David and Victoria Beckham get judged on their parenting. Hard.

Prepare yourselves because the experts are at it again.

David and Victoria Beckham have been warned that their daughter four-year-old Harper may develop a speech impediment for, gasp, letting her use a dummy.

The Daily Mail reports that parenting expert Clare Byam-Cook, a former midwife, said, “I can’t believe she is still using a dummy. If she has a dummy in their mouth at this age, at four, it really can damage her teeth and it is very likely to hinder speech development.”

Byam-Cook went on to add that a dummy at this age would make Harper much less likely to speak and that dentists would agree that four is much too old to still be using a dummy. Byam-Cook believes that babies should not need the comfort of a dummy for longer than three months.

She went on to suggest that the Beckhams allowing Harper to continue using the dummy could be a result of 'last child syndrome'. "Because she is the youngest David and Victoria could be clinging on to her being a baby," Byam-Cook suggested.

Previously, The Motherish writer Shauna Anderson wrote a defence of Victoria Beckham for this very same issue. You can read her article here...

I never thought I would defend Victoria Beckham.

To me she’s still Posh Spice with the catsuits and the pony-tail.

I was always slightly envious of her sophistication.

It was the fact that I was forced to be Baby Spice at those early 1990’s dress up parties. You know, the short, cute one with bunches while my more elongated, elegant friends got to be Posh.

Over the years my envy turned a little bit bitter, so I was always happy to scoff at her in a slightly disengaged manner.

But on this issue, I am firmly in the camp of Vicky.

You think the person judging your parenting style is a stranger. But it is someone much much closer.

David and Harper.

I mean which Wannabe is slagging off this Mama. It’s Too Much. I say Stop.

Spice Girl jokes aside the issue at hand is the fact that the Beckham's three-year-old daughter has been photographed by the paparazzi with (shock, horror, faux outrage) a dummy.

She was being carried by her mum leaving a shop in LA sucking on a pink dummy.

Cue the outrage.

Cue the headlines.

Line up the experts.


It has culminated in a “pregnancy expert” Clare Byam-Cook telling The Daily Mail that, "Mrs Beckham was putting her daughter’s wellbeing at risk".

“Most people agree that prolonged use of the dummy can damage the teeth, by pushing them forwards and getting them misaligned,” she said.

“It can also affect speech development, because so many mothers stick a dummy in their toddler’s mouth just to shut the toddler up. The toddler just sits there sucking away on its dummy and doesn’t talk or do anything.”

The comments were picked up across the world.

Parenting experts criticise Posh.

Is Harper too old to have a dummy?


Parenting experts should shove off unless they want to come into my house and take over for a night.

The story of a woman who didn’t know she was 33 weeks pregnant.

David and Harper Beckham. Image via Getty.

It’s getting to be too much isn’t it?

We all know that having a dummy past the age of 12 months isn’t ideal.

But we also all know that letting your toddler sneak into your bed, giving your son a bottle till he is four every night cause he just wants one more bot-bot, allowing your one-year-old to watch Peppa Pig on repeat while you get through the laundry and using the iPad as a babysitter are evil.


But they are also bloody necessary.

Imagine the horror if any expert saw me bribing my seven-year-old to write out his sight words one smartie at a time?

How is any parenting expert to know how often Harper Beckham has a dummy?

Let's give the ridiculously gorgeous and outrageously wealthy family a break shall we?

Maybe it's only when she is sick or tired.

Maybe she was missing her big brothers… maybe she had fallen over and grazed her knee.

Maybe, just maybe, her smile will end up as buck-toothed as Lara Stones - but surely her celebrity parents can afford an orthodontist.

What they can’t buy is the comfort that a dummy probably brings the three-year-old.

10 reasons you don’t want to be my friend now that I have kids.

Harper. Image via Victoria Beckham Instagram.

I know several three and four-year-olds (one in fact starting school next year), who could talk Kim Kardashian into silence, who all still resort to sucking their dummy when times get stressful.

Look I don’t doubt what dental research says but for these kids, no dummy sucking has hampered their speech development.

I was a big advocate of dummies when my kids were babies – but despite trying every single brand on the market not one of them would take a pacifier.

Instead they decided I was going to be their dummy while I was breastfeeding them. When I gratefully finally weaned them onto a bottle, that little plastic lifesaver became my salvation.

Of course, I would have preferred for them to be drinking organic camel milk and snacking on tahini balls while they listened to Baby Einstein but in a house with three kids under the age of four the reality was ABC KIDS and Freddo frogs.

I don’t know jack about Victoria Beckham’s parenting mantras but in my (limited) experience the one oft used by most mums is “Just do what it takes”.

Maybe we should all also adopt – “Parenting experts eff off” as well.

What do you think about Harper with a dummy at 4-years-old?

SCROLL THROUGH the gallery to see all the time David Beckham was the cutest dad...

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