Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

The Dummy Debate

(74 Posts)
cocoachannel Fri 07-Jan-11 11:03:04

Hi all,

I am sure this has been done again and again, but I wanted to gauge some up to date opinions from other soon to be Mums!

I have just heard on the radio that the use of a dummy is shown to reduce the risk of cot death (a quick google shows this comes from a 2005 study).

Neither DH and I had dummies children and our mothers have been snobs concerned about their use when it's come up.

What are the pros and cons in your opinion?

cocoachannel Fri 07-Jan-11 11:03:56

'dummies when children' Grrr.

Pootles2010 Fri 07-Jan-11 11:05:58

I think main con is some think it doesn't look great. Just wait and see what your baby is like, you may think now you don't want to use one, but when your baby is screaming and you get desperate, you'll do anything!

We tried to use one with our ds, he refused it, and just sucks on his fingers instead.

Dentist told me doesn't harm his teeth so long as you've stopped using it by age of 2 i think, and at least you can take it off him - I'm wondering how i'll be able to stop ds sucking his fingers!

Well I never had a dummy either but I still suck my thumb blush so there is the argument that you can take a dummy away but not a thumb when you want the child to stop iykwim.
However...not all children will want a dummy!
My DS loved his dummy but only had it at nap or bed time after the age of about 6 months. He had it until his 4th birthday but no one knew he still used it as it never left his bedroom!
DD1 would not have a dummy and is now a thumb sucker at the age of nearly 3.
DD2 has a dummy but i will limit it's use when she gets to be about 12 months.
i don't think there is anything wrong with dummies as long as they don't impede speech etc - I can't stand to see children running around with them in their mouths or trying to speak through them.

jacquiel Fri 07-Jan-11 11:11:23

I was against it - snob reasons!

With DS 4 i made DH get up in wee small hours and drive to Tesco to get one because i was so fed up with the screaming!

When he got back DS refused it!

DS 3 sucked thumb'upside down' and had a really manky nail for about 2 years - i was so paranoid about it, it went really soft and deformed shape, but it all went away by itself and is not damaged, neither are his teeth!

littlemissw Fri 07-Jan-11 11:11:53

I don't like them, especially when you see toddlers running around with them. DD1 never had one, but when DD2 came along she clearly was going to suck her thumb if I didn't give her an alternative. I figured I can take the dummy away, but not the thumb. She LOVED her dummy & I am a complete convert! It was no real drama either when I took it away. I would definitely give my next baby one again if they needed it.

Pootles2010 Fri 07-Jan-11 12:23:27

Another thumb sucker here truffle! My parents are also real snobs about dummies, you'd think they wouldn't be after having a daughter who still sucks her thumb at age of 26... blush

LilRedWG Fri 07-Jan-11 12:29:01

I wasn't sure with DC either, but we bought one in case. As it turns out she used it - she liked to suck to settle. She was only ever allowed to have it in bed. When she came out of her cot she had to leave it there.

She put them in the bin when she was about 2.8 iirc.

She is now 4.8 and has been insistent that we get dummies in preparation for DC2 (due in Feb) so obviously has not inheritied my snobbery.

LilRedWG Fri 07-Jan-11 12:29:52

WRT to parents just smile and nod and then do what you and DH decide is best for your children.

SirBoobAlot Fri 07-Jan-11 12:32:22

I dislike dummies. I hate the way they look, they way they sound, the price of them, and especially the way you see older children walking around talking with them in.

But DS has one for several reasons - mainly for my sanity. And I'd rather he was sucking a dummy, and then take it away at some stage, than suck his thumb (no offence, thumb suckers!).

The HV said to me that just to make sure you use the orthodontic ones, and it shouldn't affect their teeth.

MissFit Fri 07-Jan-11 12:41:06

I wasn't going to use a dummy. Then DD was a very sucky baby so I bought a dummy and tried it. But she wouldn't take it, she just spat it straight out. So she just sucked on me instead hmm

I think most of the time the child decides for you - they either won't have one, or they will and if you refuse to let them have one they will find their thumb eventually anyway.

taffetacat Fri 07-Jan-11 12:43:03

Before DS, I hated the look of dummies. I swore he wouldn't have one. By 8 weeks I was desperate so tried one. He didn't take it. I was semi relieved. He sucked on me instead for 8 months.

DD, OTOH, didn't have the same sucking need so it never came up.

The main problem as far as I can understand from the people I know who used them was particularly at night when they fell out, the parent was required to replug many times a night to settle the baby. This meant that their DC slept through at a much later age and IMO, sleep is the holy grail of parenting.

wolfhound Fri 07-Jan-11 12:43:49

I haven't used dummies for either DS, and neither of them have ever sucked their thumbs either. Having said that, both of them sucked on me ALL THE TIME for the first 6 months. That was fine with me, so no problem. Maybe start off without dummy and see how you go?

camdancer Fri 07-Jan-11 12:55:02

I hate dummies. Was brought up thinking they were the worst things in the world (Dad is a dentist). Trouble is that DS was a very, very sucky baby who also possetted all the time. So I could either keep him at the boob 24/7, and then clean up all the resulting possetting, or just give him a dummy. He loved the dummy. It is quite funny 'cos we don't have any pictures of him with his dummy as I was so ashamed even though he had it a lot in the first 6 months.

After 6 months he only had it in bed. We got rid of it at 15 months when he started signing "bed" all the time so he could have a suck! It was one week of hell and then all fine.

DD never really liked the dummy but was also refluxy and sucky. She hasn't really ever had it outside of sleep times and still has it at almost 2 because it isn't really an issue. We might try to get rid of it before DC3 turns up in June.

As for my parents, they still hate dummies but are resigned to the fact that our DC's have/had them. I think it would be much more of an issue if DS at 3.5 was running around with one in his mouth. Having a comforter at bedtime is more difficult to disapprove of.

As far as I remember, the study didn't quite show that dummies reduce cot death. The conclusion was something like if you give your child a dummy, then don't take it away in the first 6 months. It wasn't quite as stark as you must give your child a dummy. But someone might be around who knows better than me.

(Sorry for the essay!)

LilRedWG Fri 07-Jan-11 13:13:49

WRT to having to pop it back in all night, this just didn't happen with DD. As long as she had it to initially fall asleep she was happy.

CardyMow Fri 07-Jan-11 16:55:18

DD I was all PFB and was all "No child of mine will have a horrible dummy stuffed in their mouth". DD was (is) a thumb sucker, and by age 4yo had pushed her jaw so far out of line that now at 12yo, the dentist is unsure whether a brace will be enough to correct it or if she will need her jaw broken and reset shock. (She is almost 13yo, and still sucks her bloomin thumb).

DS1 had a dummy. Until he was 3yo during the day and 4yo at night. blush. His teeth are in perfect alignment, and he was a very early talker, so it didn't cause him any speech delay. Although, I did refuse to listen to him talk with the dummy in his mouth, so he had to take it out to seak to me, which may have helped with that.

DS2 had a dummy until he was 8/9 months old, when he decided to stop using it himself. He didn't take to anything else afterwards either, he was one that carried around a blankie. And still does at 7yo!

When DC4 is born, he WILL be having a dummy because I've seen firsthand with DD the damage that thumb sucking can do.

tebbles Fri 07-Jan-11 19:36:46

I didnt realise dummies were controversial!

Also dont understand why people dont like the look of babies using them?! Although I dont like seeing older babies/toddler using them either , not to mention the dangers of older babies/toddler chewing them and choking.

I wont have a problem using one if needed and would much prefer it to thumb sucking which I dislike a lot. The only issue I have about them is keeping them hygenic.

GrumpyFish Fri 07-Jan-11 19:53:05

I dislike them for snobby reasons too blush but I can see that they have their uses for very unsettled babies. AFAIK there is some evidence that cot death risk is increased when a baby who usually has a dummy doesn't, but that you do not increase the cot death risk if you never use a dummy (obviously I am not the expert on this, though!).

I didn't use one with DS - cons as I saw it were that I had no way to keep him quiet when screaming the supermarket down etc, and that he really strung out breastfeeds with comfort sucking (not that I minded this too much), pros were down the line - no issues with being woken to put dummy back in during the night, and no issues with trying to lose the dummy (and these were major issues for some of my friends, even though dummies might have bought them more sleep in the early days).

Wait to meet your baby though, I don't think there's ever going to be a clear cut answer.

witches Fri 07-Jan-11 20:00:51

I agree with most of above mum always a bit anti dummies bt as my child is not here yet don't want to b all preachy and then run out to get one! I'll wait and see. Agree tht my main gripe is children who are almost at school with a dummy. not a good look.

mazzystartled Fri 07-Jan-11 20:06:15

Mother of 3 here.
Was definitely anti dummy before DS1 arrived. By 2 weeks I was delighted when he took one. Rather better than using my nipple a dummy. It in no way interfered with BF, he only had it at night and for sleeps after one and he dropped it completely, with only a minor grizzle, just after turning two. DD point blank refused a dummy, to my disappointment. DS (8 mo) has one for sleeps.
Wait and see.

debka Fri 07-Jan-11 20:11:22

I'm also a bit snobby about dummies- I never gave DD one but not for any snobby reason, just because I never thought of it! My MiL insists that FF babies need them more than BF babies, and my SiL's baby who is FF has one and is happier with it. (am quietly and annoyingly smug about the fact that DD never had one, which is FOOLISH because DD2 is due in a month and WHO KNOWS what will happen then!!!)

spikydahlia Fri 07-Jan-11 20:34:43

I didn't ever have a dummy and I didn't agree with them before I had my son. When I got him home from hospital he just wanted to suck the whole time and I was constantly running one feed into the next. The midwife said he wasn't hungry and was putting on weight so I should let him suck my finger. I quickly found this awkward and unhygienic so bought a dummy. This was fantastic as he started 4 hourly feeds and he soon only needed it at night. He just stopped wanting it once he went onto solids. wink

mandy1978 Fri 07-Jan-11 21:16:00

i tried to get my boy to have a dummy when he was a baby even though i started off anti dummys..

this time i will try again, anything that soothes is a winner in my opinion!!

what starts off as a great idea becomes fragile when you havent slept properly for 6 months!!


Doramustdie Fri 07-Jan-11 21:17:55

Love dummies you can take them away! But reality is you may have a baby not interested in fingers or dummies. Get some in just in case is my advice.

midori1999 Fri 07-Jan-11 21:34:33

I hate them for all sorts of reasons. I have to admit, the fact they may help prevent cot death has made me consider them though and I would have also considered them for my premmie daughters as they have extra benefits for premmie babies apparently.

None of my boys have had dummies. All have been thumb suckers, DS1 and DS3 stopped the tumb sucking well before a year old, DS2 took longer, but once he was 3 or so, every time I saw his thumb in his mouth I just asked him to take it out as he was a big boy now. It didn't take long for him to stop and he was stopped well before his 4th birthday.

I have friends who used dummies and their main problem (other than removing dummy from the child once they felt the child shouldn't have it anymore) was that it would fall out of the babies mouth at night and then the baby would wake them as they couldn't put it back in themselves and needed a parent to help them. I assume if my sons woke up they would find their thumbs easily as they were all good sleepers from an early age, but maybe I was lucky.

SaraL77 Fri 07-Jan-11 21:48:41

I was also like others mentioned above- totally against them pre-children, and my mum always said how much she hated them (neither me or my bro had one when little) but after having DS1 I am a convert, he is now 22 months and only uses it at night. Never had problems with him spitting it out at night and needing it put back in as he would just keep sleeping without it. Works for us- DC2 on the way and wouldn't hesitate to use one again.

growing3rdbump Sat 08-Jan-11 15:34:50

I didn't have a dummy myself (but did suck my thumb until I was 9) and both my parents and DH's parents are quite against them. When I had DD1 (now 7) I felt that I didn't want her to have a dummy and was a bit of a snob about them. She sucks her thumb still and it has been a constant battle trying to get her to stop, especially as her front teeth are now sticking forward quite a bit. I remember how hard it was getting her off to sleep and I used to comfort feed her to sleep, which was pretty time consuming and not recommended!

When I had DS1 (now 3.5) I also heard that dummies are thought to reduce cot death risk and so decided he would have a dummy. I have to say it was the best thing I ever did - he has always been a dream at bedtime and was much easier to settle. The downside was he did become quite dependent on it and he was almost 3 when we finally got rid of it.

However he is now still a dream at bedtime, doesn't suck his thumb and teeth are looking much better than DDs. I am pregnant with DC3 now and will be using a dummy again!!! I really think you have to go with your own personal preference - always be open minded when it comes to raising children!!!

pozzled Sat 08-Jan-11 15:45:42

I actually went to quite a bit of effort to get DD to take a dummy (trying different types and so on). Partly because of the cot death advice and partly because she would spend ages sucking our fingers, for a while it was the only way we could soothe her when she was fed, clean etc. A dummy made things a lot easier.

We gave it to her for settling to sleep and very occasionally in the day, and she gave it up herself when she was about 8 months- just started refusing to take it when we put her in her cot. We never had any of the problems you hear about with babies waking frequently in the night to have the dummy returned, it was all very very easy. Won't hesitate to use one with DC2.

Toni2011 Sat 08-Jan-11 18:19:24

I don't like dummies for several reasons - the main one being that although they can help to settle a baby, they can also cause distress when they lose it. I seem to spend most of my time finding and washing my niece's dummy whenever I look after her. There have also been times when we have been out, lost the dummy, and she was inconsolable until we could get her home and find another one.

In my own DD's case, I didn't want her to have a dummy because I felt that I should be able to settle her myself rather than relying on a dummy to do it for me. I did have these notions knocked out of me when she was comfort feeding so frequently that I was getting very sore indeed! I tried on several occasions to give her a dummy but she just wouldn't have it. She would suck on the knuckle of my little finger happily though. That was fine for me, as I would always make sure my hands were thoroughly clean before letting her have it - the down side is that in the absence of a dummy anyone else trying to settle her would follow my example and give her a knuckle to suck and I had no way of controlling how clean their hands were!

I must say that having no dummy certainly didn't stop DD sleeping well - she slept through the night from just a few weeks old.

I'm now expecting DS (36+4) and am keeping an open mind. I have dummies ready, and although ideally I would like to avoid giving it to him, I agree with the comments above that you just have to go with what suits your baby. It may be that a dummy suits him where it didn't suit DD.

EenyMeenyMaya Sat 08-Jan-11 20:14:51

DS2 due tomorrow and I have bought a couple of dummies already. After being anti dummy with DS1 I caved and he had one for about 4 months, he grew bored of it before he was even 6 months. Never woke demanding it either, but it did help when I put him down to sleep.

I do however have baby brain and have forgotten from what age they can be introduced, can anyone help?

LmO Sat 08-Jan-11 20:35:54

my 3 year old DS just gave all his to Santas reindeers, he has been brilliant at letting them go (was quite fond of them so started by asking him to 'throw' it back into bed each morning). Now he is fine and has beautiful straight teeth, unlike his sister who sucks her thumb out of the side of her mouth!!!!

SaraL77 Sat 08-Jan-11 21:44:31

EenyMeenyMaya- I've read that you should wait a bit before giving to babies- not sure how long- maybe it's until breastfeeding is established? However that's easier said than done if the baby is crying and needs comforting and your boobs are sore from comfort sucking!

drosophila Sat 08-Jan-11 21:49:44

Agree Sleep is the Holy Grail.

Never used a dummy as DS1 did not take to it and then never bothered after that with other 2 bu hey if it works use it.

PermaShattered Sat 08-Jan-11 22:03:04

I'm a dummy snob. My two eldest didn't have one and didn't need one.

But, by the time my 3rd was about 3 days old and he was lying in bed next to me going to sleep with my little finger in his mouth, my husband said I can't possibly spend half the day with my little finger in his mouth for the next few weeks!

So the next day he (NOT me!) bought a dummy -and it's the absolute BEST thing we ever did. Although my husband did give me stick for a day or so: "You bad mother, sticking a bit of plastic in the baby's mouth."

He's now 3 and only has it when he's going to bed (or resting on the sofa with me) and he knows he won't get one just cos he wants it.

But I hate seeing toddlers walking aound with dummies in their mouths. It's so unecessary and definitely unhygienic.

Expecing 4th in 10 weeks - and if a dummy makes all the difference, then so be it!! Snob or no snob........

cocoachannel Sat 08-Jan-11 22:04:29

Thanks for all the comments ladies. Lots to think about, but I think the main thing I'll take away is just to wait and see how it goes when DD arrives!

EenyMeenyMaya Sun 09-Jan-11 05:43:30

Thanks SarahL, good point about establishing BF 1st.

ZippyPippy Sun 09-Jan-11 10:08:52

My first is due soon and our NCT breastfeeding counsellor told us not to introduce a dummy for 6 weeks otherwise it might confuse baby and prevent breastfeeding getting established which seems a long time if baby is not settling - can anyone offer any advice on this?

Zippy - yes this is the advice that health professionals give. Personally I gave my DD2 a dummy from birth to help settle her after feeds and she is still BF 8 months on - in fact she's never had a bottle or formula.

There is no way I could have had her sucking on me for comfort all the time as I have 2 other young children - this is why I introduced the dummy.

This is only my experience though! smile

TheBreastmilksOnMe Sun 09-Jan-11 12:02:25

In my experience:

# Reduce the risk of cot death
# Baby more settled and soothed (sometimes)
# If you are breastfeeding it can buy you some more time as sometimes baby just wants to suck and not feed.
# Placate a tantrumming toddler.
# Part of a routine for naps.

# Can harbour thrush so need to sterilise everyday, thrush not pleasent if you are breastfeeding and not pleasent for baby either.
# Can interfere with breastfeeding and latch
# Baby may prefer dummy for comfort when tired rather than breast, which can be hurtful.
# If dummy use is not restricted and used for a long time then it will affect the allignment of the upper teeth so orthodontics might be needed in the future.
# Difficult to wean them off.

growing3rdbump Sun 09-Jan-11 21:29:29

Zippy, I def didn't wait 6 wks to establish breastfeeding and had no problems feeding my two. I'm sure at most 2/3wks would be sufficient.

CrystalQueen Sun 09-Jan-11 21:36:04

Don't rule anything out before you've met your baby! I thought (and still think) that dummies are horrible, but they really helped my DD go to sleep.

whatireckonis Thu 24-Jan-13 23:39:31

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TheFallenNinja Thu 24-Jan-13 23:45:33

DD Has one, it seems it was her call, not mine smile

Kafri Fri 25-Jan-13 01:57:58

My ds WILL NOT take a dummy. I actually wish he would fir 2 reasons

1. He has AWFUL colic and a dummy as a soother might help him. (Cos nothing else does). 12 hours of screaming later and any mum would want some relief!

2. He has digestion issues, just immature newborn/baby system issues but still, a dummy helps stimulate to keep things moving.

Unfortunately, no matter how many time I tell him this ;-) he doesn't listen and will not take it. He's only 5 weeks so maybe he will in time.

I've fad 2 friends who were fully against a dummy and both ended up giving in and weaning off later. I just think as long as they're weaned at an appropriate age, anything that helps is fine by me.

HandMini Fri 25-Jan-13 08:03:57

My DD (now 20 mo) has one. We introduced it around 6 weeks and I guess she was a "sucky" baby because she seemed to get a lot of comfort from it and it was definitely her sleep association thing from about four months, when dummy meant nap/sleep. I breastfed her exclusively for six months and didn't find dummy interfered.

Re the whole "I don't like the way dummies look"/snobbery, well, I don't know anyone who goes round saying "i love dummies, they're so attractive (even tho i secretly do think DD does look like a cute little piglet with hers in) so I wouldn't waste too much time on justifying or explaining your decision - some babies take to them, others don't, but those that do clearly get comfort and soothing from it, so I've always felt fine about giving one.

CountryCupcakes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:12:19

I don't like the look of dummies particularily (i don't think anyone does?) but have used them with DD's 1 & 2 and have some packed in my hospital bag for DD3, due today, if necessary- The midwifes came pee off if the dare to pass comment!

I found them a godsend as I didn't have time to have a baby constantly suckling on me all day. I always buy new ones at the first sign of wear and tear and sterilise them everynight.

My niece on the other hand was never allowed one and spent her first year almost constantly crying. needless to say my sister used dummies with DD's 2 & 3.

WRT the whole waking at night thing I a dummy at each corner of the cot. DD's would crawl and get them themselves if they ever woke up and wanted a suck - meant I never had to get up and they settled themselves quickly again.

Do what suits you and ignore everyone else!

LeBFG Fri 25-Jan-13 12:18:03

Kafri, I actively encouraged my DS to take a dummy. Whilst moving around I would stick it in when mouth was open. He would pop it out but eventually accepted it. It was great because after a bf, I could replace boob with dummy and put him sleeping into his cot. It helped sometimes to calm him at the supermarket or if he was upset out of the house and I didn't want/couldn't bf. The love only lasted a few short months however and he soon just went to sleep without anything. I've packed some in my hospital bag for the next one wink. DS was premmie too and they insisted the dummy helped the babies to digest better.

Eletheomel Fri 25-Jan-13 13:05:48

Can't really give a balanced view, as I personally don't like them (and find it hard to get over that dislike!) but I've read the pros outlined by the posters above. My son was breastfed and never needed nor wanted any kind of dummy/sucky comforter to settle and he never sucked his thumb either, he was happy without one. (don't know what this bean will be like though)

I've just seen so many parents try to shove dummies into their babies crying mouths rather than pick them up or talk to them (crutch for lazy parenting) and then of course you get the dummies dropped on the ground, wiped on sleeves and put back in (gross!).

I totally accept that the above is just examples of bad practice and it's not necessarily fair to blame that on the dummy, but as I said, I can't really give a balanced view :-)

I've had a couple of friends who used dummies and left them with there little ones a bit too long and ended up with stroppy toddlers who refused to give them up until there was tantrums, and it was a nightmare for them, so i reckon if you do want to use them, probably best to get them to stop before the terrible two's kick in!

As with any parenting/feeding/sleeping option though, it's totally up to the individual parent to decide what they want to do in relation to their child, and if anyone wants to use them, just ignore folk like me and do what you think is right - cos ultimately it's your child and you know better than anyone else!

NAR4 Fri 25-Jan-13 15:25:16

Cons; some shape dummies can damage teeth
can hinder breastfeeding
can cause rashes on face
don't look nice for toddlers
can delay speech or cause poor pronounciation

Pros; can buy orthodontic dummies and teeth normally correct themselves when dummy use is stopped
can aide sleep and provide comfort for baby
usage can be limited ie for bedtime only, unlike thumb sucking
research has shown it slightly reduces the risk of cot death

To be honest it just depends how often and when you use dummies, what problems (if any) they could potentially cause. None of my children liked a dummy but two of them loved sucking their thumb, which I have no control over at all. They can do it whenever they want and until whatever age they want. At least a dummy can be limited to useage and taken away at a set age. By the way, thumb sucking causes the same potential problems as a dummy.

I wouldn't rule them out. Just see what your baby likes and what suits you and your Dh.

BonaDea Fri 25-Jan-13 15:36:09

I wish my mother had given me a dummy! I sucked two of my fingers (no thumbs here!) and it was sooooo hard to stop it. I continued sucking my fingers well into primary school (although only at night in bed, or perhaps cuddled on the sofa) but it is terrible to try to stop when your hand is just there all the time! It's subconscious... I ended up having to wear a glove in bed to give up because even if I didn't suck on purpose, the fingers would end up in my mouth after I was asleep.

FInger sucking also resulted in me needing braces for slightly buck front teeth - all sorted now, but not nice having braces at 13 if you can avoid! One of my fingers is also a slightly funny shape and the nails took literally YEARS to properly recover and harden up after I'd stopped.

If our baby turns out to be sucky, a dummy it is!

rrreow Fri 25-Jan-13 16:13:15

I was very against it for snobby reasons (mind you, I still feel like that when I see any non-baby (i.e. older than 1 or so) with a dummy - I mean, fine maybe for sleeping but it shouldn't be plastered to their face 24/7). Then I was desperate for DS to stop crying when he was just born. He'd stop crying every time I put my finger in his mouth, so I thought I'd try a dummy but he wouldn't take it hmm In those early days you do anything for a bit of peace / unbroken sleep!

For my next DC I will see how I get on. I won't hesitate to give a dummy if it really helps everyone involved with sleep/comfort etc, but I'll probably try (operative word try grin) and wean him/her off it before 6m.

amyboo Fri 25-Jan-13 16:18:17

I never had a dummy as a baby. I sucked my thumb. Till I was 14! Then had years of ugly train track braces to sort out damage to my teeth. I now have beautiful teeth, but my teenage years were not so great due to a lot of teasing.

When DS showed himself to be a sucky baby, we gave him a dummy. Since he started in creche full time at 5 months, where they never really had them available except for sleep and/or days when they were upset/tired, DS has hardly used his in the daytime. Now, aged nearly 3, he only has it at night, and most of the time will just use it to get to sleep then spit it out. He rarely asks for it in the day, and never gets it in the day unless he wants to nap (never happens). I don't think there's much wrong with it - his teeth are fine and it's much better than thumb sucking. I'm sure he'll give it up in his own time, just like he did with bottles and nappies.

Eletheomel Fri 25-Jan-13 16:39:37

My friends daughter had a dummy until she was 2 and when she gave it up for christmas (for other girls and boys who needed one :-) she started sucking her thumb and still does (aged 8).

Just to point out that using a dummy isn't going to stop a child from sucking their thumb if that's what they want to do (and there's not much you can do about thumbsucking, although i have heard of someone putting 'nailbite' on their child's thumb - not sure about the ethics of that mind :-)

12ylnon Fri 25-Jan-13 17:05:41

Yes all the way to dummies!
I didn't really want DS to suck on anything when he was born, but it gave him a lot of comfort. He had a dummy in the end. Only really had it for sleeps apart from when he was very small. At about the age of 18 months we said goodbye to it and that was it! It took him a day to learn to settle without it. He has perfect teeth.
Both me and my stepsister sucked our thumbs. I had braces which didn't do a lot for my mouth so i have very wonky bottom teeth and step sister has a really horrible deformed thumb. We both still sometimes wake up thumb sucking- not very attractive really!

Runswithsquirrels Fri 25-Jan-13 17:30:13

A speech therapist at school said never to use them because they cause speech impediments (they put the tongue in the wrong place forming some sounds).

Londonmrss Fri 25-Jan-13 18:29:17

I was really against dummies. Then I had a baby.
Because of the dummy, my 13 week old is completely able to self-settle for all naps. During the night when she wakes, she resettles herself without it. She is also starting to naturally wean herself off it now.

During the first few weeks with a newborn is can be an incredibly useful tool to help your baby sleep and therefore help you survive (I really felt that the first few weeks were something to 'survive').

Don't assume you will use one, but definitely don't rule out out.

Eletheomel Fri 25-Jan-13 18:32:40

And if you do decide to use a dummy I'd advise against taping it to the baby's face.... (i kid you not)


JKSLtd Fri 25-Jan-13 18:39:43

I was very anti dummies before having DC.

I only tried with DS1 once and felt terrible about it, he rejected it anyway.
Never tried with DS2.

Have no idea why I tried again with DD, but she loved it. And she slept so well with one. Slight wobble when she'd wake and just need the dummy back but one of those clippy thing attached to a muslin worked and now we just give her that and she starts to drift off.
She's 21months now and I think we need to start keeping it away from her when it's not nap/sleep time but it is handy in the car or if we're out longer than planned and she gets grumpy.

I'm a thumb sucker and would much rather have the dummy-going-to-the-dummy-fairy (or similar) when she's a bit older than worry about stopping her thumb sucking.
Though neither boy sucks their thumb so maybe she wouldn't have.

rrreow Fri 25-Jan-13 18:50:09

I saw these on ebay the other day (while searching for nappies.. not sure how this happened to come up hmm) www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pacimals-Silky-Loveable-Huggable-Pacifier-Holder-with-Natural-Shaped-Pacifier-/270885973901?pt=Feeding&var=&hash=item3f120fef8d

BlingBubbles Fri 25-Jan-13 18:59:03

I don't mind dummies for babies but what gets me are 4 year olds walking around with them. I tried to give my DD one on a few occasions but she spat them out every time, now when she is throwing a performance in the back of the car I wish I had a dummy to give her wink

StoneBaby Fri 25-Jan-13 21:00:40

Before I had my DS, I was against the dummy idea and look. After spending 7 nights in hospital after his birth awake becuase he needed to suck my finger to settle, I sent my DH to Boots to buy some.
As a new born, he used it on a daily basis and we removed it at nights when he was 8 months old and at 12 months during the day naps.

If oyu are unsure, wait to see how your child will be and follow your gut instinct. smile

LadyLetch Fri 25-Jan-13 21:31:39

One of my old friends husband is a Dr in dentistry, he teaches at a dental hospital and trains dentists. His daughter had a dummy. I asked him why, and he said he had seen lots of children who needed corrective surgery (yes, that's breaking a child's jaw) to correct the damage done by a thumb, but he'd never had to deal with this caused by a dummy.

LadyLetch Fri 25-Jan-13 21:34:18

Sorry, posted too soon.

But essentially if your highest value is aesthetics - then go for the thumb, but if your primary concern is the potential risks, then go for the dummy as this can be managed a lot easier (you can control use of the dummy!)

LadyLetch Fri 25-Jan-13 21:40:34

Although I should add, that I'm also a bit snobby about 8/9/10 year old children sucking their thumbs.... It is really quite grim.

Pontouf Sat 26-Jan-13 08:44:31

The information about dummies helping with SIDS prevention is quite misleading actually. The reason that they help is that they support the baby's airway and helps to keep it open. Because of this children who have dummies are at a slightly lower risk of SIDS. However this is only the case while the dummy is actually in their mouths. Once the dummy falls out or is removed babies who have had dummies are actually at a slightly ^higher% risk of SIDS because their airway has been artificially supported and they have not developed the ability to support it themselves.

I am quite anti dummies from a purely aesthetic point of view. Also I think that if a child is allowed to keep their dummy in all the time then it can affect their speech development. I also think that it can stop a child learning to soothe themselves to sleep and just delays the time when they have to learn.

I did try (during one particularly draining episode of colic) to get my DS to take a dummy but he wouldn't. I am glad now as I have a good friend whose daughter is 14 months and sleeps brilliantly at night.....until her dummy falls out and then she cries and my friend is having to get up 3-4 times a night to put it back in!

Having said all of the above I am now 30 weeks pregnant with DC2 and an certainly not ruling a dummy out. Sleep is survival as far as I'm concerned, but I will be trying everything else before I turn to a dummy.

TwitchyTail Sat 26-Jan-13 09:46:50

^^ What Pontouf said re the SIDS risk. When you look at the original research, a case-control study based on "last sleep" differences, it showed that children who were used to dummies and then did not use it on a particular night were at higher risk of SIDS that night - so it's a bit of a red herring. (This is one of the things that annoys me about the FSIDs guidelines - a fair number of short-sighted conclusions based on inaccurate interpretation of the evidence, when they really should know better).

That said, I haven't had my baby yet so am keeping an open mind. If a dummy helps settle and soothe and to keep my sanity , I'll try it! Plus there is a big patronising campaign at the Sure Start centre where I have my antenatal appointments to guilt parents into throwing away dummies, and my rebellious side is itching to thwart it grin

EauRouge Sat 26-Jan-13 09:56:28

It can interfere with breastfeeding, more info here. Breastfeeding also helps protect against SIDs if that's a concern.

Neither of my two ever had a dummy and I've never missed it. I just used to BF when they needed it and carry them around in a sling. I think you pick up hunger cues a lot sooner if they don't have a dummy so you can BF them before they start crying. Crying is a late hunger cue.

Eletheomel Sat 26-Jan-13 10:12:38

Given the comments about thumbsucking, can I just reiterate that giving your child a dummy will not prevent them from sucking their thumb esp. when the dummy is taken away from them (at whatever age). They're two separate issues.

LadyLetch Sat 26-Jan-13 17:00:15

" Given the comments about thumbsucking, can I just reiterate that giving your child a dummy will not prevent them from sucking their thumb esp. when the dummy is taken away from them (at whatever age). They're two separate issues."

Really? I thought the research said the opposite:
"In comparison, the incidence of dummy sucking has generally been reported to be around 20 to 35% in infants, however this appears to have greatly increased in the western world in recent times, with a corresponding reduction in digit sucking1,4,6. Good news for parents is that dummy sucking rarely leads to a digit sucking habit, and is generally ceased by the age of 3 years"


LadyLetch Sat 26-Jan-13 17:03:29

Sorry, posted too early

I'm guessing you have reasons to show that they are linked - if you have any research, reputable sources etc can you please link them to me? I really would be interested in seeing it. Feel free to PM it to me, or you can link on here. Thanks, and I am more than happy to be corrected if that research and advice is now outdated.

LadyLetch Sat 26-Jan-13 17:04:24

that should be my link / research and advice grin.

ilovecakes Sat 26-Jan-13 17:13:43

I had a dummy until I was 5 and then sucked my thumb until age 13!
dd had a dummy until she was 3.5 and then started sucking her thumb a couple of months after she gave up the dummy.
Ds also had dummy until 3.5 but has never sucked his thumb.

5madthings Sat 26-Jan-13 17:14:00

I was never a dummy fan but ds1 had one occasionally from 4-9 maths.

Ds2 didn't have one and nor did ds3.

Ds4 is a thumb sucker and in this cold weather his thumb has got sore, he is four and he generally only sucks it at night, never at ore school and now school. If he sucks it in the day I try to distract him.

Dd is 25ths and has a dummy, she had it from 3/4mths and now has it for her nap and at bedtime and occasionally in the pushchair or car seat. She talks really well and it meant she slept!

I don't like toddlers walking round with them in their mouths so don't allow dd to do that bug it comforts her when she is tired/I'll etc and I don't see anything wrong with that.

nappysan Thu 14-Mar-13 20:42:10

Speech, speech, speech

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now