When my eldest was born I was, as every new mother is, determined to do everything right, and high on this, incredibly long, list was to never use a soother. I despised them, I still do, I thought they were disgusting and unnecessary, I felt they were like a stopper in a babies mouth and every time I saw a toddler speaking with one in its mouth I was sure to throw the offending parent a condescending ‘look how you are failing’ look.
And then my eldest came along…….
She was not the happiest baby in the world, then again I was so busy trying to figure out and implement the bloody ‘Contented Baby’ routine I’m pretty sure a lot of it was my fault!!
On a few occasions it was suggested that I should try a soother, this suggestion was most definitely not well received and often led to my applying a real life version of an ‘unfollow’, but after spending time one day in a church ( I’m not religious!) praying for patience with my whinging baby I caved in and bought the dreaded soother.
Of course I didn’t give it to her, heavens forbid we should get some peace, but kept it for when we ‘really needed it’
This day finally came and from the moment I put it in her mouth she took to it like Maggie Simpson, she all but inhaled it she loved it so much.
It took me a long time to make peace with the idea of my child having a soother, no one was allowed to take a picture of her with the soother in her mouth, but it made her happy and that was enough for me.
Fast forward 17 months to when my second child was born and I was such a convert I had one packed in my hospital bag….so soothers were now as essential as nappies in my mind….how things change!!
My relationship with soothers has been up and down ever since, the four thousand ‘soother runs’ during the night when babies are too little to put them back in themselves drove me mental as did the weaning them off the soother stage, but they certainly saved my sanity on many an occasion.
My eldest daughter, aka Maggie Simpson, was so difficult to take it away from, and even now, newly turned 7, she occasionally will ask for her little brothers one, she will look for it for a few nights, especially if she is upset or worried, and give it up again with a bit of encouragement. Our second daughter was never very bothered about having one, our third daughter never used on but sucked two fingers, which were constantly in her mouth until I accidentally caught them in a door!!
When our son arrived he fed so frequently and would accept neither a bottle or a soother, I desperately tried to get him to take a soother, so that I could get few minutes peace, but to no avail, when I went back to work he finally relented and took a soother.
For any parents out there who are, like I was, part of the soother hating brigade, they do have their uses, especially if used for certain situations and they don’t necessarily have to be a permanent feature in their mouths and for anyone who things their child will never give up their soother I look at my eldest and realise that she won’t be looking for her soother for ever and if she needs it the odd night for comfort then why on earth would I deny her.
To all those parents who were on the receiving end of one of my dirty looks I apologise….I still judge when I see children speaking with a soother in their mouths, just not as harshly!!