Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Do you dummy?

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All of our kids had dummies when they were wee.

They all had them before we even left the hospital if I remember correctly!

Before I had children I thought that dummies were a terrible thing. Bad for speech development. Bad for teeth development. Americans call them 'pacifiers'. Why do we want to 'pacify' our babies? I thought. Why indeed...

But in those first few days, when my unsettled newborns did what babies do, cried, loudly and persistently, I called upon the Happy Baby to get me through.

Nugget took to his well enough. It became part of his complicated settling ritual. We got rid of it at 9 months when his repeated night-waking for a 'dummy plug' added more fuel to his already poor sleep habit fire. He was too needy. The dummy had to go. He went down fighting.

Dew Drop wasn't much of a fan of his dummy. Some days he would, some days he wouldn't. We persisted until he was about 6 months and then we stopped. He couldn't have cared less.

The Minx never really took to hers. She came out screaming and I tried, oh how I tried to get her to take a dummy. It was as big as her face and she spat it out as quickly as it went in. There was no bonding. She found her thumb at about 6 weeks and hasn't looked back.

Doo Dah was a whole other story. The dummy was Doo Dah's first real love. He learnt to self-cater early, never argued about only having it for sleep times and was never any trouble. His eyes lit up when he spotted them. You just had to mention 'dummers' and he was as happy as Larry to pop into bed for a sleep. He always had more than one; usually one in his mouth, and one in each hand.

We held off from removing them for fear that he would develop sleep problems without it! Bucky teeth? Whatevs.

Months became years and before we knew it, Doo Dah was approaching four and still had his dummies! How did that happen?

He promised he would give them up after this Ben 10 Birthday party for his 4th birthday. Nope.

He promised he would leave them at home when we went to Fiji. Nope.

He promised he would leave them in Fiji for the Fijian kids. And he did.

I dreaded the first night sans dummy. But I needn't have. Not a peep.

And for the past 24 nights, Doo Dah has slotted into his bed, had a chat about his day, listened to a bedtime story, and then fallen asleep. No dummies. No worries.

Another source of parental guilt removed.

What are your thoughts on dummies?

Community service announcement: Tomorrow night, after about 10.30pm Sydney time, you might want to pop over to Sister A's Life in a Pink Fibro for a peek. Something fun and fabulous awaits you. Just sayin'.


Lucy said...

What a legend Doo Dah is! (I had one eye closed in fear that he was still awake, waiting for someone to relent!)

For some reason my three never did dummies. Never took to them. No idea why really? Charlie sucked his thumb for a week or two when he weaned off the breast.

I babysat an 8 month old the other day, for a whole day. I thought I had totally lost my knack at getting babies to settle and sleep as she screamed at me for ages after lunch. Until my Lexie suggested "Put the dummy in Mummy".

Dummy Mummy indeed...

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

No dummies here. Tried once with each boy but no interest and I didn't have much interest in persisting. I never wanted the battle of having to get them to quit.

Thanks for prepublicity. :-)

Aleksandra said...

I love coming over and reading words like dummies :) I honestly have not heard it called that. I've heard binky, paci, and smoczek (that's Polish!) but that's it. My daughter did not like them until she turned one - only for bed time, then by 2.5 it was a fight to get rid of it. She didn't use it for naps in daycare but at home she threw a fit if she couldn't have it. Finally, I had to tell a little white lie that her teeth would get crooked and fall out if she kept using it and they'd fall out and she'd never get to eat candy again. Lily promptly stood up and put her pacis int he garbage can, never asked for them again.

Baby Weight and Beyond said...

I was so happy that my daughter took one! She was permanently attached to my breast for the first 3 weeks and I needed a break! She is 9 months and still uses it, mostly around bedtime.

Anonymous said...

Boys 1 and 2 had dummies - they didn't like them much to begin with, but eventually it became part of our sleep routine. The dummy always stayed in the cot, and they were both totally OK with that.
Boy 3 never liked the dummy. It made him gag and it just didn't happen. He's figured out his own self-soothing routine, and I don't know what it is because it happens after I close the door of the nursery. They're funny little people, aren't they? They are born with a whole personality all their own, with preferences already programmed. But gee it's hard trying to find out what those are when all they do is cry and fuss!

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Dummies for all 3 boys. I read once that the best time to get rid of them was between 2 1/2 and 3 yrs of age with the idea that before then they don't understand why you're taking away their comfort, but anytime after 3 they become more dependent on it. So I followed that and all gave up in one sleep.

I've never understood why people would rather carry their baby up and down a hallway, crying rather than just give them a dummy. If youre strict with it, they won't use it for anything other than sleep.

I say go for the dummy!

Tat said...

We don't dummy. But I think my 'no-dummies' policy would be hard to stick to if I had twins.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I didn't think I would use pacifiers, but I was so thankful for them when we were sleep training the girls, up until they were about three months old.

Baby A didn't care much for hers, but she would take it when I gave it to her, and it helped tie her over for a little while now and then. Baby B was more receptive, and she used hers until she was close to six months old.

And then one day, the girls downright refused their paci's. By that time they were sleep trained, so that was great by me!

There are some days I wish I could still plug them up with a paci, though...HA!

Rebecca said...

The Crazies use them and I am petrified about getting rid of them. I kind of like the fact that you waited until he was ready, but I'm afraid that Hailey is turning into Bucky the Beaver! Is sleep really worth the orthodontic bills? DEFINITELY!!!

P.S. - I love the reasoning for why you guys call them dummies.

Cottongirl7 said...

The twins never used them. We tried in the begining, but the girls just spit them out. Never had trouble with not using them. Glad we don't have to fight to get rid of them though. Never heard "dummies" either. Great!

Jess said...

Ah the dreaded dummy! I have a love/hate relationship with them... it has gotten us (Izzy) through many a tantrum, sleeping issue, foul mood BUT as she approaches 3, I do fear that she will be off to kindy with her dummy in the backapack.

That said, I just tried Ayla with one... the night time cluster feeding (6 hours of it) had become too much but she spat it out.

I am actually about to search your blog for that parenting/discipline post you wrote ages ago - I loved your approach and am going to try some new things with Izzy (1,2,3)

Maxabella said...

I think we will have to get the forklift out to prise the Badoo away from hers... she will go clinging. x

Marcia (123 blog) said...

we love our dummies :) But they're not allowed to have them unless they're going to sleep, so we have kids racing to the bed to "sleep" so they can get their dummies. On the other hand, when they want out, they FLING those dummies away so they can "go" as they tell me.

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