Friday, January 21, 2011

The Dummy hole

Have you seen it, do you even know what to look for or how it grows?

Dummy hole in the making, they are not Immy's dummies, they are hers, her back teeth are together.

This is not a for or against about dummies. I once tried to have a child sans dummy and at six weeks when I had my first outing to escape the crying, I came home and found Mr H and Popps both asleep watching the cricket, she with a dummy stuck in her gob.

And so our love affair with the dummy began. Popps would not attach to a toy or blankie but she carried around as many little suckers as she could. She rubbed them between her fingers and stroked them down her face.

Over time we moved from the orthodontic style to the cherry style, as she became more demanding in the supermarket to the exact style she required - colour, size, glow in the dark you name it, they have it.

By her third birthday we were trying to farewell the dummies, but with a new baby on the scene she needed extra comfort and I needed her to have them too.

A couple of months later and the dentist asks before she even sits in the seat

"Is it a dummy or a thumb?"

How did she know?

The dummy hole!

Over time the palate at the top of the mouth actually forms into an arch around the shape of the dummy. While her little pearlers were perfect, her top and bottom front teeth could not come together, no matter which way you tried to twist her jaw around, they were miles apart.

I now see toddlers everywhere smiling away at me with this same big dummy hole glaring at me. With any luck the soft childs palate starts to return to a normal state, but 18 months later it is only half way there for Popps.

The dummy went to the fairies and we had a months few weeks of begging and crying for them, sleepless nights and moments of me wanting to give in.

See the dummy hole...this is six months sans the sucky thing.

Babies like to suck, dummies are highly required for many of them, but try and avoid the dummy hole, insist on the orthodontic ones and farewell them when you get a chance...Easter bunny apparently likes them too.


  1. Yep our little one loved her dummies so much like your Popps. I have a photo of her sitting in her cot at a 10mo, somehow having managed to get her hood up onto her head, dummy in each hand and sucking on them and swapping them like she was getting a hit. But even though she only had them for sleeps the dummy hole appeared (sleep happening for almost 50% of her life back then). It was painful and heartbreaking but they have to go, don't they, at some point?

  2. Oh Claire! How I feel for you! I can completely understand/empathise with you. Sometimes you have to do what ever it is that works and keeps you sane. And if thats a dummy, then thats a dummy.

    Here's some tips for those of you who need the dum but are frightened of going down that path... (midwife and personal experience hat firmly in place on my head):

    1. Parents control the dummy and use of the dummy. Not grandparents. Not visitors. Not strangers. And believe it or not, not the babe.

    2. Try to restrict it to sleep. In the end it will be so much easier to "lose" it if its only allowed for sleep.

    3. Breastfeeding nazi hat on: always try to offer the breast or a comfort feed first before using the dummy. And try really really hard not to introduce a dummy until breastfeeding is established. Sucking on a dummy has the potential to change the way a babe sucks and interfere with breastfeeding in the early days.

    4. And most importantly: if you were not going to use a dummy but find yourself "giving in" - FORGIVE YOURSELF! Its just another tool in the parenting tool belt and sometimes we ALL need a break!

    We used a dummy with our first however stuck to these rules. He only ever used it for sleep and they were "lost" at 2 years old without much of a drama. I think his teeth are ok... number two bub only ever used hers for sleep and spat it out herself at 6 moths. But then she co-slept with us so had the booby on tap anyway so that may have played a part too.

    Best of luck with it Claire. I sincerely hope that her jaw line corrects itself sooner rather than later for your piece of mind!


  3. Nb 1 was a thumbsucker (she stopped by the time she was three). Nb 2 is a dummy sucker - she is obsessed with them and we are always trying new ways to get rid of them. We are talking up a planned visit to the toyshop where she will give the shop attendant her dummies and in return she can pick out a toy. And then we will just have to put up with the crying after!! Baby 3 - I hope if she needs to suck it's not a dummy they have really been a pain.

    Whatever works!!! Well done to you and your "no longer dummy sucking" child xx

  4. Having just finishing payment for my teenager's orthodontist bill ($8000 over five years of work!!!), I wish I had known that a dummy could contribute to this. We ditched them at two but he used to have one each hand for sleeping and swap them like pipes!
    Teenage daughter had a dummy but didn't like as much, ditched at 2 years.
    Mr 5 came out of me with his thumb in his mouth (I'm not kidding on this one!) and hasn't stopped sucking yet. Have an orthdontist savings account started for him!

  5. No. 1 was a dummy sucker then turned into a thumb sucker thanks to moi. Why? Well we had to get her off the dummy as she was getting an infection from the rash she was getting around her mouth. And then she thought my boob was a good alternative. I didn't. So I actually taught her to suck her thumb...yup bad I know. But I was desperate! Her teeth is fine now, no dummy hole. My no. 2 was a thumb sucker from the time she got out. Not kidding. She was sucking her finger then thumb right after she was delivered! There is a difference to her bite although not too major. Hoping she wouldn't need braces. The dentist says she's fine now, but we'd have to keep a watch on that. Hmm....

  6. yes no.3 and no.4 are thumb suckers just hoping there is a way to stop this, tryed the nail biting stuff on the thumb but not working any ideas would be the dummy as can just throw away unlike a thumb

  7. It's hard ...
    I had one dummy sucker and one who didn't. (well my oldest had a dummy to 2-3 as well but I didn't start him off -adopted at 13months).They started him in Hospital - nurses.
    S - was 100% booby and I knew it.

    J who didn't start BF till 5 months loved his .He finally spat the dummy at 2 and a bit ( after he literally bit it in half and refused new ones).
    I haven't noticed a dummy hole ...tempted to check tomorrow.

  8. I was defo against dummies, but one weekend my Mum and Dad visited, when our first son was about 6 weeks old. Seeing how exhausted I was from lack of sleep, she produced a dummy and said: You don't have to use it, but it's here if you need it.
    The next morning, at about 3 am, I found myself reaching for it.
    My son loved it and gave it up himself when he was about three in return for a 'hard Buzz Lightyear'. Miss 7 was far more wiley, and was in her 4s before she reluctantly gave it up. Like Popps, she had a stash of them, one for her mouth and several for her hands.
    We're lucky, there appear to have been no ill-effects on the teeth, but we did limit dummies in the mouth (notice in the mouth ... not in the hand) for sleeping.

  9. Lil has only had hers for sleeping, but after reading your post I notice that she has a small dummy hole.

    Further motivation to get get rid of them. Now to figure out how to do that...

  10. I didn't know it could produce such damage? I mean you hear different things but to be honest I have loved giving my 3 a dummy. My 1st now 10 had it till he was about 1 and never sucked his thumb. Number 2 was born almost 13weeks premature and I used a dummy to help her learn how to suck swallow and breath at the same time which then I used it to introduce her to feeding. She was so tiny she had to be tube fed but each time the tube was used to feed I got her to suck the dummy to learn that sucking means you get a fully tummy. In the end 6weeks after she was born she began to bf and by 8weeks old she could come home with us as she was fully bf... The dummy was a huge help considering she was born 1lb 14ozs and went home weighing 3lb 8ozs.
    In other countries (UK i know for sure) actually have suggested families use dummies to stop SIDS... to stimulate sucking and breatking. funny how different countries think different things.
    2nd bub had hers till about 12months too and now 3rd bub has his and is 7mths but will try again about 12months to 'loose' it.

    Will the teeth come back together or when her new teeth come in will it correct itself or is it now something you will have to fix?

  11. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Cobs I owe you bigtime! After reading all the yummy mummy comments on your blog I finally had the courage to go cold turkey & remove the 'dum dum' from my 2yr old!

    Little F has the same shaped teeth as Popps, something I blindly thought was just the way his gums developed, ha silly me.

    So last weekend we went cold turkey (by cold turkey I mean we performed a ceremonial swap of the 'dum dum' for a new Ben 10 watch!!!).

    Problem solved, muchas gracious! Meg xx

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this. We have ditched the dummy this week, and although there are tears at bedtime, and Mr 2 is waking early, I feel it is the right time for him to give it up. Wish I'd read your post before talking on air this week!


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