Once you have a dummy your baby likes, you know it's worth its weight in gold – and that's pretty much what some parents are paying since Tommee Tippee discontinued its cherry soothers.
The dummies – sold under Tommee Tippee and Happy Baby brands – were being sold in supermarkets for around $5, but now desperate parents are paying crazy prices to get their hands on some before they all disappear.
Enterprising types who have seen the demand are listing packs of dummies on eBay for exorbitant prices, with one packet selling for $110.
South Australian mum of three Karina is determined to lobby Tommee Tippee to bring back the cherry soother design, starting the Facebook page Bring Back the Original Cherry Soothers.
"As a mum, you try everything to help settle your babies," she posted on Facebook. "I went through numerous brands before trying the ugly Happy Baby dummies. But they worked! Thank goodness!
"I know every kid is different, some take dummies and others don't. But once you find something that reduces the grizzles, you stick to it…only to find that they've been discontinued in the style that they like and a new shape has been released. A new shape they don't like any more."
Tommee Tippee have released a new design soother, which parents on the Bring Back the Original Cherry Soothers page are not happy about.
One mum wrote about her experience. "I hate the new style. My gal won't use them. She had eczema on her face and the curved shape irritates her. And when she had a blocked nose she couldn't breathe out of the side of the firmly fitting curved shape."
Another mum said the change was enough of a push for her to wean her children off their dummies. "It was when the new dummies came in and we had six deflate within a week (I have twins), that we gave up dummies! They were TERRIBLE!"
Others on the page are sharing locations that still have some of the old cherry soothers still in stock, while some kind folk are even buying them and sending them on to those in need at cost price – far cheaper than the sky-high prices being asked on eBay.
One mum on Facebook said she had paid $80 each for two packs of dummies on eBay. "I have two girls and now I'm down to my last one as my 18-month-old is teething and is deflating them by chewing on them. So upset!"
Karina would like to see parents affected by the discontinued soothers contact Tommee Tippee and ask for their return.