Ah the great dummy debate. Everyone has an opinion on it but the issue is far from black and white. Not having any children myself, I can’t really comment from personal experience. However here are some pros and cons to using one with your baby –
*Possible protection against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The Department of Health advises that giving your baby a dummy at the start of any sleep period may reduce the risk of SIDS. Use the dummy when putting baby down to sleep. Don’t put it back in baby’s mouth once he’s already asleep.
*Helping babies pacify themselves. Infants need ways to help soothe themselves, a dummy can be a source of comfort for a crying or colicky baby.
*It satisfies the suck reflex. Some babies have a need to suck that exceeds the time they get on the bottle or breast. For these infants, a dummy can meet this very real need.
*Easier weaning. When you’re ready for a child to stop, it’s much easier to wean them from a dummy than off their thumb.
*Research has suggested that there may be a link between use of a dummy and recurrent ear infections in young children. Researchers aren’t sure why this happen. But they suspect it may be due to a change in pressure between the middle ear and upper throat. The Department of Health advises that parents who give their child a dummy should not be overly concerned by these research findings. It was not clear if parents participating in the research had a tendency to use dummies to soothe children who were prone to ear infections.
*There’s the risk of nipple confusion for a baby who’s just learning to suckle. When a baby is being breastfed, it’s best not to give a dummy until breastfeeding is well established. This is usually at about one month old. Parents can mistakenly offer a dummy when the baby really needs nutrition-based sucking.
*Babies who are overzealous suckers, or who use a dummy for long periods, may develop teeth problems. Overuse of a dummy can also hinder speech development. It’s recommended that you try to limit the times your baby uses one. It’s recommended to try and wean them off it completely by the age of one.
What to do?
It can be hard to make the decision on what to do. I suppose ultimately it comes down to controlling their use and only using one when really necessary. Babies who have a dummy in their mouth for most of the day have reduced opportunities for babbling and exploring their ability to make sounds.
This debate will be around for a long time and someone will always disagree with whatever you choose. So just do what works for you and your family. And if you decide to use one, remember to use an orthodontic dummy, try to only use it as a comfort before sleep times and remember to make sure baby isn’t hungry when you’re offering it to them.
I hope this was helpful and please feel free to share it with any of your friends or leave a comment below.
See you soon!