Baby dummies: Some parents swear by them, and some are sworn off them. The decision whether to give your baby a dummy is an entirely personal one, but before you make that decision, read up on the advantages and disadvantages of dummies for babies, as well as the different kinds available.
Should you use a dummy?
Baby dummies are designed to soothe and offer comfort to babies, particularly when they’re crying or to help them go to sleep. Little ones are soothed by the action of sucking, and dummies act as a comfort mechanism when they’re not feeding.
If you do choose to use a baby dummy, it’s generally recommended not to do so until your little one is at least four weeks old, and if you’re breastfeeding, it’s advised that you wait until they’re used to it before introducing a dummy. Furthermore, experts advise that you don’t continue using a dummy beyond your child’s first year, as this may interfere with the development of their teeth and jaw.
Advantages of baby soothers
• There is some evidence that using a dummy when your baby goes to sleep can help to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). You shouldn’t, however, force your baby to take a dummy if they don’t want it, and if the dummy falls out during sleep, there’s no need to worry.
• The action of sucking on a dummy can be a good pain reliever for infants.
• Dummies may help premature babies develop the action of sucking, which they can often lack.
• As the name implies, baby soothers have a knack of calming down your little one when nothing else seems to work!
Disadvantages of dummies
• It’s been found that babies who use dummies tend to get more ear infections than those who don’t use them.
• If babies use a dummy long past the recommended age, it can cause developmental problems with the shape of their mouth and teeth.
• Over-use of dummies can lead to problems with speech development. If your little one tries to make sounds with a dummy in their mouth, you should remove it.
• Sometimes, if dummies are introduced before breastfeeding is well-established, babies can develop ‘nipple confusion’.
Tips for using a dummy for baby
If you choose to give baby a dummy, there are some simple tips to follow to ensure they’re healthy and happy:
• Dummies can quickly become dirty and unhygienic. You should regularly sterilise baby dummies, just as you would with bottle teats.
• Tempting as it may be, don’t dip baby’s dummy in honey or anything else sweet, as it can be bad for your little one’s teeth and gums.
• Some parents prefer to use orthodontic dummies as they can be better for the development of baby’s jaw.
• Try only to give your baby a dummy when it’s really necessary – they shouldn’t become over-dependent on it.
• It’s time to replace a dummy when it has holes or tears in the nipple, if it becomes discoloured or if the nipple remains sticky even after it’s been washed.
Our favourite baby dummies
There’s a wide range of dummies for babies out there, including multiple piece dummies, where all the parts are made individually, one piece dummies which are made from a single component, and orthodontic dummies, which are flatter than traditional ones. We’ve picked out some of our favourite baby dummies available here at Babies R Us, to help you choose one that suits both you and your little one!
These brightly coloured baby soothers are perfect for babies aged up to six months. They’re specially designed to encourage acceptance from baby, with an orthodontic shape and reversible silicone nipple. They’re also BPA-free, meaning your little one will be safe from any nasties.
These night time baby soothers come with a glow in the dark handle to help comfort and relax your little one. They’re free from tastes and odours, meaning your baby is more likely to take to them, and they come with a hygienic snap-on cap to keep the dummy clean when not in use.
There’s no chance of losing these dummies in the middle of the night, thanks to their glow in the dark handles! They come with protective caps to keep the dummies clean when you’re not using them or when you’re out and about, and they cleverly feature ventilation holes to prevent the build-up of saliva.
With an orthodontic shape designed to adapt to your little one’s mouth, this dummy will help exercise your little one’s facial muscles whilst promoting the healthy development of their teeth and jaw. What’s more, it features the NUK Air System, which helps to keep the mouthpiece soft and flexible.