Dummies also known as soothers or pacifiers, are used to soothe your baby. They consist of teats made from silicone or plastic. Dummies are designed in such a way that it encourages your baby the same way as breastfeeding. However, the use of dummies has raised a great debate among many people. Here we are going to explore the advantages and disadvantages of using dummies.
Reasons to use a dummy
There are many good reasons why your baby should use a dummy. Here are benefits associated with the use of dummies.
Dummies can help in the prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Health visitors advise parents to consider using dummies to make their babies sleep, they assert that dummies are effective only during the first year. The dummy should only be used when putting your baby to sleep. However, you should not use the dummy once the baby is asleep. The study shows that dummies can prevent SIDS in babies.
They give a soothing effect to your baby. Infants must find ways of soothing themselves. Therefore, dummies can be a great source of comfort for your baby. This minimizes crying and helps your baby get a lot of sleep.
It satisfies the suck reflex of your baby. Some health professions suggest that infants need more time to suck. However, for busy mothers this will not be possible. Therefore, the use of dummies can solve this problem as well.
Dummies can be of great in weaning process. When the time for your baby to stop suckling comes, it will be much easier to wean using a dummy than from suckling the thumbs. Conventionally, most babies continue to suck their own thumb after weaning. Sucking of the thumb can lead to poor development of teeth. Therefore, dummies provide a safe way of weaning your baby.
Reasons to avoid using a dummy
You should be noted that everything that is good may also have some disadvantages. Here are some of the problems that are caused by the use of dummies.
A study made by health professionals report that dummies may result in more ear infections. The researchers have no scientific explanation about this condition but they suggest that it may be due to pressure changes between upper throat and middle ear. A study shows that children who ceased to use dummies at the age of six months have fewer middle ear infections than those who use it regularly.
If you introduce your baby to a dummy at a very early stage, there is a risk of your baby confusing the nipples. Therefore, health visitors/midwives recommend the mother to allow their babies start using the dummy when the baby is over one month old.
Babies who are aggressive suckers may delay the speech or change the alignment of teeth. Such condition is more evident when the child is a toddler and does not want to give up on a pacifier. Sucking a dummy at this stage may lock the mouth in an awkward position and cause dental problems. However, this is reduced by choosing an orthodontic dummy. You should not dip the dummy in anything sweet as this causes tooth decay.
Dummies are easily contaminated and increased use can lead to upset tummies. Therefore, dummies should be sterilized using a sterilizing solution. In addition, broken caps can trap germs. Therefore, you are advised to replace any broken dummy immediately. Using your mouth to clean the dummy can be a great mistake. Mouth is filled with bacteria, which may cause infection to your baby.
Excess sucking of a dummy can hinder the development of the speech in your child. Dummies prevent the important babbling that is essential for development of the child’s speech. Therefore, ensure that you remove the dummy whenever you are talking to your baby. This gives your baby to make sounds without hindrance.
In conclusion, a dummy can be of great importance of you adhere to the safety precautions. Seek advice from your health visitor before you start using dummies on your baby.