Baby Care – To Dummy Or Not To Dummy
Everyone has an opinion right? And they certainly aren’t quiet about it. You were probably dead set against dummies before your little one came into this world and now you find he is having trouble settling or using you as a human pacifier. So, what to do? There is no one set answer. No matter what anyone tells you, it’s your decision and you will do what you feel is best for your child. To help you with this decision lets run through some of the basics of using a dummy.
Reasons to Use a Dummy:
· Some babies are born with a very strong sucking reflex and are inclined to suck on their thumb from birth. A dummy can eventually be given to ‘Santa’ or the ‘Easter Bunny’, whereas thumb sucking may take longer to break due to the parent’s inability to remove the offending object.
· A baby with colic or reflux may find that the sucking action used with the dummy will help with their pain, allowing them to settle.
· Babies born prematurely are sometimes given a dummy so they learn how to suck, ultimately assisting them with bottle feeding.
· You may find your little bundle of joy is using you as a human pacifier if they are breastfed. While babies do often cluster feed when very young and at certain periods throughout the day, if your baby is almost constantly attached to your breast even after their full feed, it is possible they are using you and the sucking action to soothe themselves.
· They can be used as an easy method to ‘pacify’ your baby when he is very unsettled or to settle himself to sleep.
· If your baby is on a routine you may try to use the dummy to extend the time between feeds.
· Researchers believe there may be a link between the use of dummies and a lowered risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Reasons NOT to Use a Dummy:
· Research has suggested that there may be a link between excessive use of dummies and dental problems. However, this would be more relevant when adult teeth are coming in.
· Babies and children may come to depend on using the dummy to settle themselves, to fall asleep or even during their wake periods.
· Excessive use may lead to speech problems. As your child grows up he will be learning to talk around the dummy, or, he may not practise his speech much at all.
· Your baby may start to wake up frequently during the night to have their dummy replaced as the dummy is now a sleep association.
· Thrush outbreaks may increase in frequency and repetition.
· Some researchers believe that the use of dummies in the early stages of breastfeeding may lead to nipple confusion.
· There can be problems with hygiene as the dummies inevitably get dropped or lost and may not be adequately cleaned.
· At some point, your child will need to part with the dummy. He may refuse to give it up.
There are also different types of dummies, including different sizes, materials, shapes and many varying opinions on each of them. Every baby, if they do in-fact take a dummy, will have a preference for a shape and size. In the end, every child is different and the decision is yours. If you do decide to use a dummy, do the research, weigh up the pros and cons and make a decision that you feel is the right choice for both of you.