Giving Baby a Dummy – So Controversial!!

So in my musing today I will cover an oddly controversial topic! Dummys, pacifiers, binky, soother….. however you say it the idea of using one or not using one is often up there with breast feeding vs bottle!

I remember when I had our son almost 9 years ago, I just knew that it was not the done thing, no one seemed to want to be the parent that needed to use one and it was considered some sort of failure if you needed to. I was recalling today how our first antenatal coffee group catch up I was trying to hide my sons face so no one could see that I had popped a dummy in his mouth to settle him to sleep against me as I felt just that bad to have to resort to one!

As silly as that may sound, with your first baby you are bombarded with what are the right things to do, what a ‘good’ mother would do. In my experience where I am from a ‘good’ mother has a birth free from drugs, breastfeeds exclusively until at least 6 months, uses cloth variety nappies and uses only natural non chemical products for baby and their home. Also is expected to provide a wide variety of organic home grown home made baby food…..oh I could go on but also another spoken or unspoken rule is that ‘good’ mothers do not use a dummy.

I am Just a Mum, I do my best and I adore my babies but my best is MY best, you do well not to compare yourself to anyone but it takes time to learn that, 9 years on I am still learning every day.

I digress, Dummies: What I can tell you is only my experience and why we chose to use them. Prior to my first child being born my mother told me when I was stocking up on essentials to buy a dummy. I was very put out – I would not need to give my baby a dummy I thought, how typical of her generation, now we go by different rules!!! The day I bought my son home from the hospital my mother in law GAVE me a dummy to put away in case we needed it, I was mortified!

Well fast forward 5 weeks, my son was gorgeous so lovely, happy, doing so well but not very settled, one night I was really tired and had just had enough, the dummy had been on my mind for a few days and finally I sent my husband off to the pharmacy to buy one. My son took to it straight away and was just so so settled from then on. He would simply have it to go to bed with, but we were never strict on that as I feel in their first couple of years having a dummy can be a great comfort in their little times of need.

Around 2 1/2 years old my son wrapped his dummies up and sent them to the dummy fairy – 3 days later he received a lovely gift. He literally did not bat an eyelid. He was old enough to understand our words of explanation, old enough to self comfort and old enough so he understood why he no longer needed a dummy – he was a big boy now.

It may have taken him a few minutes longer to sleep that night but he never had a problem again.

We have since had two daughters and both followed the same pattern, the dummy was a great comfort to them, they were settled happy little ones, who both gave up the dummy when it was time with little or no distress, suckled well, their teeth are lovely straight and white, they speak clearly and well and are happy in themselves. Not all that is attributed to having a dummy but in our experience shows that we cannot determine any negative outcomes from having had one.

I write this because there are so many doom and gloomers out there that say what is right and wrong – a dummy is a comforter and if your child is unsettled the sucking sensation can be of great comfort. It might not work, it mgiht result in all the bad things they say about them! But it might just work and you must not feel ashamed of your choice if you do decide to use one. If your baby is happy and settled without one – well done! Be proud of the little person you have. If you hate the sight of 4 year olds walking around with a dummy in their mouth all day – then please – don’t let your 4 year old walk around with a dummy! You are still the parent, set the boundaries as you normally would with other things.

Thanks for reading my musings, do the best with what you have and enjoy being a Mum 🙂

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