Aimee Horton

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.


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