The Dreaded Dummy

Proof Alex could sleep without a dummy at one point - this is her arriving home from hospital.

Proof Alex could sleep without a dummy at one point – this is her arriving home from hospital.

There’s one thing that seems to cause a massive controversy in the parenting world and that’s giving your child a dummy. For some reason this tiny thing attracts a lot of criticism from others even though there really are a million worse things you could do for your child.

We didn’t really have a view either way while I was pregnant about whether we would give Alexandra a dummy, I don’t even remember buying the ones she used at first so whether they were bought by someone else I don’t know. For the first few weeks she didn’t have one at all but then while I was back in hospital she started having one. Fast forward a few months and by the time she was sleeping in her own room she’d drop off in the evening without one but want it back in if she woke during the night or early morning. Then she started having it to go to sleep with.

Now we’ve probably used it a little more because she’s teething and it’s soothed her a bit in between the pain relief we can give her. I really want to get rid of it and know that we just need to go cold turkey and suffer the horrendous few days we’d have before she’d hopefully stop wanting it. But it never seems to be the right time – we did try once and she was awful, howling hysterically through the night like she’d just heard the entire world’s supply of Aptamil had vanished. So in went the dummy (after a few hours of persisting) and all was right with the world again.

I know they link dummies with speech delays and thankfully this doesn’t seem to have happened yet, she’s babbling away at a similar level to most of her little friends. She doesn’t have her dummy in constantly in the day so that could be the reason why. A second reason I don’t like it is I just think it looks awful on an older child. It seems a little selfish to me to have carried on giving her the dummy mostly for my own sanity so we’re not up the whole night trying to comfort a screaming baby – but then I think about the fact it’s obviously comforting her and it’s really a two-way street.

We will try at one point to get rid of the dreaded dummy but it always seems like the wrong time – either her teeth are bothering her or she’s got a cold, or one of us is feeling under the weather and therefore really can’t do without any sleep. One day though we will conquer it! (Hopefully before her 18th birthday!)

Harriet and Alexandra x

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