Dummies – Soothers. What are your views?

Dummies - Soothers

Dummies – Soothers

Dummies – Are They Needed?

I recently got into a conversation with somebody about dummies (also known as soothers) and had to walk away before I said something that might offend!

It’s been a bit of a bug-bear with me and my opinion is probably that shared by only fifty percent of other parents. But it has to be asked, are dummies really necessary or are they just a cash-generating product for manufacturers?

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why do parents give their child a dummy?

This is a question I have often asked myself many times over but never really getting to the bottom of it. You see, I have two boys, so I can actually say that speaking from experience, dummies are NOT necessary.

How many times have you been to the park and overheard a conversation that goes something like this…

“Oh great, he’s started crying again. ‘ear, bung over ‘is dummy will ya. That should shut ’em up!”

Seriously, have dummies really been invented to just ‘shut ’em up?’

Why Do Babies Cry?

I’m only a dad of two boys, so I can’t speak on behalf of parents that have girls, but I’m sure there’s not much difference when it comes to answering this question.

From my own experience, I discovered that, as babies, our two boys would only cry for one of the following reasons.

  1. They were hungry – With a regular feeding pattern of every few hours, when aren’t babies hungry?
  2. They needed their nappy changed – We always checked their nappies at regular intervals during the day but at night time, it’s not so easy.
  3. They were tired – With feeding and sleeping high on a baby’s agenda, when aren’t they tired?
  4. They were teething – This is the most testing time for most parents and a really good reason why they might get tired during the day.
  5. They needed a hug – If you’ve not seen the advert ‘You can’t email a hug, (Nescafe Gold Blend)’, sometimes, that’s all they need.
  6. They were running a temperature or unwell – When your child is unwell, they will often be unsettled and need lots of hugs (not forgetting their medication too).
  7. They needed Cal Pol (due to medical reasons!)- I’ve always been amazed at the things this medicine can cure, including a crying baby. Always seek the correct medical advice before giving any type of medicine to a child. Ages, doses and medication will vary from one baby / toddler to another.
  8. They have trapped wind – If the boys hadn’t been winded correctly, we found they would cry until burped it up.
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After applying one of these remedies, my wife and I would find that they would soon settle down and would, therefore, have no need for a dummy.

This is just my opinion, as a parent. But what are the experts saying?

Dummies: What the experts say

The opinion above is based on my own personal experiences. It’s not right, it’s not wrong, and it’s certainly not professional. However, the information below is based on what the experts have to say and as usual, just to confuse us parents, there are different findings.

Dummies and Cot Death

According to the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, parents are advised to give their newborns a dummy, every time they sleep because it reduces the risk of…

This article was first published in June 2007 and can be found at The Daily Mail Online

You may also want to read…

Dummies and Breast Feeding

Introducing a dummy whilst you are breastfeeding, should only be done once your baby has an established routine.

An article from breastfeedingbasics.com gives some great advice for you to follow if you’re unsure about when, or if to, introduce a dummy whilst breastfeeding.

You may also want to read…

What Sort of Dummy is Best?

This is going to be trial and error. Although the basic concept is the same, there are many different designs, for example…

  • Teats – These could be Latex, Rubber or Silicone. According to The Baby Centre, latex and rubber dummies are softer but don’t last as long.
  • Handle or No Handle – These are just personal preference but with a handle, you can tie an attachment to prevent it falling on the floor and, of course, losing it altogether.
  • The Mouth Sheild – It goes without saying that this is designed to prevent the dummy being swallowed.
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Before buying a dummy, you may want to read…


What baby related shop or online store doesn’t sell dummies? If you really are intent on buying one, here are some suggestions.

Amazon | Mothercare | Boots | Babies R UsTommee Tippee


As you can see, there are advantages and arguments against, giving your child a dummy. Some parents will feel they are needed whilst others will give them because they are convenient.

Understanding why your child is crying will help both you and your child. By having a bit of routine, ie, regular nappy checks, a feeding pattern, winding and plenty of cuddles might cut down on the amount of time your baby is crying.

For more ideas, don’t forget to read through the list of ‘Why do Babys Cry?’ 



Children are not an Inconvenience. They are the heart and soul of the family.

Credits – Research


Credits – Images



This post was shared on moderndadpages.com as part of the #effitfriday Linky Party


Modern Dad Pages
This post was also shared on cuddlefairy.com as part of the #candidcuddles
Cuddle Fairy


  • I hate dummies, and Mister L has one.

    Miss S had one when she was a baby because it helped her to not over feed with her reflux, but she swapped it out for her thumb at about four months old, and never looked back.

    Mister L had a dummy for the same reason, or he would overfeed and then be sick. But, he didn’t find his thumb and at 15 months we are now stuck with it.

    I tried to remove it at 8 months and it was a disaster because he got sick soon afterwards and we assumed he was unsettled because of the lack of dummy, and gave it back.

    Now he’s old enough to look for and ask for it. Which makes life harder as he uses it as a comforter.

    I’ve decided that as long as it brings him comfort, he can have it. We’ve just moved continents and he’s settling into nursery, so I’m not in a rush to unsettle him further. And to be honest, who cares, it’s just a piece of plastic.

    I don’t need to shove it in to keep him quiet, he just decides when he wants it and deals with it by himself.

    • Martin

      Hi. Thanks for leaving a comment.

      Whilst researching this post, I came across the issue of weaning their little one of their dummy.

      You have also hilighted the point that parents will always do what is best for our children, regardless if we like it or not.

      I will be updating this post soon, with regards to weaning children of the dummy. Once you have had success, if you would like to share your methods with other parents, that would be great.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences here and connecting on #effitfriday.

  • We have been DYING to do a post on the big dummy debate and have so far avoided it for fear of alienating half of our readership without trying.

    Our little boy isn’t here yet, but we’re definitely anti-dummy though and whilst we have absolutely no problem with people using them, our main bug bear is that people tell us we will want one when our baby arrives and cries in the night! UGH, NO WE WON’T.

    Rant over. We found you via #effitfriday and are very glad that we are not the only ones that think dummies simply aren’t needed.

    • Martin

      I did wonder how I was going to write this post without annoying other parents. It was written more with the intention of helping new parents understand why their babies cry.

      I got into a discussion with someone at work because they were buying dummies and accessories before the baby was born.

      When I asked her why, she said because all babies cry.

      I hope parents reading this will understand that that is the point of this post.

      Understanding the reasons why a baby crys will make life as a new parent so much easier.

      Thanks for connecting through #effitfriday.

  • Jo

    When I was pregnant I always said I wouldn’t use a dummy. I changed my mind because babies find sucking soothing. So they probably don’t really need it, but if it soothes them then why not? My baby has one for bed and now that he is getting older I like him to have a dummy when he’s crawling around so he doesn’t put everything in his mouth!
    I knew all of his cries really early on and I don’t agree with just shoving a dummy in every time they cry but if he’s waiting for a bottle or crying because he’s tired then I dummy calms him down.

    • Martin

      Hi Jo,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Your comment is a great example of knowing the difference between what we (as parents) want for our children and what is actually best for them. I’m sure we can all (or will be able to) provide examples of what our kids like and we hate.

      We hate dummies and our kids never wanted one. Some parents, hate them but will use them as a last resort. Other parents will use them for the reasons given above, whilst new parents may use them because they are unaware of the reasons why babies cry.

      But there will always be the parents, and I’m sure most of us have heard them, that will use a dummy to conveniently ” shove a dummy in ‘is mouth and shut ’em up will yah?”. This post and the reasons why babies cry is for them.

  • I think you’ve put it across really well without alienating.

    I’ve used dummies and do now occasionally it saves me being used as a dummy all the time which is easier because I have the toddler to deal with as well. My other problem is that he won’t take it all the time!

    Thanks for linking with #effitfriday

    • Martin

      Hi Laura,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Your comment is much appreciated and I’m so glad I haven’t alienated you! As previously stated, the point of this post is to make new parents aware of the reasons why you child is likely to be crying and the many examples of how to fix the problem without the use of a dummy.

      There is no guide to parenting – We can only do what we feel is best for or children.

  • Lovely, quote! Very true words!

    I used a dummy with my daughter for her first six months. She used it only to soother herself to sleep. I think it’s really a matter of preference and a personal choice.

    Thanks so much for linking up with #candidcuddles!

    • Martin

      Hi Katie,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Yes, I agree, like most things in the world of parenting, dummies are a matter of preference and personal choice.

      Thanks for linking up with #candidcuddles, it’s much appreciated.

  • It’s funny – none of my kids had dummies, but I tried to give them one lol I breastfed and they just weren’t interested in the substitute. I thought it’d give me a break if they took a dummy occasionally, but there ya go! Thanks so much for linking up with #candidcuddles

    • Martin

      Hi, Becky.

      Once again, thanks for stopping by and posting a comment.

      It would be interesting if there is a connection between breastfeeding and no dummy. Our two were fed for months on end too (six and nine). Just a thought.

      Thanks for hosting #candidcuddles

      Regards, Martin

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