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.
So 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.
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…
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.