No child of mine will ever have a dummy.
Oh the absurd things I used to say before I was a parent, before I had a clue. Before I found out that a person can go without sleep for four days straight and not die. Before I found out that a person can go without a shower for four days straight and not give a shit.
I don’t care what anyone else says, dummies are the single, most important invention ever created by humans. Screw electricity and air travel and light bulbs – dummies man, dummies are a revelation.
Up until our son was a week old, I was anti-the-dummy, I was judgmental-about-the-dummy. I didn’t buy any in my pre-baby pregnancy hauls, it didn’t even cross my mind. Having no actual parenting experience myself, having probably held a baby about three times for a cumulative total of around twelve minutes, I knew that no child of mine would ever need a dummy. I mean its just lazy parenting right? Can’t be arsed to figure out why your baby is screaming – shove a dummy in its gob, that will shut it up.
What I didn’t know is that sometimes
most of the goddamn time you cannot, you never will figure out why your baby is screaming and crying and losing its proverbial shit (or its actual shit). You can go around and around in that cycle of feeding, changing, rocking, singing and googling in desperation ‘Why does my baby cry all the time?’ but you will never find out, because here’s the thing:
Babies Can Be Arseholes
And here’s another thing :
Babies Like To Have Things In Their Mouths
Fingers, thumbs, dummies – your left tit, you name it they love it. So give them what they want I say and give yourself what you need, a dummy and five minutes silence. I thought by giving my son a dummy I was condemning him to life of bucked teeth, a life of being a needy, sniveling toddler who couldn’t function without his dum-dum. But what I got was a baby who settled easier, slept better and calmed down quicker.
It was glorious.
When we gave him the dummy as a newborn, we said adamantly “just for six months” but by then he had just started to sleep through the night and there was no way we were going to rock that boat. No way in hell. So we moved that forward to a year old, telling ourselves that as long as he was having a bottle, the dummy was ok. Truth was he had that dummy for sleeping (observe that qualification) for months and months longer, we had hundreds of the damn things in draws, handbags, under sofa’s. The amount we spent on them was probably ludicrous for a bit of plastic and rubber but believe me, every. single. penny. was worth it. Then at around eighteen months, we just said enough was enough, through them all out and explained to him he couldn’t have a dummy – yeah we made that kid go cold turkey.
And you know what, within twenty four hours it was fine. He went back to his routine, he carried on napping and sleeping through sans-dummy and we all moved on with our lives.
He also has perfectly nice teeth, just in case you wondered.