Are dummies good for babies? Pros & Cons
Like everything in life there are pros and cons to giving your baby a dummy and each parent needs to decide what’s best for theirs. Understanding the pros and cons to offering your baby a dummy will help you decide. It’s a little less black and white than just “are dummies bad for babies or are they good for babies”? So, let’s dive in.
Pros to a dummy – The reasons dummies are good for babies
- A dummy can soothe and really help babies settle. The sucking motion that happens during feeding can have a lovely calming effect that can help them fall asleep.
- Red Nose says there is strong evidence that dummies are associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death when used consistently*.
- Having a dummy gives you a great tool to use in other times when a baby needs some comfort outside of sleeping such as vaccinations.
- Dummies are great for preemies too as they can help with their under-developed sucking reflex so it never hurts to pack one in your hospital bag.
- A dummy can sometimes help avoid thumb sucking. The benefit to that is you can control when you baby has access to their dummy and not their thumb so you can limit the dummy to sleep time if you wish.
Cons to a dummy- Reasons you may want to push through the crying and settle a different way.
- Frequent dummy use can increase the chance of dental problems, especially when used beyond 4-5 years of age so at some point you’ll have to wean them off the dummy. This can be easy or more difficult depending on your child and their age.
- Unfortunately, not all babies will take dummies even if their parents are keen to give them one.
- Using a dummy frequently during the day can impact the development of speech.
- Babies and toddlers can get terribly upset if they can’t find their dummy so it’s best to have multiple.
- Babies that rely on their dummy to fall asleep and can’t put it back in themselves may need assistance until they can do it themselves.
- If not cleaned regularly continuous suck on a dummy has been linked to a slightly higher chance of developing a middle ear infection, so please ensure dummies are cleaned often.
If you decide you want to help soothe your baby with a dummy, there are a couple of things to consider:
- If you’re breastfeeding, it’s recommended you hold off for 4-6 weeks to avoid nipple confusion. However, bottle fed babies can take them straight away.
- Find a dummy made from one piece to avoid separating parts that could become choking hazard.
- Get one that meets Australian standard AS 2432:2015.
- Don’t attach the dummy to your baby’s clothes with a ribbon or string as it can become a strangulation hazard.
- Consider a natural rubber dummy as they are made from the most natural material. This is important since your baby will spend hours sucking the dummy. Avoiding BPA, chemical softeners and other nasties is key for frequently used baby products.
- Regularly check to see if there is any wear in the dummy and replace at the first sign of damage. In fact, all dummies should be replaced every few months depending on how frequently they are used.
- Have spares, no doubt they will be miss placed at some point, so spares will help avoid tears.
- Do not dip the dummy in sweet things like honey or oily foods as this can cause tooth decay or even cause the rubber to deteriorate.
Natural rubber dummies come in multiple colours so you don’t need to compromise your style for the extra benefits of a rubber dummy. We have beautiful Sage Green Rubber dummies and Blush Pink Rubber dummies.