Dummy Mummy.

Oliver is six weeks old and he is a really good little baby. He only cries when he has wind or needs a poo and he sleeps well for a 6 week old! He goes to bed about half 11 and then wakes up around 2-3am for a bottle and then usually last til 6-7am.

Before I had a baby I was one of these people that were against dummies for babies. A lot of people are really against them, like you’re a bad parent if you use a dummy. The reason I was against dummies was I didn’t want his teeth to grow through crooked. Dummies do affect the shape of the jaw and how the teeth grow. Then I discovered the MAM dummy designed by an orthodontist so that’s the only dummy he is allowed. The other reason people slag dummies off is that there is a different sucking action for dummies, bottles and breast so it can confuse the baby and make feeding difficult. This was another reason I thought I was against them because Ollie was initially breast fed. Now I think, why is it a bad thing to teach a baby different ways to suck effectively? He has to learn at some point why not early on. Surely he’ll find it easier to transfer to a sippy cup or straw as he gets older if he can adapt himself to feed/ soothe according to the shape!

I let Ollie have a dummy after 4 days because babies are soothed by sucking, I was letting him suck me for comfort but that isn’t practical for day to day life. Dummies are a problem when they become a replacement for parenting. It isn’t a plug to stop the noise coming out, it is a soother. Ollie only likes a dummy when he’s drifting off to sleep or when he’s hungry and waiting for his bottle. If you just shove it in their face every time they make a noise then yes dummies are bad because they mean babies needs are not being met. I know Ollie’s little voice, if he’s hungry and the bottle is cooling down a dummy will calm him down. When he has wind he has a different cry so I don’t bother with the dummy, I lift him on my shoulder or sit him up and he calms down when he’s had a burp. If he has colic he screams so a dummy doesn’t stay in, he only settles by being rocked in the baby carrier.

The other thing some parents say is that babies get addicted to dummies. Babies haven’t learnt addiction yet. They only have basic instincts and want their basic needs met. If you leave them hungry, wet or tired and just let them scream and then shove a dummy in, then they will learn that the dummy is the answer to everything. So yeh, you will teach them to be addicted to it as they get older and understand that there is a dummy in their mouth. If their needs are met they will not need it when they can communicate. As soon as Ollie can talk a little bit or when he is able to point at things I won’t use his dummy as much because he’ll understand what I mean when I say, “bottle is nearly ready!” Or “Bedtime Ollie!”

Also, all new mothers have a fear of cot death. It’s a horrible thing that we are constantly reminded of. Don’t let them get too hot, too cold, too high or low in the cot, too many items of clothing in the room that could fly onto their face… Well, sucking a dummy creates a sort of prop that will keep any blankets a centimetre or so away from their face if they happen to snuggle down or have something fall on them. The extra space between baby and blanket that the dummy creates will make it almost impossible for them to suffocate because the air flow isn’t blocked. Who is a bad mother now?

Basically, there’s nothing wrong with dummies if you are attentive to your baby and don’t rely on it. Using it to soothe him doesn’t make me bad, using it if you can’t be bothered to pick him up makes you bad.

Soothed to sleep!
Soothed to sleep!