My children have always been so different, that its impossible not to compare, because next to nothing they do is they same.
While Alice was walking at 1, Thomas was talking and while Alice is a thrill seeking explorer Thomas seems to have more of a practical problem solving sort of nature.
I was one of those non-mums who would loudly declare in my pre-baby days that my children where not going to have dummies, wouldnt be eating in macdonalds and wouldn't be shouted at in the street. I have so far broken all three of these 'rule'
However I feel in no was ashamed of that, because once you have kids, you realize what a stuck up idiot you actually were before!
I gave Alice a dummy in desperation when she was 3 weeks old, as I couldn't bare the crying (from either of us!) any more. In my moment of weakness I grabbed for the pack someone had sent us in a gift parcel and let Alice enjoy the sweet relief this seemed to provide us all to her hearts content.
I didn't even stop to notice that this was a pack of old fashioned cherry teat dummies, and in my opinion as with everything that wasn't designed in the last 5 years, this actually did the job, Alice fell in love with it, and became a grade A dummy addict within a matter of days!
Eventually the dummy had its problems though, like being thrown out of into the road for me to retrieve and err 'clean' and I was worried that Alice's speech may even have been slowed a little (possibly just a buggys pushy health visitor though!) and by the time Thomas was born she was allowed night time dummies only.
She is not quite three and this is still important for her, we have begun talk of the magical dummy fairies coming when she is 3 and im sure they'll be more on this to follow.
Back to the point though, consequently this was her most important 'comforter' and a string of toys have been givern pride of place with her finallly settling on a Jingling pink rabbit called 'Jelly' that she was given as a gift (therefore I now cant find more) and cant wash because of its bell! but she has never really struggled to settle down as long as the dummy has been there.
With Thomas I made sure he got the 'right' dummies from the start, and he reluctantly accepted that they may just be better than nothing and they did help him to settle as a small baby.
When we moved house (and kicked him out our room) last summer I decided that 6 months was a good time to take the dummy away full stop (most unfair as Alice was still parading hers around at bedtime) and Thomas has had to find alternative ways of comforting himself.
A few months ago I realized he was able to turn on his Rainforest PeekaBoo mobile himself, and we had a week of sleepless night when the batteries ran out, as this is clearly important to him. I have ignored the 'remove after 6 months' guidelines for the sake of everybody's sanity (and it cost far too much for 6 months use!!).
His other 'comfort' object strangely enough seems to be books. He will not settle for either bedtime or naps unless he is given at least one and preferably two interesting books.
I'll them hear him giggling and cooing away for about 20 minutes before he actually falls asleep.
I havent encouraged this on him, but do find it unbelievably cute!
My top bedtime book suggestions are: