Using A Dummy (Pacifier Or Soother)
Why Babies Like To Suck On A Dummy?
Dummy allows for non-nutritive sucking.
Some babies have a drive to suck even when they not eating, this is called non-nutritive sucking. In other words sucking without gaining nutrition or calories. This type of sucking will release endorphins to baby’s brain, promote relaxation, comfort and security
Using A Dummy When Putting Your Baby Down To Sleep Might Reduce The Chance Of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
“Here is a few things you should know about using a dummy
If you choose to use a dummy, wait until breastfeeding is well established, which can take a few weeks. Breastfeeding is good for you and your baby.
There are different shapes of dummies available. Orthodontic dummies are sometimes used for
premature babies to help establish good sucking.
If you have chosen to use a dummy, it should be gently withdrawn between 6 and 12 months, to avoid possible longer-term problems associated with dummy use (such as ear infections or misalignment of teeth). These problems have not been found below the age of one year.
If you use a dummy, make sure to offer it to your baby for every day and night-time sleep. Do not force your baby to take the dummy if they do not want it. If your baby spits the dummy out during their sleep there is no need to keep putting it back in.
You shouldn’t put anything sweet, such as honey (which should never be given to babies under a year), on your baby’s dummy to encourage them to take it, or use it during awake time.
Never use a dummy with a neck cord or other attachments.
Do not offer a dummy during wake time
Remember, consistency is the key, so if you choose to use a dummy, make sure it’s part of your baby’s regular sleep and nap routine.” (www.lullabytrust.org.uk)
There was also a study published by AAP researchers, that “recommend that pacifiers be offered to infants as a potential method to reduce the risk of SIDS. The pacifier should be offered to the infant when being placed for all sleep episodes, including daytime naps and nighttime sleeps.”
How Do I Introduce A Dummy To A Baby? Here Are Some Tips.
- a dummy on top of the baby’s tongue, apply firm pressure and go around in circles.
- Try to dip the dummy in the breastmilk or formula.
- Swaddling the baby might help if your baby gets distracted by his hands
- Offer a dummy when your baby is calm instead of when they upset and crying.
- Try different shapes and sizes of dummy
You Might Choose To Give Your Baby A Dummy, But What If They Refuse It?
Sometimes you simply can’t choose for your baby. If your baby decides they don’t want a dummy, they will not take a dummy, but don’t worry it’s ok. Your baby does not need the dummy to become a good sleeper. You can keep trying to offer your baby a dummy, but if they still refusing it by 10 weeks, I’d say it’s time to give up, they will probably never accept it. When you offer your baby a dummy, they might gag, this is not a sign of baby refusing the dummy; this is baby’s normal reflexes, so don’t let them scare you away.
Why Does Using A Dummy Reduce The Chance Of A Baby Dying Suddenly?
“We do not know exactly what it is about a dummy that may help reduce the chance of a baby dying of SIDS. As with most of the safer sleep information, we only know that there is good evidence to show what you can do to reduce the chance of SIDS, and what increases the chance and should be avoided.”(www.lullabytrust.org.uk)
Does my baby need to use a dummy every day?
“Regular dummy use is the best way to use a dummy. This means offering your baby a dummy each time you put them down for a sleep, day or night. You and your baby will also find it easier to have a regular sleep routine. If the dummy falls out of your baby’s mouth during sleep, there is no need to put it back in.” (www.lullabytrust.org.uk)
Will Using A Dummy Make Breastfeeding More Difficult?
“If you choose to use a dummy, only introduce it once you have established breastfeeding. The time this takes differs for each person, but it could be a few weeks. Make sure you get help if you need it. Once breastfeeding is established, introducing a dummy should not have a negative effect.” (www.lullabytrust.org.uk)
What Do I Do If My Paediatrician Has Recommended I Use A Dummy, But I Have Not Properly established Breastfeeding With My Baby?
There are some situations in which babies are given dummies by medical professionals when breast-feeding has not been established:
As a general comforter for babies, it may be helpful to provide a dummy when they are receiving procedures or when on ventilators
It can also help to develop some facial muscles in premature babies as they learn to suck
For babies receiving a certain kind of ventilation called CPAP, a dummy helps to keep their mouths closed and to maintain pressure in their airways.
The Lullaby Trust recommends that parents follow health professional advice in these situations. (www.lullabytrust.org.uk)
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