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If your child has a dummy, when and where do they use it?

(22 Posts)
LeoTheLateBloomer Sun 04-Sep-11 08:26:52

DD is 16mo and has only recently started using a dummy. I've been really beating myself up about it because I never wanted to go down that road, but now I've accepted it I'm trying to set out some ground rules.

It started off that she'd only have it for sleeping and those moments when she was really tired (4:30pm when I'm trying to get her supper ready for instance).

Now she often wants it when she's playing independently. I only give it to her if she's really asking for it, I never offer it to her if she's playing happily.

On a long car journey recently I gave it to her and now there's one attached to her car seat although I'm thinking of removing it for local journeys.

My strict rule is that she never has it when we're out. However we go to Church on Sundays and last week she was getting really annoyed that she wasn't allowed to potter about freely during the service (there's a large play area at the back which we blocked in due to her antics the previous week) so now I'm considering taking it with me to see if that will help.

I'm wondering where to draw the line.

I can't be the only mother to have worried about this. The last thing I want is for DD to be one of those children who refuses to do anything or go anywhere unless she's got a dummy sticking out of her mouth.

Am I worrying too much? Will it sort itself out on it's own? I suppose my big concern is that the more I let her have it the more she'll want it. (Plus, I'm so judgy myself when it comes to dummies, I'm convinced others will be judging me blush!)

Tee2072 Sun 04-Sep-11 08:47:06

First of all, if you aren't being judged about dummies, you'll be judged about something else, so stop worrying about that aspect!

Second of all, she's just a baby. It gives her comfort.

My 26 month old has his in the house or when he's in his pram. Not if he's walking around or playing at the park and not during the day at nursery, just at nap time. In about 4 or 5 months we're going to start weaning him off day time use all together.

CaringForPod Sun 04-Sep-11 08:56:33

I was like you - when I was pregnant I was adamant that my baby would not have a dummy. But, like Tee says, it gives him comfort and I can't just leave him to cry. I too felt like people would be judging me, and I still do sometimes. But, I think they'd judge me more if I left him screaming - I know that the dummy will calm him, so combine it with cuddles and kisses, so I'm not just shoving it in his mouth and ignoring him.

Our 4 month old has his when he's tired during the day (he needs it to go to sleep) and if we're out and about and he gets grouchy. Again, like Tee, I don't give it to him as a matter of course, just when he's heading in the direction of sleep. For a while I thought he was becoming dependent on it, but I think that was just me freaking out.

tabulahrasa Sun 04-Sep-11 08:59:52

I always used it for going to sleep, if there was a fall or something else upsetting or those days when they're being grizzly, lol.

To be honest as long as she's not talking through it and it's out mire than it's in - it's not a problem and having had one with a dummy and one who thumbsucked, the good thing about a dummy is that when they're old enough you can get rid of it, you can't do that with a thumb.

LeoTheLateBloomer Sun 04-Sep-11 09:00:35

Thank you both, that's very reassuring. I know I need to get over it and just accept that it helps her smile.

theotherboleyngirl Sun 04-Sep-11 09:05:50

My DT's are 20 months and they primarily use them to sleep. Other times they may have them are: in the car on a journey of more than half an hour (one of my girls hates the car and the whinging drives me nuts!) and very occasionally in that window where I'm trying to cook dinner and they are at their worst. I don't give them if they are upset during the day due to other reasons e.g. falling over as I primarily have always wanted their association with them to be to sleep.

CaringForPod Sun 04-Sep-11 09:07:17

I found it hard to accept, Leo. I think also because my parents are a bit anti-dummy and I feel I need their approval as a parent! But at the end of the day, he's happier when he's sucking away and his thumb just doesn't do it for him. If I were to monitor his dummy use over 24 hours, then the time it was in the mouth is far out-weighed by the time it's out. Just be reassured that it's not just you that has the same conflicting feelings!

Momo36 Sun 04-Sep-11 09:15:21

I was like you, my DD did not have a dummy till she was a bit older. I was adamant not to give it to her despite the fact that when she finally got it she slept much better. I was not worried about being looked down on but I was concerned for her getting too attached to it. She only has it when going to sleep or if she gets very upset etc.

Frankly this dummy judging thing gets on my nerves. I literally do not care and am happy to soothe my baby however I like it! So, out comes the dummy! I would love to see the disapproving looks so I could smile and wave!

In Denmark, EVERY child has a dummy and if you don't have one people ask you why? smile

ConstantCraving Sun 04-Sep-11 13:29:14

Sucking is a major comfort for little one and I really don't see the problem with dummies. Much easier than thumb sucking because you can (eventually) get rid of them - unlike thumbs (and i know because i still sucked mine grin). DD 23 months, has hers as and when needed - sleeps with it and has it when tired / upset. Not usually when out, but I have one on my bag in case it's needed. The dummy fairy will come when she's old enough to understand (probably nearer 3) and redistribute them to babies and leave her a special present.

ginortea Sun 04-Sep-11 21:12:00

This is really interesting, thanks Leo for starting!

My DS had a dummy from early on but I felt v v self-conscious and bad about it. Mostly, I think, because no one I knew was giving their baby one, so I felt like everyone was judging, and that I wasn't allowing him to self soothe etc etc.

So I cut back v early on so that he only gets it at sleep times. To be honest, though, I think life would still be a LOT calmer and easier if I gave it to him more often and chilled out about the rules. He's eight months now and still fusses quite a lot, and wants something else in his mouth as he can't have the dummy (toy, rice cake, ANYTHING)

Am I being unnecessarily tough?

NoGoodAtHousework Sun 04-Sep-11 22:12:29

Before my baby I was a bit anti dummy however after a particularly bad night a few days in we gave him one. He would have been one to suck his fingers if he hadn't had it.

He has his a lot, but my theory is (courtesy of my mum) is you can wean off a dummy but you can't wean off fingers/thumb and when I say wean, I mean the dummy fairy will come when the time is right, if he hasn't given it up by then.

CaringForPod Mon 05-Sep-11 08:01:00

This thread had made me feel so much better, thank you!

Rosa Mon 05-Sep-11 08:19:45

Well the dummy saved me as dd2 was a comfort sucker and she wanted to be on the boob all the time. She went through a phase of wanting it when she played but when she started nursery at 18 mths she was happy for it to stay in her bag outside . Now at 2.5 it is confimed to the bedroom and is not allowed out . If she has a tumble or is mega sad we go into the bedroom and have a cuddle with the dummy and leave it there when she feels slowly weaning off it. I never had one with DD1 and was a bit ' don't know what all the fuss is about they can do without'....I was proved wrong ..It did take me about 10 makes / shapes etc until I found the right one though!
You do what is right for you !

TryLikingClarity Mon 05-Sep-11 09:29:19

DS is 19 months, never took a dummy, just never liked it.

Up until recently he was drinking juice or water out of a cup, and using a bottle in AM and PM for milk.

Now, for some reason, he's got a bit clingy and wanting comfort more than before so DEMANDS that he gets all drinks in a bottle during the day (but only at home) and NEEDS to take his bottle to bed to get him to sleep.

From what I can see it's the sucking he likes more than actually needing the fluid from the bottle. For him it's a bit like the comfort of a dummy.

Basically, what I'm saying is, OP, it seems that your DC just wants a bit of comfort and still isn't old enough to understand your reasons for wanting to remove it.

I think the best thing to do is just go with the flow - it won't make their teeth a mess, and they will still learn to speak etc.

UpsyDozy Mon 05-Sep-11 09:38:57

Two of my DCs both had dummies and I wish I had not been so brainwashed about them for my first as I'm sure life would have been much easier!

My DS had one until about 3, we took him to the toyshop and he used a little bag of dummies to "pay" for a couple of new toys that he REALLY wanted. Took him a little while to get used to sleeping without it but as other posters have said, he was old enough to talk to and to understand what was happening at that point.

My DD 21 months has hers during the day just before naptime, after bathtime, and if she's generally really cranky or unwell. She doesn't have it at night and knows how to settle herself back to sleep without it. Frankly I think they're a bloody GODSEND!! grin

The only time I think they look a little strange is on much older children (like 5 or 6) but then again you don't know the circumstances so wouldn't tend to judge. Like I said, I wish I'd used one with my first baby as I'm sure it would have made a big difference!

Firawla Mon 05-Sep-11 09:52:06

my 20 months old has one, he has started asking for it more and more at home so he is attached to it a lot! so i dont let him have it out the house, other than attached to the bugy, because i dont want him having it in permanantly. he has it to sleep, and used to be mainly just for sleeping but he seems to want it more at the moment. i cant be doing with taking it off him at the moment, so will leave it til he turns 2 and see about cutting him down to sleeping only hopefully. i don't think there is anything wrong with dummies they can be really helpful. i tried to get ds3 to take one too but so far he is not interested

ginortea Mon 05-Sep-11 11:06:12

Oh this is all making me feel soooo much better! We're having a beastly day because DS has a tooth coming through. I just asked DP if he thinks it would be easier just to relax the dummy rule and let him have it since he's upset and DP said "best to just push through it" before scarpering out of the house on his bike! Hmmm....

RitaMorgan Mon 05-Sep-11 11:12:28

Before 12 months - whenever he wanted it.

Since his birthday I've been trying to restrict it to the cot/buggy (if going to sleep)/car. He's pretty good at handing it over if I ask for it, if he's just pottering around with it in his mouth. If he is really upset about something or hurts himself he can have it though.

I'm a big fan of dummies, but I don't like seeing children talking round them. Now ds (13 months) is babbling more and saying a few words, I want to discourage it.

Schnarkle Mon 05-Sep-11 11:21:32

Another fan of them here. I don't see the harm in them and if someone else wants to hoike up their judgey pants about my child using them, well let them.

Ginortea just because you may give the dummy today doesnt mean you have to give it every day. I go by the rule that what ever gets me through the day today, IS the rule.

Well my DD3 is 2½ and much to my dismay is still very reliant on it. I absolutely loathe it, none of my others had them but, frankly, I don't give a stuff if others wish to judge.

We're at the stage now where we are discussing the removal of it, she tells me she needs it to stop her crying hmm I tell her she's too big for it. But, and I think it's quite a big but, we are moving back to England in three weeks, have a longish drive back, and with the change I think it's probably worth just leaving it til we are back.

Then I think it's Dummy Fairy and bribery.... She can keep her muslin though, but the PLUG MUST GO grin

LackingNicknameInspiration Mon 05-Sep-11 16:04:07

I know exactly how you feel! I was also paranoid about being judged (I had one VERY disapproving friend) and used to have so many rows with DD1 - she was a very sucky baby and I finally gave her a dummy at 3am at the age of 7 weeks after umpteen sleepless nights - final straw for me was when she would feed and then throw up about 10 mins later which made it clear she just wanted to suck. Anyway, she LOVED her dummy from then on, I started out on the 'it's just for sleep' but it came out in similar situations to you - certainly at church and other places where I needed her to be quiet but I'd then try to take her out and we'd get into a bit of a battle about it.

Now, I rather wish I hadn't bothered about other people. She had it until she was 3y and 3 months (she'll be 4 next month), it was more at night time but if she fussed when out I'd hand it over blush. And then, one night, I couldn't find it, I spent ages looking for it, by the time I got upstairs, she'd fallen asleep. So I 'couldn't find it' the next night and the next....and then it went - wierdly in the same week as she gave up nappies at night, would never have contemplated doing that! We'd talked about the dummy fairy but she just got really stressed and upset at the prospect of giving it up (more her personality - she's generally best presented with a fait accompli) - but had at least said she'd like a snow white watch - so that's what we got her - we agreed we'd keep looking for it but after a few nights, she just forgot about it. Dentist advised that she has a slight overbite as a result, but as long as dummy's gone before second teeth come in, that shouldn't be a problem - unlike thumbs which can go on.

DD2 is now 21 months and has one at night time - she's not so wedded to it but I have no qualms whatsoever about this having seen how DD1 panned out when she WAS so attached to hers. I think they have enough traumas - teething, nightwaking etc - to deal with now, might as well give them the comfort now and then take it away at an easier time. I despaired of ever finding one but it was so much easier than I expected.

So don't worry, and enjoy the snuggles with the dummy - a definite upside!

LeoTheLateBloomer Mon 05-Sep-11 17:25:03

I so relieved I'm not the only one who's been through this!

Thank you for the encouragement smile

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