The Dummy Debate: Taking The Easy Way Out With Tommee Tippee

The Dummy Debate: Taking The Easy Way Out With Tommee Tippee

When I was pregnant, I was completely adamant my child would never use a dummy. Not by any stretch of the imagination. A dummy wasn’t necessary and shouldn’t be necessary, you should be able to calm your baby without the need to shove something in their mouth - in my eyes, a dummy was a sign of bad parenting, and I’d have preached it to the high heavens. Looking back, it shows my own personal naivety. My own lack of understanding about babies, about mums, about being a parent, and now, I cringe at my own audacity.

I preached my no dummy rule until Harrison was 2 days old - in less than 48 hours, everything I had once told myself about parenting had completely decimated and I was left scrambling through our untouched pile of Baby Shower gifts to find one. At no point during my pregnancy did I think to buy one - not for one moment did I think I’d stoop to the level of dummies. In less than 48 hours, everything I had once thought I knew had gone out of the window, and why? Because to be quite frank, the dummy is not the devil. I am not a bad parent because I choose to give my son one, I’m not trying to shut him up (well, I am, but that is not the sole reason), I’m trying to comfort him, and sometimes, a dummy is necessary. At first, in those first 2 days, yes, I was trying to silence him. I didn’t have any clue as to what he wanted or what would make him feel better, I resorted to the dummy because I had not a clue what else to try. Now though, I know better, but I’ll still give him a dummy.

 My baby is an overfeeder - he likes the comfort of the bottle in his mouth and will leave it there until he falls asleep. If I choose to then remove it, he’ll wake up and has done since day 1. He sucks on the teet, even whilst asleep, and for that reason and that reason alone he needs a dummy. He’ll continue to feed until he projectile vomits, and then we are back to square one, with a hungry baby, and no closer to sleep. In my mind, I have the option of going forward with the devil dummy, but allowing my child to keep down his milk and drop off to sleep, or put my foot down and allow him to keep on bringing up every single ounce he puts into his body. It’s a no-brainer.

We’ll cross the removing the dummy bridge when we come to it, hopefully sooner rather than later as I am aware of the potential risks for speech impediments - I say potential, as I am positive there are plenty of children out there who have had a dummy since birth for most of there early years and you wouldn’t be able to tell apart from a child who’d never touched a dummy. If it’s having any sort of negative effect, then we’ll deal with it, but until then, it’s a comfort, and I won’t take the only thing that will comfort him away.

The Dummy Debate: The Easy Way Out With Tommee Tippee

The Dummy Debate: The Easy Way Out With Tommee TippeeSo I’ll give him a dummy, sure, easier said than done though. Harrison does not take a dummy well - it has taken us up until now at 14 weeks, to finally find one that he can keep in his mouth without one of us holding it in for him, and we have Tommy Tippee to thank for this. Recently, they offered to send us some bits and pieces to try out from their range (opinions to come), and asked if there was anything we were in dire need of, or that we really wanted to try and the only thing I could think of at the time, was dummies. Any sort of dummies. We’ve tried them all, Avent, Nuby, Boots Baby, Dr Browns, even a few of the Tommy Tippee ones. Too big, too small, too round, too flat - you name it, there was a reason he couldn’t keep them in his mouth. TT were kind enough to send out a good few - and by good few I mean enough to last us for the next 2 years… Low and behold, we’ve finally found one that works. Of course, it would be the one that we can’t seem to find anywhere local, so we’ve been in a bit of a sterilising frenzy until we can find this particular one again, but it’s been a life saver. Amen for two packs. You don’t realize how much of a difference the ability to hold a dummy in by themselves can have until you’ve been holding it in for 3 months and no longer have to do so. This particular dummy that he took so well to was the Moda Closer To Nature Orthodontic Soother - don’t ask me what it does or why it’s so great, but it works, and that’s all that matters.

The Dummy Debate: The Easy Way Out With Tommee TippeeThe Dummy Debate: The Easy Way Out With Tommee Tippee

I’ll continue to give Harrison a dummy until such a time that he doesn’t need it anymore, or that it’s detrimental to his well being. Until then, it’s a soother, and he’s comfortable using one (finally), and I’m comfortable getting off of my parenting high horse and accepting that sometimes cuddles and mummies voice won’t always be enough. It’s not bad parenting to give your child something that will ultimately calm them, it’s bad parenting not to do everything in your power to help them. Whether you agree or don’t agree with using dummies as a soother, there’s no denying that they are necessary in some cases, and until you are in a particular situation, you simply cannot profess what decision you’d make. Look at me, prior to two nights with a screaming baby, I’d have rathered cut my own arm off than become one of those ‘bad parents’ who HAD to use a dummy, fast forward to when I actually became a parent, and it was a completely different story. I'm not taking the easy way out by any means, I'm doing what works for my child.

Given how adamant I had been on my stance prior to Harrison’s birth, I was curious as to where other parents in different situations stood, I asked, and these were some of the responses I received…

Yes Baby Lighty has a dummy and I really dislike it. It's another thing that I irrationally resent breastfeeding for, as for the month when I fed him, the midwives kept telling me that he was just "using me for a dummy and I should introduce an actual dummy instead". Maybe he was using me as a dummy, although I'm pretty sure that he was actually feeding, but now I can't help but link the two and resent it. I do worry about taking it away from him. He's 19 months now and relies on it for sleep so I dread the day when we have to settle him without it. 
I was always anti dummy before I had Arthur - mainly because I had seen first hand the speech and language problems that some of the children I taught had just because of the over use of a dummy. By week 5 we were struggling with colic so badly that the midwife just sat me down and said "if I had a child with colic as bad as this I would give them a dummy - he NEEDS it". We chose a Dr Brown orthodontic dummy which is shaped to the palette and quite 'flat' and we try and keep it to sleep times now that he is older (2yrs) and we always ask him to take it out to talk to us. I'm in no rush to get rid of it. I have a restless child who hardly sleeps (he's still awake now in spite of 3 hours of the bedtime routine) and it is the one thing that signals 'calming down'. 
My daughter has CMPA and GERD. She has a dummy for this reason. We never used one before but after 6 weeks our consultant suggested one and it helps her so much. When my daughter is in agony she sucks on the dummy to get some relief using the excess saliva it helps her produce. I've had strangers, and relatives, say 'you don't need that stupid dummy' and I soon put them straight. A consultant suggested it because our daughter was in agony for hours every single night. She now sleeps for 12 hours overnight - it clearly helps. 
I was a dental nurse pre kids and adamant my kids wouldn't have dummies. The eldest sucked her thumb from minutes old. It took us til she was nearly 6 to stop it as it was affecting her school work - she wasn't listening and she was sucking the thumb on her writing hand. My boys have both had dummies as wanted to avoid the thumb sucking (as cute as it is) and the middle one got rid just after two and the youngest is 20 months now and hardly has it now - maybe at bedtime if teething. I would go dummies all the way! 
Neither of mine had dummies. I didn't want to introduce one in the early weeks in case it impacted on breastfeeding. I did try and give them both one at about 12 weeks to give me a bit of a break so someone else could soothe them, but by that point they weren't interested. This Christmas when we went to see a department store Santa, whilst we were in there he told me they had a dummy tree and were encouraging little kids to leave their dummies on the tree with Santa. I thought it was a bit strange to bring it up like that, and it my kids had have used a dummy I think I would have felt obliged to leave it behind, a bit judged and then annoyed that I would have been heading straight to boots to fork out for another one. I can understand that it might be helpful if you want to encourage a child to stop using a dummy, but I think it should come from the parents, not anyone else pressurising them to give it up.

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Disclaimer: I was sent the dummies pictures in this post by Tommee Tippee, however was under no obligation to offer a review, and therefore all opinions are very much my own.