It’s the age old debate…dummy or no dummy.
I literally cried the first time I gave Lenny a dummy…I didn’t want to do it! I didn’t want my darling little baby to have a plastic sucker in his mouth! But…we were both literally crying without one.
He was around one week old when I succumbed. The maternal health nurse was visiting as part of their home visits and I just broke down in tears… Lenny had literally been on the boob for five hours the night before… every time I took him off he cried and cried… he wasn’t drinking! Just sucking!
I honestly didn’t know how I was suppose to keep this comfort sucking up! I was emotionally and physically drained. That’s when the health nurse stepped in…
MHN – Why don’t you try him with a dummy?” My stomach did a back flip…
Me – “Dummy?! A DUMMY!? Because that would make me a horrible mother and I don’t want anything artificial in my precious little newborns mouth!!! It will cause feeding problems and bucked teeth and it will cause addiction problems later in life he’ll end up being a bucked tooth horse betting gambler who blames all of his money problems on his mother because she game in and gave him a dummy when he was only one week old…”
Me really – “Umm… I don’t know… I just wanted to keep everything natural…”
MHN – “He likes sucking, it’s not a bad thing, it comforts him, just give it a little try.”
So, reluctantly, I did….and I have to admit… it was magic. He stopped crying! Just like that! It was a miracle! I felt free! I felt relief! I no longer had to have a baby hanging off my boob in between feeds 24/7 just so he could comfort himself! I felt so liberated!
Well…of course there was pro’s and cons that came with giving him the dummy.
Some cons that instantly come to mind are:
But the pro’s speak for themselves – He was instantly soothed, it was his comfort and he felt safe and happy when he had his dummy in his hand or mouth.
And so how did we get him to give it up? Well, quite simply, we didn’t. As he grew older we could see signs of the dummy reign coming to an end… we could tell he was starting to get a little bit embarrassed when people would spot him with his dummy.
So when he was down to his last dummy, we told him that the moment it got a hole in it, it was to go in the bin. Well, one night, it got a hole in it, so Lenny promptly walked up to the bin and popped dummy in. No crying, no tantrums no fuss. To be honest, I think I took it worse than him… it was the end of an era. My little baby had grown up.
Of course it was a completely different story with our second dummy sucking child Stella (who at 3.5 years old still has her dummy for sleep time and rest time and car seat time and well… when ever she can get away with it basically!) but I can tell you right now, there was no emotional “let’s keep everything all natural’ guilt when it comes to the second!
After we bought her home from the hospital and she was still crying after I had ensured her nappy was dry and she had been fed and burped I simply looked at my husband and said “plug her!”
And Hazel… well I actually don’t have any photos to pop into this blog of her with the dummy in! Because so far she has literally had it for sleep and that’s it! I think Stella will still have her dummy when Hazel has well and truly given hers up! haha!
So that’s my dummy experience… three have taken it and two still have one. Some kids suck their thumbs, some suck their their fingers, some suck their mums boobs… mine suck their dummies (well boobs, they did love the boobs too) and I pass no judgement on anyone who’s kids do any or all of the above because reality – each to their bloody own, do what works best for you, your children and your family… the “dummy fairy” will magically appear soon enough.