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Thread: The thumb vs the dummy - what's your opinion?

  1. #1

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    Question The thumb vs the dummy - what's your opinion?

    From observing my SILs kids ( without dummy) and a friends (with dummy), and also a few episodes of Supernanny () I think I will use dummies on my future kids because:

    1) You can eventually say 'goodbye' to the dummy and get rid of it, while the thumb is attached! My niece is over 5 and still sucks her thumb constantly, no matter how they try to get her to stop.

    2) Thumb sucking may cause teeth problems (supernanny ep showed girl with thumb-shaped gap between her top and bottom teeth, which was the exact shape of thumb!) inc pushing teeth outwards...




    Downsides to the dummy - if it falls out and wakes baby... and having to always make sure that you have one around!!


    But I'm interested to hear some opinions!!

  2. #2

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    I have one of each - a child that has thumbsucked since dot and had no interest in a dummy, and a child who is a dummyholic to the point we're considering holding an intervention for him!

    I think I prefer the dummy as well to be honest. DD (the thumb child lol) is now and has always been an excellent sleeper - but her thumbsucking is causing dental issues, I can see her two front teeth pushing out already. She's getting better, she mostly only does it when she's tired or going to sleep now so I hope she'll outgrow it soon.

    DS seems to be getting more addicted to his "dohdoh" than ever, don't quite know what to do with him...and yes it definitely contributes to his night waking. Ah the dilemmas.....

  3. #3

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    I've got a dummy kid and I'm happy with that. Eventually she'll get rid of it. I don't even really care when (you really don't see many school kids with them).

  4. #4

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    I have a dummy kid too. I prefer dummy for the reasons that you mentioned. Yes, initially it was a problem with night waking, but now she can find it and put it in herself so it isn't a problem. We will probably give it to Santa next year.

  5. #5

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    I prefer a dummy too & I honestly think the child will decide themselves if they really want it. I gave DS one in the hosp & has always gone to sleep with it...but hand it to him any other time & he will bang it against the nearest object like it's just another toy.
    I've been told (though haven't tried it), that you can attach the dummy to chain whilst sleeping so they can learn to find it themselves as they are only short chains. Me, I just have a couple in the bed & hope he will find one.

  6. #6

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    Neither of my boys would have a bar of a dummy. Luckily Jack didn't ever take to his thumb either. But Tom is a real thumb sucker and now he's 15 months it's really worrying me. But the truth is there is nothing I could have done about it. I tried much harder to get Tom to take a dummy than Jack but it just wasn't going to happen. I think sometimes you can't plan these things. You go with the flow and worry about problems when and if they become problems.

  7. #7

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    My DD had a dummy until we pried it off her at 3 and then she found her thumb!!! She's now 4years, 3mths and a huge thumb sucker!

  8. #8

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    Hey, I have been interested in this too, and have done a bit of research. I sucked my thumb til I was 10, and have a SIL that still does, and a MIL that did until she was 14 - all with no need for dental work! I also have a mini-man that just likes to suck, and his thumb is the most convenient when he is self-settling and I am not around to put his dummy back in. I tried the dummy, which he loves too, but when he spits it out, there is no way I am going back in there every 40 minutes to put it back in.

    My research showed that if you wean them off their thumb by the time their grown up teeth come in then they wont have any dental damage. It also showed that most babies (90%) have weaned by this age, so that is most convenient.

    I guess my little man has chosen what he wants and there is not much I can do about it at 2.5 months, nor would I want to.

  9. #9

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    I might add that a benefit of the thumb over a dummy is not having to get up at night to put it back in!

  10. #10

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    I was dead against dummies and was horrified when the midwives gave one to DD#1 without asking....then as she got a couple of months older there were a couple of moments I really wished she would've taken it as I knew she just wanted to suck for comfort sake and she just wouldn't settle on her own and she never seemed to find her thumb

    DD#2 was the same in the beginning (although took a dummy to the hospital with me this time ), just not interested in it which for me was all well and good as I am still in to the self settling thing. But!! (always a but ) I agree with MantaRay that you just go with the flow which I am so much more flexible to do the second time round!!

    DD#2 has just cut 2 teeth and we've had a horrid run to the point that self settling was just not an option and on the occasion I tried an extra comfort feed, she spewed it all back up on me as she was still full! So in the end I wrapped her tightly and stuck a dummy in...........she slept!

    I am trying to ensure I don't create a new habit with the dummy as it was great not having to worry about any such habit with DD#1, but DD#2 has found her thumb! So I am trying to discourage thumb sucking during awake time and if she happens to find it during sleep, it's never in when she is fast asleep iykwim. I'm not keen on trying to replace her thumb with the dummy as on the occasions I've tried, its kept her awake longer as she plays with it or rolls on top of it! ...............so just going with the flow!

  11. #11

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    I have used a dummy with both my girls i took DD1s off her cold turkey as when she was 15 months she it the teet off one and choked on it. I took them away cold turkey with no probs. I might add it was a new dummy too she just chewed them when teething.

  12. #12

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    Oooh lots of great points - including of course that they may not even like the dummy - which I hadn't even considered

  13. #13

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    My DD is a furious fist sucker which i pressume will progress into thumb sucking. I have tried to give her a dummy, but she is just not interested at all.
    I had the same dilema. She has never been upset enough to give her a dummy for comfort but i thought i would give her a dummy to head the thumb sucking off......... no suck luck, so hopefully she'll grow out of all the sucking before her big teeth come!

  14. #14

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    Claire doesnt use either. She just wasnt interested in a dummy and would scream as soon as a dummy came anywhere near her. She wouldnt have a bar of it at all. She only sucked her thumb for about two months, and hasnt sucked it at all for about 6 months. I remember MIL was insisting that I just keep on shoving a dummy in Claires mouth, but I just said "yeah" and let it go in one ear and out the other. She was saying "you HAVE to make her take a dummy". Claire never really relied much on her thumb for settling anyway so I never bothered with forcing a dummy into her as it just didnt seem necessary. I'm all for letting bub decide.

    Anyways, after my rant there, I can see good things about both. Mainly being that you can take away a dummy when it is no longer age appropriate, but thumb stays there forever. I've seen kids who are 6 and 7 still with dummies for bed time though, so I suppose its probably difficult to take it away from those kids who really love it. But I feel that a thumb may be more natural and bub will always know where to find it, iykwim.

  15. #15

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    my DD uses a dummy too. are dummys bad for teeth?

  16. #16

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    I'm using a dummy just for sleeps and when we are out n about, so far no probs (besides bub losing it during sleep and wanting it on occasions). The nurses at the 'sleep school' I took bubs to (to sort out her day sleeps) were all for either thumbs or dummies with the proviso that they only use dummy and/or thumb for sleeps. In fact, when they put my bub down to watch her sleep it was without a dummy - they were hoping she'd find her thumb and therefore "self-settle" - she didn't but we try a few times at each sleep with no dummy 3-4 times and then resort to giving it to her but we give her the opportunity not to take the dummy - she doesn't want a dummy when she wakes for a night feed - she goes straight to sleep without thumb or dumb then.

  17. #17

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    my dd also hates the dummy, but is becoming a fist sucker. When I try to give her the dummy, she gags! No matter what brand of dummy I try!

  18. #18

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    My DD has used a dummy since day 1 in the hospital. She did go through a short phase of it dropping out in bed & not being able to put it back in but it wasn't enough of a problem that it would wake her through the night (I was lucky to have a baby who slept through from 6pm til 7am from 2 weeks old!) it was usually when I was putting her off to sleep. So I know the dummy dropping out of her mouth didn't cause her stress because she slept straight through it!! haha I know it can be a problem for some though, I think thats the only down side to dummies, until its time to take them away!!!

    DD is now 2yrs 8 months old & she still uses dummies at bed time & sometimes if she's sick for comfort but thats not often at all. I honestly dont mind her using them, I know she will eventually give them up but at the moment we're happy the way things are.

    I put about 6 dummies in her bed at night so she can always find one if needed

    I hope this helped you, good luck making your decision

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