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13th Apr 2019

Mum debate: At what age did your child give up their soother?

Olivia Hayes

Things got heated.

When your child is small, it can be handy to give them a soother for a number of reasons. However, we all know how attached they can get to them.

But when is the right time for your child to give them up?

A debate erupted on a Mumsnet forum after a woman posted about her son using a soother. Her son is four-years-old.

She said:

“Last night I got into a fairly big argument with DH over DS’s dummy, (stupid, I know.) So basically DS just turned 4 and still has a dummy. We’ve always let him have this since it’s been his main comfort since he was born.

“Yesterday we had a visit to the dentist, who told me that the dummy needed to go asap, as it was causing an ovenbite. I told DH last night and he said we should get rid of the dummy.

“AIBU to think that I should let DS keep it. This may sound ridiculous, but DS has never been a good sleeper, and I think taking the dummy away would make it worse. Last time he spent the night without it (we were staying over night and forgot it) he barely slept all night.

“He only really has it at night and only occasionally through the day. Surely it can’t be that bad?”

Mums went mental online, with some saying that she is the parent and the child shouldn’t dictate her.

One wrote:

“This can’t be a real post?

“Who is in charge here, you or the four year old? He’ll just steal his sister’s? Well, it’s up to you to stop him. Better still, take hers away too or she’ll develop the same problem.”

While another was on the other side and she should let him keep it.

“Honestly I would let him keep it until he gives it up. My son needed the comfort until he was nearly 5 then gave it when he was ready. Why do we force young children to give up something that gives the comfort? It’s baffling. The dentist said to me the same, he us now 11 with a full set of adult teeth.”

What advice would you give this mother?