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The Dummy Debate

(74 Posts)
cocoachannel Fri 07-Jan-11 11:03:04

Hi all,

I am sure this has been done again and again, but I wanted to gauge some up to date opinions from other soon to be Mums!

I have just heard on the radio that the use of a dummy is shown to reduce the risk of cot death (a quick google shows this comes from a 2005 study).

Neither DH and I had dummies children and our mothers have been snobs concerned about their use when it's come up.

What are the pros and cons in your opinion?

cocoachannel Fri 07-Jan-11 11:03:56

'dummies when children' Grrr.

Pootles2010 Fri 07-Jan-11 11:05:58

I think main con is some think it doesn't look great. Just wait and see what your baby is like, you may think now you don't want to use one, but when your baby is screaming and you get desperate, you'll do anything!

We tried to use one with our ds, he refused it, and just sucks on his fingers instead.

Dentist told me doesn't harm his teeth so long as you've stopped using it by age of 2 i think, and at least you can take it off him - I'm wondering how i'll be able to stop ds sucking his fingers!

truffleshuffle Fri 07-Jan-11 11:10:37

Well I never had a dummy either but I still suck my thumb blush so there is the argument that you can take a dummy away but not a thumb when you want the child to stop iykwim.
However...not all children will want a dummy!
My DS loved his dummy but only had it at nap or bed time after the age of about 6 months. He had it until his 4th birthday but no one knew he still used it as it never left his bedroom!
DD1 would not have a dummy and is now a thumb sucker at the age of nearly 3.
DD2 has a dummy but i will limit it's use when she gets to be about 12 months.
i don't think there is anything wrong with dummies as long as they don't impede speech etc - I can't stand to see children running around with them in their mouths or trying to speak through them.

jacquiel Fri 07-Jan-11 11:11:23

I was against it - snob reasons!

With DS 4 i made DH get up in wee small hours and drive to Tesco to get one because i was so fed up with the screaming!

When he got back DS refused it!

DS 3 sucked thumb'upside down' and had a really manky nail for about 2 years - i was so paranoid about it, it went really soft and deformed shape, but it all went away by itself and is not damaged, neither are his teeth!

littlemissw Fri 07-Jan-11 11:11:53

I don't like them, especially when you see toddlers running around with them. DD1 never had one, but when DD2 came along she clearly was going to suck her thumb if I didn't give her an alternative. I figured I can take the dummy away, but not the thumb. She LOVED her dummy & I am a complete convert! It was no real drama either when I took it away. I would definitely give my next baby one again if they needed it.

Pootles2010 Fri 07-Jan-11 12:23:27

Another thumb sucker here truffle! My parents are also real snobs about dummies, you'd think they wouldn't be after having a daughter who still sucks her thumb at age of 26... blush

LilRedWG Fri 07-Jan-11 12:29:01

I wasn't sure with DC either, but we bought one in case. As it turns out she used it - she liked to suck to settle. She was only ever allowed to have it in bed. When she came out of her cot she had to leave it there.

She put them in the bin when she was about 2.8 iirc.

She is now 4.8 and has been insistent that we get dummies in preparation for DC2 (due in Feb) so obviously has not inheritied my snobbery.

LilRedWG Fri 07-Jan-11 12:29:52

WRT to parents just smile and nod and then do what you and DH decide is best for your children.

SirBoobAlot Fri 07-Jan-11 12:32:22

I dislike dummies. I hate the way they look, they way they sound, the price of them, and especially the way you see older children walking around talking with them in.

But DS has one for several reasons - mainly for my sanity. And I'd rather he was sucking a dummy, and then take it away at some stage, than suck his thumb (no offence, thumb suckers!).

The HV said to me that just to make sure you use the orthodontic ones, and it shouldn't affect their teeth.

MissFit Fri 07-Jan-11 12:41:06

I wasn't going to use a dummy. Then DD was a very sucky baby so I bought a dummy and tried it. But she wouldn't take it, she just spat it straight out. So she just sucked on me instead hmm

I think most of the time the child decides for you - they either won't have one, or they will and if you refuse to let them have one they will find their thumb eventually anyway.

taffetacat Fri 07-Jan-11 12:43:03

Before DS, I hated the look of dummies. I swore he wouldn't have one. By 8 weeks I was desperate so tried one. He didn't take it. I was semi relieved. He sucked on me instead for 8 months.

DD, OTOH, didn't have the same sucking need so it never came up.

The main problem as far as I can understand from the people I know who used them was particularly at night when they fell out, the parent was required to replug many times a night to settle the baby. This meant that their DC slept through at a much later age and IMO, sleep is the holy grail of parenting.

wolfhound Fri 07-Jan-11 12:43:49

I haven't used dummies for either DS, and neither of them have ever sucked their thumbs either. Having said that, both of them sucked on me ALL THE TIME for the first 6 months. That was fine with me, so no problem. Maybe start off without dummy and see how you go?

camdancer Fri 07-Jan-11 12:55:02

I hate dummies. Was brought up thinking they were the worst things in the world (Dad is a dentist). Trouble is that DS was a very, very sucky baby who also possetted all the time. So I could either keep him at the boob 24/7, and then clean up all the resulting possetting, or just give him a dummy. He loved the dummy. It is quite funny 'cos we don't have any pictures of him with his dummy as I was so ashamed even though he had it a lot in the first 6 months.

After 6 months he only had it in bed. We got rid of it at 15 months when he started signing "bed" all the time so he could have a suck! It was one week of hell and then all fine.

DD never really liked the dummy but was also refluxy and sucky. She hasn't really ever had it outside of sleep times and still has it at almost 2 because it isn't really an issue. We might try to get rid of it before DC3 turns up in June.

As for my parents, they still hate dummies but are resigned to the fact that our DC's have/had them. I think it would be much more of an issue if DS at 3.5 was running around with one in his mouth. Having a comforter at bedtime is more difficult to disapprove of.

As far as I remember, the study didn't quite show that dummies reduce cot death. The conclusion was something like if you give your child a dummy, then don't take it away in the first 6 months. It wasn't quite as stark as you must give your child a dummy. But someone might be around who knows better than me.

(Sorry for the essay!)

LilRedWG Fri 07-Jan-11 13:13:49

WRT to having to pop it back in all night, this just didn't happen with DD. As long as she had it to initially fall asleep she was happy.

CardyMow Fri 07-Jan-11 16:55:18

DD I was all PFB and was all "No child of mine will have a horrible dummy stuffed in their mouth". DD was (is) a thumb sucker, and by age 4yo had pushed her jaw so far out of line that now at 12yo, the dentist is unsure whether a brace will be enough to correct it or if she will need her jaw broken and reset shock. (She is almost 13yo, and still sucks her bloomin thumb).

DS1 had a dummy. Until he was 3yo during the day and 4yo at night. blush. His teeth are in perfect alignment, and he was a very early talker, so it didn't cause him any speech delay. Although, I did refuse to listen to him talk with the dummy in his mouth, so he had to take it out to seak to me, which may have helped with that.

DS2 had a dummy until he was 8/9 months old, when he decided to stop using it himself. He didn't take to anything else afterwards either, he was one that carried around a blankie. And still does at 7yo!

When DC4 is born, he WILL be having a dummy because I've seen firsthand with DD the damage that thumb sucking can do.

tebbles Fri 07-Jan-11 19:36:46

I didnt realise dummies were controversial!

Also dont understand why people dont like the look of babies using them?! Although I dont like seeing older babies/toddler using them either , not to mention the dangers of older babies/toddler chewing them and choking.

I wont have a problem using one if needed and would much prefer it to thumb sucking which I dislike a lot. The only issue I have about them is keeping them hygenic.

GrumpyFish Fri 07-Jan-11 19:53:05

I dislike them for snobby reasons too blush but I can see that they have their uses for very unsettled babies. AFAIK there is some evidence that cot death risk is increased when a baby who usually has a dummy doesn't, but that you do not increase the cot death risk if you never use a dummy (obviously I am not the expert on this, though!).

I didn't use one with DS - cons as I saw it were that I had no way to keep him quiet when screaming the supermarket down etc, and that he really strung out breastfeeds with comfort sucking (not that I minded this too much), pros were down the line - no issues with being woken to put dummy back in during the night, and no issues with trying to lose the dummy (and these were major issues for some of my friends, even though dummies might have bought them more sleep in the early days).

Wait to meet your baby though, I don't think there's ever going to be a clear cut answer.

witches Fri 07-Jan-11 20:00:51

I agree with most of above mum always a bit anti dummies bt as my child is not here yet don't want to b all preachy and then run out to get one! I'll wait and see. Agree tht my main gripe is children who are almost at school with a dummy. not a good look.

mazzystartled Fri 07-Jan-11 20:06:15

Mother of 3 here.
Was definitely anti dummy before DS1 arrived. By 2 weeks I was delighted when he took one. Rather better than using my nipple a dummy. It in no way interfered with BF, he only had it at night and for sleeps after one and he dropped it completely, with only a minor grizzle, just after turning two. DD point blank refused a dummy, to my disappointment. DS (8 mo) has one for sleeps.
Wait and see.

debka Fri 07-Jan-11 20:11:22

I'm also a bit snobby about dummies- I never gave DD one but not for any snobby reason, just because I never thought of it! My MiL insists that FF babies need them more than BF babies, and my SiL's baby who is FF has one and is happier with it. (am quietly and annoyingly smug about the fact that DD never had one, which is FOOLISH because DD2 is due in a month and WHO KNOWS what will happen then!!!)

spikydahlia Fri 07-Jan-11 20:34:43

I didn't ever have a dummy and I didn't agree with them before I had my son. When I got him home from hospital he just wanted to suck the whole time and I was constantly running one feed into the next. The midwife said he wasn't hungry and was putting on weight so I should let him suck my finger. I quickly found this awkward and unhygienic so bought a dummy. This was fantastic as he started 4 hourly feeds and he soon only needed it at night. He just stopped wanting it once he went onto solids. wink

mandy1978 Fri 07-Jan-11 21:16:00

i tried to get my boy to have a dummy when he was a baby even though i started off anti dummys..

this time i will try again, anything that soothes is a winner in my opinion!!

what starts off as a great idea becomes fragile when you havent slept properly for 6 months!!


Doramustdie Fri 07-Jan-11 21:17:55

Love dummies you can take them away! But reality is you may have a baby not interested in fingers or dummies. Get some in just in case is my advice.

midori1999 Fri 07-Jan-11 21:34:33

I hate them for all sorts of reasons. I have to admit, the fact they may help prevent cot death has made me consider them though and I would have also considered them for my premmie daughters as they have extra benefits for premmie babies apparently.

None of my boys have had dummies. All have been thumb suckers, DS1 and DS3 stopped the tumb sucking well before a year old, DS2 took longer, but once he was 3 or so, every time I saw his thumb in his mouth I just asked him to take it out as he was a big boy now. It didn't take long for him to stop and he was stopped well before his 4th birthday.

I have friends who used dummies and their main problem (other than removing dummy from the child once they felt the child shouldn't have it anymore) was that it would fall out of the babies mouth at night and then the baby would wake them as they couldn't put it back in themselves and needed a parent to help them. I assume if my sons woke up they would find their thumbs easily as they were all good sleepers from an early age, but maybe I was lucky.

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