The use of dummies, also known as pacifiers, can be a topic of debate and confusion among new parents. While dummies can have both advantages and disadvantages, it's important to separate myths from facts to make informed decisions about their use for your baby. Let's explore some common myths and truths:
Myth 1: Dummies Will Ruin Breastfeeding
False: Dummies, when used judiciously, usually do not interfere with breastfeeding. In fact, many lactation consultants recommend them as they can help satisfy a baby's natural sucking reflex and provide comfort between feedings. The key is to introduce a dummy after breastfeeding is well-established.
Myth 2: Dummies Cause Nipple Confusion
True/False: While nipple confusion can occur if any dummy other than a Cherry Shaped Teat is used, it's not inevitable. To minimise this risk, choose dummies with a shape that closely resembles the breast, like the cherry-shaped ones. Check out brands such as CMC Dummies, Frigg, Cub & Bear Co and Make U Well (linked below for your convenience). It's also important to establish your breastfeeding routine and then introduce a dummy.
Myth 3: Dummies Will Lead to Dental Problems
False: Prolonged and improper use of dummies, particularly after the age of 2, can contribute to dental issues like misalignment. However, just like any baby product if you follow the instructions and guidelines from suppliers, when used in accordance with the guidelines and phased out as a child grows, the risk is minimal. We always recommend to remove the dummy by the age of 2.
Myth 4: Dummies Are a Must for All Babies
False: Dummies are a matter of preference. Some babies may benefit from the soothing comfort a dummy provides, while others may not take to them at all. It's important to make sure you give it a good go, sometimes it may take months (speaking from experience) other babies take them right away. Remember you do have options with different teat shapes too.
Cherry Shaped Teat
Orthodontic Shape Dummies
Myth 5: Weaning is Hard
False: Dummies can be a helpful tool for soothing a baby. There is no best way to wean a baby off a dummy it’s personal preference. There are many ways to do it. I personally went cold turkey with my daughters. It was a challenging week and then it was all over like the dummy hadn’t ever existed. Other options are to reduce dummy time during the each day and night and slowly continue this pattern over the space of a few weeks.
Myth 6: Dummies Reduce the Risk of SIDS
Truth: Dummies (pacifiers) may reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by potentially stimulating a baby's sucking reflex, maintaining an open airway, and making them more easily aroused from sleep. However, their use should be introduced responsibly, and babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs, as recommended by health authorities, to minimise the risk of SIDS.
In conclusion, the use of dummies for babies is a personal choice, and there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider. It's essential to use them responsibly, following expert advice and your baby's cues. When used in moderation and with attention to proper care, dummies can provide comfort and soothe babies without causing any harm to your baby.