When it’s all about dummies.

Dummies, Diddy, Noo-Noo, Soother, Pacifier, Doh-Doh, Peace Plug, whatever you refer to them as we all have our opinions on dummies.

What’s mine?  Well I hate them, not because I don’t believe in them.  I’m not against them – although I do have my limits after seeing them used to stop a child talking at a parent, rather then for comfort.  But I hate them for the pure and simple reason that the Chunky Monkey is an addict.

Before I had my children I didn’t want to go down the dummy route.  No real reason, I’m just not a fan per se.  Then I had The Beast, and on about week two after very little sleep and literally being sucked dry on an hourly basis I ignored the much finger wagging from the Midwife, and after I’d tried and I quote ‘letting him suckle your little finger he won’t know the difference” (he BLOODY WELL did) I caved.

The little bugger treasure refused.

I continued to try dutifully for weeks, possibly even months; I tried a million different types and brands.  I was desperate, the child wouldn’t stop crying, and wouldn’t stop feeding, wouldn’t go to sleep without me in his mouth or being bounced up and down like he was on a piece of elastic (I seriously considered tying his feeding pillow to a pulley system and taping him too it).  But he never took to it.  As he got older I watched my friends as they struggled to wean their children off their dummies I was relieved, it meant, for once, my child was the pain free one. HA.

Then the Chunky Monkey came along, I bought a pack of dummies just in case.  Even though he was a good baby, he was still a newborn, so within a week I’d cracked and he was hooked. Peace ensued on the Horton household.  The whole newborn baby thing was a breeze in comparison to first time round, over night instead of numerous night feeds, if he woke up I’d simply pop the dummy in and he slept through.  I made a rule, 6 months no more in the day, and 1 year we’d bin it at night.  THAT was how it was going to work. Yes. Yes it was.

Then it all went horribly wrong.  He started to rely on the blinkin’ thing.  He’d wake up as SOON as it fell out of his mouth; it happened around the time he started teething and then caught chicken pox.  This happened to be around the time of his 6 month anniversary.  I made excuses, after all, it would be cruel to take it away from him while he was teething wouldn’t it?

We continued on, kidding ourselves that we’d dump it as soon as he was better.  As the first anniversary of his birth approached we decided that we’d do it all in one big chunk.  His 1st birthday came, and as I put him to bed, he *may* have had two dummies clipped to him and one in either hand.  Not only had he become reliant, but so had I.

Now he’s two.  He’s a fully fledged talking little boy.  And we’re he’s as addicted as ever.  Whilst the general rule is no dummy in the day, unless I’ve got a headache he’s properly upset somehow they seem to appear in our day to day lives.  I trip over them, stand on them, discover them in my slippers and under my pillow.  The lack of them makes him grumpy and irritable.  Basically, he’s how I am when it’s my turn to drive on a night out and can’t have a gin.

I KNOW it’s time to get rid of them.  I worry about his teeth, I worry it’s going to impact his speech, and to be honest, I just don’t like them.

However, I have no idea how to remove them from our lives.  I mean, what is a good age? Should I have done it earlier?  When he didn’t understand? When I was doing controlled crying?  Now he sees them from miles away – he’s been known to push chairs or pile up cushions to clamber up to retrieve one on a windowsill behind a photo frame, have we left it too late?

He’s two after all, he has the reasoning skills of…well…a two year old.  You know the kind, “no darling you can’t jump up and down in that puddle of wee….no I don’t care that it’s your own…” results in a full blown 35 minute tantrum.

Thing is.  If we’re being completely honest, it’s not just his reaction I’m worried about.  It’s mine.  Let’s face it.  He’s started sleeping through this week. The only night he didn’t sleep through was because I’d not clipped a dummy to him and he woke up and couldn’t find it.

Do I really want to impact my finally fairly peaceful nights sleep?  The answer is not really.   I know that motherhood is full of sacrifices, but am I really willing to sacrifice that newly discovered waking up not feeling like death experience?

I think right now the answer is “No”.  Perhaps it will be his New Years resolution?  After all he does need one, The Beast’s is “not to say WHYYY???” 3784957 times a day.  Or maybe he’ll do it naturally, after all The Beast swapped his blankets for Pat and Elmo all on his own.



  1. msmummyoftwo

    Great post, Pops, my eldest was the same. Sadly I think her sister Beboo is too, I was like you, it got to two and I was a little complexed by it all, only at nights, however it took until she was three and simply did not want it anymore, it was for babies and it was not needed! Her teeth ad speech are fine, couldd not be better in fact. My advice would be, in there own time, dont rush or panic! xx

  2. Helen

    Actually I think this is a good age to try and get him to give it up. Both A & E were dummy addicts during the day and night. With A I took him to dentist where the dentist told him that big boys don’t have dummies and that was it and with E we took her to the supermarket where she swapped her dummy for a doll. Both of them were painless, I was very very surprised. Can’t you try at the weekend when M is there, then you have support during the day if the night does go badly?
    Saying all that, Mark was the one who wanted the dummies gone, I didn’t really care as I knew they would be gone by school so if you are happy for him to have it at night then don’t beat yourself up about when to give it up.

  3. Madeleine

    Z1 never took to a dummy, Z2 takes his thumb. A lot. He’s speaking fine and all that but people are beginning to remark on his thumb sucking now (though if people say “Does that thumb taste nice, can I have some?”, it’s classic watching their reaction when he says “Um, yes” and offers them a suck of his glistening thumb!). I sucked mine ’til I was 6 and gave up cold turkey so I figure he can do it then…and when he’s busy running about he won’t have time anyway. He also twiddles his hair and it’s very adorable.

  4. Jen

    Hubby took our eldest’s dummy away aged 2. He cried briefly each time he had a new situation where he expected it, but went cold turkey. He also completely refused to nap without it. It was horrific.
    Little un is almost 3. I told him Santa would take it, but leave lots of toys instead. He seems quite happy with the idea- but only time will tell…
    Good luck with your little monkey!

  5. (Mostly) Yummy Mummy

    I was never keen on mine having one either but my third baby really needed one for comfort. I was literally feeding on the hour around the clock and she was using me for comfort not just food. I think I would have gone insane without it to be honest! I think it just goes to show you how different all babies are too and some really do need this little comfort. Honey was three when we got rid of hers and we went completely cold turkey. She left the dummies out for the fairies (!) and they left her a toy as a thank you. I was dreading it but I realised that I relied on it as much as she did. As it happens, it was painless. Being that bit older she understood and she was fine with it. I must add as well that she didn’t have any teeth or speech problems despite the fact that a dummy barely left her mouth for three years. We used to call her Maggie Simpson 😉
    Good luck anyway whatever you decide x

  6. eviesgran

    I was terribly against giving a dummy to my first. At 5weeks old I relented. The difference it made was amazing. I could feed, burp, change and put down and with a dummy it didn’t take hours as it had done previously. For my second baby I had one ready straight away when he was born.
    Removing was painless too. At 1yr old the dummy was for sleep times only. At 2 the eldest lost it under the bed,”We’ll find it tomorrow” I said… and we never found it again! The youngest had a sore tongue after taking antibiotics (He was 2) and spit it out and that was the end of that.
    I think I was lucky. This was all 30+ years ago but the same problems happened then too!

  7. Karen Morland

    This post has been so helpful to me, my LO was 2 in September and is a dummy addict! At first I said its going at 1 then I said we would give it to the Easter Bunny, then I said she would give it up at 2 and give it to her new baby cousin, again that never happened and I’ve said she is giving it to Santa and now everyone keeps reminding that Christmas is two weeks away and I’m not sure if either of us are ready and not sure what I want to do!!! It s nice to hear that some mums left it a bit longer and still had no issues! She has absolutely no speech problems, infact she can talk for England! I will be so interested to see what you decide to do as well, it’s so hard to know what to do for the best isn’t it?! X x x

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