Dummy Wars

On another of my prowlings around various internet forums, I stumbled upon yet another mummy battle.  The battle of the  Demon Dummy/soother. I must point out that I am not anti soother at all, my eldest used one because her reflux was so bad and our baby was very sucky so I used to offer one to her, she was never interested though.  A question was asked anonymously through the forum host about what the best age to wean a baby off a soother.  As you can imagine the answers came flooding in.

They ranged from people recounting their own experiences with what they did with their children and how they weaned them off, to the righteous mothers  (not related to the Unchained Melody singing duo), condemning this little plastic device as the work of Satan and any mother who gave one to their children should be burned at the stake.

I of course got sucked into reading every single reply and once again was amazed at the responses of some of these women – women who are mothers.  After I filtered out the text speak answers – I just cannot bring myself to try to decipher these abbreviations and lazy dropping of letters willy nilly.  People had responded with things like “don’t give them one to begin with”   eeeeem, correct me if I’m wrong, but the poster was asking for advice about weaning off a soother, so it’s a little too late for that advice.

Another “helpful” respondent stated “my baby never ever had one and never sucked her thumb or used a comforter, my hugs were enough”…oh bore off, why did you even bother typing that clap trap and just how useful to the poster was that!  Who is she trying to convince that she is wonder mum, us the readers, or herself!

Loads more of these I’m bloody brilliant type of answers followed that, which then opened up a barrage of defensive posts by mothers justifying their soother use.  What for, why should you have to defend your decision about something as trivial as this.  Why and how dare other people make you feel as though you are some terrible mother, because you chose to offer your baby a form of comfort, or try to prevent them sucking their thumb.

Why in 2012 is dummy/soother a dirty word in mothers circles.  This is further emphasised by the fact that the poster felt she had to ask the question anonymously and was “afraid” to put her name to the post.

The use or non use of such a device is entirely a personal choice and I don’t think anyone should be made to feel inadequate if they resort to artificial method of comfort and soothing. The whole thing descended into chaos, if it had been in real life, I’m pretty sure there would have been hair pulling!

I thought motherhood was meant to be a joyous time in your life, a journey into the unknown with these tiny people.  Trying to help them grow into well-rounded adults.  There was nothing joyous or well-rounded about this debate and I was left amazed at how riled up some of these people got.  As well as thinking, well that’s 30mins of my life I’ll never get back!

It’s a piece of plastic, not a nuclear warhead.  Society will not fall apart because a baby has a dummy.  It may however, fall apart if we as mothers continue to constantly go to war with one another, over such niff naff.  When are we going to realise that women really are remarkable creatures, we are nurturing, thoughtful, determined, organised, we can multi task, we can bring life into the world.  We do have the ability to change the world for the better, but only as a supportive, collective force, not as screaming fish wives!

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5 thoughts on “Dummy Wars

  1. I didn’t use a dummy with Little A – but I wished I did in some respects – its might have helped her sleep better and stop the constant comforting on my boobs (I breastfed for two years)!

  2. I have to say, i get reeeeeeeeally annoyed when people pass judgement on others. My first child had horrendous colic and screamed for 7 months but refused to take a dummy. My second, I had no hesitation. He is 20 months and only has it for sleep. At some point in the next 6 months i will wean him off it completely. I think dummy’s can be life savers, giving mums and dads a much needed break from crying babies. If people want to use them, then that’s fine. If you really don’t, then great, but keep your opinions to yourself. Great post!

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  4. Excellent post! It’s incredibly sad when mums prey on “the weak”. By admitting your little ones use a dummy, watch TV, eat chocolate or that you’re rubbish at baking, or sewing you’re opening yourself up to a maelstrom of other mums affirming their amazing mummy skills by attacking your choices when in fact all you need is someone to tell it’s OK. Tis very sad. My little dude is 3 years old and still has a dummy at night, I don’t worry as he seems to be weaning himself from it gradually, but even if he wasn’t it wouldn’t be the end of the world – when I started infant school I used to sneak a dummy in my pocket and when no one was looking, I’d have a quick fix on it like a crazy child! And I turned out alright, oh… hang on… *narrows eyes*

  5. My oldest daughter had a dummy. She had colic and it was the only way to sooth her. She ended up totally relying on it to fall asleep. I remember walking down the road with her in the buggy sucking her dummy when she was tiny. I bumped into someone who I knew was an anti-dummy, anti-buggy attachment parenting type. I went into a fluster and started gabbling on about why she had a dummy and justifying myself instead of being proud of my beautiful new baby as I should have been. Silly, she hadn’t even said anything. I just assumed she would have a judgement on it.

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