The mum says her partner and mother-in-law just can’t see what the problem is…

A concerned mum has taken to parenting forum Mumsnet to ask if she is right to be worried about her eight year old son still using a dummy. While he only uses the dummy at bedtime, his mum says that she feels it could affect his physical and emotional development.

Getting Ridiculous

In her post, the mum said that she has tried multiple times to talk to her partner and mother-in-law about the issue, but feels she has no support. “I think he’s far too old for it, it has had an effect on his teeth causing them to grow in squint. (My partner) however doesn’t find this a big deal and says ‘just let him have it’ ‘it’s not that big a deal’ ‘he’ll lose it in his own time’. Well so far he hasn’t lost it and it’s beginning to get ridiculous.” Despite multiple attempts to limit its use, the mum says that she usually ends up caving, especially when her partner and mother-in-law are so willing to give her son the dummy whenever he asks for it.

Just Embarrassing

A shocked commenter on the post said they couldn’t believe that the mum was only becoming concerned now that her son is eight. “It was beginning to get ridiculous 4+ years ago in my opinion,” they wrote. “Throw them away. End of. How utterly embarrassing that your child has been allowed a dummy until 8 YEARS OLD!” Others were more helpful, offering suggestions that worked for their own children. “What we did was collect them all up and put them under a pillow one night and the ‘dummy fairy’ took them and left a present,” said one helpful parent.

We really feel for this mum, especially as it’s pretty obvious that she’s on her own in trying to help her son get rid of his dummy. While we think every child is different, we completely agree that there comes a point where using a dummy is definitely doing them more harm than good!

Did your child use a dummy and what age did they stop? Share your story in the comments below!


  • I have to agree with the dummy fairy and gift idea as suggested in the article.

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  • I find this really sad that a 8 year old still needs so much comforting, may be a reason for this but it should have been done years ago. I never used a dummy at all. I think they are disgusting things that prevent proper development in speech, mouth and jaws. My son went from breast milk to sippy cup, no bottles, no formula, no dummies. It can be done. Shoving a dummy in babies mouths in telling them they don’t want to be heard. I would suggest this lady needs to take this problem into her own hands without husband or mother in law, talk with her son, get him talking or even singing a song before bed, he can’t do this with a dummy, take it out each time and tell him to sing himself to sleep.

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  • I think her first problem is with her husband and especially her MIL. Maybe her husband can’t see a problem because he was allowed to use one until he was the same age. It may be too late now but maybe give her son a choice of the dummy or something else he would love to have.

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  • Engage your child in getting rid of his dummy – set a time and/or way to do it. I’d be concerned about his teeth too, and also of any issues if any school friends etc. know he still has a dummy. It should have been relinquished years ago. Perhaps find a replacement of your son’s choosing – eg a toy or night light or something.

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  • If you can’t get an 8 yr old to give up a dummy I hate to think if the mother has control of the child in any way. Take the child shopping to get a comfort teddy or other stuffed animal & swap it for the dummy, might have a tantrum for the first few nights but the child will survive it.

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  • Just ridiculous! She never should have let it get this far!

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  • I’ve always avoided giving my kids dummies for this reason. I don’t want to have to wean them off yet another item when they hit two years of age. She should just toss them out and be done with it. Her child is old enough to understand and the damage they’re doing to his teeth is completely preventable.

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  • Mine were never given one as most did not like the bottle either. Saw my son battle it out with his daughter trying to get her to stop, whenever I looked after her from age 2 1/2 I would not allow her it, Her parents decided to try harder so by her 4th birthday it was gone all together.

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  • Just dip it in vinegar or lemon juice before you let the boy have it – he will soon not want it.

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  • Personally i think this mum has a battle in front of her. I weaned my eldest off her dummy after her 2nd birthday because i was afraid she would try and steal her little sister’s dummy. The first night was fine. The next day she took 2 hours of crying for it to have her day nap. That was it. With the second she wasn’t really talking at 18 months so i decided to wean her then. Now she’s 3 and i can barely get her to stay quiet (not a bad thing sometimes).
    Originally i thought that they would get rid of it when they didn’t need it anymore and i hated anyone trying to tell me they were too old for a dummy (at 18 months). But when i realised my eldest was trying to talk with it in her mouth and my second didn’t want to talk wit it in her mouth. I realised they had to go.

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  • I think that 8 years old is way too late and it is now a crutch that isn’t helping his development. Time to just throw it away and deal with the fall out for a night or two then things will be fine.

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  • I have heard of some people using the nail biting stuff that tastes bad on the dummy so the kid doesn’t want it anymore

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  • None of my kids used a dummy, I never introduced it.

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  • Ours is 1.5 and loves sucking her thumb which I hope she grows out of soon

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  • My children both gave theirs up around age 2, but I have known of children that are older and used a dummy for sensory reasons

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