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I am not a fan of dummies and I never needed to use any when Millie was a baby. I was pleased because I have friends who say it's very difficult to get a baby to give up their dummy and sometimes they end up waking in the night because they lose it and things so I was glad to not need one the first time round. This time, however, Sophie is not quite as easy a baby as Millie was! I am really struggling to find ways to keep her satisfied and so I decided to buy a dummy to see if it would help. Although these dummies look good quality I am not very satisfied with them, they haven't lived up to what I had hoped for!
There's quite a lot of debate around dummies, actually there's lots of debates about pretty much anything baby-related as it seems like you can debate anything from what pushchair is best to whether you believe in control crying or not. Never have I experienced so much debate and judgement than I have in motherhood! Anyway, I was always a bit worried about using dummies because I often hear people criticise them for making a baby be too reliant upon them or actually causing sleepless nights or having their teeth grow wrong or something. I suppose as with many things for every negative point there is a positive one too. The main purpose of a dummy is to help give your baby some comfort as it leads your baby to create the suckling motion like when they are feeding and it may also help with teething too so they can have a chew on it which can help with the pain of teething. There are lots to choose from too with them appearing in different sizes and some have little pictures on too so if you do choose to use a dummy you will have lots of choice.
Baby Sophie just doesn't seem to enjoy sleeping and doesn't seem to know what she wants. I have really struggled over the last couple of weeks to get to know her and work out what her cries mean but at the moment I'm at a loss. It feels so helpless and also frustrating to not be able to settle her. Quite often if I give her a bottle she is content but then she will fall asleep on it and the milk dribbling out wakes her up so I thought that perhaps she isn't hungry when she is on the bottle like this but rather actually just liking the suckling motion. I decided that perhaps I could try getting her a dummy so that she could suck on it and then fall asleep but not be disturbed by the milk like she would in a bottle. I really hoped that this would help her. If you're reading this review and have any other tips please, please let me know!!
I have used MAM bottles before and so I do like this brand. When I went to Tesco's to look for a dummy I saw that MAM have several different ones to try. They had some with pictures on but I chose the most basic looking ones as I don't really want Sophie to look like she's being blinged up with a dummy. In the packet that I bought you get two dummies in a little case. These are very similar to the picture. One is all pink and the other is a very pale pink with a mid pink middle. They have lots of air holes in around them, some big, some little. They have a little plastic guard that you slip on to protect the teat and they both fit into the little plastic case which is useful for keeping them safe and clean.
As mentioned above these dummies have lots of air holes in which make it look like a pattern- four large ones and then lots of little ones in a circle so it is discrete. It is also shaped in a way that fits against the lips very gently. It is slightly rounded which means that when in place it doesn't rub up against the nose or lie flat on the lips which would cause it to rub still. I can see why people like these dummies for the shape of them is very good. It also has a special anti slip on the teat itself which helps it to stay in the baby's mouth apparently. I can't compare this to any other brands but apparently it is unique to MAM and is the softest sillicone teat around! It apparently always adapts to the position of the baby's mouth and has passed all kinds of tests to make it safe as well as good for the development of the teeth and jaw. It is nice to see that a lot of design elements have gone into this product considering it could be used constantly by your baby.
Baby Sophie using it
I always sterilise these before using them. Anything that goes in Sophie's mouth I try to do so. This is easy to do in the steriliser and then I pop it in the case to keep it clean when she isn't using it. The first time we used the dummy I was really surprised by how big it looked! These are suitable from 0 months plus but it looked really big against her little face and I was worried it would be uncomfortable and bump up against her nose but actually it didn't thanks to the shape of it. When she first had it in she sucked at it eagerly and then seemed distraught that the suckling wasn't producing milk. She screamed- a lot! I tried it with her a few times and eventually she seemed to get some comfort from it and would begin to fall asleep with it in her mouth. It got to the point that I would lie in bed and listen to her suckling and hope that she would doze off but then i would hear the suckling stop and I would hold my breath wondering if she was asleep or if she'd just spat it out. A few times it would have dropped out and she would soon stir and begin whimpering. Over the last two weeks I think it has only been successful about twice in helping her to go to sleep which is so disappointing and even then I have been on edge listening for the suckling to stop. If I ever try this during the day she won't have it at all, it only seems at night that she will tolerate it for any length of time which is odd. During the day she just gets frustrated as though she really just wants a bottle.
At the moment I have decided to not keep trying with these dummies as they don't seem to be comforting her like I had hoped for. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong as such like maybe if she is pushing it away and screaming I take it away or do I persist and hope that she gets used to the idea of it giving comfort but right now it seems like she is more frustrated by it than anything and if she does ever tolerate it when she then does fall asleep she is upset if it drops out of her mouth!
At the moment I am unsure whether to carry on with trying to help Sophie to learn how to accept the dummy in the hope that it will give her some comfort. At the moment it doesn't seem like it is going to work and I do wonder how my friends managed to get their babies to fall asleep with one, all this talk about children being addicted to their dummies and I can't even get Sophie to keep it in for long at all!
I can see that these are good dummies which are made very well. They do seem soft and the shape of them is ideal for little faces. I still find that they do look a little too big for such a small baby but I suppose if I was to stick with them then in no time they would probably look too small as they grow so amazingly fast!
I am glad that I bought them to give them a go but I don't think that they are going to be for Sophie which is a shame as I was hoping she could find some comfort in suckling on one. I am tempted to try another brand but all of my friends say that these ones are the best.
I hope to find another way to comfort Sophie seeing as these aren't working. I'm not sure what else to try and it feels rather helpless on my part not knowing how to comfort my own baby but it seems that at night time she is only happy if she's falling asleep on a bottle but then she gets disturbed by the milk escaping as she sleeps! It is a shame that these dummies don't work for us but maybe it is saving me the problems in the long term of then trying to wean her off them.
MAM Clear Silicone Soother
Before my little one had even arrived I had picked up a packet of MAM clear silicone soother's (0 +) just in case I needed them. I am sure that there are at least a few people out there gasping in horror - so far I have found that some people really hate the idea of a dummy. However, after my daughter showed signs of having colic only days after she was born the midwives in charge of our care recommended that I could try a dummy to help with the wind and to soothe her, which much to my relief showed signs of working. She was still colicky but she loved her dummy and has ever since, but then she is a bit of a sucker (snigger, snigger). Personally, I now wouldn't be without at least one dummy in the house.
At the time we went with the MAM clear silicone soothers because they were on special offer and looked sweet - I know not the most well researched purchase I made. But I really or should I say my wee one hasn't been disappointed. We have tried giving our little daughter a different brand of dummy because I wanted to buy whatever was currently on special offer, but she turned her nose up at them. It is so far one of the few things that she seems to be fussy with, whenever she is given a bottle instead of the breast she will take whatever is to hand, which is just not the case with her dummy - she knows precisely what she likes.
There are a wide variety of patterns available and mostly they are quite cute, we own quite a selection from cheeky monkey designs to declarations of 'I love mummy'. But all the MAM clear silicone soother's have a distinctive sucking section - it's quite large, with a slight texture change in places. Sorry if the description isn't doing the dummy justice but it just seems to be a shape that is comforting to my little girl. What I would say is that it doesn't resemble a bottle teat in anyway, which I know that some of the other brands of soothers attempt to do. The MAM clear silicone soother is also very soft and isn't at all rigid, which makes me less concerned about her using it while teething.
The MAM clear silicone soother does come in a plastic container that can also be used as a microwave steriliser. I have never used it because we have a cold water Milton sterilising tank that I adore. The MAM soothers really are easy to keep clean and are well shaped.
Personally, I do like to replace my daughter's dummy on quite a regular basis - every couple of months if not sooner. And I have no plan to change brand, I think MAM soothers are stuck with us or should I say that we are stuck with MAM soothers. Either way I think they are a fab soother that can be picked up in all the obvious locations such as Mothercare, Amazon, etc for around £5 for a packet of two.
Five out of five stars and the MAM clear silicone soother comes highly recommended from both me and my beautiful bundle of joy.
Having three young children to look after, it's inevitable that there will be times when I can't be at my newborn baby's side immediately. Generally speaking, my youngest is quite a contented, settled little baby but occasionally he just seems to want to suck for comfort rather than through hunger, as many tiny babies do. As I'm breastfeeding, I'm happy to comfort feed whenever I can but my husband was feeling increasingly frustrated whenever he was left (literally) holding the baby as he would try to latch on to any part of his body that was vaguely nipple-like! After a trip to Tesco, my husband returned with a pack of MAM Clear soothers to combat this issue.
Neither of my two oldest sons have ever used a dummy. My oldest refused to suck on anything that wasn't a breast and my middle son was an ardent thumb sucker from a couple of months old. Little Charlie, however, has taken to his new dummies like a duck to water. Having been exclusively breastfed, I wasn't convinced that he would be content to suck on anything artificial but he accepted the silicone teat happily from the very first time it was offered. MAM claim that this particular teat - a 'silk teat' is softer than any other type of silicone. Charlie certainly finds it very comfortable to suck on and will happily drift off into a contented sleep whilst sucking on one of these. The teat is one of the very flat styles which are the sort recommended by dentists as they don't get in the way of emerging baby teeth.
When I was discharged from hospital, I was advised by the midwife not to introduce any form of teats, dummies or bottles until my baby was at least four weeks old. Breastfed babies need to suck regularly at the breast in the early weeks to ensure that a good milk supply is established and sucking on a soother instead can reduce a baby's desire to breastfeed. There are also concerns that the different type of sucking used on a teat can confuse a tiny baby and again affect breastfeeding. Charlie was only around three weeks old when we tried him with these soothers but breastfeeding was well established by then. Since introducing the dummies, it hasn't had any impact on Charlie's desire or ability to breastfeed at regular intervals and my milk supply hasn't been affected either. Indeed, it has been helpful in some respects as I tend to find that excessive comfort feeding (especially in the evenings) can lead to a build-up of wind and Charlie becomes a little uncomfortable and gripey. This has improved a lot since using a dummy for comfort instead.
We use the soother for times when he has been well-fed and is ready to settle off to sleep but isn't quite relaxed enough to drift off by himself. A few sucks on his little dummy and his eyelids will start to close almost immediately. The dummies also provide relief for those times when we need to place him in his car seat or pushchair when he is wide awake - as we can't always restrict our movements to his sleep patterns. He tends to protest loudly whenever this happens but the dummy will placate him and calms him immediately which is better for everybody's stress levels!
I must confess that I find some dummies can look bulky and unattractive, especially on tiny babies. These particular MAM clear dummies are actually quite stylish! The shield part which surrounds the teat, is made from totally transparent plastic, as the name suggests, so the dummy doesn't seem as huge and overpowering. The shield features four big holes as well as lots of tiny holes around the side that makes contact with baby's mouth. These air holes are designed to prevent soreness and irritation. Charlie certainly hasn't experienced any irritation since using these.
The MAM clear range comes in a range of sizes - from newborn, four months plus and six months plus - so that each dummy is designed to fit tiny mouths perfectly. These dummies don't have a ring attached either, which again helps to make the dummy look smaller - instead they just have a slimline round knob which is large enough to be able to hold it securely but not so large as to be obtrusive. The two dummies we have are decorated with quite funky 70s style swirly patterns and are mainly blue and green. They are surprisingly attractive!
These dummies come supplied with a plastic storage box which is handy for transporting them around in a changing bag. (I've always been a little worried about the hygiene aspect of dummies so this helps to keep them clean between uses.) As you'd expect, the dummies can be sterilised by any of the usual methods. I've been using a microwave steriliser but cold water sterilising would probably be more convenient for dummies alone.
I have to concede defeat and admit that my husband was right yet again and has purchased a great product for our little one. My oldest son probably summed things up very well when he watched his baby brother sucking happily on his soother and said 'We didn't know dummies were this good, did we?!' At £3.99 for a pack of two, these are great value and I'd certainly recommend them for any breastfed babies that just want to suck!