Infographic: facts about using dummies for unsettled baby
Do some people give you a hard time about using a dummy?
I encourage the use of dummies in some young, unsettled babies and I know some people find this horrifying! But I’ve found some babies are especially “sucky” and they really like to suck to put themselves to sleep or to calm themselves. If that’s your situation, then a dummy can save you from having a baby attached to you all day and can help a baby go off to sleep without too much fuss (and go back to sleep if they wake before they are meant to).
I think it’s best to wait until you have established your feeding, if you are breastfeeding your baby, before introducing a dummy because there can be some risk of your baby getting confused with the dummy and the nipple. And only use the dummy when you are having settling problems; don’t force the dummy on your baby at every sleep because she usually won’t need it every time she goes to sleep.
It will take some practice for a baby to take a dummy because it is a different way of sucking, if she is breastfed. One of my BabyBliss mothers told me a story about trying to introduce a dummy and her baby repeatedly spat it out and thought it was a hilarious game. Some babies will never take to a dummy but to see if yours will, gently hold the dummy in her mouth until she starts to suck. Once she has got the hang of it then she will suck away until she has calmed herself right down and is ready to go off to sleep. At this stage she will usually then spit the dummy out and go to sleep. Don’t try to put the dummy back in, let her do that last bit of going off to sleep without it.
Of course, the problem with using a dummy is that babies can become so attached to sucking it that they can’t go to sleep without it and worse, can’t go back to sleep without it if they wake up. They stop spitting it out and actually need it to go to sleep and stay asleep. So, my advice is that if you don’t have to use one then don’t, but if you do use a dummy, try to get rid of it by the time your baby is around four months old. By this time they will not be too addicted to it and you should be able to get rid of it without too much fuss.
Below you’ll see an infographic with some of the key facts about dummies (or pacifiers as they’re called in the US). You can see that there are lots of reasons not to feel bad about giving your baby a dummy so feel free to share this infographic with people who might question your choices.
You’re ok and your baby’s ok!
All the best
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