As a baby I wasn’t given a dummy, it just wasn’t something that was done in my family so when I had Darcie it wasn’t something that I thought I would do either. There was never a particular reason why dummies hadn’t featured in my life, I’m not sure if my parents are against them for any reason but they definitely now find it hard to comprehend that a baby could need or want one.
As soon as Darcie was born she was such a sucky baby, as I breastfeed it meant that she was pretty much attached to me 24/7! If she cried the only way to calm her down was to give her the boob. As soon as she whimpered my partner would put his finger in her mouth, she would suck on it and he would hand her over to me for a feed. Any breastfeeding mothers will know that you can tell if a baby is feeding or simply comfort sucking, and I knew that a lot of the time it was purely for comfort. There is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing your baby to use you for comfort in this way but when you are a new mum with bleeding nipples it’s just the last thing you want.
The suggestion of giving her a dummy first came from Dan’s family, who had used them for their babies and were definitely pro dummy. I agreed that it was for sure the right solution for Darcie but we decided to wait until 6 weeks as recommended to avoid nipple confusion. When 6 weeks rolled around she finally got her first dummy and oh my gosh it changed my life. She would finally sleep without being held, she could go for more than half an hour off the boob and I began to feel like an actual human being again!
I have absolutely no regrets about giving her a dummy, my rational brain knows it was the right thing to do. But because I had it so ingrained in me that dummies were something ‘other people’ used, I felt this massive guilt over giving it to her. I’ve thought about, and even halfheartedly tried, to wean her off it and in my head I am determined she won’t have it past a year. But today I had a breakthrough that it is doing her no harm, she doesn’t have it all day (mainly for sleeping and grouchy moods) and quite frankly it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it. It makes her happy, it gives her comfort and as a mother that is all I want for her.
In the past I’ve had comments about taking her dummy out so she will look better in photos, and people talking about how they are covered in germs (have you not heard of sterilisation?!) and I have let these comments bother me. But as of today I refuse to feel bad about her having a dummy, it works for us and we will continue using it while it works for us.
Rant over! 🙂