Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dummy

Many years ago, prior to becoming a parent, I thought the use of dummy's (also known as pacifiers or comforters depending on which part of the world you are in) was unnecessary. I used to hate being at the shops seeing an older child with a dummy in their mouth and I vowed I would never use them with my children - fast forward 20 years and how things have changed as I never leave the house without one in my bag for Annabelle.

When Annabelle was born she had trouble feeding and it was a real struggle to get her to take milk, whether it be by breast or bottle. It didn't help that my milk never came in properly so she had to have a top up bottle until we decided at six weeks to switch her entirely to bottle - I still had no milk and the routine of breast feeding followed by feeding her expressed milk, a bottle and then expressing for the next feed was exhausting, especially as she was feeding every 3 hours.

Annabelle was such a poor feeder we were kept in hospital for 8 days as they tried to get her to gain weight, with little success. By the time we got home colic had set in and so began the cycle of crying and pacing as we tried everything to ease her pain, including a much lauded gripe water that brought some relief but wasn't the miracle cure we'd hoped for!

The only thing that seemed to provide her with any comfort was the use of a dummy, which was actually suggested by her paediatrician and the clinic nurse that came out for a home visit. Apparently the sucking motion helps to move the wind through the body and so began my love/hate relationship with dummies.

My dilemma now is how and when do I get rid of the dummy? All suggestions will be gratefully received!

Annabelle is only 16 months old and while she doesn't have the dummy permanently glued to her mouth there are times, such as when she is tired, that it definitely provides comfort. The flip-side is that when she loses it during the night she cries and we have to go into her room to find it for her - some times up to 5 times a night. With a new baby due any day now I am starting to realise that there is not going to be much sleep happening in our household over the coming months!

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