Only little babies do that…

a blog by Emily\’s mother

Dummy or no dummy?

Posted by DINRIL on October 16, 2006

I’m no dummy, MummyOne of the things we debated over before Emily was born was whether or not we should give her a dummy, if she proved to be one of those babies who was impossible to comfort. Although we never actually went out and bought one, the bottle steriliser kit we bought also contained a couple of dummies – meaning the temptation was there if we ever needed to succumb to it.

Of course, it’s easy enough to see the advantages of using a dummy if your baby is screaming the place down and nothing else is working. On the other hand, it presents a fresh set of problems – most notably having to wean your child off it once they’re older. While I wasn’t keen on the idea of turning Emily into some kind of dummy-wielding live-action version of Maggie Simpson, I decided I would be willing to do so if I was desperate.

That time almost came when Emily was five days old and wouldn’t stop screaming. Having tried everything else I vaguely suggested that a dummy might work – cue much messing around trying to sterilise it in the microwave and wait for it to cool down while my then tiny girl screamed even louder. When it was eventually ready, we gave it to her, only for her to take about two perfunctory sucks and then spit it out. We never gave it to her again.

And to be honest, I’m glad we didn’t. I’m convinced part of the reason that Emily has slept so well at night up to now is because she doesn’t have a dummy – hence she doesn’t lose it at night and wake up wondering where it’s gone (likewise, we’re not up several times a night giving it back to her). Instead, she does a rather cute little ‘sleep-sucking’ motion – where her mouth still makes little sucking movements as though she were feeding – and that seems to be quite enough to comfort her.

If she’d been a very demanding baby I might have eventually resorted to the dummy once again (and I can quite see how it might be a godsend in that instance) – but since she’s a pretty happy little soul who doesn’t really scream without a genuine reason, she’s never really needed it. She has however, started to suck her hands – and taking those away when she’s older might prove a tad more problematic.


8 Responses to “Dummy or no dummy?”

  1. Eldragon said

    By dummy, you mean a pacifier? A binky? Some babies will use them and some will not. I prefer not to introduce them, myself. They are kind of disgusting.

  2. tater03 said

    I used one with both my boys. I was lucky though I didn’t have a whole lot of problems when we decided to take it away. I had a whole day of crying during naptime and one night but after that it went really well. Thank goodness because I know some kids that have a fit when you try to take it away. I do think that if you can go without it that is great. One less thing you need to wean them off of.

  3. katharina said

    Good for you deciding not to use it! I only used one a few times, too, and was always glad that my baby didn’t constantly having one sticking out of her mouth.

  4. Liz said

    I think putting a dummy in a baby’s mouth just looks horrible. It is an easy thing for some parents to do, but you end up with something that doesn’t actually benefit the child.

    Also does anyone else think they look like the face mask that Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs has to wear.

    So no baby dummy for me.

  5. katharina said

    Some of the styles do indeed look like a mask, yes. 🙂 I have seen a few of them that cover the bottom 50% of a baby’s face.

  6. Melos said

    My first son used a pacifier (we called it a nippy). My second son refused on one go like it seemed Emily did and we never tried again. I suppose, for some babies it fills a very real need for comfort.

  7. Eldragon said

    Not only do they look silly, but I think they must be unsanitary. Collecting dust and other bacteria – then baby puts it back in her mouth!

  8. tater03 said

    You know this got me to thinking but with my second son I had not decided whether or not he would use a pacifier. But I remember that the nurse took him to the nursery, I can’t remember what for, but when he came back there was a pacifier in his bassinet. I always wondered if the nurse game him one when he was in the nursery.

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