What Pisses Me Off: Dummies

What pisses me off? Parents who use dummies! A family friend of mine has a grandchild who still has a

What pisses me off? Parents who use dummies! A family friend of mine has a grandchild who still has a dummy and they are 4 years old. It says to me that you do not want your child to be heard. If that’s so, why did you have them? You are pacifying your child in every sense of the word and they’re 4 for God’s sake! Stop babying them.

I frankly think it’s sheer laziness when I see parents shoving a dummy into a child’s mouth. They can’t be bothered parenting or asking them what’s wrong so they just plug them up! I was at the shops recently and a lady’s two children had dummies and were walking alongside her, pulling them out every few minutes to say something. If your child can freely remove their dummy from their own mouth, don’t you think it’s time to get rid of it? Dummies build dependence and even my friend’s grandchild has trouble sleeping without it and cries when she isn’t given it.

It just pains me to see parents pop a dummy in to calm a child down instead of assessing the kid’s needs. It’s not a magic product that is supposed to be your go-to at every sign of trouble and annoyance. I had a look around for some facts to support my view against dummies and EssentialBaby.com.au says, “When used past the age of 12 months, dummies have been linked to speech problems in some children who may not have enough opportunity to babble and enunciate when younger and who talk with their dummies in their mouth as they get older”. Dummies have also been linked to dental problems such as overbites and cross bites when used until a child is 3 or 4.

When my children were growing up, I found other ways to ‘pacify’ them. I would nurse them in my arms or simply just talk to them, even if they were a baby. I didn’t want my kids to have to be plugged with a plastic nipple, telling them to shut up so I could do something else. I was a parent – I’d sit awake nursing them or calming. I get wildly annoyed when I see the carelessness out there. Babies are not toys, they are humans and they have every right to cry and whinge, just as you do. Maybe teach them how to behave properly and they will!

What do you think? Do dummies piss you off? Should parents take more responsibility instead of resorting to a dummy? Or is it perfectly okay? Tell us below.

  1. Ok for the first few months but after that yucky none of my a kids or three grandkids had dummies or pacifiers as they now called

    • Marilyn budden  

      Couldn’t agree more. Dummies are the most disgusting things.
      If a child was meant to have a dummy they would be born with them. Children only get used to them cause the parents keep shoving them in their mouths.
      I am a preschool teacher and when the opportunity arises I tell the parents they are disgusting and breed germs you wouldn’t believe.

  2. I do not at all. My son was born with sucking blisters on his wrists where he was sucking them in the womb. For the next 24 hours he sucked blisters into the sides of his mouth until we gave him a dummy. At the age of 17 months he literally gave it away to workmen in our yard & never asked for it back once.

    • Maggie Sedgman  

      Most can be encouraged to throw it away or give it away while still under 2. Some do need it for a while from birth. Some never need it. Sucking thumb can make teeth protrude too. It must be nice to be perfect as “guest contributor” seems to think she is.

  3. I think the dummy has a place. If used only occasionally and only in the early months so that no dependency is built in,then I don’t see the harm. Most kids will spit them out and don’t like them,But I do pity the poor kids who are permanently plugged in when they are already toddlers,and who have a melt down if it’s taken from them.That’s far too late and the parents are not succeeding in the goal of bringing up an independent little being.

  4. Only one of my three had a dummy, it was started in the hospital to keep him calm while he was being treated for jaundice. He threw it away sometime around his first birthday. When I had my first child my doctor was a mother of five, her opinion was don’t give your child a dummy. She treated babies and toddlers too often who had contracted gastroenteritis from their dummy. Once you can no longer keep it clean as your child can take it out and is mobile it’s time to bin them. The best idea is don’t start them with one if you can avoid it. I agree with the writer I don’t like seeing toddlers with them.

    • I have to agree. If there is a medical condition that sucking on a dummy will help, then that’s fine. Seeing children over 3 with a gob stopper plugged into their mouth is sickening. So many times I have seen a toddler throw their dummy on the floor, only to have mother pick it up and stick it right back in their mouth. Yuk. This also hinders their speech development.

  5. My youngest a premmie was given a dummy in hospital when he was being tube fed so he would associate sucking and a full tummy together ..then when he was being fed by a central line to keep up his ducking reflex …Once he was able to go back to normal breastfeeding on demand he’d have none of the dummy

  6. Not the place of Nannies to tell new mothers what is right or wrong. Just love and support….

    • Airlie Whiteford  

      I agree. But some babies do need a dummy maybe instead of sucking their thumb! My 1st son had a dummy for a year or so, my next son sucked his thumb and my daughter didn’t suck her thumb or a dummy. Sometimes a dummy helps comfort them but there is a time when the dummy should be binned!

  7. It is facinating to me, writer, that you, imho, get ‘pissed off’ about what other people do. Here is my recommendation: live and let live. Find something that will uplift you rather than spending time criticising others’ way of living. Dummies have their place as pacifiers. You do your thing and don’t concern yourself about what others are doing. Cheers to you.

    • My daughter has a dummy. Sometimes I dipped it in honey! She has perfect teeth with no cavities and she’s 44 now.

    • She also was premmie and was given a dummy in hospital. By the time she came home she could put the dummy in her mouth by herself.

    • You can tell who used dummies and who didn’t by peoples responses…….and some even like to spit their dummy out just because someone shared their opinion Merran Heather Brown …. cheers to you 🙂

    • Mary: my siblings and I did not use dummies and neither did my husband nor our children. I gave one to my son but he just did not want it. But I reckon people shld make their own choices….don’t you Mary? 😉

    • Julie Wall  

      Well said Merran. I don’t like dummies and I cringe when I see kids putting them in their mouth or having them put in even after they have been dropped on the ground, but it doesn’t do any good to interfere. If I saw that in my immediate family I would comment, but I hope they would understand that it was out of love and concern. My children didn’t have one and neither did my grandchildren.

    • With my first I had those dummies lined up next to the cot for when she lost one – I worked and needed some sleep at night. She was off them by about 6 months I think. The next two didn’t want a dummy. The idea is if they are walking wait until Easter or Christmas and tell them that the Easter bunny or Santa is collecting them. Has worked with friends of mine.

    • Sandy Ludinski  

      So well said, Merran. Being judgmental doesn’t help anyone and everyone’s experience with babies is different, being supportive is the way to go!

    • I think dummies have their place but I think they should be off them before 1 yr old. Also with reference to their teeth I worked for dentist and he said that a dummy was better than a thumb as the thumb was inclined to force the teeth to grow and caused bucked teeth

  8. None of mine were interested….had them there if they wanted…glad they didn’t as I always worried about hygiene….

    • June deRon  

      I agree. Some children suck their thumb. At least you can take a dummy away.

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