Wednesday, 6 July 2011

To Dummy or not to Dummy? That is the Question...

 Before becoming a mummy I was one of these women who thought i'd never give my child a dummy! No, why would I ever need to put a plastic, fake nipple in my childs mouth? My baby would have me! I would breastfeed on demand, carry my baby everywhere in a sling close to me and they would never cry or need anything other than their mummy, and I would be available to them 24/7....

Well some of those intentions worked out and some didn't...

When I was pregnant with my son four years ago, I started to read the fsid guidance, that states Settling your baby to sleep with a dummy – even for naps – can reduce the risk of cot death. So, if I wanted to ensure my baby was sleeping safely did this actually mean a dummy was a good thing? It started me thinking, settling a baby to sleep with a dummy is different to just sticking it in my baby's mouth every time they cry, isn't it? So on a shopping trip to boots, while pregnant and rather emotional I popped a pack of dummies into the basket. When I got home I almost regretted the purchase and hid them away in a drawer. I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby and had to get this established before I even thought about using a dummy anyway.

When my beautiful baby boy Benjamin was around a month old and we had feeding established (or so we thought.... but that's a post for another day!) I started using a dummy (...or dodi as they became know in our house) He was having trouble settling to sleep off the breast and family members had been saying for a few weeks to 'just try it, he properly won't take to it anyway!' But take to it he did, and it did help him settle to sleep. It was only used for bedtime or naptimes and I soon got used to seeing him in his pj's with his 'dodi' in his mouth.

Eighteen months later, when we were trying to get him to go to sleep without it and he started waking 5 times a night I did slightly regret it! But we managed to wean him off it. (As I was not having him being one of those three year olds you see with a dummy in their mouth!)

So when it came to my daughter, when she was about six weeks old, feeding was established and again she was having trouble settling to sleep off the breast, we tried her with one. But this little girl was a 'booby baby' who knew what she wanted and she would not be palmed off with a fake! We ended up trying a few brands, but to be honest I secretly liked the fact that she wouldn't take it and preferred the 'real thing!' So although we occasionally offered her a 'dodi' at naptime or bedtime when she wouldn't settle she just never took to them and preferred to settle to sleep whilst latched on.

...Until she started getting the symptoms of teething at around 5 1/2 months! I don't know whether it was because they are softer than most teethers but still better than my nipple to chew on, but all of a sudden she would take a 'dodi' at naptime! She seems to chew on them more than suck but they do help her settle for her naps occasionally! Which means I can put her down to nap rather than having her always fall asleep when latched on and have to gently prise my nipple out of her mouth without waking her! And she's seems fascinated by taking them out of her mouth and inspecting them, especially the bright pink ones!

So although my thoughts have been mixed on Dummies, I do believe that once breastfeeding is fully established there can be a benefit in settling a baby to sleep with one (if they take to it!). But Elizabeth definitely won't be having one for as long as Ben did!

MAM kindly sent me one of their new 'Perfect Soothers' to review so take a look at my thoughts on it here.

1 comment:

  1. I have a seven year old whos front teeth are a little forward. the dentist said this is a direct result of dummys. i agree with the whole cot death thing and how dummies can prevent this or make it less likely. however my dentist says that you need to get rid of dummies when you start growing teeth. the worst part of having a dummy after this point is allowing them to sleep with it in their mouths as this is what deforms thier teeth. [facebook melissa roth de wolf]


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