Older children with dummies(37 Posts)
Hi, I am new on here so this is my first post. I have 2 daughters, eldest is 4.5 and the youngest is 3, they both still use dummies. I know you will probably think that I am a crap mum for letting them have dummies this long, but there are not really any problems. We had the dentist check their teeth about a month ago, and he said they were perfect, he couldn't tell they had dummies. The only reason I am worried about this is that I have been getting a lot of comments about it from family members, mainly my mother in law, and my sister in law. They have been telling me that my girls are way too old to be sucking dummies, and the more they tell me that, I start to doubt my decision.
Are they too old to still have dummies?
Should I take them away?
If it's not affecting their teeth, I assume they aren't using them much, so I find it hard to get that worked up about. I've seen older children who suck dummies a lot whose teeth look like they are beginning to protrude so I suppose it must depend. Just at bedtime as a comfort seems fairly common amongst 2-3 year olds (in France I see school age kids with dummies in the supermarket, although never in the UK).
I don't personally understand why they'd need one for soothing purposes beyond about two years old, though. And don't you have to keep getting them to take it out to speak? My mum and MIL would both dislike this, as do many people. If you aren't worried though and think there are more pros than cons, I guess they'll both give it up by themselves when their friends start commenting. I assume the 4.5 year old isn't allowed it at school?
They don't have it all ths time, only at home. They normally need a dummy if they are tired, upset, or relaxing, and for bedtime of course. Speech isn't an issue.
Ultimately, it's up to you.
But I do think it's too old, sorry. Id be trying to start taking them away now, before they start at school. It may not be an issue now, but it will be at some stage, so why continue?
Personally, I do think they're a little old for dummies. I can understand the 3yo having one at bedtime, but for me, 4.5 is too old.
If they're speech and teeth are fine, it's not really an issue and obviously your decision. But I think if I were you I'd be encouraging less use of them during the day, and looking to start weaning them off them.
They are probably old enough to know there's "a time and a place" for dummies in that case. So if you are in 'polite company' (as in around extended family) you explain to your DDs they won't be having them, but they can once in the car on the way home or at bedtime. I suppose it depends how much you care about the comments. You must be aware that having dummies in the day time after age 3, and particularly 4.5, is pretty unusual in the UK (in my experience, anyway) so people are going to comment.
Assuming that your older DD will start school in September that's probably a good time for the dummy fairy to come and take them all away....
Loads of kids suck their thumbs for night time comfort well into their late childhoods. If it's not affecting their teeth or speech then I'd say whatever works. Far more things to get worked up about than a dummy.
My son is nearly 4 and has severe autism and still loves his dummy. He only has it for night time and if he is particularly upset - it helps calm him down. I get plenty of judgey looks from people about it but they just see my child as a "normal" child and think I'm a lazy parent I think (whatever that is!) I think as a nation we are all far too judgey about what others do with their children - as long as it's not hurting them or anyone else I don't see anything wrong with it.
I admit I do find it odd when I see a child beyond 2 with a dummy, but then my 4 year old sucks his thumb so who am I to judge? Just do what feels right to you, people will judge you regardlessso don't let others influence what you think is right, as long as it's not causing harm really it's not a big issue.
Thanks for the replies,
Maybe it's a good time for them to stop using them, before my eldest starts school.
What do they need the dummies for? I do feel that children over 3 don't need a dummy; I feel that the longer you leave it the more difficult it becomes to remove it. I must admit that I agree with your family. Both of my children had them but I got rid of them before they turn 3; was getting sick of them; Carrying them loosing them, buying more.
I was thinking about starting school that's what would worry me, a friends niece still had a dummy at bedtime at 5 she told her friend at schoolwho told some other little girl who teased her it was a real shame she didn't want it after that but still was teased.
If you are going to get rid of the older Childs I would just do them both seems harder on the older one to see her sister with one, get it all over and done with at once.
I thought dd2 would take her dummy to uni but in January at just turned 4 she dropped it overnight of her own accord so it may well happen naturally and without all the stress and anguish. DD2's teeth were also checked by the dentist who said they were perfect and while it would be a good idea to start raising the idea of getting rid of it, as it stood her teeth were unaffected.
As to everyone else, I would tell them to butt out of your business. I'm not a fan of taking away a small child comfort item must because someone else doesn't like the look of it. Do what you feel is best for your children.
Unless there is any special need I don't feel they need it beyond 3
Let them have their little comforts until whatever age they want them, they're not young forever. Pre children I was very anti dummy and stupidly assumed it was a way of shutting baby up instead of finding out what they actually wanted. Oh how naive I was! I gave my Velcro baby a dummy at 12 weeks and it was the making of him!
My ds1 is now 18 mo and loves his dummy and my 12 wo is the same. My mil constantly makes comments about the eldest not needing his dummy anymore. I ignore her and encourage dummy even more in her company! Her son (my dh) was apparently potty trained and dry day and night at 11 months .
I don't know why people get some hung up on the whole dummy thing. It's up to you, as the parent, do whatever you feel is right. I don't care if mine get to the ages yours are and still have them. Who cares? What's it to anyone else? If it comforts them and makes them happy that's the most important thing!
I think they are too old for dummies, it can affect speech as well as teeth. But you are their mum and it's yours and their dads decision. Family members should mind their own business. As you've said they've been to the dentist and their teeth are fine so no one really has a leg to stand on. You should do what you think is right. My first son had a dummy til he was about 2 and then we took it away, I have 8 month old twins now as well and I think they will probably be different but I'll just need to wait and see
Hiya OP, I was never allowed a dummy during the daytime (apart from naps and as a very young infant), and I had one until I was 10
well two because I liked to have one to sniff
I was speaking in sentences by 18 months and I have perfect teeth Very social little girl too, and at sleep overs I never took one because 1. Who even goes to bed to sleep at sleepovers? And 2. We'd all be chatting/playing for so long that I would just natural fall asleep.
Honestly, it's no harm. Just make sure they aren't cheap dummies.
Toddlers and older children walking around with a dummy stuck in their gob? Don't get me started
Thanks everyone, I never actually expected any replies saying that it was ok. I still haven't decided yet on what to do, but I don't want tears, if they could be convinced to give them up voluntarily I might try that.
My in-laws have always been like that, my sister in law has a 6 year old, who she would claim, is perfect in every way.
Stirfrywolly, why is it that I shouldn't buy cheap dummies, I don't because my girls have expensive tastes, but just seemed strange you pointed that out.
OP, because they aren't shaped as well and can damage teeth
My dd is 2.7 and has a dummy. It hasn't had any affect on her teeth or speech. She predominantly has it for nap/bed time but she will often have it if she is upset or poorly or unsettled for any reason.
You wouldn't take a child's conform blanket/favourite teddy bear away because they had ages out of it so why do it with a dummy.
The recommendation is that you either have to stop them using one before they are a year old or allow them to give it up slowly. Don't try and go cold turkey!
We went cold turkey with outer boy and he was fine. Just disappeared them all one day, he asked once or twice, we told him they were 'all gone' he accepted it and that was the end of it. Doesn't have to be a big drama getting them to give it up. I know some people do a 'swap' at Easter or Christmas a dummy for an egg/present. Another idea is to take them to a build a bear workshop, get the dump put inside the bear, the bear becomes the comfort item instead of the dummy!
Jeezo! Dummy not dump.. It has been a long day
Thanks, some mixed advice, for now I think I will let them have the dummies, and try to get them to give it up before my eldest starts school.
I took Dd's dummy away on Mother's Day just before she turned 3.
Her behaviour changed within 24 hours.
She became very fretful and tearful. Crying over everything and was very insecure. She lost all her confidence and spent most of her time sitting on the sofa with her blanket in tears. She was so desperate to suck something she was grabbing teddies and was even trying her fingers.
I felt really cruel and was getting a bit upset by her distress.
She never once asked for her dummy but after two weeks I couldn't bear to see her like it. So we gave it back. She's now my smiley happy girl again. Im now waiting for her to give it up in her own time
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