Baby Serenity UK

02/04/2020

Dummies / Pacifiers

When a baby sucks his finger, thumb or a dummy this is a different type of suck to when  he is sucking milk. This is called non-nutritive sucking. Babies who are born prematurely or are unwell can find comfort in sucking a dummy as the urge to suck is strong.

Parents who have multiple babies may find a dummy useful as it may calm baby while mum prepares a feed, changes a nappy or calms a sibling. 

Dummies can also be useful when travelling in an aeroplane. When taking off or landing it is a good idea to have either saved a feed or part feed for this time. Or alternatively, offer a dummy.

Just a few useful points to note about dummies!

  • Dont introduce a dummy until baby is established with breastfeeds. This is usually when they are around one month of age. Early dummy use has been shown to impact on milk supply, sucking technique and overall duration of breastfeeding
  • There has been research to say that dummies reduce the risk of SIDS. However, this evidence is not strong
  • Try and cease using the dummy when baby is between six and twelve months of age if one has been used
  • If using a dummy, try to only use it when settling baby to sleep or calming a distressed baby, who is not responding to a feed, being cuddled or settled
  • Dummy use may impact on teeth formation and speech if used for a long period of time. It can also increase the risk of thrush in the mouth
  • There can be some resistance with giving the dummy up depending on the age of the child, so it is a good idea to stop using the dummy at a younger age if possible
  • Dont tie the dummy around baby's neck or in the cot. This can be a strangulation risk. It is also not safe to settle baby to sleep with a dummy attached by a clip to clothing from a safe sleep perspective
  • Dont clean the dummy by putting it in your mouth. Adult saliva contains bacteria and can cause cavities in baby's teeth once they start to erupt from the gums. Also, it is not recommended that you dip the dummy in juice for this same reason
  • Clean the dummy by rinsing it in warm water
  • If baby is younger than six months of age, the dummy needs to be sterilised. Check it regularly to make sure it is intact and has not broken, throw it away if there are any signs of breakage
  • Make sure the dummy is in one piece with a soft nipple. Dummies that come in two pieces can be a potential choking hazard if they come apart, but it is also easier for them to harbour germs
  • Make sure you have the correct size. Most dummies are labelled for under or over six months of age
  • If you are bottle feeding baby, it is a good idea to choose a dummy from the same brand as the bottle. The teats are generally the same and this will avoid confusion for baby
  • Orthodontic teats are flatter and shaped to encourage baby to suck in the same way as when he is breastfeeding
  • Latex or rubber dummies are softer and more flexible than silicone dummies. They generally do not last as long

 

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