I don't really like pictures of Dexter with a dummy in; if I'm honest, it's because I think people will judge me. The boy has loved his dummy from quite a young age. I'm vaguely fascinated by how much babies are soothed by their sucking reflex. Dexter has to have one when he goes to sleep (along with a knotted muslin and Trumpo the Elephant - it's quite a party in his cot). I have not made any attempt to wean him off his dummy, and I think he is one of the few of his baby buddies who still can rival Maggie Simpson in the 'plugged-in' stakes. To be honest, I'm relying on nursery sorting it out for me when the time comes. Yet again, I am exposing my questionable parenting 'skills'.
I have sometimes wondered whether I should write a parenting guide for benighted newbies - a sort of antidote to the vast number I have browsed/read/that simply adorn my shelves. I like to think I could offer some pragmatic words of (non) wisdom to counter the matronly brusqueness of Gina Ford or the gentle psychology of 'The Baby Whisperer'. In reality, I doubt that 'Katy's Guide to Complete Chaos and Questionable Child Rearing' would be a number one smash.
My boy was: bottle-fed exclusively from two weeks; in his own room at eight weeks; reliant on a dummy quite quickly; addicted to Cbeebies at an early age; in full-time childcare at the age of seven months. He is however: a brilliant and adventurous eater; a super-sleeper; able to self-soothe with a little help from the afore-mentioned 'holy trinity'; happy in his own company; content to go to and be left with people he doesn't know very well. Above all, he's hugely and massively loved - more than I thought my heart was capable of giving without actually bursting.
I guess that when it comes to parenting, it's horses for courses and different strokes for different folks. A happy, well-adjusted and well-loved little person is the main and obvious priority.
I'm still not sure though that I'll be holding out for that publishing deal...