It’s reassuring to know that it hasn’t had any detrimental effects on her teeth- that was a real worry of mine. I still agree with you about the look of them though. I even went through a phase of buying clear ones so they weren’t as obvious! haha! I’m happy to hear that you managed to bin them successfully though- it gives me hope. Thank you for taking the time to comment!
Both of my children have used dummies. My eldest is almost four now and had a dummy until he was 2. Once he was a year old, he was only allowed to have it for napping and bedtime and he would happily hand it over when he woke up. I can confirm that he has perfect teeth and is more articulate than many children his age. My youngest is 19 months and still has his dummy for sleeping. If he is really upset at bath time and while he waits for his bedtime drink, he is sometimes allowed to have one then. His teeth are also perfect and his speech is developing normally. I really wouldn’t worry too much about weaning her off it just yet as even if she still has it past 12 months just to help her sleep, if she doesn’t have it during the day there is not much chance of it having any negative effect on her development. I hope that helps, from one dummy mummy to another! #fortheloveofBLOG
It’s actually quite nice to have positive stories of dummy use, especially since I was so negative about them before having her! I think that google is my worst enemy when it comes to dummy and the negatives-I’m just going to continue with what works for her! I’m glad that you are an out and proud dummy user! haha! Thank you for commenting!
I have written a similar post (dummies the good, the bad, the ugly) over at my blog where I swore I would never use them! My now 6 month old is currently happily napping with a dummy in her mouth and she finds it a great comfort for easing her reflux symptoms. You must write a post when you decide to wean her off of it!
A dummy weaning saga no doubt! I’ll take a look at your post! Thanks for commenting!
my 15 week old baby girl doesn’t have a dummy. we gave her one when she was 2 weeks old as she had reflux and was fussy but she wouldnt take it and kept spitting it out. so we just threw it away. xx
Ah, lucky! When mine spits it out, she picks it up and put it back in now! I’ve got her into bad habits! Thank you for taking the time to comment!x
I love that you call it a dodie! I don’t hear anyone south of Newcastle using that word! It’s refreshing 🙂
It’s funny what we perceive to be right/wrong before becoming parents, yet when you are one… Things change dramatically! Dummies are far better for your teeth, than sucking your thumb… Stick with the Dodie xxx #TribalLove 😉
There are so many things that I was against/for before I actually had the baby and then quickly changed my mind about that it could be a series! haha! ‘Dodie’ is a Manchester thing too I think! Here’s to dodies and drastic changes of opinions! Thank you for commenting Sassy! xx
Can we just take a moment to appreciate how cute your baby is! 🙂
Anyway, both of mine have had dodie’s (we use that word too!) and I’m a big fan. However, the littlest member of our family at four months has started to firmly reject her dodie in favour of sucking her fingers. I was exactly the same so it must be genetic! My boy gave his up himself at about two years old when he chewed a hole in the teat of it and that was that. Thanks for sharing with us on #fortheloveofBLOG
My nephew switches between the dodie and his hand and his mum was a thumb sucker- I feel we now have scientific proof of genetic finger sucking! haha! Thank you for the compliment, I happen to think she’s quite lovely too! Both of your children are extremely cute and (about to sound like an instagram stalker) but I am really envious of your hair!! Thank you for taking the time to comment!