August 11, 2009

DummiesIt’s a hot topic amongst parents: Do you give your baby a dummy? And if so, when do you take it away? When do you allow your kids to have a dummy — always, or just when they’re sleeping?  Sure, a baby needs help soothing themselves to sleep, but should a 4-year-old still use a dummy?

My experience with dummies has always been positive.  Both my boys used them, but only strictly for sleeping. And it was pretty easy to take them away (a ‘dummy fairy’ came).  Now the baby is also using dummies, and they really work wonders at soothing her to sleep.

Studies have shown that dummies help reduce the risk of cot death by 90%.  Apparently sucking on a dummy also releases positive endorphins which are beneficial to babies.  Also, dummies are apparently better for the teeth than sucking a thumb.  So then why are dummies so frowned upon? Why are moms embarrassed to ‘admit’ that their child uses them?


p.s. I love this idea — When kids in Stockholm have decided they’re too big for dummies, they take them to Skansen (pictured) and leave them there.  Wouldn’t that be a fun way for your child to graduate from dummies?


Comments (13)

August 11, 2009

I love dummies too!
they are so helpful when a baby needs soothing.
I have to admit my 4 year-old is having troubles in graduating from the dummies…. we’ll get there eventually.

August 11, 2009

My daughter devoured dummies but gave them up easily at 18 months.

My son wouldn’t take them, so he went without and was a gorgeous, contented baby.

I think most kids love them but I do think there should be an age limit, for a variety of reasons, including teeth issues. Sorry, but a 5 year old with a dummy freaks me out.

When it comes to parenting babies, I think anything goes so long as it’s done with love and for the child’s positive wellbeing. I think there are so many ‘right and wrongs’ associated with babyhood that are mostly just subjective personal opinion.

I’ll never forget hearing a woman say that dummies are given to babies by parents who don’t want to deal with the baby’s “real” issues. This devastated me as a first time parent with a serious dummy sucker.

In hindsight, of course, I think it was that woman who had the real issues.

August 12, 2009

I always figured dummies were better than thumb sucking for dental reasons. My first was a very happy baby w/her dummy and gave it up quite willingly around 2. We tried and tried with our second but she would never take one. I must say, I do wish she had as she just tends to yell until someone gets her what she wants…..or until she breaks down into a tantrum.

August 12, 2009

Here in Norway, I can’t say there’s much debate about dummies. Most parents try and get their babies to use them (both because of the reduced risk of crib death, and for the more obvious reasons..), though some prefer not to. For dental reasons, the advise is to give up the dummies before the child turns three – before that the teeth will return to their natural position by themselves, I was told by my daughter’s dentist, and it seems to be the case for her at least.

Many Norwegian kids donate their dummies (“smokk”) to the character “Kaptein Sabeltann”, who promise to guard them in his chests: http://www.dyreparken.no/Kart-parkinfo/Kaptein-Sabeltann-ny/Smokkarium/.

More charming in my opinion: In a park in Copenhagen/Denmark, we passed a tree where kids can hang their dummies, almost like the photo from Skansen.

August 12, 2009

A friend in Spain once told me that there is a “dummy tree” in a local park, where the little ones can hang up their dummies once they’re done with them – it’s so pretty and colourful 😀

August 12, 2009

I was totally fond of dummies too!
I was so worried that my baby would get used to the “thumb sucking”, that when i was allowed by my doctor,
I gave him a dummie, and he fell in love with it immediatly!

Now he is 2 years old, and still wants it, even during the day sometimes, and definitely for sleeping. I am trying to keep him away from it when it is not bed time, but it is not always possible…

I find that idea in your picture SO cute, but i think it is
a bit early for me to even try.

August 12, 2009

I had an aversion to dummies with my first, because I saw so many kids [age 4+, it seemed] walking around with the things all day long! That said, my now 4 yr old cannot give up her thumb [only for sleeping though], and now I’ve gotten my new baby into a dummie becuase I’m hoping it’ll be easier to get rid of than the thumb!

August 12, 2009

I only heard recently about the dummy fairy and I think it’s a very creative solution to what sounds like a difficult problem – and so CUTE! Though one friend found that her toddler didn’t quite grasp that the exchange of dummy for gift from the dummy fairy was a permanent contract. An early life lesson! There were a few tears after the initial excitement of the presents wore off. 🙂 I have a newborn so crossing that bridge is a little way off. Why do people still worry about using a dummy? Because, like advice reagarding caring for babies, especially in regards to dummies and breastfeeding, there are a lot of people who have extreme views and are a little lose with the truth to back up their opinion. Reading some advice on the internet, one might think that dummy use is comparable to worshipping satan. As Tania has pointed out, every baby is different and some need a dummy where others don’t. I think some people who have only had the experience of a baby who didn’t need a dummy take a strong anti-dummy approach that doesn’t help others with a different experience. Even the balanced information (babycentre has a pros and cons article) can list disadvantages which seem a bit scary but when you read them carefully indicate that as long as you have established breast feeding, the baby’s permanent teeth aren’t through and you use a dummy sensibly the use of a dummy of fine. For example, they warn that constant use could impede speech development. Scary, I think you’ll agree. But obviously if the dummy isn’t permanently in their mouth and you are regularly interacting with your baby and encouraging him to make sounds etc, this wouldn’t be a problem. And actually, worse than information on the internet, there are still some pediatricians perpetuating a blanket “dummies are bad rule”. Ours did. I’d like to say what her reasons were but she didn’t invite debate! Which I think indicates how much weight I should give her advice. I’m really glad to hear everyone’s experiences on this, especially Siobhan’s reassurance from her dentist. This is yet another issue that highlights how you have to approach advice and opinion on any baby care issue. Trust your instincts and common sense and don’t let people freak you out! Now if I can just remember that myself for the next time..

August 12, 2009

Our dummy fairy was Santa Claus! We got our daughter to hang her dummy on the tree on Christmas Eve so that ‘Santa can give it to another baby as a present’ and she did so without the slightest quibble! Fairly incredible considering she hadn’t been without it for three years. Unfortunately she has started sucking her thumb though… think we might have to read ‘Strumpfelpeter’ to her!

Marielle Wiesinger
August 12, 2009

I have two sons, and my first son took to the dummy at 6 days old, and could not be without it until he was 2 1/2 years old. My second son was not interested at all, and never took to it. My first son needed it, as he was a very intense soul, and he just needed to suck all the time. However, I felt so bad about giving it to him, as there was a very “anti-dummy” mood in Canada, when he was born. I am not sure why, but now looking back (my son is 7), it seems so strange. I think they are great, and reading the new research, and how other countries view dummies is very interesting. However, it goes back to the individual child and my first needed the comfort of his “gummie”!

November 2, 2009

I am in grade 7 and am doing a research project on the pros and cons of sucking a dummy versus a thumb>
It seems people are scared of thumb sucking for dental reasons but it alsoseems there are so many other good and bad things related to both that are rarely mentioned, such as dummy sucking aiding in cot death, and on the other hand dummies facilitating ear infections, some people say as long as your child stps sucking a thumb or dummy by age 3, its okay, but dentists say they must stop before the permanent teeth come down, which ismuch later? So far I have found no link with thumb sucking to having braces for buck teeth, even tho some people sucked sucked till they were 4/5yrs old.
Does anyone have any useful info for me to add???
Thanks so much

March 31, 2015

[…] there are other ways too that don’t involve a fictional fairy (like the concept of the ‘dummy tree‘ in Denmark and Sweden, or the idea of ‘giving’ dummies to another baby who needs […]

March 31, 2015

we also have a dummy tree in Lisboa – Portugal : )

Leave a Comment