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The great dummy debate

(24 Posts)
iloveavocado Fri 19-Jun-09 17:06:46

I hate dummies, but I'm not really sure why. My five week old ds spend lots of time suckling on my breast and not actually feeding and a finger in his mouth can keep him quiet when he's a bit grumpy. So my dp is trying to talk me into getting a dummy, and I can't really think of a good argument not to.

What do you think? Arguments for and against please...

sarah293 Fri 19-Jun-09 17:08:05

Message withdrawn

HeadFairy Fri 19-Jun-09 17:11:43

my ds has used a dummy since he was four weeks old. We do have rules though, absolutely no dummy outside of bedtime and nap time. The first thing ds does when he wakes up now is say "dummy back" (as in, let's put dummy back on the shelf shall we mummy?)

He's always been a brilliant sleeper and it never interferred with bfing. I think I may have changed tactics if he'd been one of those children who wake up if it drops out at night, but usually it does drop out and he's not bothered, I can even pull it out of his mouth when he's asleep without waking him. It's literally just to help him get to sleep. That said, he doesn't have one at the cm and he naps perfectly well there, so maybe I'm being soft on him.

Wavedancer Fri 19-Jun-09 17:19:14

IMO, it doesn't sound as if your DS needs one, although tbh I am in the anti-dummy camp as I fail to see what value they add, particularly once a baby learns to self-soothe. He may be suckling a lot now as he is still very little; I expect he will soon grow out of this.

I have never given DS a dummy and he is the best sleeper and self-settles himself beautifully at night and for naps. I even survived 10 weeks of colic without giving one and I am glad I won't have to go through the pain of weaning him off something. I have a friend who has to get up twice in the night, every night, to do a 'dummy run' for her 1-year old. Sounds like my idea of hell!

screamingabdab Fri 19-Jun-09 17:20:03

I sort of share your dislike in certain circumstances - for me it's when a child is starting to speak and you can't understand a thing because they have a dummy in their mouth the whole time.

BUT, my DS2 was a very "sucky" baby, and I probably would have used one if he hadn't started sucking his fingers. It was great because he could self-soothe to sleep, and I imagine a dummy would help the same way.

So, I'd say, that HeadFairy's advice is good.

lilymolly Fri 19-Jun-09 17:24:46

both mine are and where sucky babies.

dd had it for sleep and naps and has wonderful speech and lovely straight teeth and it was taken off her at xmas when she was 3 with NO problems what so ever. She slept very well on a night, from an early age and stopped feeding in the night at 17 weeks!

ds is 12 weeks old and is exclusivly breastfed. he has a dummy occasionally to soothe to sleep and it falls out of his mouth as soon as he is asleep.


BUT I hate them when they are constantly in childrens mouths esp when they are talking or in the park or even more recently swimming and riding ponies shock

They should not be used to SHUT children up

sunfleurs Fri 19-Jun-09 18:44:47

Well my ds had one from early on and we got rid of it at around age 3. I don't really have a problem with them.

DD didn't have one at all and I was happy with that and a bit smug blush until around 4 months in when she was still B/F for comfort every 10 minutes (very high needs, clingy baby) so I gave her one in order to get a break.

Personally if I were ever lucky enough to have another baby they will be at the top of my shopping list.

lockets Fri 19-Jun-09 18:49:58

Message withdrawn

TurtleAnn Fri 19-Jun-09 19:40:49

Before I had DS I was anti-dummy, now I have 4!

they help to soothe

can lead to dental problems if used excessively, especially if the cherry ones are used rather than the orthodontically shaped ones
can prevent a child learning to self-soothe to sleep if used persistently
can prevent a child from experimenting with their voice and may lead to a delay in learning to talk if used constantly during playtime to keep a child quiet

I have a 2-month old DS, I bought 4 big boots cherry dummies and I haven't looked back. When DS can find his thumb I might swap the dummy for his thumb, but honestly, we will see how it goes. DS wouldn't take the orthodontic squashed shape.

My rules:
never for more than 20 minutes
only when he thinks he is hungry but if he eats any more he will be sick again (DS hasn't got hungry/ full yet)
use to get him to sleep if he is having a bad night and the lullaby has failed, but not every night

doulalc Sat 20-Jun-09 13:52:05

There is some thought that they can help with preventing cot death. Babies like to suck, some more than is comforting and soothing. If you feel he does just fine with the breast or your finger, then stick with that. If you would like to be freed up a bit, consider a dummy.

They often will spit them out at first, young babies can take awhile before they can keep it in their mouth without assistance, and they shouldn't be used a plugs.

If you use one, use it sparingly, perhaps set some definite rules of use as the others have mentioned, and you are less likely to have it become an issue.

jeffily Sat 20-Jun-09 16:32:18

I was dead against them but DD was 6 weeks early and they recommended using one in the SCBU for her to soothe herself. When she was in the incubator and I couldn't hold her to soothe her it was pretty upsetting so in the end I said yes. Their rationalle was that she would practise sucking if she was still in the womb and that sucking on a dummy was just the same thing. We threw them out when we got her home.

Then when DD started going through her 'crying every night for at least 2 hours' phase DH insisted that we get one for her, but she has only taken it twice and the rest of the time she just spits it out! My HV told me that often BF babies are not so interested as the teat doesn't mean anything to them compared to a nipple. I think you just have to do what you have to do! If a dummy works, then use it and be grateful that it does, and don't feel bad about it!

Karam Sat 20-Jun-09 21:08:43

If your baby needs one, then give the baby one.. if not, then don't.

Personally, I find it rather shocking that some parents put their own sense of aesthetics above the happiness of their child. Why would anyone do that to their child??

Some babies need them, if they are sucky babies or whatever.. if that is the case let them have a dummy. The only issue with dummies comes not from using them but abusing / misusing them. Dummies are meant to help babies soothe and settle. They are not meant to be stuck in a child's mouth all day. So use them if needed, but don't abuse them and I don't see what the problem is.

But in answer to your question, I'd say forget your snobbery or values or whatever, put your child first and decide what will make your child happier? If a dummy will, then why wouldn't you? if it won't then there's no need!

TheNatty Sat 20-Jun-09 21:18:14

nothing wrong with them as long as you get rid of the dummy before 1 year!
i didnt, both of mine only just got rid of it at 2 & 3 and it was a nightmare.

third baby is due in a few weeks, and ive bought 2 dummies, when they get lost i wont be buying anymore!!

Portillista Sat 20-Jun-09 21:26:59

I detest them. However, DS was a very sucky baby, so we ended up with a nice collection of the things. He had them until he was five or six months or so, then discovered thumb-sucking instead, so ditched them of his own accord (he still sucks his thumb now when he's going to sleep, to the horror of his dentist). DD wasn't sucky, so didn't have a dummy. If I had another sucky one, I would use them again!

ilovesprouts Sat 20-Jun-09 22:10:01

none of my 3 ever had dummies but my ds2 sucks his thumb hmm

campion Sun 21-Jun-09 15:25:12

Trouble with thumb sucking is it can last way beyond the dummy sucking stage and it can harm the teeth. Some children pull quite hard against their front teeth as they're doing it.I've seen children in secondary schools put the thumb in ( no doubt unconsciously) during quiet moments. Not a good look IMO hmm.

Mine both had dummies - it was probably the only thing which stopped me from otherwise chucking DS1 out of the window ( constant screamer), and DS2 came out of the womb talking ( well almost) so def no speech delay, but it helped to settle him. The choice beteween a screaming baby and a dummy is a no brainer as far as I'm concerned.

iloveavocado Sun 21-Jun-09 19:49:03

OK, thanks everyone. Really good advice and yesterday I went to Boots and bought a couple of dummies. I set very strict boundaries about when to use etc.

But the problem is he just spits it out. Sometimes he'll suck it for a couple of minutes, but then out it pops. I put it back in and it falls out and we do that a few times, but he's having none of it. Does he just not like it? Is it worth me persisting? I was expecting him to just suck away.

Confused... again...

lilymolly Sun 21-Jun-09 19:53:23

try different kinds of dummie, mine always prefferd the cherry ones, or ds likes the tommee tipee closer to nature ones, which have a nipple which points up and gives him something to hold on too.

It also helps to place a hand on his chest until his breathing slows and he is dropping off to sleep, failing that you can try duct tape wink

screamingabdab Sun 21-Jun-09 20:04:47

This has been a really useful thread. Really pragmatic. There is a lot of snobbery about dummies

2cats2many Sun 21-Jun-09 20:12:58

It definately takes them a while to get the hang of them IME.

I fall into the 'they're a lifesaver' camp, but also have very strict rules on when they can and can't be used, i.e. sleep time only.

mumblemumhome4lunch Sun 21-Jun-09 20:43:38

I hated them and vowed I'd never let a child of mine have one...that was before I had children grin If it calms them and sooths them surely a happy baby is a far better thing for everyone than some slight embarrasment that you've had to resort to a dummy

DS1 was very sucky and it would, I think, have stayed latched onto me all day every day given half a chance ! I was reluctant at first but, as some other posters have said, had some rules about when/where it was used. Early on this was less the case but as he got older I limited it to just nap time and bedtime. Never had a problem with him getting himself back to sleep at night. I gradually cut all daytime use so just at bedtime, and then at 11 months took it away completely. No problem.

DD was much the same although my reason for starting her with one was a bit different - she was showing an interest in her thumb and I really didn't want that !! Hers went at 13 months but she now, at 2.5 has started sucking on her fingers, arghh, and not sure where that came from all of a sudden or how to stop it.

DS2 is 12wks and has one. For same thumb sucking tendency. He took to it fine but over the last few weeks will actually pull it out and use his thumb in preference which is a bit annoying. Only time will tell

mumblemumhome4lunch Sun 21-Jun-09 20:45:10

OMG can't believe I typed "it" refering to DS1 shockblush
what must you all think of me !

glucose Sun 21-Jun-09 20:52:30

DD has dummy when really tired and at bedtime she is 4. She was bottle fed though
Her teeth are perfect but her speech was delayed by 8mths according to SALT, however she has caught up and rabbits away to everyone and anyone now. My attitude is that she will give dummy and blankie up when she wants to. I have at times that we are being judged by others - but thats their opinions not ours

Dottoressa Sun 21-Jun-09 21:51:55

I remember swaddling DS in such a way that it lodged the dummy in his mouth. He was incredibly sucky - I hate dummies, but they were definitely preferable to him screaming for something to suck!!

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