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.

  • 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 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


  • Yes she is too old for it BUT its ok she will get rid of it when she ready . I think its better than thumb sucking .


  • If it’s not affecting her teeth, I do believe she will grow out of it when she’s ready. I think being ridiculed by her peers would help with that, unfortunately.


  • 6 is too old for a dummy – but each to their own, and really it’s not a big issue. Especially not for anyone except this family. In the scheme of things, this isn’t the biggest issue. I think the bigger issue is the parents agreeing on an approach and sticking with it – otherwise the child will be confused and the child will also pick up that mum will give in even when dad says no. I’m sure taking away the dummy would be a hard few nights, but she’d settle quickly after.
    But again – each to the own and so long as there’s no damage being done then I can’t see how it’s an isssue for anyone else.


  • 6 seems too old to still need one but If you think about it everyone, even adults have a ‘soothing’ time, thing or comforter before bed, I.e. cup of tea, weighted blanket, specific pillow.
    So can’t be too harsh about it


  • The comments are a little harsh but, to be honest, she should have put a stop to it before now – 6 is too old for a dummy!


  • From my POV, i honestly think that you should just ignore the dummy. The more of a big deal you make of it, the harder it will be for her to give it up.
    Not every child is the same. And quite frankly if it was a teddy or a blanket that she wouldn’t give up, no one would bat an eyelash so forget what everyone is saying.
    Tell her that she can give it up when she’s ready and that if anyone finds out and makes fun of it she is to tell them that it is exactly like a favourite teddy for bed. And to shrug it off.
    Do not let anyone, including you or her, say that she is too old for it.
    You are not evil, you’re just trying to do right by your child.
    I feel like the more you guys tried to get rid of it, the harder it became for her.


  • She is too old for it, but it’s a bit tough to criticise this mum. It’s a really hard thing to do, making your kd unhappy even if it’s for a good reason.


  • I understand using a dummy for too long can cause teeth to be malformed. Should have been taken from her years ago. A few nights of bad sleep and hopefully, it will be all sorted.


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