Dummy, soother or pacifier no matter what you call them, people either love them or hate them.
To be completely honest before I had a baby I was in the no dummy camp.
There was no way that I was going to give my baby a dummy.
And then I had an actual child and I completely changed my mind.
Babies are born wanting to suck, in fact, many babies suck their fingers and hands while they are in the womb. This natural behavior allows them to feed and grow. It is also comforting and helps babies to settle.
Some recent studies show that using a dummy can also help to reduce the risks of SIDS.
Scientists believe that due to the constant sucking babies don’t go into a deep, deep sleep and this can help to prevent SIDS.
When to introduce a dummy
The official advice if you are breastfeeding is to wait until breastfeeding is established and your baby is gaining weight well. This is usually around 4 weeks old.
It is really up to you when and if you use a dummy. Many parents will use a dummy during the first 6 months to help their babies settle to sleep.
There is a study that shows babies who suffer from reflux and colic can also benefit from a dummy. The ‘non-nutritive’ sucking (sucking without feeding) can help with improving the rate the stomach empties.
Many babies are soothed by the act of sucking. You may find your baby needs to suck comfort when they are awake and not feeding. As they get older they find other ways to soothe themselves, so will do this less often.
How to use a dummy
To ensure that dummy sucking doesn’t interfere with breastfeeding, it’s best to offer it only when you are sure your baby isn’t hungry. Though most babies are quick to let you know that its food they really want!
Offer the dummy every time your baby goes to sleep. Some babies will take to a dummy straight away but if they aren’t keen don’t force it.
Safety Tips for dummies
We send out safety instructions with all our BIBS Dummies and special information on how to look after them. But our safety info is the same for ALL dummies no matter which brand you use.
Do not store dummies in direct sunlight.
It is very important to check your babies dummies regularly to see if it has worn or degraded, as babies can choke on small parts.
Every time you give the dummy to your baby pull the teat in all directions. Throw away at the first sign of damage or weakness.
A cord or ribbon attached to a dummy poses a strangulation hazard. Do not attach a dummy to your child’s clothing or to their bed.
Regularly buy new dummies as constant use and washing can make them weak.
Sterilize dummies or wash them in hot soapy water, then rinse and air dry.
Using a dummy independently
Around 7-8 months of age your baby can learn to put their own dummy back in!
For those of you that have been doing the midnight dummy scramble, in the dark, under the cot, this will be great news.
Introducing a cuddly like a Gobstopperz is a great way to teach your baby to find their own dummy in the night.
There is more information in this blog about using a comforter and why they are important.
To teach your baby to find and replace their own dummy start by putting the dummy into your baby’s hand, then help them by guiding their hand to their mouth.
Every time you are putting the dummy back in, put it in your baby’s hand and guide it into their mouth.
You can then move on to putting the dummy beside your baby in the cot. Tap the mattress and help them learn to reach and find the dummy.
It can take 3 – nights or longer for babies to learn how to replace their own dummies.
Ditching the dummy
Some babies will only need a dummy while they are very small and others will use one for longer.
As your baby gets older ensuring that they only have their dummy for naps and bedtime can help with the attachment. For example, only use it in the car or the cot.
When you’re ready to ditch the dummy, make sure you choose the right time. When there are no other changes going on in your child’s life – like a new baby or starting daycare.
If your child is old enough talk to them about giving up the dummy. Start to prepare them that it will happen soon so that it doesn’t come as a complete surprise to them.
Often parents worry that their child will never give up their dummy.
I often like to reassure them that you don’t see anyone going off to high school with a dummy!
Our BIBS Dummies come in a range of beautiful colours.
Danish designed and made for more than 30 years this classic dummy is a must have for new babies.
These gorgeous soothers are 100% BPA free and 100% natural rubber.
To shop these gorgeous dummies and check out the full range head to our website