Dummy Use For Sleeping
Also known as soothers, binkies, pacifiers and buttons, dummies have been a helpful item for new parents since they were first invented. Even before then, babies would instinctively use their own hand as a makeshift dummy. While there are quite a few sources out there that suggest dummies are not good for your child for various reasons, there’s no denying that they help soothe babies and young toddlers when they become restless or when sleep time rolls around. So, let’s have a quick chat about dummy use for sleeping and what the benefits of this are.
Why should I introduce a pacifier to my baby?
Babies use sucking as a coping mechanism. This doesn’t just begin when they are born, it starts while they’re still in the womb! When they’re feeling stressed, tired, hungry or upset you might see them start sucking on their thumbs, fingers, hands or something else within reach.
A dummy is a safe way for them to have that form of comfort. It is especially useful in helping them get to sleep and stay asleep. Dummy use has also been linked to lowering the risk of SIDS in infants. Studies have shown that this risk could be as much as halved when a dummy is introduced to a baby’s sleeping routine. Whether this is because having a dummy in their mouth makes it harder for them to get close to the mattress if they roll over, or for some other reason, introducing a dummy is a great decision when it comes to baby sleep routines.
Pacifiers can also help your baby stay content between feeds for longer and help distract and soothe them when you’re giving them a bath, when they’re sick, or if you’re out and about with them.
When should I introduce a pacifier to my baby?
The best time to introduce a binkie to your baby is after they’ve managed to get the hang of breastfeeding. Nipple confusion occurs when the baby is presented with a dummy and a nipple early on. They feel quite different and it makes it hard for baby to tell when to latch. If you’re strictly bottle feeding from the very start, you can introduce a soothing dummy at any given time.
How often should my baby use a pacifier?
If you want your baby to use a dummy, the more frequently you allow it the better. This helps them associate comfort with their dummy if they have access to it a good portion of the time. This increases the usefulness and success rate for when it will help soothe them.
Tips for dummy use
- A clean dummy is a good dummy – sterilise it as often as you can.
- Don’t dip it in any sweet substances as this can cause tooth decay in infants.
- Keep a spare one handy – babies and young children are the masters of losing things.
- Replace the pacifier if it is broken down or worn out to avoid any choking hazards.
- Make sure you use the right size for your baby’s age.
- If the dummy starts to become a sleep association issue, look at removing it from the routine.
Please get in touch if you’re having trouble getting your little to sleep through the night. We’re always happy to help!
Sleep sweet and deep, my dears.