13/05/2009 18:05 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Why I Love Dummies

Soother, noo noo, comforter, pacifier - what ever you call them, if you're a parent I'm sure you've considered the question of dummies more than once in your time.

I will be honest and admit that both my children used dummies to help them get to sleep until they were about three. And I am so glad that they did. I am a big fan of the magic plastic sleep-inducer.

I've met some parents who've been vehemently anti-dummy, but they're the ones who spend hours juggling their child to sleep, whilst mine would drop straight away.

And we have no problems with thumb sucking - 'cos you can chuck away dummies, a benefit that is somewhat lacking when it comes to your own digits.

Yes I have heard the anti-dummy arguments.

So you claim they inhibit speech? Not with my two they don't. I've raised a right pair of chatterboxes.

So you think plastic looks ugly in a baby's mouth? OK, maybe you have a point.

I think what a lot of the dummy critics are complaining about are situations when they're over-used. Of course it's not a good thing when a three year old is walking around all day sucking like Maggie Simpson when he could be talking.

But used at night, to aid sleep or soothe sore gums, they can be a godsend. Not to mention healing the fractured nerves of exhausted parents.

Who would deny a child something that gives them comfort and helps them sleep when they're tired? Dummies have been used for centuries with good reason.

Use of a dummy has also been included in the official guidelines for prevention of cot death.

And getting rid of the dummy is no big deal at all. Either you chuck it away when they're too young to know the difference, or you let them swap for a present from the Dummy Fairy when they're older. My son swapped his dummy for a red Power Ranger, and he was very happy with his end of the bargain.

What do you think? Are dummies sent from heaven to help parents and babies or not?