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dummy or no dummy?

(26 Posts)
lovemybabydoll Tue 09-Jun-09 22:59:20

Hello, my baby is 5 weeks old and she loves to stay on the breast after feed just for comfort. This upsets hers because milk still comes out and all she wants is to suck for comfort. Can I give her a dummy at this stage so that she falls into a deep sleep? My concern is that she may want it at all other times too - is this possible? Thanks...

notnowbernard Tue 09-Jun-09 23:01:55

Both mine had dummies by this stage and I BF them both

I used the dummy as a soothing object (so when fractious and/or tired and for getting to sleep)

I would say if your baby is thriving and breast-feeding is well established it may be worth a go

PacificDogwood Tue 09-Jun-09 23:05:17

Another vote in favour of a dummy, here.

It sounds like BFing is going well for you and your daughter. At this stage she should be fine with a dummy - or alternatively, try offering her the tip of your little finger? Apparently this is less likely to cause nipple confusion.

BTW, I had 1 dummy addict, 1 dummy refuser and 1 I-can-take-it-or-leave-it, so at the end of the day, your baby is likely to call the shots, anyway wink!

Wonderstuff Tue 09-Jun-09 23:07:12

I'd go for the dummy. Magic things they are.

notnowbernard Tue 09-Jun-09 23:08:37

Sanity-saving eqipment IMO grin

BananaFruitBat Tue 09-Jun-09 23:09:05

Another dummy vote.

wilkos Tue 09-Jun-09 23:11:30

go dummy. i swore that dd wouldnt have one but dear god, my life became easier once i had given in.

some babies just need them i reckon

wilkos Tue 09-Jun-09 23:15:11

oh by the way she is 2 in august and now only has the dummy in bed or in a dire emergency

so in case you were wondering if you would be providing a dummy in 18 years time on graduation day, don't.

GreenMonkies Tue 09-Jun-09 23:26:28

Comfort sucking is normal, natural and helps keep your milk supply up. She'll be approaching a growth spurt in the next few days, and will want to feed almost constantly, introducing a dummy at this stage could have a derimental effect on your milk supply.

Dummies are also linked to increased ear infections, dental malocclusion, narrowing of the palate and nasal air ways, obstructive sleep apnea and speech delay.

If you allow her to comfort nurse she will be getting lots of milk, feel comforted and secure and I promise you, she won't do it forever. Breastfeeding is not just about milk, it's a relationship and a parenting tool!

It's fairly universally agreed amongst the breastfeeding support networks that dummy use is linked with early cessation of breastfeeding. There may be lots of people who say they used a dummy and still breastfed with no problems, but there are also a lot of people who have had problems from slow weight gain to breast refusal from dummy use.

Personally, I wouldn't.

nannynick Tue 09-Jun-09 23:46:12

I went swimming today and there was a toddler (I'd guess around 18 months) in the pool with a dummy in her mouth. If you do decide to use a dummy... and if your DD still has it on occasion when a toddler, please don't let her take it swimming!

Wonderstuff Tue 09-Jun-09 23:48:41

GreenMonkies I think current advice is that after 4 weeks bfing is established enough to allow dummy use. DD had a dummy at 4 weeks which she rejected at 5 months and she is still bfing at 19mo. FSID recommed using dummies for naps after bfing has been established. here

Wonderstuff Tue 09-Jun-09 23:57:27

although this is probably a more balanced article

SalBySea Wed 10-Jun-09 00:26:40

I dont believe in nipple confusion

DS has had a dummy since 2 weeks old - he wont tolerate it for a second when he's hungry - he know's which one milk comes out of and only likes it when he's full as a tick and wants to "comfort suck" to sleep.

greenmonkies - dont agree re low milk supply - when DS cluster feeds pre growth spurt its the milky version he wants and I get plenty of nipple stimulation to increase supply. I'm not an idiot, I can work out the difference between him wanting to feed and him just wanting to suck, as can most mummies I suspect

plus, I question your info re sleep apnoea - current research based advice says that dummies can help REDUCE cot death. Plus I believe that current evidence based advice says that modern dummies do not cause dental /palate as long as they are weened off them as toddlers

SalBySea Wed 10-Jun-09 00:29:18

and I was advised to never let him suck on empty breasts as it can cause nipple pain which in turn could make one give up BFing

GreenMonkies Wed 10-Jun-09 06:32:31

SalBySea, you don't believe in nipple confusion??? Oh well, all those breastfeeding experts must be wrong then...... hmm

Wonderstuff, I am well aware of current guidelines and research, and unlike most people, I am also aware that the research which concluded that dummy use reduces cot death was done using a non-statistically significant sample size, used babies that all had other, very significant risk factors involved and funded by MAM, who make.....hmmmmmm......let's think.......oh yes, that's right, Dummies! Don't believe everything you read. Check sources, funding bodies, see if the study is peer reviewd (the Mam dummy study isn't) and read the whole study.

Breastfeeding is still a better defence against SIDS than a dummy, and dummy use reduces the duration of breastfeeding.

The information on sleep apnea can be found here.

GreenMonkies Wed 10-Jun-09 06:52:53

However, Wonderstuff, your link is brilliant, a couple of parts stand out in particular;

"babies who used a dummy during their last sleep were less likely to die, but that routine dummy use is not protective. This may indicate that infants are at greater risk of SIDS if they routinely use a dummy but have not been given their dummy on a particular night.

Secondly, the potential risks of dummy use need to considered. These include:

* interference with good establishment of breastfeeding in the early weeks
* increased risk of otitis media infection
* increased dental malocclusion
* risk of accidents such as obstruction of the airway"


"Some studies have also suggested that breastfeeding may be protective against SIDS. While this also needs further investigation, the access a bed sharing baby has to his mother's breast during the night may offer another mechanism for protection."

So, the UNICEF article actually doesn't recommend dummy use, in fact, it suggests that breastfeeding and bedsharing also have "protective" effects against SIDS. Now, I am aware that this advice contradicts the advice of FSID, but I, unlike many people, am also aware that FSID is a charity, not an independent government body, and are sponsored by MAM, where as UNICEF are a totally independent body who are not influenced by funding and sponsorship in any way.

Use a dummy, don't use a dummy, justify it any way you want, but make sure you make an informed decision, not one influenced by commercial sponsorship.

SalBySea Wed 10-Jun-09 11:00:52

"SalBySea, you don't believe in nipple confusion???"
nope! have you ever tried to give a dummy to a baby that wants milk? they know the difference! just like they wont be happy to suck your finger if they're hungry

how does
"babies who used a dummy during their last sleep were less likely to die, but that routine dummy use is not protective."
"that infants are at greater risk of SIDS if they routinely use a dummy but have not been given their dummy on a particular night."
-surely it just indicates that if they regularly have the dummy during the day it does not reduce the risk - it only reduces it if used at night. and if it doesnt reduce the risk, that does not mean that it increases it, wouldnt it be more likely to mean that the risk stays the same as the control?

CurryMaid Wed 10-Jun-09 11:03:53

My DD sucked and sucked and sucked til she was 4 months old.

It drove me mad, she wouldn't take a dummy though. So really, just to reassure you if you don't want to use one, it is possible to survive without one!

PacificDogwood Wed 10-Jun-09 16:10:24

Oh, dear, it HAS kicked off, hasn't it wink!

OP, my advice to you would be: read the evidence, then make an informed choice about what is right for you.


GreenMonkies Wed 10-Jun-09 18:06:33

SalBySea "surely it just indicates that if they regularly have the dummy during the day it does not reduce the risk - it only reduces it if used at night. and if it doesnt reduce the risk, that does not mean that it increases it, wouldnt it be more likely to mean that the risk stays the same as the control?"

My head hurts, perhaps you should just read the article again, S L O W L Y........


I am making sure the balanced information is there, so the OP can make a fully informed decision!

lovemybabydoll Thu 11-Jun-09 14:07:11

Morning, I have surprisingly, processed all your thoughts (above) in some form or the other over the last week AND I am still not sure which way to go. My instinct tells me to stay clear from it but I am also thinking to use a dummy when I move my baby to sleep in her own room as of next week. This way its somewhat a compromise for when she cries - a comfort whilst she's getting used to sleeping in a different room to the last 6 weeks. Will my timing be wrong? Or will the dummy not help at all?!?

mdavza Thu 11-Jun-09 18:51:32

Follow your instinct, but mine had no problems with the dummy and bf.x

GreenMonkies Thu 11-Jun-09 21:04:49

You are moving your baby into her own room next week? shock

Current advice says to keep them in the parental bedroom for the first 6 months not 6 weeks! Apart from the increased risk of SIDS from sleeping alone it will also make night feeds a real pain, having to wake up a bit and lift a baby and nurse them then put them back in the crib/moses basket etc by your bed is one thing, having to get out of bed and go into another room to feed her etc is a totally different, and much more sleep-depriving experience! Better still, take one side off her cot and wedge it up against your side of the bed and make it into a co-sleeper, babies belong next to their mummies in the night, not in a separate room down the landing!

SalBySea Fri 12-Jun-09 00:38:17

why are you moving your baby out of your room so early?

GreenMonkies Fri 12-Jun-09 09:52:59

Sal it seems we agree on something!! shock
Babies should be with their parents for at least 6 months, if not in a safe bed-sharing environment then at least beside the parental bed in a cot or crib.

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