It’s the age-old question and one which everyone has an opinion on. Should you let your baby use a dummy or not? You get the haters saying they’re the worst thing since disposable nappies. Then you get the fans who want dummy using compulsory, or at least recommended by health professionals. While that will never come to fruition, what we as parents must consider, are the pros and cons of letting our own baby use a dummy.
Mothers have known for generations that babies love to suck. Their sucking reflex stimulates stress reducing chemicals, helping a baby to self soothe. Rather than having a baby continually on their breast, they instead found a replacement – a dummy.
A dummy, pacifier, soother, binky or teether – whatever you call it, a dummy is a self-soothing device used by babies and young children. They’re nothing new, with versions being used hundreds of years ago which were made with bone, wood, metal and rubber. One version which today’s dummies were said to have a direct link with are the sugar tits or sugar rags used in the 19th century. These were made of old bits of linen which had a spoonful of sugar tied up into a ball for the baby to suck.
Should Your Baby Use a Dummy?
First up, I’m going to say it is your choice. Not your Mum, nor your Mother in Law or even the supermarket checkout operator has a say. It’s true that not everyone is a fan of babies using dummies, but quite frankly, it is no one’s opinion but yours which matters. But just so you can say you understand both sides of the story, let’s look at the pros and cons of dummy use.
Benefits of using a dummy include:
Helps them to self soothe and comfort themselves
Can increase sucking reflex in premature babies
It’s easier to wean a dummy user than a thumb or finger sucker
Can be a pain reliever when teething or hurt
Produces saliva which helps prevent against tooth decay
May be related to a reduction in SIDS
Then the cons of dummy use include:
May interfere with breastfeeding if introduced before feeding is fully established
Can lead to teeth grinding and misaligned teeth if used for many years
Has been linked to speech problems if used after 12 months of age
May be a link to ear infections if used for long periods without a break
Finally, there are two objections to using a dummy which I’m going to put a stop to right now. Firstly, parents don’t want to get up in the middle of the night to find a missing dummy to help their baby get back to sleep. Problem solved – use a Sleepytot! The dummy stays attached to the Sleepytot’s paw and after some practice, the baby will learn to find their dummy on their own.
The second objection is that the dummy is often thrown onto the floor and yes, I agree, that is gross. But once again, I’m solving the problem. When their dummy is attached to a Sleepytot, it’s not going anywhere because it has Velcro which you can use to attach it to their cot, highchair or even stroller! It’s a total win because a Sleepytot also makes a wonderful snuggly friend that babies and toddlers love to cuddle. Stop those dummy runs by ordering your baby an award winning Sleepytot today!