When is it time to dump the dummy for good?

Will your child really still be sucking a dummy at high-school? No. So stop worrying.

It’s up there on the list of ‘things I won’t do‘ when I’m a parent: Use a dummy.

Lots of parents, and parents-to-be, feel strongly about the use of dummies. They don’t like the way they look. They don’t like what they represent – what, peace and quiet? – and worry about studies they’ve heard of about mouth shape and teeth development.

Oh no, not my child. We won’t need a dummy.

But show us a parent who swears off things before their baby is born, and we’ll show you a parent who, six weeks  in, decides they can’t live another day with THAT NOISE, and WHAT’S WRONG WITH HER, SHE’S NOT HUNGRY, and SERIOUSLY, I JUST NEED FIVE MINUTES TO EAT THIS SANDWICH. And here comes the dummy.

It’s one of those ‘issues’ of parenthood that shouldn’t be an issue at all. Whatever gets you through the night, right? Plenty of well-adjusted, dentally-pleasing children had dummies.

They’re fine. It’s fine. Who cares?

Well, parents stress out about ‘issues’ like this because they want to avoid the kind of judgement that appeared in this News Limited column yesterday, from Soraiya Fuda, mother of a 10-month-old dummy-sucking baby, who wrote this:

I can’t help but think back to a recent occasion I was at my local shopping centre when I saw a 30-year-old mum with her child wearing a school uniform, yes, sucking a dummy.

If that wasn’t bad enough, she was also cuddling a teddy.

Her mother looked at me as if I was charmed by her young girl but I was rather baffled to why some parents find it difficult to put their foot down and use that ‘horrible’ word, ‘no’.

You don't see this around very often. So let's relax.

Thanks. So helpful. We all start out not wanting to be the parent judged in the shopping centre, but inevitably, we all become that person at least a couple of times in our lives. And we have no idea whatsoever why that little girl still feels she needs her dummy. So let's relax.

The only trouble with dummies comes when you're trying to get your child to leave theirs  behind and they're hanging on for dear life.

Here's where parents get clever. There are parents who have tied balloons to all the dummies in the house, so they can all fly away. There are parents who packaged them up and sent them off to the dummy fairy. There are many, many parents who have relied on the age-old parent tactics of bribery and corruption to ween their kids off their little plastic "binky".

The point is, it always happens eventually. I never see any high-school kids walking around sucking on Thomas The Tank Engine pacifiers.

How old was your child when you weened them off their dummy? And do you have any amazing tips for getting them to give it up?

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