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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?

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

Speech, speech, speech

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.

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.

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

that should be my link / research and advice grin.

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 Thanks, and I am more than happy to be corrected if that research and advice is now outdated.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 17:00:15

" 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"

www.orthodontists.org.nz/thumb-sucking

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 21:31:39

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.

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

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

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

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.

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)

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-21199572

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.

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).

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!

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 :-)

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.

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.

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!

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