My 7 week old DD can only get herself to sleep by sucking on a dummy. I can also rock & feed her to sleep sometimes, but she tends to wake up again very soon afterwards, whereas (when she manages to keep it in her mouth!) the dummy keeps her asleep.
Is this a habit I should try & break now whilst she's still tiny, or just go with the flow? On one hand I don't want her to be reliant on the dummy and its a pain in the arse having to keep plugging it back in when she cries cos its fallen out, on the other hand I'm exhausted & am tempted just to do whatever it takes to help her sleep.
My HV is very negative about me not teaching her to self-settle, and reckons I should let her cry for 10-15 mins to see if she'll fall asleep. Although I'm not keen on this approach, I do see the logic in dealing with a bit of crying now to teach her to self-settle in order to avoid a whole lot more crying in the future?
I would not leave a 7wo to cry for 10-15 minutes! It's downright cruel IMO. My ds has a dummy to help him sleep and it has such a wonderful calming effect I'm loath to think it's bad. Go with what works - 7 weeks is tiny.
From my experience I would say just go with what works now! Ds still has a dummy now at 6 months, but she does often fall asleep without it too, so I think they can grow out of it without too much stress, though I know other people have a different experience.
I know how annoying it is to have to keep putting the dummy back in, but this has also got better as she has got older, she drops it less often and also stays asleep even when she drops it.
Not sure if this helps, but at 7 weeks I just did whatever to get some sleep!
Starlight - it does depend, though. DS has had a dummy from about three weeks but I have crazy oversupply so I wasn't worried and it hasn't affected me at all. Because of the oversupply, he only has to feed for a short amount of time and he was really missing out on the extended sucking some babies get. Comfort sucking made him windy and sick, so the dummy was a much better idea in this case. But I wouldn't necessarily encourage someone whose baby didn't have one to give them one.
my 10mth old dd has one, yes it has been a pita at times plugging back in etc, but she loves it, i had to stop bfeeding her and they cant get the same comfort from bottle feeding, so she needed the extra comfort from a dummy.
my elder 3 were solely bfed, no dummies, they just used me as one! so the dummy is easier from that pov!
ds4 sucks his thumb, which was a godsend as he could put it in himself, but dd can now do this with her dummy and your baby will learn to as well.
dummy use in the first 6mths has been recomended to help prevent sids as well.
7wks is tiny i would not leave a baby that age to cry at all! if the dummy works fine, she will get better at keeping it in and eventually be able to do it herself, i wouldnt worry about it too much
Thanks so much to you all for your replies. I'm not too concerned about it affecting my supply - seems pretty well established now & am still feeding her frequently. She's only given the dummy when I know she's well-fed & is tired.
Thanks for reassuring me that the HV was wrong to recommend leaving her to cry. I know a little bit of grizzling is normal when you put a baby down to sleep, but didn't think I would be able to bear listening to her cry for that long.