Before you judge, there are reasons. Plenty actually for choosing a whole 2 & 1/2 months before the recommended age to give my daughter a dummy. My mum won’t agree, neither will my nan, my midwife or probably most of you, but now that I’ve given up breastfeeding after an agonising few days trying my absolute hardest to give Missy all the milk that she needs, the idea of the dummy came to mind after speaking to my aunt (who after a difficult few weeks with my cousin when he was a few weeks old did the same) , said no one can judge, it’s my decision entirely should I choose to give her one. And so, after a relatively calm evening on a new formula and trying to comfort Missy without lying her on my swollen engorged boobs, the dummy has proved super useful and, not only is she quiet and content, she’s currently closing her eyes and getting to sleep. Hallelujah!
I’ve always wanted to breastfeed, it was a ‘without a doubt’ moment when people asked if I would. Now there are some super nasty people out there who are quick to judge and poke their unwanted noses in when a new mother decides against breastfeeding. It’s your body and your decision, if someone else doesn’t like it, fuck ’em!
As mentioned in a previous post, breast is best, but I’ve had difficulty getting Missy to latch on. It’s not as easy as you think. So I’ve tried breast and formula. But Saturday was my day to call quits on the breastfeeding. I can’t describe that pain. Waking up in the morning to your boobs filling up with milk, then gradually throughout the day, every time little Missy sucks on my nipples (even with the nipple shields in place), it felt like someone was sawing off each breast for torture kicks. It bloody hurt. Hurt so much the only way I could deal was by crying. Crying as if the world was ending. After a lot of talks with my mum, my aunt and my friend, I decided to stop, with the promise I go in the morning to get formula milk that agreed with her, then come back and massage my boobs- the pain can’t get any worse, can it?!
With my aunt on the phone, after a comfortable calming feed on SMA Comfort milk, we were trying to think of other ways to help Missy’s constant need to suckle. This is where the idea for the dummy came in. A lot of people don’t agree with dummies. Especially at such a young age but there are plenty of benefits as to why parents do use them.
There are 2 types- latex and silicone. Latex dummies are softer and more flexible whereas with silicone they don’t last as long. Whilst I never had a dummy when I was a child and my mum and a few others disagree, when faced with a baby that constantly looks for my boobs to feed, this is a welcome distraction from that horrible baby shriek that fills the air when they’re uncomfortable and we as parents have no clue what’s wrong.
Parenting website Emma’s Diary says “It is thought that around two thirds of mothers used a dummy at some point. The NHS include dummy use in their guidelines as a possible way of preventing cot death (SIDS) saying: “It is possible that using a dummy at the start of any sleep period reduces the risk of cot death. However, the evidence is not robust and not all experts agree they should be promoted”.
The reasons behind this are that the bulky external handle of the dummy may help keep your baby’s nose and mouth clear of covers and soft bedding, and the sucking action may help improve the way your baby controls the upper airway. It is also possible that use of a dummy may affect the sleeping position of your baby in a positive way that helps to prevent SIDS or that using a dummy may keep baby in a state of greater arousal so they could be less likely to suffer from breathing or heart problems while asleep. Most parents start using dummies when their baby is 2-3 months old to soothe their baby or to help them get to sleep.”
Thankfully there’s no nipple confusion as I’m not breastfeeding and yes, it maybe a total pain in the backside trying, later to wean her off it but after each feed, when she’s being comforted, chilling out relaxing or sleeping, she constantly suckles with nothing there. I’d prefer her to be comfortable. Thankfully I had a dummy to hand thanks to one being sent with one of the Bounty packs and whilst she suckles and tries to get the hang of it, I have researched online what is the best for her at such a young age:
JoJo Maman Bebe | MAM start 0-2 month Starter Kit | £5.15
Tommee Tippee | Closer to Nature Soother Kit 0-6 months | £5.19
Philips Avent | Newborn 0-6 months | £4.85
Hevea | Soother Orthodontic teat | 0-3 months | £5.99
At the end of the day, it’s nobodies call but mine as to whether this is a good decision or not. I want what’s best for Emily and so far we’ve had no crying or horrible shrieks. She’s peaceful and content. She even sits sucking on her dummy watching the world go by. I’d rather see her like this with a little struggle the other end than constantly trying to find a way to soothe her knowing little can help. At the end of the day, mother knows best and in this instance, I’m sticking to my guns, if you don’t like it, direct your nose elsewhere.