Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The dummy: should it stay or should it go???

Annie-Rose is pretty attached to her dummy (we call it Tum)
we are trying to just keep it by the bed for nights

But sometimes it sneaks out!!
Dummy's are really frowned upon here in New Zealand
especially by the hospital, but I do think there is a place for them
with some children, some time.

It's been a stressful year, Annie still hears a noise and thinks its a "wobble"
8000+ after shocks does that, and to be fair sometimes the ground/house still wobbles
Somehow I'm reluctant to make her let go of something which gives her such comfort.

And then there's the fact that this child has been sick so often,
so often, so so often, sigh.
It's always helpful to have Tum and Beckett (the panda) when she is sick.
And I remember when Reuben got rid of his, he stopped loving his teddy as well,
it was sad he lost both his comforts in one go, apparently one wasn't the same
without the other one.

So although I think Tum should go, we are just trying to keep it in bed
and see how that goes.

I'm sure she won't have it when she's 16,
and I might know someone who still used to suck their thumb at 16 (not me)

What's your opinion on this??
I value constructive comments!


  1. We got rid of Philosophers when he was 2yrs 6 months - it was hideous awful to say the least! He SHORT TERM gave us day time sleeps and took FOREVER to go to bed at night - BUT it only took 4 nights and we were done and life returned back to normal.
    It was ALL Mr B's idea I did not want to rush/force the issue. Mr B got him to put it in the rubbish bin because it was dirty. He understood. Like his smelly rag his dummy was only ever for home and for bed time.
    Whatever, whenever you choose to do . . . lots of love xxx I had a woman say in a VERY loud voice in front of me once "dummies are for dummies" that was my first encounter of Mummy bullies ;'(

  2. Oops, think I just lost my first comment.
    My eldest was the only one of ours to take a dummy and we 'traumatically' took it off her when she turned 3. i wonder now why were so adamant when she wasn't ready to give it up (pressure from family, friends I think).
    My youngest two would never take one - I tried in vain.
    I would say she is still very young Deb and has had a traumatic year. If it is a comfort to her (and you too if it keeps her happy) its not the worst attachment she could have.
    No matter what we do as parents, someone will have an opinion about it.

  3. My first and third were thumb suckers as some fathers persist in putting sweet things on dummies and then the child spits it when it's not sweet! #1 stopped sucking her thumb about 2 or 3 but only because I painted her thumb with something disgusting as I was afraid she'd ruin her bite and have crooked teeth. #1 still sucks her thumb when she's tired and she's 12 so if the dummy soothes let her have it until she gives it up as at least you can eventually take it off her which you can't do with thumbs :(.

  4. If it is giving her comfort at this time, I would let her keep it, no harm.

    A friend of mine had the dummy fairy visit her house to take the dummy and in its place left a new doll which I thought was a very sweet idea. But her girl was a lot older than your wee one, she did that just before she started school.

  5. Goodness imagine sucking your thumb until you were 16. Sheesh.

    Obviously I'm not a mother so what do I know, but I DID see something that said that use of dummies was associated with ear infections, chest infections and tummy bugs. Might be nothing but could be worth looking into.

  6. Let her have it. There is all the time in the world for her to give it up.

    In the meantime talk to her about what gives you comfort and relieves stress.

  7. Leave it for now. Annie is still little, just try to restrict it to use at home, tired times and bed times if possible (and sick times too, though I can only hope you have less of those). She's just a gorgeous girl who needs her comforter :-)

    PS, thanks for the lovely commments on my blog, doesn't it seem sad that in trying to do a good thing for our house it ended up traumatic and almost as damaging to it as chch quake? Oh well, we were on the right track. Now that's over I'm going to plan us a holiday in chch at Easter. We loved it last time (before the quakes).

  8. Both my girls had dummies and man did they love them. When the first child was older, about two, she could have it at night and when she had her afternoon nap. I did see her going into the bedroom for a quick suck during the day. I thought that was really funny. The closet dummy sucker. :)
    The younger daughter was still sucking hers furiously at three and she still had a bottle of milk at night to go to bed, she loved her comforts. She had to decide whether to give up the dummy or the bottle, one had to go. She decided on a bottle, so bye bye to the dummy. We had told her once she started three year old kinder (when she was 3 1/2) she couldn't have a bottle as she would be a big girl. She accepted this but reluctantly.
    My girls did not have the trauma of living through earth tremors, so I would be reluctant to suggest to you what to do. Also if she is sick frequently, I would be leaving it a little longer for both you and your daughters sake.
    When the time is right for your little one, perhaps buy her a much wanted toy to replace her dummy. Everyone should be rewarded for their efforts, even little people. Good luck.
    Anne xx

  9. I dont have kids Deb, but I say it has to go!! Or at least keep it as comforter when she is really sick.

    I thought they were bad for the development of straight teeth, but I could be wrong.


    Have a great weekend with or without Tum!

  10. My eldest had a dummy until she was about 16 months old and then I just threw them all in the bin (no chance to backtrack then!). She never had it at night time so it wasn't too much of a wrench. My youngest is eight and still sucking her thumb (but she has restricted use of it herself). I suppose they will all let go of their comforters in their own time, we just need to make the odd subtle remark to nudge them along. BTW, I had a dummy until I started school and then my Mum suggested I was too old for it. I agreed with her! Having said all of this, with all your little one has been trhough over the past year, I would be reluctant to force her to give up something that gives her so much comfort. And she looks so sweet with it! xx

  11. I've never heard of pacifiers being called a dummy. I learned something new!

    I say let her keep it and restrict it to only at bedtime.

    You are a good momma. =)

  12. None of my kids would ever take a dummy, and there were plenty of times I wished they would! I don't have any opinion as to when they should be gotten rid of, but I know at least one 5yo who still sleeps with his dummy - much more common in the US, I'm guessing, although 4 is more the upper limit that I've seen here. I do think dummies are better than thumb sucking, because I think the dummy is easier to outgrow.

    When you do decide to give up the dummy, I know families who've had success having the child send their dummmies off to poor little babies who don't have any - and when I visited my family in Sweden there were little baby kittens in the zoo that children were to give their dummies to - they had hundreds of dummies!!!

  13. My daughter used hers just in bed until she was probably about two and then we took all of them (she had a bunch b/c we kept losing them LOL) to the baby room at her school and she "gave" them to the babies. Of course the baby room teacher and I had talked beforehand so she knew I didn't expect her to really give them to the babies and would come back alone to get them back :) I think it really helped DD give it up without too much pain - she knew it was going to help other babies and she liked that.

  14. If that is what gives her comfort, sounds pretty harmless to me! Supposedly those (and thumb-sucking) ruin your teeth, however I am proof they don't necessarily. I sucked my thumb until way too late (only at night), and am the only one out of 4 kids who didn't have to get major teeth corrections with braces. Let her by happy, she's very likely to be done by ten or much earlier. =)

  15. Forgot to mention- my siblings never used a thumb. My sister did use a pacifier, and Mom stopped that by cutting all the nipples off..... they were pretty uninteresting to her after that. We didn't live through major earthquakes at that age, though, and weren't sick so often; I'd let her be secure. Or you could always choose to make everyone else happy, and end up with an unhappy kid. Good luck.

  16. Well, I tell friends that worry about this kind of thing that children will eventually let it go on their own. Some gentle conversation and little reminders now and then somehow come together to help them make the transition. I have 4 grown children and know that these things work themselves out. All of us have go to things that we need for comfort or relaxation. Mine is sewing. I would be so very sad if someone came along and decided that it was time for me to give that up. She'll be fine. Trust your own instincts. Your family is darling.

  17. There was an interesting article on National Radio recently, Kathryn Ryan talking to a speech therapist who said dummies can create speech development problems because children who use them are not imitating sounds and practising the beginnings of words. He suggested limiting it to bedtime. I also agree with Sharyn about connections with ear infections etc.

  18. I completely agree with your choice! "Tum" is a comfort to her and she needs that right now! I do think it is best to keep it for a sleepy time item (or if she is sick in bed). She will get over it all in good time!

  19. My Reuben used a dummy at night only, but it was still really tough getting him to stop. So at 3 1/2 and a month before isaac was born,we were able to do it. You see ot was approaching christmas and we told him that santa was expecting to find a big boy at our place. If santa came and found him asleep with a dummy, he'd think he had the wrong house and wouldn't leave any presents. Two days before christmas we had a ceremony trouble say goodbye to his dummy. We went outside, cut it up, and said goodbye. We knew that if it wasn't cut up, we would be expected to go and retrieve it and clean it only to be used again. Poor Reuben couldn't face cutting it up himself, so handed daddy the scissors and dummy. We never had any problems of him wanting it back - the rubbish truck had already taken it.

  20. we are a family of "dummy" users. My first and now last are in love with them...the one in the middle could care less. We call it Yum. I agree with you that she should be able to have it if it comforts her. When my oldest had hers i refused to take it away because Daddy was in Afghanistan at the time and i did not want to make it harder, for either of us. SHe finally sent them away when she was 3 and a half. No worries, they go away and she won't go to college with it.

  21. Forgot to mention that Reuben suffered from constant ear infections, however isaac who hasn't used a dummy has only had 1 ear infection despite his other medical issues.

  22. My oldest was very attached to her 'ditty' until over three years old. When we thought it was time for the ditty to go we tied it to her bed so if she wanted a nibble she had to go and do it in her bedroom. In the end she gave up very willingly at the suggestion of her aunty that she was getting too big for it. My second daughter sucks her thumb-so much easier as you never lose it or go somewhere without it! Won't be so easier to get rid of though...

  23. Only my first had one, and it disappeared while she was on allergy medication that made her sleepy. She never knew it was missing.

    I have a 3 1/2 year old thumb sucker. Trying to coach that it is only for bed.

    Never had to deal with all the trauma of "wobbles". That makes it a whole 'nother thing. Just let the Lord guide you.

  24. I let my kids give them up when they are ready.... Kinder (preschool) is usually the cut off, because big school kids don't have dummies... That seems good enough reasoning for them. I don't like taking away my kids comfort, it doesn't seem right, after all I am sure we still turn to a block of chocolate, or a glass of wine, or a good tv show or perhaps a bit of crafting if we need some comfort. Imagine if someone took your crafting away from you???

    My mum is always telling me off but that's how I feel. Idon't think a dummy is worth worrying about.

  25. She's still pretty young and I wouldn't worry about it right now, though I did wonder if there was a link to it and getting sick all the time? I've also noticed some kids who spend a lot of time with a dummy have very odd kind of slurred speech which can persist for a long time. But yeah, early days yet for you I'd say! Hazel was a thumb-sucker and I was pretty cool about it (it's kind of charming in a way that a dummy isn't) until she was 4 and the dental nurse said she was deforming her palate and pushing her teeth outwards with the pressure. Then it was the horrible thumb-painting stuff! At least with a dummy you can just take it away. I still feel a bit bad about taking away the sense of comfort she got from it, and she cried terribly when she realised what was happening, but I think there comes a time when the negatives outweigh the benefits and that was the point - she wasn't able to stop herself as she was totally unaware she even had the thumb in her mouth most of the time. Luckily her teeth came back into a normal bite very quickly after she stopped.

  26. i think there's a window of opportunity to get rid of a pacifier (& bottle) at around 12 months or so, otherwise, it's best to let it go until they are better able to understand.
    that said, i missed that window with my son (he's nearly 20 now). At about 2 or 3, the dentist was hassling me to take it away. We relagated it to only-in-the-carseat & @ night & he was okay with that. i had a feeling that if i took it away, he would switch to his thumb. i told him that when he lost his first tooth, it had to go. by then it was no big deal.
    by the way, he's quite a talker. and he's got a gorgeous smile & his bite is perfect.


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