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Should I use a dummy?

(10 Posts)
pandw Fri 20-Aug-10 16:35:52

Hi. Not sure if this is the correct forum but not sure where to post. Dd is ebf. She was prem so was tube fed for the first month, then bottle fed for a few weeks until she 'got' how to breast feed. We offered her a dummy when she was being tube fed but she never wanted it and just spat it out.

She spends a lot of time sucking on her fists and based on this dh thinks we should give her a dummy. I seem to recall reading somewhere that dummies damage the pallate? Does anybody know whether this is the case?

Also I don't really see the need to give her a dummy. Is the fist sucking something to be worried about or should we just let her do it? (I should add that we pick up on hunger cues etc. So I'm not just ignoring the fist sucking when I think it means something)

Thanks in advance for any input, I really appreciate the advice I've been given to date on MN

theboobmeister Fri 20-Aug-10 17:13:03

Firstly, many congrats for EBF - that's no mean feat after a difficult start!

I really don't think fist sucking is anything to worry about, but it is a hunger cue in a little baby (ie one who is too young to be teething). I know from personal experience that it is tempting to dismiss it if you feel that you only fed her recently, 'she can't be hungry' ... But the test is pretty simple: if you put her to the breast when you see her sucking her fists, and she latches on and feeds, there's your answer.

If she was prem, then I would personally be more concerned about her nutritional and growth status than anything to do with sucking. If you don't want to give your DD a dummy, you really don't have to - it's not mandatory and lots of people don't!

tiktok Fri 20-Aug-10 17:18:28

I share the boobmeister's views - fist sucking is normal behaviour in a baby and while it may not signify hunger, it certainly signifies need to suck It is a feeding cue - babies feed for hunger, comfort, connection, reassurance, entertainment .....dummies are not necessary if you are OK about meeting all these normal needs at the breast.

I don't think dummies are harmful to established breastfeeding or damaging to the palate...but dummies did come after mummies

pandw Fri 20-Aug-10 19:33:39

Thanks for your answers. I think I can be guilty of the 'she can't be hungry' thought process and of just thinking of bf as satisfying hunger. It makes sense that it is more than that to a baby.
I think I will 'let' dh give her a dummy on occasion as I know I am quite guilty of ignoring his ideas (because it's me who deals w her all day and gets up w her at night) and going w my own opinions.

I'll also make more effort to offer boob just to see if that's what she wants.

Thanks again.

AbricotsSecs Fri 20-Aug-10 19:38:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ReadingTeaLeaves Fri 20-Aug-10 20:00:56

Hi pandw. Big congrats on EBF - that's great news. I just wanted to chip in on the other side of this debate. So long as you don't ignore feeding queues - and you've said you're good at picking these up (and the fact you're still EBF given everything indicates you are!) then a dummy can be a really useful way of soothing your DC. My DS was a very 'sucky' baby and I started using a dummy from around 6-8 weeks. It did help him to go longer at night between feeds and while some would say that he should have been being breastfed at those points that isn't always possible if you are in the supermarket/looking after other DCs/taking 2 minutes to finish eating a sandwich... Despite what some of the reading material says, using a dummy definitely did not get in the way with breastfeeding for us. I EBF DS until 5.5 months and then gradually dropped feeds til stopping completely at 7 months but that was because of return to work and not supply related or at all dummy related. I didn't wean til 6 months, and we had no issues with thrush or ear infections.

I know plenty of people who used dummies without any ill effects on breastfeeding and many others who didn't use dummies at all, which is also great. Of course, if you're not comfortable with using a dummy you are certainly under no pressure to do so, but equally if you think it would be of benefit to you and the way you are parenting then go for it. I was a bit sniffy about dummies before I had DS but have to say that I would have no hesitation about using again with another DC.

FWIW we are now more-or-less weaned off the dummy but it is a useful soother to help DS nap during the day which I use if he is struggling to settle when we are out. If we hadn't started using dummies in the early days I think some of the daytime sleeps would have been more of an issue.

PosieParker Fri 20-Aug-10 20:06:38

I love the dummy! My oldest two had them and they fed well, ebf, and settled to sleep without being fed and were incredibly easy babies. I thought there was research that suggested dummies could contribute in reducing SIDS too?

My dd wouldn't have a dummy and used me instead, nearly all of the time and co slept until she was nearly one.

teenyanne Sat 21-Aug-10 13:06:17

My dd had a dummy for from 4 days - 16 weeks or so - she was ff, and was a very sucky baby. After 4 days my little finger was red and sore, so we tried a dummy. There is also some research I read which says that using one at night can reduce the risk of SIDS (although I'm not sure if this research has been repeated with similar results since). At 12 weeks, my dd just kept spitting it out, so we got rid. We found it especially useful in the night, when she would have 1/2 oz milk in the middle of the night, when we thought she was hungry, in-fact she just wanted to suck something and be cuddled.

hillee Sun 22-Aug-10 10:42:25

Pandw - I second that dummies can be a useful tool. DD has one (after v rocky start, operation at three days old, special care etc) and has had one since - she is now six months.

However... and this is a big however. Since she hit four months and has been doing the good old sleep regression phase, she has been pretty much unable to resettle herself in the night without it. So she (oddly) sleeps like a champion from 7pm until 2am, and then I am up and down every half an hour. It is starting to grate massively. So in two weeks time (our first commitment free weekend in a long time) we are removing the dummy cold turkey. Which will not be amusing I'm sure.

I suppose what I am trying to say is - start as you mean to go on. They are great, and have saved us in many a tight spot (perforated ear drum at nine weeks anyone?), but I am now staring down the barrel of doing some of the Tizzie Hall (save our sleep lady) settling techniques to wean her off.

If I had my time again, I think I would have thrown them out once she had recovered sufficiently from her operation.

Just my two cents.

moajab Sun 22-Aug-10 13:31:48

My eldest had a dummy and was ebf. It certainly didn't do him any harm and it probably saved my sanity as it helped him space out his feeds a bit and kept him asleep rather than waking up the moment I took him off the breast. But I do wonder whether your baby will take a dummy as my next two were both fist chompers and refused to have a dummy. But there's no harm in trying it. I think there's only problems with dummies if kids keep them too long. I got rid of my sons dummy at 15 months and he never missed it.

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