Dummies that can make all the difference when it comes to soothing at sleeptime.
What are pacifiers?
Also known as dummies, pacifiers are nipple substitutes you can give to your baby to help soothe and comfort them between feedings. Made from either rubber, plastic, or silicone, they normally are made up of three parts; a long teat where they suck, a mouth shield and a handle.
Why do babies need pacifiers?
There are numerous reasons to invest in a dummy to help both yourself as well as your little one. Newborn babies are born with a natural reflex to suck, so the action of sucking on a dummy is actually entirely normal for them too.
Your baby will benefit from sucking on a dummy because it:
Helps your baby to fall asleep and stay sleeping
Relaxes and self-soothes them
Helps your baby to stay satisfied until it’s time for them to feed
Helps to soothe babies when they are fussy, anxious or frightened
Helps to distract babies when they are travelling, sick or collicky
May even help to prevent SIDs in newborns according to several medical studies
May help to relieve ear pain from air pressure changes if you’re flying with your baby
Why do pacifiers work?
Pacifiers work because they replicate and remind your baby of being in the womb. It is actually one of the five womb sensations capable of triggering a baby’s ability to self-soothe. Sucking on a dummy (or the motion of sucking in general) lowers the heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels, which makes dummies very essential tools to have when you’ve got a new baby.
Can babies sleep with dummies?
Wondering if it’s safe to give your bub their dummy to suck on all night long? The answer is yes! There are many benefits to putting your newborn to sleep with their dummy as it can help to relax and soothe them as they fall asleep and even keep them asleep for longer. If they wake up, they can continue sucking on their dummy instead of crying and thus waking themselves up. Most interestingly, several medical studies have found the using dummies when your baby sleeps can even help to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Are dummies bad for babies?
As we’ve explained above, there are numerous benefits to giving your baby a dummy. If you’re going to breastfeed, it’s recommended to wait at least a month before giving your newborn a pacifier. This helps to reduce the risk of ‘nipple confusion’ and your baby preferring to latch onto the dummy instead of your breast. Some parents resist giving their babies dummies in order not to form habits, but up until the age of six months old, babies are not habit-forming so you can safely give a pacifier to your child. Finally, it’s really important to practice good hygiene with dummies and keep them clean to avoid bacteria and infections.
Dummies and newborns
If you’re trying to decide when is the right time to give your baby a pacifier, it comes down to how you’re intending to feed them. If they will be bottle-fed from birth, then you can give your newborn a dummy straight away. If you’re trying to breastfeed your child, then it’s best to wait until you establish a good feeding rhythm with your bub and have them latching onto your breast easily. If you introduce a dummy too soon, it may create difficulties with latching onto your breast and cause them to become confused between their dummy and you.
Dummies for toddlers
Is your toddler still using a dummy? When your child gets to about 12 months’ old, it’s a good time to start weaning them off their dummy. You know they’re ready to come off the pacifier if they begin to chew on it instead of suck on it. Some tips to wean your toddler off a dummy include:
Offer an alternative way for them to self-soothe with a blanket or toy
Try simply removing the dummy with no replacement until the habit fades
Limit your child to only using the dummy when sleeping