To pacify or not to pacify, that is the question!
I’ve always been dead set against dummies. They’re horrible dirty things covered in baby spit and germs. While pregnant, whenever anyone asked me if I intended to use them, I’d shudder and say “No Way!” while visions of a mother picking a dummy up off the floor and popping it in their own mouth to clean it swam through my head making me feel a little queezy. Just the thought of it was vile as far as I was concerned.
I didn’t even want one in the house, so when my partner suggested we get some “Just in case” I said an emphatic no. But one slipped by my defenses… Hidden at the bottom of my Tommee Tippee starter kit was one lonely closer to nature dummy. I knew I wouldn’t use it but I hate to throw things out so I let it stay there, hidden and forgotten.
Fast forward a couple of months and my beautiful daughter had entered the world and was busy attempting to kill me with lack of sleep. How could something so small and adorable make so much noise and why wouldn’t she settle? I’d tried everything and it just didn’t make sense.
After the first night with no sleep my partner suggested that we try the dummy, just to see if it comforted her, but I was resolute. I would not have a dummy sucking child! By the second sleepless night I was starting to soften my resolve. I started to research the effect of dummies and was somewhat mollified by reports that dummies were thought to reduce the risk of SIDs and that thumb sucking is far more damaging to baby’s teeth. Modern dummies also no longer seemed to be the revolting cheap yellow latex of my childhood, now they were ergonomic, easy to clean soft silicone.
By the third night I’m sure I was starting to hallucinate, so when my partner again asked “shall we just try it” I was willing to give anything a go and conceded that, just for tonight, we would try, but I didn’t want my baby wandering around with a dummy hanging out of her mouth for the next 3 years.
I half hoped that my adorable little baby would spit the dummy out and scream the house down, but instead the moment the dummy went in she settled and slept blissfully for a couple of hours. It was such a relief and she looked so peaceful.
For the next few days I tried to resist the lure of the dummy but it quickly became apparent that whatever scruples I had, my baby disagreed. The dummy seemed to comfort and relax her and to my surprise It wasn’t a disgusting dirt and spit covered germ factory. I even started to think that the little ring bouncing up and down as she sucked on it was cute, like a bunny nose twitching every now and then. Even so, I was determined that she would only use it while she got over this initial fussy phase, but I thought I should get some more, just in case she got upset when I took the one she had away for sterilising.
Fast forward three months and my opinion of dummies has changed completely. For starters, they’re a lot more sanitary than the dirty mitts and random toys that my little darling insists on covering with a fine sheen of saliva. They help to calm her when she’s upset, distract her when she’s hungry and comfort her when she’s going to sleep. They’re like a little magic charm that can turn a screaming baby into a content one in seconds! I’ve even found myself videoing her dummy wobbling in her mouth as she sleeps, because it’s just that adorable.