November 6, 2019


Mum confessed her six-year-old daughter still uses a dummy and cops instant judgement.

She says her daughter’s dummy use is restricted to bedtime “strictly to go to sleep”, explaining it helps her “wind down right before bed”.

“We have tried many times to get her to give it up but it’s always a massive struggle,” the woman writes. “We’ve had visits for the dummy fairy and Santa to take them away, we’ve read books about giving it up, and once we even ‘forgot’ it when we came back from holiday.” She adds that her daughter is aware she is too old for a dummy and embarrassed that she still uses it, and that any efforts to stop leave her feeling “upset”.

6 year old still has dummy - exerpt from mumsnet

She goes on to say, “We saw on the one show the other night, this woman that helps children give up the dummy in five days. We watched it together and she saw children, much younger than her, give up there dummies with very little fuss. We discussed this with her, and she said that she wanted to go to bed without a dummy, starting on Sunday, (last night.) She was very excited for this, until she got into bed. She then started to sob, saying she missed her dummy, begging us to let her have it. She eventually fell asleep after 3 hours of crying, I even heard her in the night, softly sobbing. It was heartbreaking. This morning I told her how well she had done, but she just asked if she could have a dummy tonight.”

“DH and I are conflicted, on one hand she’s way too old for it, on the other, what’s the harm?

The mum adds, “It hasn’t effected her teeth, as the dentist has assured me, and her speech is fantastic. One second she wants to be a big girl and give it up, which we are here to help and support her for, the next minute she just wants her dummy.

“I feel so evil for not letting her have it, should I just give her the dummy?”

Toughen Up Mum!

Mumsnet followers were certainly not sympathetic and told the mum to simply “toughen up”.

“This is poor parenting on your behalf, you need to be consistent with boundaries and supportive when she finds these boundaries difficult, without giving in,” one parent remarks.

“I also agree you need to toughen up and stick with it. Things will get easier eventually but at 6 years old she really doesn’t need it,” a second says.

“Throw it away so it is not an option anymore. She really is too old for it,” another writes.

“To be blunt, if my kids could do it at 2, yours can do it at 6. Yes it’s horrible hearing them unsettled in the night but inside a week she will be fine. She just has to relearn how to go to sleep. The longer you leave it the worse it will be.”

What would you do? Share your comments below.

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  • Honestly people are super rude and really should work on bettering themselves before they start on others. Get some manners for a start.
    I honestly would not worry and would just stop making a fuss over it. Leave the poor kid alone. If she wants a dummy and it brings her comfort then so what?..At the end of the day does it really matter? She will stop if and when she is ready. Stop putting pressure on her and building it up to be more important then it is. We all have our little quirks and comfort things and there is nothing wrong with that at all. When I go to bed I have 3 pillows laying next to me. My husband passed away and the pillows make me feel comforted as he is no longer there. I really dont care what anyone thinks because its not about them ….its about me. Stop worrying what others might think and stop pressuring your daughter. Just stop.


  • He’ll stop when he sees his friends without dummies


  • I wouldn’t class it as bad parenting. Us parents try and do the best for our kids. I do think it’s surprising to see a child of this age still with a dummy


  • I think saying it’s bad parenting is going too far. It’s tough getting kids to do what you consider to be best for them. Even toddlers who give up the dummy cry and fret for a while after, which is heart breaking for mum and dad. But you need to be tough at times and stick with your decisions, no mater how hard it gets. She has been without for a night now, she cried a bit, but she’s done it. It will only get easier from here


  • A very difficult situation. Every kid is different but I do feel as if 6 is too old. Take it away she will get over it.


  • I must admit I cringe when I see 3 and 4 year olds with a dummy in their mouth. Age 6 is definitely too old. I’d be trying to find a substitute ‘comfort’ and just going cold turkey. My 3 year old loves his blanket and drags it around with him at home but I refuse to let him take it out with him and he’s fine with it


  • Whilst I think 6 is too old.. I have a 2yo son who loves his way more than his older sister did. And I too could be in the same situation one day for all I know. I feel sorry for this mum


  • Its your choice if you decide to still.use it. My daughter was under 2 when she gave it up.
    Just make sure you are follow through with what you feel is right.
    If you and your husband decide against it, be united and don’t give in. Let her know it will be tough but you will get through it together. It teaches her that things can be hard, but thats ok because she is supported.


  • I do agree that 6 is a too old for a dummy but in saying that, I am not that child’s parent. Why do we spend so much time judging others when we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors? When she is ready she will get rid of the dummy, its up to their family alone and they should not get critised for their decision.


  • If mum has been reassured there will be no damage to teeth then why worry. Eventually the child will realise herself how stupid having a dummy is, and stop. In the meantime would mum be letting a mental problem begin?


  • It’s a hard debate. We didn’t like dummys but son sucked his thumb and had to have braces when older. Maybe a dummy might have been easier to stop.


  • Hope this child’s dentist is explaining the damage to her teeth and mouth.


  • I thought my daughter at 4 was still going to bring it to kinder, she had it for 6 months but only used it at home.


  • She needs to say no, yes is going to be hard for the first couple of days but if you give in only after one night because it up sets her, what other things will she get upset over only for the parents to give in and give her what she wants
    It took us about 3 days to start settling without the dummy.


  • This poor mumma. Some kids are just more dependent on things than others as are some are slower with certain things than other. The little girl wants to give it up so it will happen one day. Don’t be too hard on yourself or your daughter.


  • Whatever each mum individually wants to do, it’s up to them


  • Every child is different..so she uses a dummy to help her wind down to sleep. She could be incredibly bright in so many other ways. Who even made up the rule that dummies are only for a certain age? Stop judging people!


  • Why not try to get her to pick one night a week that she doesn’t use the dummy. If that works then after a while see if she can do it 2 nights then 3 etc. Don’t let it worry you and don’t take too much notice of the naysayers. Good luck.


  • People shouldn’t be so rude but I do think that age is a bit too old.


  • Maybe she is a bit old, but its only to sleep with. But everyone parents differently


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