It's said to stunt speech, misalign teeth and host bacteria, but is it really so bad if your kid still sucks a dummy?

Sheesh is this an issue that gets people’s undies in a bunch.

Google ‘celebrity kids with dummies’ and whole galleries appear with a multitude of mini-mes sucking away. Suri Cruise at almost five. Gwen Stefani’s son Kingston at four. Three-year-old Princess Tiaamii, Katie Price and Peter Andre’s daughter. You can smell the disapproval from a mile off. The parents might as
well be taking their kids clubbing and sticking Jagerbombs in their sippycups.

So I’m bracing myself for the onslaught as I confess publicly that my almost three-year-old daughter Bibi has a dummy. In fact she probably has hundreds stashed about the house in drawers, pockets and covered
in fluff at the bottom of my handbag.

There, it’s out there. Go ahead and judge. Because I know you will.

I can argue with you about speech
impairment – she gabbles on like Russell Brand on Newsnight, so that’s not an

I’m not worried about her teeth either – she’s ruined both front teeth already careering into stairs and onto our stone kitchen floor, and at the risk of stating the bloody obvious, these are her MILK TEETH. She’ll get new ones. At least that’s the plan.

As for bacteria, I don’t think anyone with a dog can really fret about that. One lick from our hound, Berkeley, and that’s all the sterilisation wasted.

But I can’t change the stigma that surrounds late dummy use. I can’t tackle every pinched face or eye-roll. And so, although I tell myself that we banned Bibi from having dummies in the daytime at 18 months because we didn’t want it to stunt her speech (‘NO dummies in the daytime’ was the first full sentence she uttered), the real truth is I didn’t want people tsk-tsking at me as they have at Victoria Beckham and the other dummy mummies.

And now, despite being a sleep-starved working mum-of-two, and banning binkies at bedtime not really being a battle I want to fight right now, I will, at Christmas because I can’t take the humiliation any more.

But you know what really bugs me? Her four-year-old sister sucks her thumb. And that, apparently, is cute or at the very least acceptable. Hell, some adults admit to it: Jennifer Lawrence, Kelly Osbourne and Rhianna have all been snapped having a suck.

So Matilda will be able to continue
soothing and comforting herself with her thumb at bedtime probably until at a sleepover a sharp-tongued peer calls it babyish and she’ll willingly quit the habit.

Meanwhile Bibi will have to cry herself to sleep begging me for her dummy until she gives up exhausted and learns how to sleep without it. And who’ll be the good mother then?

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