| Sleep Advice |

To use a dummy or not...

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Sometimes the dummy talk can become really controversial. I truly believe it’s parent choice as to whether you introduce one and when and how you wean the child from the dummy.

I am a big dummy fan. Both my children have taken dummies and they were a life saver. Cristian suffered from reflux so the sucking action was really soothing for him. To begin with I was feeding to settle as I followed the rule of waiting to introduce the dummy. By about five weeks I caved and it was a saviour. You could see his whole body relax when he was given the dummy. By the age of 18 months he only used it for sleep or when he was quite sick. Then at the age of three, Cristian gave his dummy to the Easter Bunny and never looked back again.

Sofia just hated sleep. And because the dummy was so successful for Cristian, I chose to introduce the dummy from very early on. With a non sleeper this just gave me some moments of peace. Now at the age of just over two, she still has her dummy. We usually only give it to her for sleep but I will say she is more addicted to it than Cristian was. She will sneak to her room and steal a dummy any time she can. And she definitely asks for it a lot more. Like when she’s been told off, when I’m trying to do her hair or when her baby has one too. I’m prepared for the fact that getting rid of her dummy will be a lot tougher. I’m not ready for that yet and neither is she.

One rule that I think is most important is to never use the dummy to try and settle a hungry baby. If a baby is hungry, they need to be fed!

My biggest reason to introduce a dummy was that it is something I could control and take away, fingers, on the other hand, are there for the child to use anytime they choose and much harder to take away. However, there are babies (my little cousin was one) who will refuse a dummy and want their fingers or thumb no matter what you do.

Melbourne VIC Australia

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