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Dummy or Thumb?


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#1 nen-c

Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

I've a 4 month old DD, who is an extremely easy baby, and is developing a serious thumb habit. She uses her thumb to get to sleep (through her love to dream wrap) and often sucks it whenever she isn't engaged with me or a toy or her big brother. I just tried her with a dummy today (out of interest) and she was happy to suck it. I've heard people say that a dummy habit is better than a thumb habit, and that thumb sucking can be bad for their teeth, but I'm not sure if I should start replacing her thumb with a dummy? I'm interested in people's thoughts and experiences with this.

TIA

#2 lamarque

Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:51 PM

Both of mine had dummies and had no problems giving them up.  Unfortunately you can't give a thumb up!

I had a cousin who sucked her thumb for years (she was school age and still doing it).  She had a very large callous on her thumb and needed braces etc.  I think some dentists say it has no effect but others will say it does.

#3 qak

Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

DS still uses hos thumb ( at 6  ph34r.gif ).  I started out with nothing, then a dummy which he spat from 4months.  Then he reverted to a thumb.  Unfortunately I can't throw his thumb away ...

DD used a dummy until about 18m when the dentist said we had to get rid of it as she was getting an open bite (front teeth not meeting).  It was relatively easy to get rid of it (lots of distraction) and her teeth are great now.

So if you need to I would go the dummy!

#4 mummy~2~two

Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

Neither of my girls were thumb suckers and we didn't go down the dummy path but this has always been my thought.
You can always take a dummy away when the time comes but not a thumb. You may find though that your DD won't take a dummy in preference for her thumb.
Sorry not much help but I always told myself if my child started sucking their thumb I would introduce a dummy.



#5 IsolaBella

Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

I prefer dummy as you can get rid of a dummy, but not a thumb.

My cousin turning 40 will still put her thumb in her mouth unconsciously when stressed.

I had a major dummy habit (parents took dummy away as I turned 4), but never felt the need to suck my thumb. All three of my kids had dummies until 2-2.5 yrs of age. Only DD who lost dummy at 2yrs has made any reference to the dummy after that initial week without it. She has just turned three and still occasionally looks sad and says dummy lost, but none of them have sucked thir humbs.

So I am team dummy.



#6 Lcasey

Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:54 PM

My eldest was on dummy, my youngest on thumb. My eldest had no problems loosing the dummy around 2 years (He wasn't quite 2), and has never sucked his thumb. My youngest is 3.5, 4 in May, and we are having so many troubles trying to stop him sucking his thumb it's ridiculous. I wish we'd let him have a dummy instead. Needless to say, we are having dummys for this baby. They are so much easier to deal with for us.

#7 SummerStar

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:02 PM

Dummy!
Have never had issues getting rid of a dummy but I'm still telling my almost 9 year old to get her thumb out of her mouth.
Drives me mad.
Luckily only 1 out of 4 was a thumb sucker. (Still one too many)

#8 Fat Amy

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

Dummy. A thumb sucking habit is way harder to break than a dummy habit. I sucked my thumb until some ridiculous age. I never ate because I always had my thumb in my mouth, my 2 front teeth now slightly stick out & I also have permanent ridges on my thumb nails.

#9 -Belinda-

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:11 PM


DD had a dummy until 3 and when it was taken away we had no dramas, took us a couple of weeks to realise she had replaced with her thumb instead. She is now 4 and we haven't got rid of the thumb!

Sorry to be no help!

#10 SummerStar

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 20/01/2013, 05:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thumb, that way she can self soothe instead of crying when the dumb falls out of her mouth and she is too little to put it back in. Plus dummies look stupid. They are generally used when a parent can not be bothered figuring out what is wrong with their child so they stick a dummy in to shut it up  ph34r.gif


I have to agree they do look stupid when kids are out with dummy's in. But not all parents are as you describe. I think a kid walking around with a thumb in their mouth looks equally awful though.
My kids have ONLY ever had a dummy in bed for going to sleep. Not for every squeak they make nor out in public.
I'd rather get up a couple of times a night than deal with what I am now with my eldest daughter.

Edited by SummerStar, 20 January 2013 - 04:15 PM.


#11 Leafprincess

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 20/01/2013, 04:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thumb, that way she can self soothe instead of crying when the dumb falls out of her mouth and she is too little to put it back in. Plus dummies look stupid. They are generally used when a parent can not be bothered figuring out what is wrong with their child so they stick a dummy in to shut it up  ph34r.gif


Ideally neither, but if I had to choose I would agree with sassy girl.


#12 IsolaBella

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:27 PM

Yes a child out with a dummy may look stupid to some, but a child sucking their thumb at 5-10yrs if age us worse IMHO.

We never had issues with needing to replace dummy at night, as child fell asleep we took dummy away.



#13 tamjk

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

I'm team thumb for hygiene reasons.

When a child drops a dummy most mothers pick it up off the ground, give it a spit clean to remove visible dirt then shove it back in the child's mouth. That means not only is germs from the ground going in the babies mouth but any nasties from the mothers mouth as well!

With a thumb at least you have the natural skin secretions containing antibodies that kill off most of the nasties that the thumb comes into contact with. It's a self cleaning soother that is permanently attached to the child's body and cannot be lost.

#14 Justaduck

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:52 PM

QUOTE (tamjk @ 20/01/2013, 04:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm team thumb for hygiene reasons.

When a child drops a dummy most mothers pick it up off the ground, give it a spit clean to remove visible dirt then shove it back in the child's mouth. That means not only is germs from the ground going in the babies mouth but any nasties from the mothers mouth as well!

With a thumb at least you have the natural skin secretions containing antibodies that kill off most of the nasties that the thumb comes into contact with. It's a self cleaning soother that is permanently attached to the child's body and cannot be lost.


I guess I am not 'most mothers'. If the dummy has fallen on the ground I'll put it up to sterilize it.
So when DD is crawling, and puts her hand straight from the floor into her mouth, it is cleansed on the 1 second journey up??

I have known heaps of older children (7, 8, 9) who still suck their thumb. Dummy can be chucked out when parents feel it is appropriate, thumb cannot. I am not a fan of dummys in big kids either though

#15 IsolaBella

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:53 PM

Never spit clean. Rinse with water. As for dropping and putting in mouth my idea of germs went out the window on discovering child running dummy over sole of shoe before putting in mouth.

Thumbs get to touch dirt etc too.



#16 frozie

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

We tried dummies with all our kids but none of them ever took to them in a serious way (they took them for a couple of months tops on and off).  DD developed her thumb sucking habit at around age 2 and still sucks her thumb to this day when she is upset.  

TBH, I think it is up to the child as even if you use a dummy, they could still suck their thumb later.

#17 Lcasey

Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

Can you imagine what is on a child thumb after picking up insects or animal droppings, or the mirad of other things that a child gets into on a regular basis. No matter how well or how frequently you wash their hands, they are bound to have something on them, tamjk

ETA: My point is that hygiene is not a valid reason as the same ability to have contact with germs happens to both. And anyone who uses dummies learns very fast to have 3 or more dummies on hand for occasions they are dropped/thrown so as to take soiled dummies home for sterilisation.

Edited by Lcasey, 20 January 2013 - 05:09 PM.


#18 bjk76

Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:16 PM

DS sucked his fingers from early on (as soon as he found them!), but stopped of his own accord by 5 or 6 months. I tried a dummy a couple of times, but he wasn't interested.

#19 Studybug

Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:23 PM

QUOTE (frozie @ 20/01/2013, 04:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
TBH, I think it is up to the child as even if you use a dummy, they could still suck their thumb later.


I tend to agree with this.  When DS was tiny and feeding almost hourly, I attempted to give him a dummy.  He would spit it out quick smart straight away.  I didn't push it for too long and accepted he was a frequent fast feeder.  He developed a thumb/finger sucking habit at around 2.5/3 mths of age, which tbh I was happy that I was not going to have to remember sterilised dummies wherever we went ph34r.gif .  His habit inadvertently was interrupted at about 8 mths of age, and that was it for his finger sucking career.

SIL#3 used dummies with both her children, except her DD at around the age of 4 mths started to remove the dummy to put her thumb in.  Once niece found her thumb, a dummy didn't cut it.  At 2.5, she's still a thumb sucker, tho I'm not sure it's a chronic habit (it's not like she's got her thumb in her mouth all the time, it seems to be when she's upset/tired).

OTOH, the parents with dummy preferring kiddies (anecdotal evidence warning here) have all had the classic issues people assoc with dummy use - hard to get rid of (one being prep age and having a secret dummy habit), calling out at night for dummy to be located, constantly needing a dummy in mouth.

By the sounds of PPs tho, these are issues you can have with a thumb sucker too.  So I'm guessing if you have a sucker of something, they'll have their preference and you'll either have to face the giving up of the habit at some point or they'll stop it when they're ready perhaps.  

Sorry for not being much help.

#20 tamjk

Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

QUOTE (Lcasey @ 20/01/2013, 05:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can you imagine what is on a child thumb after picking up insects or animal droppings, or the mirad of other things that a child gets into on a regular basis. No matter how well or how frequently you wash their hands, they are bound to have something on them, tamjk

ETA: My point is that hygiene is not a valid reason as the same ability to have contact with germs happens to both. And anyone who uses dummies learns very fast to have 3 or more dummies on hand for occasions they are dropped/thrown so as to take soiled dummies home for sterilisation.


Yes, but the skin secretes antibodies which negate some of those germs. Not all of them. If the mother does not carry spares (and let's face it, a lot of the lower class mothers don't) a dummy becomes a breeding ground for disease.

I established my stance on dummies as a teenager seeing mothers in the shopping centres suck on dropped dummies to clean them then stick them straight into the childs mouth without sterilising. An acquaintance cemented it when she passed on a very nasty oral disease to her daughter through spit cleaning the dummy.

When you see a mostly toothless woman with rotting teeth and pus oozing out of her gums stick a dummy in her mouth to 'clean' it then stuff it straight in her daughters mouth I suspect your stomach would churn too.

#21 Lcasey

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:04 PM

QUOTE (tamjk @ 20/01/2013, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, but the skin secretes antibodies which negate some of those germs. Not all of them. If the mother does not carry spares (and let's face it, a lot of the lower class mothers don't) a dummy becomes a breeding ground for disease.

I established my stance on dummies as a teenager seeing mothers in the shopping centres suck on dropped dummies to clean them then stick them straight into the childs mouth without sterilising. An acquaintance cemented it when she passed on a very nasty oral disease to her daughter through spit cleaning the dummy.

When you see a mostly toothless woman with rotting teeth and pus oozing out of her gums stick a dummy in her mouth to 'clean' it then stuff it straight in her daughters mouth I suspect your stomach would churn too.

I'll have to do a bit of research on the antibodies secreted by the skin, it sounds like it would be an enlightening read.

As for those that put their kids' dummies in their mouth, yes, I find that gross on any level. As far as I'm concerned that is akin to picking it up off the ground and just poping it straight in their mouth. sick.gif  I've never done that, and would never think of doing that. The proper use of dummies as far as I'm concerned doesn't include putting it in your mouth to clean it.

Edited by Lcasey, 20 January 2013 - 07:04 PM.


#22 nen-c

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:34 PM

Thanks everyone - there is way more to it than I thought!!! She currently STTN & I'd hate to wreck that by introducing the dummy, if she required me to replace it in the night for her. I also already struggle with packing a kazillion things every time I leave the house with a toddler & a baby - another thing to forget!! I hadnt even thought about the dropping them on the floor scenario, and im sure DS (2.5, & never had a dummy) will want to have a suck every now & then too!!  I might see how she goes with the thumb over the next month or so & then reevaluate!

Edited by nen-c, 20 January 2013 - 07:35 PM.


#23 MissButtercup

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

I still have a 3.5yo thumb sucker sad.gif but I am not a fan of dummies either. It's a hard one, good luck OP I think your doing the right thing by seeing how the thumb sucking goes.




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