Photo Of Four-Year-Old Harper Beckham Using Dummy Causes Outrage – Is It That Big A Deal?

The doting dad has stood up for his decision to let Harper Seven use a dummy aged four. [Photo: Instagram/David Beckham]

A picture of David and Victoria Beckham’s daughter Harper using a dummy has caused a whole lot of drama.

The snapshot, taken in Hollywood yesterday, shows the four-year-old out and about with her dad while sucking on her dummy – and lots of fans have had something to say it.

While dummies often cause a fair amount of debate among parents, it’s Harper’s age that is the main point of conflict in this instance. It’s unusual for a child of four to still be using one, but that isn’t to say that it’s wrong. It’s simply just one of many choices a parent makes.  

While the Beckhams normally keep their opinions to themselves, this time David has silenced critics and defended his parenting choice. The 40-year-old explained that his daughter was using the dummy because she wasn’t well and it helped comfort her – not that it’s anyone’s business, he added.

David was not happy about the backlash from Harper’s dummy. [Photo: Instagram/David Beckham]

Taking to his Instagram account, he reprimanded haters writing, “Why do people feel they have the right to criticise a parent about their own children without having any facts?

“Everybody who has children knows that when they aren’t feeling well or have a fever, you do what comforts them best and most of the time it’s a pacifier.

“So those who criticise, think twice about what you say about other people’s children because you have no right to criticise me as a parent.”

The post has received a lot of support, with fellow parents sharing their own personal stories.

“My four year old sucks his thumb and has his muslin with him a lot of the time as the two go hand in hand – I’m not about to stop him,” commented @mirrymowbray. “What’s the difference between that and a dummy for comfort? Good on you Mr Beckham.”

Harper’s been pictured using a comforter before - it’s not unusual for young children to carry one around with them. [Photo: Rex]

By all appearances, David’s very protective of his only daughter. [Photo: Instagram/David Beckham]

Other Insta users congratulated David, who’s been hailed as one of the best celeb dads out there numerous times, on his fantastic parenting skills. Victoria’s stayed silent and hasn’t publically got involved in the debate – although we hazard a guess she’s had a lot to say about it privately. 

The dummy debate is nothing new, with plenty of parents concerned that they’re often used as a quick silencing solution for crying babies and toddlers.  

Dummies come with a range of health risks, too. The NHS recommends that parents avoid letting children over the age of one use dummies as they can affect a child’s speech development and damage teeth.

In young babies, there’s also the risk of nipple confusion for a baby who’s learning to breastfeed and there is some research that suggests a link between the use of a dummy and recurrent ear infections in young children.

But there are plenty of pros to using a dummy, too. Young babies using dummies may help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and they’re a great way to help children soothe themselves when they’re tired or unwell – exactly the reason why Harper Beckham was using one. Plus, a dummy can help with reflux and teething pains.

“Many parents choose to use a dummy to soother their baby, myself included, and I really think this is fine if they are used in moderation,” says parenting expert Fi Star-Stone, founder of Childcare Is Fun.

“Sticking to bed and nap times or times of discomfort or stress is better than daily continued use as this is when potential problems such as dental and speech development can occur.

“Many older children suck dummies in times of worry or at bedtime and it’s really not a concern unless they are sucking intensely and continually all day long.”

If you need some tips in helping your child ditch the dummy, Fi’s got some advice on her website.

What do you think? Is Harper too old to use a dummy? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.

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