Dummy or not?

Hi ladies...

my little girl is just over 4 weeks old and currently doesnt use a dummy. Apart from a few days when she has had a bit of trapped wind/colic she is generlly very content and can self settle and so i havent needed to give one...i dont want to for the fact i hate to see older babies (mainly toddlers) with dummies stuck in their mouths, i dont like them from an oral health point of view when their teeth come in (im bottle feeding so already have use of an artifiical teat and dont really want to increase this) i dont see them as a necessity and from a selfish point of view i figure it easier to put up with a little bit of crying now than when she is older and i take the dummy away from her,...i figure if she doesnt get one then she doesnt know any better,....

my friend and i are both hv nurses and she had the same opinion as me but introdced one about 5 weeks when her wee boy wanted to feed every 2hrs (Megan did this the other day but i think it was a wee growth spurt...she usually feed 3-3.5hourly 3-4oz and is gaining weight well - she sleeps from midnight to 6am roughtly so i dont mind the more frequnet feeds during the day and she is fed on demand what she wants when she wants although is formula fed)

anyway the past few days i have noticed her sooking her scratch mits and at first i thought she was doing this to indicate she wanted picked up (she did this to indicate hunger but only briefly til i read the cues not constantly like she has been doing now)she also makes sooking noises when she is lying down awake and will try to such anything...my nose, ear, neck etc if im cudding her (when i know she isnt hungry) i also thought it was just a gneral exploration thing - her realising she can do it and being curious (she doesnt seem to do it so much when scratch mits off but these have been on more or less constantly including overnight as she has quite sharp wee nails that she was born with but they arent long enough to cut yet)

i am debating with giving her a dummy as at times as i said she can be awake a long time and be a bit unsettled and i think she might like a comfort suck as she seems to have a stong suck reflex but im trying to hold off another few weeks and see how she goes and only give it if i need to...i dont really want to as i have held of this long but obviously if she really wanted one i would give it (in my opinion its better for her not to have one so im not intentionally being a cruel mummy or anything)

just wondered what everyone elses opinions are really - if your lo takes a dummy or not, how often etc?



[Modified by: Lauz41 on 18 July 2010 11:21:55 ]


  • Both of my babys have dummys! DD is 22 months and has it at bedtime only... we weaned her off it during the day at 1 year old. I have NEVER allowed her to have it in her mouth when playing even when she was very young.

    My ds 3 weeks old also has one although he isnt very interested in it tbh but i would like him to have one as they are such a good comfort for them when teething etc!

    I hate the stigma around dummys, it really winds me up!! I can understand when they are miss used but other than that i dont see a problem with them image xx
  • My son has never had a dummy BUT he doesn't have a particularly strong suck reflex. He chews for comfort, rather than sucks. He has never sucked his fingers or thumb, either, but does chew on them if he is bored or contemplative. I did try to introduce a dummy at about six weeks (the same time he started having one bottle of EBM a day) but he was having none of it (although he did learn how to use the bottle effectively). He then got hold of the dummies about 9 months later when he was teething and used them as teethers, so at least they came in useful!

    Use properly, I think dummies have their place and can be very comforting and aid sleep. But I agree that I find seeing older children with them constantly in quite uncomfortable as I always think it must inhibit their ability to acquire language. But that is just me.
  • Hi Laura

    Wow, I can't believe Megan is 4 weeks old already. Doesn't time fly!

    Oliver is 3 months now and has a dummy for naps and bedtime only. He isn't interested in it any other time. Before he was born I must admit I thought that I would never let my baby have a dummy! However it is really good that he has it to comfort him, he self settles himself to sleep now with it and just spits it out when he is asleep.

    I don't like it when you see older children with them in their mouth constantly. I know it may be difficult to wean him off it, but it's just ones of those things you have to go through.

    H xx
  • my baby has a dummy at bed time and usually spits it out when she falls asleep so i take it out of the cot at that point. she likes to suck to settle. she doesn not have it for any other naps, or when she is awake. she is 17 weeks.
  • I've just weaned Dylan off his dummy he's 7 1/2 months. It was an absolute lifesaver for naps and bedtime when he was younger, but he settles just as well with or without one now and we were starting to, I feel misuse it for when he got whingey during the day as he was frustrated in not being able to be as mobile or communicative as he'd like.

    So I bit the bullet and just got rid, im not sure he's even noticed. He still sleeps just as well for both naps and bedtime and yes he has been more vocal during the day but only expressing himself not crying etc.

    I think if you feel your baby will benefit from a dummy they certainly have there place and you can wean them off it when you feel they are ready. Dylan was ready (I think both my mum and MIL thought I was mean till they have seen him this week and both now agree he has absolutely no need for it) but your lo may no longer have the need for one anymore at a much younger or much older age. You know your baby best forget the stigma attached do you think that she needs one? If so give one a go

  • I've just weaned JAcob off his dummy, he is 18 weeks on tuesday, it served apurpose, but now he is so happy looking around he doesnt want it, only when he is over tired. I wanted to wean him off it before his teeth starting coming through!
  • ARGH! Just wrote a really long response and it's gone!

    Anyway...Hi Laura!! Hope you & Megan are getting on well & you are enjoying being a mummy image

    Benjamin is a real comfort sucker and he uses a dummy twice a day - nap times (he will not have it at nights). Without one he literally doesn't nap and is just grumpy - therefore for him, not giving him a dummy would make me a mean mummy - it just varies from baby to baby!!

    I think dummies get a bad name - largely because of their name - if you call them pacifiers or soothers then I think that sums them up a lot better - you give them to calm or soothe your baby - or at least I do. I hate seeing toddlers wondering round with them too - I know getting it off them will be hard in some cases but a 2 or 3 year old with a dummy is doing it because they are allowed to - it is your choice when it is removed, even if it does make life difficult for a while (sorry, hope that doesn't sound arguementative - all of the is just IMO).

    Like Hayley, my baby was never going to have a dummy before he arrived! You could always try it once Laura - she might spit it straight out as loads of babies do, then problem solved, and even if she does take to it, you don't have to give it to her again - it's not like a cigarette where she'd be hooked after a couple of puffs!!

  • My boys have a dummy, although I consider myself to be in a slightly different situation as it serves a purpose of keeping them satisfied for a little longer as they want to feed at the same time but wont feed together, iykwim.

    My boys *seem* to have it all the time and I was getting worried, till I sat back one day and actually watched. Yes, it is often by their side, but thats for my ease more than their want, they dont actually have it in their mouths for much of the day at all.

    I think how long they have it, and when, is totally down to how you as a parent use it. I have an aim to have it away by the time they are talking, and def by the time they are 2. However, after talkign to my sis today, she said the same about her lo and it took till she was 3 before she didnt have it at bedtime, but it was gone during the day by 18 months.

    My main concern is that im a little scarred by the fact that both my sisters suck their thumbs, and you cant take those away! lol! I know giving them dummies wont stop this, but I hope it might go some way towards preventing it as, at 22, my sister has only just really stopped sucking her thumb (and even then I bet she still does in bed when only her husband can see! lol)

    Sorry ive rambled, but the decision how, when and for hwo long a dummy is used for, but they do serve a purpose!

    Gemma, Ryan and Alfie 9.5 months
  • It makes me laugh when people say "I hate it when toddlers mums shove dummies in their mouth to shut them up!" My ds is 26 months, still has a dummy, and NOTHING will shut him up definitely not a dummy! Haha!

    I do make an effort to hide them in the day, because they're a bit yucky on talking toddlers. It's rank when ds has his dummy in the day as he talks with it in and that creates a lake of drool. Bleugh. I'm planning on getting rid of them by christmas - hanging them on the tree for santa or something.

    I definitely COULD have weaned ds off dummies before he was 1 as he didnt need them (he stopped bottles at 13 months) but he's still an only child and all the 'baby' stuff has gone, I did want to keep the dummies a little longer. xx
  • A dummy was an absolute LIFESAVER for us when Hugo was little. He wanted to suck ALL the time and it was pretty hard going on my nipples! It also saved our bacon on a return trip to New Zealand (and I'm sure saved the sanity of those sitting anywhere near us).

    Hugo is a very vocal boy (now 7 and a half months) and I started to notice I was offering the dummy more and more in the day time when we were out when he was getting tired/frustrated and therefore vocalising more. That's when I realised that perhaps the dummy was more for my benefit than his at this stage, so at 6 months we got rid of it cold turkey. He is yet to notice!!

    I think dummies really have their place and I could not have survived without it in the early days but I think as a parent you need to be alive to the time when it no longer serves it's proper purpose and you as a parent are beginning to rely on it as a crutch - and that's when you need to get rid of it. There are definitely times now (standing in a ridiculously long line at the post office when Hugo is tired/hungry, springs to mind) when I miss the dummy but that's ME missing it, not him and I think it would be wrong of me to be shoving something in his mouth to shut him up when he's really just communicating his frustration the only way he knows how.

    You may find too that your LO rejects a dummy so my advice is just to give it a go and see if it makes a difference.

    Peeptoe and Hugo
  • I agree with the others... see if your lo wants it. I really didn't want to give lo one but tried it anyway and he just wouldn't take it so problem solved!

    I think they have their place (ie. naptimes and bedtime) and apparently do reduce the risk of cot-death ever so slightly but it really annoys me when parents use them as 'plugs' whenever their babies make any kind of noise! I was at the doctors the other day and saw someone walking out of the speech and language therapy room with a walking toddler who had a dummy in her mouth. Now I don't want to criticise other peoples parenting styles but that did annoy me slightly and I wondered whether it was something that the speech and language therapist had commented on. Like I say, they are fine if used correctly!
  • Jensen is a comfort sucker, I gave him a dummy at about 10 days old as he was constantly on the boob but not feeding, it was a godsend. He has it for naps mainly x
  • Like most of the others I was a dummy snob before she arrived! Now she is here, we use a dummy at naptimes and bedtimes and in situations such as having her jabs. I definitely think they have a place - it's just up you and your LO to determine how you want to use it x
  • Well my first baby Lily is 2 and she still has a dummy we introduced it when she was about 12 weeks I think so quite old she was bf until 5 mths. She is now 2 and has her dummy for sleep only I think people shouldn't judge toddlers having dummy until they have been there- Lily doesn't settle herself well I think because she is sooo active and advanced for her age she finds it hard to unwind and calm down the dummy really helps for us! I think she would give it up fairly easily but think we will wait until Christmas when she is nearer 2 and half. No two babies are the same tho as we have found out my 2nd daughter Mia is 11 weeks and has absolutely no interest in a dummy infact she pulls the funniest face when we try and give her one as if to say "what the hell is that" she settles her self very well and if she wants to suck on something she sucks on her hand or sometimes I've caught her sucking her clothes strange child!lol We might try again in the future but I'm not forcing it on her unnecessarily.
  • thanks for the replies ladies...

    its due to my job (health visiting) that i am so against dummies (and alot of things) as i guess i see so many bad stories and see lots of toddlers and kids at 3/4 with dummies and while im not criticising anyway - there is no way i would want megan to be attatched to a dummy at that age...

    i havent yet given her one she seems a bit better the past few days (and will still self settle providing she isnt colicy) so im just going to play it by ear and see how it goes...i will give her it if i feel she really needs it but i do at the minute feel despite the sucking it would be more for my benefit than hers however, if i do give her it she will be weaned earlyish and prob cold turkey like some of you have done (i want her off bottles by a year so dummy would be the same)

    we'll just have to see how it goes...i,m not a dummy snob as such nor so i think there is a stigma to them its just that personally they arent what i want for my lo if i can avoid it though as i said if she persists with the frantic sucking and would like it as a soother/comforter i will give it to her as im not intentionally trying to be amean mummy...

  • Personally I don't like dummies.

    Lyvi has never had one but my best friends baby has since she was a few months old and is now an AWFUL sleeper so much so that they've had to resort to a sleep clinic and the first thing they were told was to ditch the dummy!

    Hope you are both doing well :\)

    Love NN xxx
  • we never used a dummy, i hated them too. until dd started teething... i didnt give it to her, i put it in her hand to see what she did and low and behold- straight in the mouth! she doesnt really suck- just chews really. and she doesnt use it at night time. now she is 9months and is happy with her dummy.. and if shes happy, im happy!
  • bumping this up just to ask...

    if you didnt give a dummy what did you do when teething and if your little one sucked their thumb?

    DD is 12 weeks old now (time flies!) and we havent given her a dummy she is sticking her hands in her mouth all the time and i think she is teething as she chomps on them rather than sucking (when i know she isnt hungry) and dribbles lots and seems in pain - i have picked up a few teething dummies (the tommee tippee kind?) im reluctant to use them but her grip still isnt great for holding a teething ring - i want ashton and parsons powders but couldnt get them the other day so i had to buy the dentinox gel which im not keen on using espec at her age but i used a tiny bit the other day as she seemed so uncomfortable and it did settle her and she stopped trying to eat her fist which is why i think it is teething (although i know part of their development is through exploring with their hands and mouth etc) i suppose i feel if she wants a suck for comfort then am i being cruel just because i personally dont like dummies? she will still self settle etc...

    the other thing is thumb sucking? again she has started this a few weeks back and it is sucking and it is for a comfort e.g when she is going to sleep or hungry and i dont mind as such i think its preferable to a dummy my hubby keeps saying how his cousin (who is an odd ball anyway) sucked his thumb until he was 21 and this is not something i would like but i reckon in time she'll grow out if it but then other people (mainly family who think they 'know best') have said im being cruel to her, that she needs a dummy and that i shouldnt let her suck her thumb and that i can take a dummy away but not her thumb but she doesnt do it all the time and one of the women in work who has 2 grown up daughters told me she never gave dummies for the same reasons as me and that they were thumb suckers and grew out of it by their 2nd birthdays - considering some babies still have dummies by that point (and soem way beyond) then it doesnt seem to bad although if i did give a dummy i would have weaned her off of it by one like i plan to do with her bottles...

    sorry long post just wanted some more opinions/advice...


  • I don't know what to suggest hunni, my husbands cousins little girl is 4 1/2 and still sucks her thumb, half the time she doesn't even realise shes doing it and her teeth are starting to buck pretty badly image Thats why i wanted both of mine to have dummys especially as bucked teeth run in the family anyway (my nan, mum, sister and me all had very bad bucked teeth not due to dummys or thumb sucking i think its genetic in some cases, braces fixed mine but not until i was a teen so i got bullied for it) so i didn't want to risk them sucking there thumbs as i cant take them away like i can a dummy! xx
  • We introduced a dummy at about 3 weeks as Sophie was sucking constantly. But now at 18 weeks she seems less interested in it, and I'm not complaining. She's now got enough control to find her thumb, or fingers, or thumb and finger, and actually pulls the dummy out to suck them in preference. And for the last week I haven't been giving her a dummy after her dreamfeed, and perhaps this is coincidence or not, but I've not given it for five nights and she's slept through to the morning for five nights.

    I don't see the thumb sucking as a problem at all. It means she's able to settle herself if she can't find her dummy which makes my life easier. I'm sure she'll give it up when she's good and ready to. My sisters and I were all thumb suckers (well, I was a finger sucker, one of my sisters a thumb and the youngest a thumb and finger sucker) and we all gave it up of our own accord.

    If you do decide to wean her off her thumb at a later day there are ways of doing it. I can remember my mum putting that nail polish for that discourages nail biting on my sister and that worked really well.
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