Dummies, pros and cons: your dummy questions answered | Baby & toddler, Your baby’s health articles & support
Whether it’s to do with breastfeeding, teeth or SIDS, here are some things to consider when deciding whether to give your child a dummy.
Can dummies affect breastfeeding?
Sucking is a powerful reflex that babies have in the weeks after they’re born. Babies don’t just get nutrition from their mother’s milk when they breastfeed – breastfeeding also satisfies their sucking instinct.
Babies who are not able to breastfeed for whatever reason, might satisfy their sucking instincts by using dummies (Cinar, 2003). Yet any substitute for sucking the breast can put the relationship between the breast and the baby at risk. That’s especially true for a baby who has not yet mastered breastfeeding (La Leche League GB, 2019).
When can dummies be used for babies?
Research suggests that it’s best to avoid dummies in the first weeks after birth. That’s because they’re associated with shorter duration of exclusive breastfeeding (Adair, 2003; Kronborg and Vaeth, 2009). Some studies say this is caused by sucking confusion but other studies disagree with this idea (Newman, 1990; Howard et al, 1999).
After breastfeeding is established, dummies can be used. Evidence shows dummies used for healthy babies who are breastfed don’t significantly affect the proportion of babies who exclusively breastfeed at three months (Jaafar et al, 2011). So the use of dummies should be limited to soothing babies after breastfeeding is well established (Adair, 2003; Horne et al, 2014).
Does a dummy reduce the risk of SIDS?
Many studies have suggested dummy use and breastfeeding are important factors for preventing cot death (also known as SIDS [sudden infant death syndrome]) (Hauck et al, 2005; Alm et al, 2016).
It’s unclear how dummies might protect against SIDS or even if they do actually reduce the risk of SIDS at all (Horne et al, 2014; Blair et al, 2019).
Experts do not specifically recommend using dummies to protect babies from SIDS (Fleming et al, 1999). That’s because even studies that reported a remarkable reduction of SIDS with dummy use still say that actually recommending dummies is open to debate (Mitchell et al, 2006). Any association between using dummies and reduced risk of SIDS could be down to lots of other factors, for example:
Dummies might prevent babies from rolling onto their front.
Sucking on a dummy may keep babies’ tongues forward.
A baby that sucks on a dummy might be more still at night, so less likely to become covered by blankets.
Parents may check on their baby more frequently if their baby has a dummy (Grocock, 2018; Ball, 2019).
What are the advantages of a dummy?
The main advantage of babies having dummies is that they can satisfy their sucking instincts if they’re not breastfed. Using dummies can calm babies and help them to fall asleep (Cinar, 2004). Dummies can also be used to sooth babies at other times, for example to help reduce pain during hospital procedures (Adair, 2003; Horne et al, 2014).
As discussed above, another advantage could be that dummies might protect against SIDS although more evidence is needed (Horne et al, 2014).
What are the disadvantages of using a dummy?
Using dummies can be helpful and convenient but there are some disadvantages. The most important concern is that use of dummies can decrease how often as well as how long babies are breastfed for (Adair 2003; Kronborg and Vaeth 2009; Horne et al 2014).
Another disadvantage of using dummies is that they might also transport bacteria and fungus, which can increase the rate of infections, particularly otitis media - middle ear infection (Uhari et al, 1996; Adair, 2003; Rovers et al, 2008). Mums whose babies used dummies reported more episodes of coughs, wheezing, earache, diarrhoea and gastroenteritis among babies up to six months old (North et al, 1999).
Dummies might also affect how baby teeth grow (Larsson, 1994).
Are dummies bad for baby teeth?
Some studies have found harmful effects on the way teeth grow if dummies are used for a long time (Larsson, 1994). Effects of dummies on baby teeth include overbite, malocclusion, cross bite and open bite (Poyak, 2006).
Using an orthodontic or flat dummy is much better for your baby’s teeth, so that can help. These dummies are much better designed than dummies were in the past (Levrini et al, 2007).
It’s also suggested that parents wean their children off dummies by two years old and discontinue using them before they turn three (Poyak, 2006).
One mum, Helen, says: “My little boy had started sucking his thumb and I thought an orthodontic dummy has got to be better than that because at least one day I can take it away.”
Tips on how and when to stop your baby from using a dummy
If you think using a dummy is affecting breastfeeding (fewer daily feeds, weight gain affected, or difficulties in attaching to the breast) or if you want to wean a younger baby from a dummy, you could try the following:
If the dummy is being used as a sleep cue, then introducing a different sleep cue can help.
Give extra attention to your baby by cuddling or nursing instead.
Try different ways to soothe your baby, such as carrying them in your arms or a sling, or increasing skin-to-skin contact with them. This helps them to feel better.
You could restrict your baby’s dummy use to certain times only, such as in the car.
Rewards might work better for an older child – your local children’s centre or health visitor can offer support with this. Some areas even have ’dummy fairies’ at Christmas.
Try picking a good time to stop using a dummy – when your child is feeling well, things are stable and they’re happy.
Have a go at hiding the dummy away so your child doesn’t see it.
(Cinhar, 2004; Huffington Post, 2015)
This page was last reviewed in July 2018.
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Adair SM. (2003) Pacifier use in children: a review of recent literature. Pediatric Dentistry. 25(5):449-458.
Alm B, Wennergren G, Molborg P, Lagercrantz H. (2016) Breastfeeding and dummy use have a protective effect on sudden infant death syndrome. Acta Pardiatrica. 105: 31-38. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5049485/ [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Ball, H. (2019) Dummies, baby sleep info source. University of Durham. Available at: https://www.basisonline.org.uk/hcp-dummies/[Accessed 19 September 2019]
Cinar ND. (2004) The advantages and disadvantages of pacifier use. Contemporary Nurse. 17:1-2, 109-112. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.5172/conu.17.1-2.109 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
La Leche League GB. (2019) Dummies and breastfeeding. Available at: https://www.laleche.org.uk/dummies-and-breastfeeding/ [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Fleming PJ, Blair PS, Pollard K, Platt W, Leach C, Smith I, et al. (1999) Pacifier use and sudden infant death syndrome: results from the CESDI/SUDI case control study. Arch Dis Child. 81(2):112-116. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1718026/ [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Grocock R, Robertson C, Brown N. (2018) Dummies: a review of the evidence; Journal of Health Visiting. 6(4). Available at: https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/full/10.12968/johv.2018.6.4.182 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Hauck FR, Omojokun OO, Siadaty Ms. Do pacifiers reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome? A meta-analysis. Paediatrics. 116(5):e716-e723. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16216900 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Howard CR, Howard FM, Lanphear B, deBlieck EA, Eberly S, Lawrence RA. (1999) The effects of early pacifier use on breastfeeding duration. Pediatrics. 103(3):e33. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10049989 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Horne RSC, Hauck FR, Moon RY, L’Hoir MP, blair PS. (2014) Dummy (pacifier) use and sudden infant death syndrome: Potential advantages and disadvantages. J Paediatrics Child Health. 50:170-174.
Huffington Post. (2015) 9 Ways to wean your baby off the dummy. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/14/9-ways-to-wean-your-baby-off-the-dummy_n_7336610.html [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Jaafar SH, Jahanfar S, Angolkar M, Ho JJ. (2011) Pacifier use versus no pacifier use in breastfeeding term infants for increasing duration of breastfeeding. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (3):CD007202. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007202.pub2/full [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Kronborg H, Vaeth M. (2009) How are effective breastfeeding technique and pacifier use related to breastfeeding problems and breastfeeding duration. BIRTH. 36:1. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1523-536X.2008.00293.x [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Larsson E. (1994) Artificial sucking habits: etiology, prevalence and effect on occlusion. Int J Orofacial Myology. 20:10-21. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9055659 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Levrini L, Merlo P, Paracchini L. (2007) Different geometric patterns of pacifiers compared on the basis of finite element analysis. European J Paediatric Dentistry. 8(4):173-178. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18163851 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Mitchell EA, Blair PS, L’Hoir MP. (2006) Should pacifiers be recommended to prevent sudden infant death syndrome? Pediatrics. 117(5):1755-1758 Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16651334 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Newman J. (1990) Breastfeeding problems associated with the early introduction of bottles and pacifiers. J Hum Lact. 6(2):59-63. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2346601 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
North K, Fleming P, Golding J. (1999) Pacifier use and morbidity in the first six months of life. Pediatrics. 103: E34. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10049990 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Poyak J. (2006) Effects of pacifiers on early oral development. Int J Orthod Milwaukee. 17(4):13-6. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17256438 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Rovers MM, Numans ME, Langenbach E, Grobbee DE, Verheij TJ, Schilder AG. (1999) Is pacifier use a risk factor for acute otitis media? A dynamic cohort study. Fam Pract. 2008 Aug;25(4):233-6. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18562333 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
Uhari M, Mantysaari K, Niemela. (1996) A meta-analytic review of the risk factors for acute otitis media. Clin Infect Dis. 22(6): 1079-83. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8783714 [Accessed 19th September 2019]
When and how to introduce a dummy to a baby | Medela Baby
Only the best for your babies. To help you introduce a dummy in a healthy and positive way, we gathered useful advice and inputs.
When babies are agitated, showing signs of discomfort, it can be heartbreaking. As parents, you will move mountains to comfort our little ones. If simply cradling and rocking doesn’t seem to help, a dummy may be a soothing solution – whether he or she is a newborn, three months old, or even six months old.
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How do you introduce babies to a dummy? When should you give a newborn a dummy? These are questions that may concern you. You want only the best for your baby and to make the right choices for him or her. To help you introduce a dummy to your baby in a healthy and positive way, we gathered some valuable advice that you may find helpful.
Keep reading to find out when to start giving your little one a dummy and the techniques to help your baby accept their dummy, and advice for encouraging calm and self-soothing with the assistance of a dummy.
When is the best time to start giving a dummy to your baby?
Dummies can be given from birth to any age, you can even start giving your little one a dummy if he or she is already three or six months old. With many shapes and designs, there are even dummies that are specially developed for newborns, like our NEWBORN dummy, shaped to accommodate their tiny mouths and to protect their sensitive skin.
If you are breastfeeding your newborn, you may choose to wait and introduce a dummy after your baby has learned to latch correctly and breastfeeding is well established between you two. Studies have shown that the use of a dummy in healthy breastfeeding babies, started from birth or after lactation is established, did not impact significantly the frequency or duration of exclusive and partial breastfeeding up to four months of age. 1 With that in mind, it is recommended to hold the use of the dummy when it is close to the feeding time and not to use the dummy as a mechanism to delay the feed. Instead, when your baby is giving you cues that they are hungry, enjoy this feeding moment to hold your little one in your arms and engage in the magical bond that unites the two of you.
Whatever timeline you prefer to follow, keep in mind that each baby is unique and may react and adapt differently to this new experience being introduced into their life.
So, how can I get my baby to take a dummy?
Every baby has their own preferences and rhythms, and introducing a dummy is no different. Try the following steps when helping your little one discover a dummy for the first time:
Be sure to thoroughly clean and sterilise the dummy before it is introduced to your baby.
Hold the dummy, and gently touch the skin around your baby’s lips and cheeks with the teat. Allow your little one to feel the dummy's material against their skin. This will help trigger the rooting reflex and your baby will turn their face towards the stimulus.
Observe your baby’s behavior. If your little one opens the mouth, it means that they are searching for something to suckle on. Place the dummy gently on the lower lip or the front part of the tongue, and wait for the suckling reflex to start.
If the first introduction is successful, your baby will eventually begin to explore and suckle on the dummy.
Of course, be gentle with your baby and don’t force the dummy as this may cause a negative response. If it seems as though your little one is rejecting the dummy at first, it’s instead often an indicator that he or she just needs more time to explore and discover. Give your baby plenty of time to learn, explore new feelings and sensations, and become familiar with their dummy on their own terms. You’ll know as your baby begins to enjoy suckling the dummy – for example, you’ll see it from their content expression and calm behavior.
Like all people, your baby has individual preferences and interests and you may even find that he or she doesn’t want a dummy. By carefully observing their reaction upon introduction, you can make the determination as to whether your baby is ready for a dummy – and he or she will likely let you know too.
Discovering the dummy is a learning experience. Your little one will learn all about it through their senses and by using their tongue, lips, and natural suckling instincts to explore with this brand-new object. In time, they will likely perceive and recognise their dummy as a pleasant object that allows them to suckle, relax, and perhaps even calm themselves.
1 Jaafar SH et al. Effect of restricted pacifier use in breastfeeding term infants for increasing duration of breastfeeding. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016; (8):CD007202. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007202.pub4/full
CRISIS Neonatal Manikin
CRISIS Basic Neonatal Manikin
This training manikin is ideal for initial practice and getting into the habit of working on more advanced models of the Full Newborn Manikin or the Full Deluxe Neonatal Manikin.
This full bodied neonatal manikin has been designed to provide realistic training and practice for airway management and CPR training. Anatomically correct in size and detail. Recognition points include the cervical gums, tongue, nasopharynx and oropharynx, larynx, epiglottis, arytenoid cartilage, fake and real vocal cords, cricoid cartilage, tracheal cartilage, trachea, esophagus. Allows the practice of intubation and suction. The kit includes "artificial blood", IV reservoir, replaceable cords, storage bag, lubricant spray, instructions for use.
CRISIS Medium Neonatal Manikin
Includes Airway Management Head, IV arm, brachial pulse arm, IV leg, IV leg, original chest skin with umbilical cord. Hands and feet suitable for injections have special, extremely thin synthetic skin and rubber tubes with correspondingly thin walls for the practice of venipuncture. Practice placing the umbilical clamp, cutting the umbilical cord, umbilical catheterization, and blood collection. It is possible to practice intraosseous injections several times without replacing bone structures. The kit includes "artificial blood", IV reservoir, umbilical cord, storage bag, spray with lubricating fluid
CRISIS Complete Newborn Manikin
Everything you need in one manikin! This training manikin is a complete resuscitation system designed for neonatal life support training. The model is ideal for the practice of providing pediatric emergency care, nursing, medical practice, as well as for training paramedical staff and junior specialists in the provision of first aid.
Tactile and visual realism combined to provide students with the most realistic learning possible. The most versatile pediatric intensive care manikin allows the practice of ECG monitoring, intravenous infusion, umbilical catheterization, airway management, intraosseous infusion and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The unique chest skin and umbilical cord allow the practice of umbilical catheterization. Fluid can be suctioned through the navel, which makes the model even more realistic. The intravenous arm and leg allow for pediatric venipuncture. The saphenous lateral vein of the arm and ulnar vein are accessible on the arm for intravenous infusion and the dorsal venous arch on the hand; subcutaneous large leg veins available on the leg for intravenous infusion and dorsal venous arch on the foot. The intraosseous leg recreates the intraosseous injection procedure. Combining realistic anatomy and size, the airway management head is ideal for practice with newborns.
Procedures that may be performed:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation: visual recognition points that are palpable; carefully detailed head, neck, jaw; mandibular extension technique. - Restoration of airway patency: realistic anatomy of the mouth, tongue, oropharynx, larynx, epiglottis, vocal cords, trachea, esophagus; the possibility of oral intubation. - IV arm and leg: smaller hollow tube recreates the size of a newborn's veins; realistic recoil thanks to the pressure system; replaceable skin and veins. - ECG/Umbilical catheterization: arrhythmia recognition; training in the proper technique of umbilical catheterization; practice of umbilical cannulation, cutting and tugging; aspiration of fluid through the umbilicus. - Intraosseous infusion: palpable cues include the patella, tibia, tibial hunchback; replaceable bones and skin; pressure system allows aspiration of liquid.
CRISIS Deluxe Neonatal Manikin
Has the same components as CRISIS full-fledged neonatal manikin and handheld ECG simulator.
Is it possible to give a mannequin to a newborn?
May also reduce the risk of SIDS by using a dummy at the start of sleep. But the evidence is not strong, and not all experts agree that dummies should be promoted. If you are using a mannequin, do not start until breastfeeding is well established. … Stop giving them a dummy when they are 6 to 12 months old.
using dummy OK?
Dummy work is associated with slightly higher rates of middle ear infections. The use of a sham, especially around the age of 4-5 years, increases the likelihood of dental problems later in childhood - for example, the problem of a child's teeth growing out of line. Babies can get very frustrated when mannequins are lost or misplaced.
Can you leave the dummy on the newborn bed?
Some research indicates that it is possible that using a manikin when laying a baby down may reduce the risk of sudden baby death. If you choose to use a manikin, wait until breastfeeding is well established (under 4 weeks of age). Stop giving a mannequin to your baby to go to sleep from 6 to 12 months old.
At what age should you get rid of the mannequin?
teapots can be helpful to help babies build up on their own for the first four or five months, but it's generally recommended that parents try to wean their baby's dummy between six and 12 months.
How often should you sterilize the manikin?
Maintain dummy clean
Clean and sterilize your child's dummies every day and keep them in a container when not in use. Never put the dummy in the mouth (to "clean" it) and never put food or other substance (such as honey) on the dummy. From about 6 months old, your baby will be more resistant to infections.
Can mannequins get rid of babies?
Mothers whose babies used dummies reported more episodes of coughing, wheezing, earache, diarrhea, and gastroenteritis in babies under six months of age (North et al, 1999). Gabs may also affect how baby teeth grow (Larsson, 1994).
Are teapots bad on the NHS?
Will the mannequin be damaged or will my child's thumb be damaged? No, but they will stimulate an open bite as the teeth move to make room for a dummy or thumb. They can also affect speech development. That's why you should avoid using dummies after your baby is 12 months old .
Is it possible to give a 3-day supervision?
Someks are safe for your newborn . When you give them one is up to you and your child. You may prefer that they practically come out of the uterus with the help of a nipple and that's great. Or it may be better to wait a few weeks if they have problems with fixed breasts.
Can newborns sleep with triggers in their mouths?
Can babies sleep with a sow? Yes , you can safely give your child a drink before bed. To make it as safe as possible, however, be sure to follow these guidelines: do not attach a string to the drop, as this may pose a strangulation risk.
Can I give my 3 week old mannequin?
When should I give my child a mannequin? Lullaby Confidence recommends introducing dummies as soon as your baby has established breastfeeding, and once you've settled into a breastfeeding routine; around 3-4 weeks old.
Do kettles destroy?
If a child is still suckling the dummy when their adult teeth are coming through, there is a much higher risk of permanent changes in the growth of teeth and jaws. Never put anything sweet on the mannequin as this can cause serious tooth decay very quickly.
do kettles affect?
teapots are not the culprit for common speech disorders in children, according to a study. New study shows that bottles, dummies and thumb sucking in the first years of life do not cause or worsen phonological disorders, the most common type of speech disorder in children.
How to get rid of the fictitious NHS?
How to get rid of the mannequin?
wean them - Gradually reduce the time you let your child use their dummy.
Limit sham use at key times during the day, such as before bed or when your child is sick. …
Indicate older girls and boys who do not use dummies to your child.
Why does my baby use me as a pacifier?
Usually these babies are on their own (they have a thumb, nipple or safety object to use when they want to go to bed or when they are fussy, sick or hurt), so for them, comfort than the way to get food .
What can I use instead of a manikin?
Baby doll. I thought it was just my daughter, but obviously it's very common for kids this age 2-3. …
New blanket. Night time is the most difficult time for babies to go without a pacifier when they are used to using it. …
Sleeping bag. …
Night light or projector. …
New toy. …
How can you tell if your baby is using a pacifier?
When you look at your child, he will reduce the amount of swallowing and eventually stop swallowing completely. The baby may also start squeezing his nipple instead of suckling. These are all signs he will give you based on his sucking and latch. His body and arms will also be flexible and he can be relaxed or asleep.
How to sterilize a mannequin?
Cleaning and maintenance
Before first use Place saucepan in boiling water for 5 minutes, allow to cool and squeeze out any trapped water from the SOHOTHER. …
Clean before each use. …
Suitable for steam sterilization (electric and microwave), tablet boiling or cold water/liquid solution.
Do not sterilize display case.
How can I stop the dummy at night?
As soon as your child is asleep, collect the mannequin. If your child wakes up during the night, try to comfort them without returning their dummy. Remove mannequins from home or keep them out of sight. Never let your child chat or talk with a mannequin in his mouth , this will prevent them from learning to speak clearly.
How can I teach my child to soothe?
Make soothing activities such as warm baths and massages part of your routine. Where he sleeps, read him a story or sings a song, finishing with hugs and kisses. Once the routine is over, put your child to bed while he is drowsy but still awake. You may find that he falls asleep without much protest.
can fictitious teeth be corrected?
If A the habit stops at the age of 7 , then the teeth can often correct themselves with normal growth.