Wednesday, April 30, 2014


During th darkest of times - my baby writhing with colic between the 6pm and midnight - or while he screams when he has wind (he is one windy little boy), or when his reflux is particularly bad (projectile vomiting, like into my face the other night, and it was dark so I did NOT see it coming) - we have somehow - somehow - battles through it without any help.

'Help' bring something we can put into his mouth.

Dummies are taboo these days. In my area (Clapham is filled with perfect little yummy mummies who have Mulberry changing bags and drive Range River Evoques. Their houses are painted in Farrow & Ball and when they aren't at their yogalates class, they're shopping at JoJo Maman Bebe for Breton striped cardigans for their newborns.)

Anyway. Where was I. Ah. Dummies.
There seems to be a stigma similar to that of formula-fed children.

You want controversy? I'll give you controversy. Dummies and formula. Fuck politics and global warming. Those two items take up terabytes of space on internet forums.

Dummies. They're habit forming. Look shit. Unhygienic. The kid will need orthodontic treatment for its gnashers. Etc.

I vowed never to use one. Until 7:04pm last night when I just couldn't take it anymore.

We have one in the back of our kitchen cupboard. And while Sebastian is easily settled in the morning, come afternoon and evening it's impossible to get him to sleep.

And so, with guilt and pangs of regret and feeling like I failed as a mother already, I pulled out the dummy and wedged it into his howling little mouth.

Felt like I was giving my child heroin.

Instant. But instant relief. For him, me, the Brit and my mother.

Now that we have done it once, it is so easy to do it again. See? Drugs. Oh my God.

I texted my antenatal girls (many of whom who fit the description above, but are equally lovely) - and turns out, all of them use dummies too.

Ah. Everyone's dirty little Secret then. Maybe more people use them than I release behind closed doors as desperate attempts, like me, to get my child to stop crying and sleep.

But it is still taking over all my (limited) brain space. Have I done the right thing? Will he become addicted to it? Or rely on it solely to sleep?,Should I have just persevered more?

Gah. I just don't know.


Leigh said...

Aaaah, dummies - one of the many 'secrets' you'll discover that people claim not to do, but actually do 'do' as you continue on your journey. Don't be so hard on yourself. What's good for you is ultimately good for baby! Happy mother = happy baby. Besides, have you ever seen a 25yr old walking around sucking a dummy?!?

Leigh said...

Actually yes, I have seen a 25yr old walking around sucking a dummy - but I'm not talking about ravers back in the 90's / early 2000's :)

cestlavietlb said...

I think like many things Baby, people blow the problems out of all proportion. Show me one kid in school who still needs a dummy. Yeah, thought not.
Whatever works and keeps one sane is the way to go!

Val said...

My hat off to you for holding out so long!!! Nothing to worry about. My little granddaughter reminds me of Maggie Simpson! Her brother on the other hand was more prone to colic and gave it up without any woes before he turned 1. Both my kids had one - it is not a big deal. Relax and enjoy the quiet it brings. :)

Melissa Muller said...

The way I see it - babies have a need to suck - that's why the dummy works so well. The sucking of the dummy actually helps the digestive system to work - which is why it helps with wind as well. If it makes your baby happy then it can't be that awful - besides which, these days the dummies are so well designed that the tooth thing isn't such a big deal anymore - the decent ones are all orthodontist approved. I also find it quite sad that we are made to feel guilty for giving our babies something which so obviously helps them to be happier babies - and something which doesn't affect their health long-term as far as I've ever heard. But good luck and hope the colic ends soon!

Lauren said...

Absolutely NOTHING wrong with using a dummy. Both my kids used dummies and gave them up at 3. No dental problems at all. And remember - whatever works - don't ever worry about what other people think or say, just do what is right for you. Good luck (and enjoy the dummy!)

Secret said...

He will, like most things, grow out of it - and, really, it doesnt matter if he loves it. Just like its not a big teeth if he gets teeth late or walks later than the other kids his age. It will come with time and in 5 years time, none of it will matter anyway because you will have a basket full of new experiences to deal with. :)

Secret said...

**big deal, not big teeth. haha.

Unknown said...

I went through the same angst. But my paediatrician said that up until four months, the dummy is not habit-forming - so you have a gap. After that, it's hard to take it away. But we travel a lot and my little girl would happily suck on her dummy, apparently naturally decompressing her ears while other little sprogs on board screamed their lungs out because of ear pain. So there's a bonus!

MeeA said...

Ah, Peas. Fuck the haters!
If it's making your lives easier and your baby continues to grow and you're all happier, use the damned dummy!
Habits can be broken and orthodontic issues can be fixed with braces later on.
You've found a solution to a potentially devastating problem (many a new mom and baby have suffered horribly from anxiety and depression due to colic and the resulting feelings of desperation inadequacy); You've found something that works for you. You're a fucking rock star!

Louise said...

I agree with MeeA. Fuck 'em. Come to Cape Town where every single babe I know has a dummy except for the ones that refuse to take them.

PS. my dad is a paed and he reckons dummy for the win especially if you have a sucky baby. Oliver took a dummy from day 1 and he's a happier baby for it.

PPS. Orthodontic issues from dummies have not been proven. The proven cause of orthodontic issues is sucking your thumb which comes from .......wait for it..... not allowing your child a dummy!

Peas on Toast said...

Thank you all for each and every one of your comments here - been glued to your responses!

Its helped me to feel like I'm doing mostly the right thing. Although Seb often spits it out, so it looks like he isn't that keen on it anyway :( Gah!

Sally said...

I have three boys - 13; 15 and 18 ... all had dummies, all turned out perfectly well both psychologically and orthodontically so please don't stress so much! All three slept in our bed at one point or another, all three took ages to give up their juice cups and be potty trained ... so many people made me feel like they might all turn out to be serial killers .. and they're not, not at all, they're amazing, intelligent, loving, awesome boys and I'm overwhelmingly proud of them all. Do what works for you, don't sweat the small stuff.

Terri said...

Just to add to the chorus- go dummies, go! My son gave his up at 3 and my daughter will hopefully too. It's a really useful tool, especially for us with niggly ones. When he's a bit bigger, especially when he starts speaking, try to keep the dummy for sleep time only. xx

PS. Old reader here (in Durbs, SA) who hasn't visited your blog for ages. So much has happened. I'm sorry about Molly :( But I'm thrilled for you to be on this wild and wonderful journey of parenthood and wish you and the Brit all the best! Looking forward to keeping up with the adventure via your blog which I'm so glad to have found again. Terri