The great dummy debate

I am open to admit that I have a dummy addict! Mr T loves his dummy as much as he loves his boobie milk, which again he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Mr T is 18 months old now and I’m feeling the pressure when out that he is being seen as too old from some people to have the plastic thing shoved in his gob.

Am I a lazy parent for still letting him have his dummy? Possibly on some level I am, but it provides him comfort when tired or teething and means that my ears get a break from him whingeing for five minuets then that’s fine with me. If you don’t like it then shove off, as I honestly don’t see the problem. Too many people seem to think that they can tell you what to do on parenting when we all know that one size does not fit all.

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My own mother hates dummies and I never had one as a child so instead I used to try to fit my fist in my mouth (I can still do it now, classy) and my teeth were ruined. In total I had four braces from ages 9 through to 14 and I still have one on the back of my teeth. I think I would prefer that my child has a dummy which van be taken away instead of a thumb, fingers or fist. Since Mr T has come along she has changed her stance on dummies.

For me in the baby days it gave me a chance to comfort my baby whilst out and about when I didn’t have the chance to feed my baby immediately. I know for many breastfeeding mums they have felt able to feed where ever and when ever, but for me I wanted to be sat somewhere comfortable and discreet to feed. That is purely a personal preference and I admire people who can feed openly.

Mr T was given his dummy a couple of days after being born just like his big sister. I was told by a midwife with Miss J that I may as well give up breastfeeding there and then for giving her a dummy before we were established breastfeeding, well she got to year breastfeeding so I believe that to be a load of old tosh. If it wasn’t for the dummy and me getting a break from comfort sucking I wouldn’t have probably carried on past a couple of weeks so for me it was my saviour.

Mr T become very attached to his affectionately called ‘doo-doo’ soon after birth, as with his reflux the suckling eased the pain for him. Now he’s talking more I am making a conscious effort to take it away from him so it doesn’t hinder him in any way, but at bed time the dummy comes out plus a spare for his hand and he happily sleeps a full twelve hours for me, every night.

The time will come when we have to say goodbye to his dummy, but whilst he naps in the day happily we won’t be parting ways anytime soon. I had made the promise with myself that when Miss J stopped her daytime naps we would say goodbye to her dummy and at 3 years and 2 weeks old it happened and she accepted it well. We said goodbye to them and chucked them away and she happily become a ‘big girl’. I think Mr T might be a little harder to get off the dummy when the time comes, but as it stands now he is happy which makes me happy.

 

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Supporting mothers from mothers 

Why do strangers seem to want to give me their opinion on parenting when you never asked. Today whilst shopping in Boots and picking up some dummy clips to stop Tristan from launching them out his pushchair the lady serving told me I needed to break thay habbit soon as he’s too big for a dummy. Mr T is 17 months old and when hes tired or teething i am more than happy to let him have a dummy and until he stops napping in the day i will make no plans to take it away just like i did with my daughter. I’m sure the comment didnt come from a nasty place, but I get so fed up of always feeling judged and being made to feel I need to justify my parenting choices when my children are happy and healthy. Miss J happily had her dummy until she was three years old until she stopped napping in the day. I didnt want to risk her dropping her nap in the day for my own selfish needs because I was heavily pregnant with SPD and that hour rest is what kept me going through the day.

Mr T is STILL breastfeeding at 17 months old, whilst showing no signs of stopping and i have felt I’ve had to justify this for many reasons as surely as ive gone this far I will probably have to move into his halls at university so he can have his ‘bitty’. It was my intention to feed until 12 months, but when I went back to work he adjusted so well to just feeding morning and night I’ve carried on. The world health organisations recommends breastfeeding until 2 years and if Mr T wants to then I’m fine with that. Am I selfish for wanting to go this far? Possibly i am, as when my baby wakes first thing in the morning I get an extra ten minutes cuddle time and at night or when he’s teething I can comfort him in a minute. It works for us and thats all I care about.

Parenting choices are personal and have reason. Whether you co-sleep, formula feed, or cry it out, who has the right to tell you that it’s wrong? No one should feel that they have the right to undermine a mothers role with critical opinions. We all need to support each other and respect other peoples choices. Parenting is hard so let’s try and do what we can to make it easier for everyone.

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