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I gave a dummy and now feel like sh*t

(81 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Tue 22-Apr-14 21:00:29

I don't know why I'm writing this post - mostly for reassurance I guess that giving a dummy doesn't make me a failure as a mom because that's how I feel.

DS is coming up 5 weeks and is breastfeed. I always said I'd never use a dummy in the early days (for various reasons) but things have not turned out as I planned. DS has the most horrendous colic and reflux and after days and nights of relentless crying and screaming I asked the HV to come round because me end DH are at breaking point.

She came round and as soon as I opened the door to her I just started crying - I went into total meltdown.

She was brilliant and we spoke for ages and came up with a plan of action and one step is to try a dummy when DS just won't settle. I was apprehensive but she said that we had to try as she could see I'm getting so down and stressed.

An hour ago we gave DS a dummy and I cried. I told my DH that I feel like we have just taken the easy option by 'sticking something in his mouth to shut him up'.

DS is now fast asleep in my arms - the dummy calmed him instantly. He is at the most relaxed now than he has been for over a week. I know that's a positive but I still feel guilty when I look at him and see this big dummy taking up half his little face sad

ThinkIveBeenHacked Tue 22-Apr-14 21:02:28

Babies like to suckle for comfort. Dummies have been proven to reduce SIDS risk. Honestly you need to cut yourself some slack.

tobysmum77 Tue 22-Apr-14 21:06:54

seriously chill whats wrong with a dummy? confused Babies like them, they help them settle. All this 'its a habit, you get stuck with them till 3' is complete bollocks as well, I got rid with both of mine before 18 months (dd2 at 11 months)

TheBookofRuth Tue 22-Apr-14 21:07:27

Nowt wrong with a little baby getting comfort from a dummy. Mine had one till about ten months when she suddenly decided she didn't need it anymore and rejected it.

She's two now and a right little chatterbox - speaks in full sentences and knows several three syllable words, so it obviously didn't have a detrimental effect. Didn't interfere with breastfeeding either, as we still are.

Give yourself a break, it's a tough time.

callamia Tue 22-Apr-14 21:09:12

Your poor baby has a painful time of things, and you've managed to give him some calm and relief, THAT is wonderful. I know what you mean about not wanting to use a dummy, I was a bit miserable when our nicu nurse asked me to bring one because my son was unsettled. But, if you've found something that works, then you're going to be able to parent 'better' in other ways because you won't be so tired, fraught and overwhelmed. Don't feel guilty about this, give yourself a break and feel good about giving you all some calm.

cogitosum Tue 22-Apr-14 21:10:25

I was exactly the same when ds was born. It was a lactation consultant who suggested a dummy as he would suck for comfort but then get more milk which made him more sick so he'd suck more etc. the dummy broke that cycle and things got better straight away.

He's now 9 months and still breastfed and only has dummy for sleeping.

Nestabee Tue 22-Apr-14 21:12:48

Think about it from another perspective. Some babies don't take to dummies. I tried with mine (and I tried all different types and shapes) and he never took to it. That was very frustrating as he needed a dummy imo.

lifeistooshort Tue 22-Apr-14 21:14:20

ooh sweat pea don't be upset. There are far worse thing in the world than giving a dummy to your baby and if it saves your sanity, it is worth it. Think of the positives, I have a thumbsucker (nearly 9) and it is hard habbit to break. I also think there was a study a few years ago saying that giving baby a dummy was reducing the risk of cot bed.

I really feel for you, DD was colicky and cried nearly non stop day and night. It was hell on earth. I tried everything (including dummy but she wouldn't have it). DS didn't sleep until 12 months and I tried the dummy too out of desperation.

A few suggestions though re incessant crying: I didn't know with my first but babies get tired very quickly. I can't remember the interval but I think it is 1hours for a small baby (I didn't follow Gina Ford but this was in one of her books, check for the actual timing). Basically one hour after they wake up, they get tired and need to be put in their cot/crib etc.. even if they don't look tired this gives them a chance to settle themselves before they get over tired. When they get overtired they actually can't sleep.

Other think to perhaps try would be a cranial osteopath especially if you had a long/difficult birth. I still don't understand how it worked but it worked amazingly on DD.

If all fails, plop them in a sling or do whatever you need too. No one will judge you, you haven't failed and a more relaxed baby (and as a result a more relaxed mummy) is beneficial for both of you.

Also if you can, get some help and get some sleep (easy I know!) and if you still feel very teary go back to HV/GP as you could have PDN (again NO shame whatsoever).

I also remember week 5 and 6 being the worst as the hormone high seems to drop of, exhaustion kicks in etc.. but it will get better.

Finally I find this little mantra helpful with pretty much every child related crisis whether being sleeplessness, tantrums, terrible two "this too shall pass....this too shall pass...this too shall pass" (repeat at nauseam)

Hope this helps a little bit and sending you lots of hugs

Fairylea Tue 22-Apr-14 21:14:39

I have no idea why so many people are negative about dummies. Babies love them, they can help them soothe and sleep and for any frazzled parent that has to be a good thing! Don't beat yourself up about it.

Both my dc have had dummies. One is 11 years old and one is nearly 2 and the 2 year old still sleeps with one. I just let them wean themselves off them and believe me they do. They won't be sucking on them till they are teenagers smile well if they do it will only be discreetly anyway....! Dd gave up hers about 3 years old and we still talk about it and laugh about it now... She used to call it dumda. smile

If it helps who cares? Honestly being a parent is bloody hard work as it is.

ikeaismylocal Tue 22-Apr-14 21:14:42

Don't feel bad! I too felt that way about dummies, I remeber saying to a friend that I didn't want to "suppress ds's emotions with a dummy" when I was pregnant. Ds had a dummy at 4 days old and he was a relatively easy baby with no reflux/colic.

I actually think the dummy made breastfeeding easier for me as my nipples were not wrecked from comfort sucking. Ds was ebf until 6 months, he was huge so clearly getting enough milk, he still loves breastfeeding at 16 months.

He rejected the dummy at around 6 months, no idea why he just didn't fancy it anymore, I sometimes wish he would still take it, especially when we are in the car.

You sound like a very thoughtful and caring mum, congratulations on your newborn. Enjoy the sleepy cuddles.

JazzAnnNonMouse Tue 22-Apr-14 21:15:35

Nothing wrong with a dummy.
Not great when they're 3 and trying to talk with it hanging out the side of their mouth like a fag but most kids you see don't do that smile

Mine both had dummy's I wasn't so keen on the idea myself to begin with but my god they work!
Your child will never intentionally starve itself so don't worry that they'll just suck on the dummy and not feed (trust me they still wake for milk!) it just allows them to have comfort and you to have some peace.
Babies can't communicate what they want, if there's something wrong they'll still cry ie if hungry/ need changing etc

Mine naturally progressed to only having a dummy when asleep, to only wanting it to get to sleep to not having it at all. V easy, no problems.

Please cut yourself some slack, save your angst for when you drop a broom on their head accidentally because the doorbell went! (dd1 was 16 weeks old) grin

diddlediddledumpling Tue 22-Apr-14 21:15:41

Just read your last paragraph and you'll see the contradiction. He was calmed instantly, and yet you feel guilty. You should feel pleased with your parenting, because you've made a decision that you're not comfortable with, because you know it's in his best interests.
Dummies are the best. Ds1 would fall asleep with one instantly and I was gutted when the next two wouldn't entertain them at all!

ForgiveMeFather Tue 22-Apr-14 21:16:05

You haven't given him a dummy simply to 'shut him up'

You have taken the initiative, responded to your babies distress and soothed him.

Your baby boy is now feeling secure and calm and content because he has clever and loving parents smile

Stop worrying - let him self-soothe with his dummy. It won't do him any harm at all and you can feel a bit calmer and hopefully relax too x

Bicnod Tue 22-Apr-14 21:20:45

I felt exactly like you do when I gave in (as I saw it) and gave DS1 a dummy when he was screaming in his pram. I think I even cried blush

He had it for pram journies only until he was 5 months old then we took it away and he was fine.

It's ok, honestly. It won't do your baby any harm. Fight the guilt, you are doing a brilliant job.

I was actually gutted when DS2 refused to take a dummy at all grin

Writerwannabe83 Tue 22-Apr-14 21:22:37

Thank you so much everyone - it's exactly what I needed to hear. I'm feeling so crap today, I'm so ridiculously sleep deprived and my head is pounding. It's affecting me and DH as we are so tired and frustrated that we are arguing and snapping at each other - which is another reason why we know we have to try and change things. I'm just so desperate for a good nights sleep.

QTPie Tue 22-Apr-14 21:25:05

There is another similar thread -

I started giving DS a dummy at 3/4 weeks (he was crying 4 to 6 hours a night because he was using the breast for comfort/sleep, but was too full of milk to actually suckle): the dummy gave him the comfort without the milk and it started working almost straight away. DS continued to be breastfed until 11 months. And he rejected the dummy completely at 6 months.

Do what works - dummies really aren't evil, promise! ;)

Take care, rest, relax, sleep as much as you can x

PenguinsLoveFishFingers Tue 22-Apr-14 21:25:58

In the nicest possible way, I think the exhaustion is making you blow this out of all proportion.

It's a dummy. Just a sucky thing. Both my two had them. Then they each worked out how to suck their fingers/thumb and rejected them. dd1 is 5 and still sucks her thumb at night or when tired. It's really, really not a problem. Oh, and they both bf until age 2.

Enjoy the peace!

QTPie Tue 22-Apr-14 21:30:15

Go to bed as soon at your DS is asleep. He will wake during the night, so get as much sleep as you can.

One thing we found really helped was learn the difference between them waking "hungry" and just "unsettled". Feed an outright cry, shush/dummy/pat/stroke/handhold any whine/whine/grizzle during the night. This worked brilliantly for us: DS learnt to resettle by himself (without the breast) unless he was hungry. Dropped to one feed a night at 5 weeks and slept through (9 until 6) from 12 weeks. He was exclusively breastfed - no formula or anything.

MuscatBouschet Tue 22-Apr-14 21:30:27

Many who are anti-dummies end up spending hours with their finger stuffed in their baby's mouth. Many babies need to suck far more than a woman's nipples can cope with.

Do lots of reading about when to take the dummy away again. We went for 6 months. It took our baby about an hour to learn how to suck her thumb. Another habit to break!

Theyaremysunshine Tue 22-Apr-14 21:33:31

Honestly and truly you've done the right thing.

I had a tricky baby. Wouldn't be put down, cried lots, bf all the time. Little rogue wouldn't touch a dummy. I didn't want him to have one before he was born, but I'd have been beyond delighted if he'd taken one after weeks of screaming. As a pp said, imagine if he hadn't taken it, he'd still be screaming. You made your baby calm and content by giving him a dummy - that was the absolutely right thing to do.

DS is nearly 4 now and dd 11m (another dummy refuser, grrr). I assure you that very little of how I planned parenting to be has actually happened. But my kids are loved, healthy and happy. That means I'm a good enough mum in my book.

You've a good mum for doing anything and everything to help your child. Now take advantage of the quiet and go to sleep!

KayVerinder Tue 22-Apr-14 21:34:06

I should have given DD a dummy, but I didn't on the advice of my (otherwise lovely) militant breast feeder mother.

Only found out after I had eventually weaned DD at 26 months that both me and my sister bloody had one!

I don't see a problem with them at all.

PS. I am nearly forty and still suck my thumb. Don't see many 40 year olds with a dummy...

TeaandHobnobs Tue 22-Apr-14 21:35:41

I can't remember why we gave DS a dummy.
DH wasn't keen on the idea and I had been brainwashed by anti-dummy talk on MN. Like a pp described, DS used to overfill his tummy with milk, and was a bit refluxy for a while (he was prem) so the dummy seemed to help with that.
And he was just so chilled! No screaming in the car, lots of happy snoozing out and about. Of course he would still wake and cry when hungry or had some other need, but it was a way of soothing him which worked really well for him.
DH convinced me to ditch the dummy at about 15m - I didn't want to, as I though he would miss it, but actually he didn't really seem to care. We just employed some different techniques for soothing.
Now he is just turning two and a mega chatterbox, and I'm glad DH persuaded me to chuck the dummy when we did, but equally, if DS hadn't been ready, I'd have stuck with it.
I hope you will go easy on yourself OP - dummies can be a good thing smile

Fairylea Tue 22-Apr-14 21:38:05

Also.. you say reflux is a factor, well the dummy will help with any silent reflux as the sucking action helps to reduce the acid and settle the stomach. So physiologically it's also great and will really help. Ds had awful silent reflux and a dummy was a lifesaver in the early weeks.

whereisthewitch Tue 22-Apr-14 21:38:24

DDis 2.6 and still has her "doe" at night or if she is past herself with tiredness. Honestly it was a life saver but it took pperseverance to get her to take it.

if it makes baby more settled it's obviously helping him so why feel bad? My DD is an amazing talker never shuts up and I doubt she'll be sucking it in secondary school.
I love her little baby face when she sucks it too, it's definitely better than finger sucking or sucking the leg of a stuff toy/comforter which a friends toddler does <bork>

hazeyjane Tue 22-Apr-14 21:38:31

Ds had very bad reflux as a baby, and one of the first things his paed recommended was a dummy - as it was he was given one in scbu when he was born. Please don't feel guilty - dummies provide huge comfort to babies when they are in pain, and help them settle when they can't sleep. You are doing nothing wrong.

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