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Thread: hmmm the ins/outs pros/cons of dummies?

  1. #1

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    Default hmmm the ins/outs pros/cons of dummies?

    My DD loves to suck, her fingers, my nipple, our little fingers, anything really. It seems to comfort her and help her fall to sleep. Once she is asleep she stays asleep very well but its the falling to sleep she needs some assistance with which we have been using safe sleep space/no cry solution techniques with some degree of success but it takes quite a while and by the time she does fall asleep she is pretty exhausted.

    My DH and mum have suggested she may benefit from a dummy for settling, as she gets quite fussy before sleep and wants to suck suck suck but wont attach to my nipple properly to drink but rather play with it and still gets upset. I'm also concerned she may damage my nipple if I continue to let her play as she is getting quite strong and forceful and fussy on it.

    I'm now considering trying her on a dummy to see if it gives her some comfort before sleep. While she can find her fingers they don't satisfy her for very long.

    Our BF and attachment are going really well so I am a bit less concerned now about dummy affecting it.

    Any thoughts on the pros/cons etc from your experience with dummies? What sort of dummy would I try her on (eg rubber/organic etc) as I have absolutely no idea what is available or suitable on the market.



    TIA!

  2. #2

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    I didnt want my DD to have a dummy. But because she had trouble feeding in the hospital she was given one to help with her sucking reflex. Now we are quite happy to have her on one. It helps her settle to go to sleep. Thats all we use it for.

    Once teething is over and done with i will be getting rid of it.

    And i recommend a silicone dummy as the latex ones have that rubber taste and babies tend to gag.

  3. #3

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    All three of mine have had dummies. It caused no issues with BF'ing at all. DD wouldn't take one until 3 months of age, I just kept persisting because she was SO hard to settle off to sleep. Once she finally took a dummy she settled really quickly and sanity returned .

    Pros - Great sleep association, awesome settling tool, gives your BB's a break, handy in the car when bub is due for a feed and you're nearly home (buys time!), great for the "arsenic hour".
    Cons - Some babies wake constantly during the night wanting their dummy to be put back in (not a prob for my bubs luckily ), having to wean them off the dummy later.

    If you DO buy a dummy, I recommend getting one from a brand that has been around for a long time. Nothing worse than your bub only liking one type of dummy and then it's discontinued! I used silicone teat dummies for my bubs. DS1 had Nuk dummies, but they were expensive so I went for Avent ones for DS2 and DD which were a bit cheaper.

    It might be worth giving it a go for a day and then deciding if you want to continue? Good luck deciding!

  4. #4

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    I found dummies to be a lifesaver!! DD1 quit hers at 6 months but the other 2 kids had to be made quit LOL Riley especially was an addict but you know what he's 4 now and hasn't had a dummy for over a yr and it hasn't affected his life at all.
    Mine all loved happy baby cheap ones, I know there have been some issues with them lately but I never had a problem and they were really cheap and available everywhere so I had no hassles getting one if we accidentally went out without one or lost one.

  5. #5

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    DD has a dummy - but only for settling. as soon as she's asleep, she spits it. she gives it to us when she wakes up in the morning and doesn't ask for it until she naps.

    she was using me as a pacifier, i was doing the single mum thing while DH was away at work - i NEEDED a break - we held out til she was about a month old, and the thought bugger it - she would then settle for other people and i was able to feel human again! i don't think we'll have much trouble weaning her as she only has it at sleep times and often spits it out while settling anyway.

  6. #6

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    DD was given a dummy in hosp while they tube fed her to get her to associate sucking with feeding so we didn't have a choice but in saying that I didn't have a problem giving her one.

    My nephew is 6 and still sucks his thumb and was never given a dummy.
    DD gave up her dummy on her own at 2 1/4 without any issues.

    It is easier to take away a dummy than stop thumb sucking.

    We talked up the dummy fairy for weeks before DD gave hers up and she decided when she was ready for the fairy to take her dummies and give them to the new babies that were born. It worked well!

    We used NUK silicone dummies. She wouldn't have a bar of the rubber cherry shaped ones. One day we left her dummy at home and DH found a different brand in a shop that glowed in the dark! It was great as we were able to spot it in the dark if she woke during the night!

  7. #7

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    We used one a bit when DS was young and very unsettled, but ony ocasionally. As he got more settled, we didn't use it so much. One day it'd been nearly a week since last use, I tried he would'nt have it. end of dummy.
    I think they can be useful things. If breastfeeding is well established, then there's less of a risk there. There are 2 possible worries in regards to bf, btw, not just the sucking action, but by satisfying the sucking reflex away from the breast they may not feed enough. If she's feeding well and gaining weight etc, then it's all good.

    My only real issue with dummies is that they are unattractive

    ETA - the thumb/finger sucking thing is pretty random also. DS sucked his fingers till 9-ish months, but never since. It's not a given that they'll do one or the other.

  8. #8

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    Yep, got dummies here. I was always a bit "anti-dummy" before DS was born but he was given one in the NICU and we brought it home from the hospital with us. At first I would only use it sparingly, but it's become a life-saver. Sometimes he wants to suck to sleep and gets upset when milk arrives with his sucking, cause he's not actually hungry.

    It's also useful to pop the dummy in when bub needs a feed and you're not able to provide it straight away - like when you need to do something before a feed, like a toilet visit Or when you're in the car.

    Oh, and sometimes DS is hungry but suffering with wind - putting the dummy in can help him move the wind without him spurting milk everwhere.

    Cons - I read that dummies can stop babies from being encouraged from talking and learning how to use their mouths. I think you counter this by not putting it in when bub looks like she want to chat. I also find them a bit unattractive. I think sometimes it can be hard to wean them from the dummy later, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

  9. #9

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    Three of my kids have had dummies, DS2 wouldn't take one as hard as I tried he preferred my nipple.
    Pros & cons pretty much as mentioned above, great for settling, sleep association & as a general comforter. Usually Pie just has it to sleep with but she's sick again ATM & the dummy is getting more of a workout than usual while she feels miserable.
    Cons - PITA if you have to go on a dummy hunt in the middle of the night, can interfere with breastfeeding early on but if feeding is established & you're not having any dramas I wouldn't think it would cause much of a problem.

    Both of the older kids just ditched theirs when they were ready, around 2-ish I think. I also went with the idea that a dummy would be easier to wean than thumb sucking, but I don't know if that's right, just my idea.

    We always used the happy baby cherry ones but I do believe a lot of babies will have a preference all of their own

  10. #10

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    Before DS was born I swore I wouldn't be using a dummy but we cracked one out the night we came home from hossy and it was a life saver. Without something to suck on (me, finger, DPs finger, fingers) he just cried & cried and came home from hossy all hoarse & croaky. He sounds a bit like Freya hun, in those first few days / weeks he could have sucked his way to China I swear (all normal off course) but my boobs were wrecked and often it just helped him settle off to sleep and give me a break. And funnily enough he spat it out at about 9 weeks old when he had a bit of a snuffly nose and never wanted it again, so it might not always be a long term thing for some kids. He had started to self-settle a little bit around the same time too.

    If it were me in your situation with b/f established I would give it a go - if only to reduce the risk of nipple trauma for you, which was our downfall. We didn't suceed at b/f because my nipples were so badly damaged in the early days and just didn't recover.

    From memory we used a NUK dummy.

  11. #11

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    DS will only take NUK dummies but wouldnt take one till after 5 days when i stopped BFing and he was on the bottle he still has it now and its attached all day but he doesnt have it in all the time and were going to try and get him to give it up at chrissy which should be successful coz he only really uses it for sleep times

    good luck

  12. #12

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    DD is a fan of the dummy. Not sure if it was because they gave one (like a mini one) while she was in the NICU (born 31 wks). Then every sleep or nap time she'll settle so easily with her dummy. This Xmas is going to be very special as we'll also be getting a visit from the dummy fairy who is going to take all the dummies from the house to give to the babies that don't have them ;-).

    Pro's (specifically for DD) - she easily goes to sleep with one (= happy mummy), she doesn't want one thru the day (its only ever given at nap times and she knows it), she doesn't wake through the night if it has fallen out. In the early days it helped while I was getting a feed ready - just to pass time for her.
    Con's - I just hope she buys the dummy fairy story this Xmas eve lol!

    DS initially had a dummy, but he kept spitting it out - and at about 4 wks old we gave up and he just settled himself without it.

  13. #13

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    Before I had kids I was very anti-soother, but by the time DS was 3 months old, I changed my mind. I was tired of being used as a soother all the time and decided DS needed to take one so I could have a break. It was such a relief! He didn't take to it well at first but soon became a soother addict.

    Pros - he settled well to sleep and stayed asleep much longer (never woke up crying to have it put back in), when he was 10 months old I weaned him off night feeds by giving him a soother instead of boobie, he never sucked his thumb which would be more damging to his teeth and harder to stop, when he hurt himself or was just plain cranky it made him feel better.

    cons - at about 2 years old he was sucking it so hard he was starting to wreck his teeth, thankfully he gave it up really easily in favour of a fire truck he'd sen in the store and desperately wanted, and his teeth have already fixed themselves.

    As for deterring speach, he started talking at 15 months so at that point we stopped letting him have it whenever he wanted and only let him have it at nap time/bed time, in the car, or when he hurt himself (also in the shopping cart if he was whiney so other shoppers did not have to listen to him). By two he was already talking in full clear sentances so it didn't deter him at all.

  14. #14

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    Awesome thoughts and experiences - thanks so much.
    Well after last night having to settle her with my finger twice for an hour I got DH to go first thing and get her a dummy from the chemist and she has taken to it like a pro. Only problem is as she starts to fall asleep it falls from her mouth and she wakes herself up crying looking for it . So while she was much calmer falling to sleep it still took a long long time. Time will tell I guess on how this goes.

    Marcellus, Seph, I too think it is unattractive but we got a clear one. I think I will have to use the dummy emoticon now too...

    Being a parent I am already challenging all the previous 'I will never...' statements I made - dummies being a big one of them

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by dusty View Post
    Being a parent I am already challenging all the previous 'I will never...' statements I made - dummies being a big one of them
    Glad she seems to be liking it and it's helping, dusty!

    WRT your comment above - I think that's a very common thing to go thru, I actually started a thread about it recently!

  16. #16

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    We weren't going to be dummie people either, DD had one in NICU/SCB only during NGT feeds so that she would develop a suck reflex, but she couldn't suck on it even though it was a tiny premmie one, the bubble shape, we had to hold it there for her. Then when we went home we avoided one until she was 9 weeks old and I'd lost the plot and a friend had been with me all day and said she just wanted to suck so I messaged DH he agreed to try and she took to it for a bit, then spat but over time she took it and it was a lifesaver as she was a sucker We used the Nuk one's as well they were the same shape as the teats we had used on the bottles and she was able to suck on those better than the TTCTN bottles. She still has it now but only for bed time and hands it back to us when she gets out of bed.

    This one will probably get one as well, but I am looking at the gum drop dummeis

  17. #17

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    DS1 - has a dummy and we 'lost' it when he was 8 months old....never asked for it BUT substitued it for a drink in a bottle...not a good move
    DS2 - never wanted a dummy...screamed more when he had it..phew
    DS3 - had a dummy for not even a month and it was barely used....YAY!!!

    BUT

    DD......man she turn's 4 next and we only just got rid of the dummy LAST WEEK . She would drive us nuts crying ALL NIGHT plus she had high anxiety and it was a comfort thing. I spat it and took it from her last week. She was a hand, finger, nipple sucker as a NB....so if you do decide to go down that path just make sure you dont do my mistake and keep it to long

  18. #18

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    I think babies who need to suck for comfort are going to do it no matter what. So I figured I could always get rid of a dummy later on but I couldn't get rid of a thumb/finger! And once we gave DS a dummy it took him a while to get the 'hang' of it in regards to keeping it in whilst sleeping, so that should improve for your DD.

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