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”.


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?”

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

  • Whereas I too think a 6yr old is too old for a dummy I don’t think there is need to accuse this mum for bad parenting. There’s always a story behind it and obviously they have tried and struggle with this issue. I think it’s brave of this mum to post it, hoping to get tips and understanding.
    Yes you can seek professional help for issues like this but the danger is to give it too much attention, increasing the fear for the child to let go of it. However it is an option.


  • Sorry but too old for a dummy. I chose not to use one after seeing a friend allow their daughters to have dummies up until late ages and the struggle that it was to get rid of, they also ended up with bad speech problems and needing dental work because of it. Yes it is tough but it has to be done.


  • The mum might be best getting some professional help with this dummy issue if she has tried all other options.
    It can be truly tough for some mums with their children and she appears to be trying all options – I hope she eventually has success.


  • I don’t like dummies, but that’s a personal thing. I’d probably look into the underlying case – why does she need the dummy to soothe? Can you substitute something else?


  • My kids all had dummies but I took them off them about 1 year old from memory a couple restless nights and they were fine they always had teddy’s or the like for comfort. I personally wouldn’t like to see a child that age with a dummy but each to their own. I would worry about her teeth though.


  • I would not feel guilty about this. Have a chat to your local Gp and see what he says. Most children give it up when they are ready. I have a 7 year old grandson who insists on taking his favourite teddy to school with him as it helps relax him. Don’t stress too much, get her teeth checked and then take it from there.


  • sorry but 6 is too old her speech and teeth will be compromised


  • Ive never used a dummy for my daughter. There are always pros and cons

    • There are pros and cons and good on this parent for reaching out for help.


  • My eldest had a dummy at night until she was about 4. They give it up when they are ready.


  • Good on this mum for sharing her struggle and asking advice ! It’s a pity it’s rewarded with judgement / accuse of bad parenting instead of empathy and thinking positively with her.

    • Too many people now days judge others instead of helping. Its sad really


  • I had a dummy sucker! I had to whine her off it slowly


  • Have you tried swapping it for a soft toy? She will probably lose interest in it when she is older.

    For the Mums who never gave their babies dummies I know one small baby who would gasp and literally go blue in his face if he cried for too long. His parents were told to give him one. He had it until he was nearly 2 y.o. By then he had definitely outgrown his medical problem which was being monitored
    I would rather give a baby a dummy that sucking fingers. I know one little girl who sucked on 3 fingers. Even putting bitter stuff on them didn’t stop her. Her parents even got up during the night and took her fingers out of her mouth. She put them back in her mouth when she was fast asleep, She pushed her teeth and jaw out of alignment.


  • I would seek a professional opinion. Mine didn’t have a dummy so I have no idea about getting a child to give one up.


  • I didnt introduce a dummy ever to my son! He coped well :)


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