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Is it okay to use a Dummy to Soothe Your Baby?
Parents need to find ways to soothe their baby to sleep for their own sanity and for their baby – the two go hand in hand. If parents feel rested, caring for their baby is easier. New born babies (up to 3 weeks old) innately suckle to calm themselves. In the first two weeks after birth they want to suckle almost continuously and this can cause very sore nipples for a breastfeeding mum. Mums often feel they do not have enough milk for their baby, particularly from 6 pm, when it is common for babies to have a ‘witching hour’ although this hour can often turn into 2 or 3 hours. Finding other ways to soothe a new born baby enables a mum
to get some rest.
Things to consider:
- Hand them over to ‘dad’
- Put them into a baby carrier – newborns prefer the stretch fabric wraps as they are very close to mum or dad in an upright position which also can help a ‘windy’ baby. Using a baby carrier allows mum and dad to have their hands free.
- Let them sleep on your chest, ‘research looking at newborn babies has shown that close contact helps them to sleep more quietly and longer’ (isisonline.org.uk)
- Swaddle baby, some like this, some don’t but check the facts out first (isisonline.org.uk)
- Try different soothing positions – baby on your shoulder, baby ‘tiger in a tree’ over your forearm, baby on back in both your arms so you can talk to them and they can look at you
Babycentre.co.uk have great tips if you are considering using a dummy:
- If you are breastfeeding it is best to try and wait for six weeks before introducing a dummy as breastfeeding requires baby to learn a different jaw and tongue action from sucking on a teat. A woman’s body is always working out the supply and demand requirements and a suckling baby is all part of this amazing natural cycle.
-Some experts think that a dummy or pacifier can cause nipple confusion and swapping from one to the other does seem to confuse some babies, but others do seem to cope with both the dummy and the breast. Some babies like to suck more than others and will want to suck on anything for added comfort. Some parents use their ‘pinky’ finger.
- If you do choose to use a dummy, look for an orthodontic model. These are better for your baby’s developing teeth and gums. Latex dummies are softer and more flexible than silicone, but they don’t last as long. Always sterilize dummies and throw them away at the first sign of wear. It’s best to wean your baby off a dummy between 6-12 months to avoid any effect on how teeth grow and speech develops.
Top websites for further information on soothing a crying baby:
Bringing Baby Home
Four Month Fussies
Hello Best Baby Sitting
Understand Your Pelvic Floor
Well Being and PN Depression
Stroke Support After Childbirth
Tongue Tie Division
Gentle Learning Curve
Introducing Solids Workshop
Julie's Support Groups
Nadia, Becoming Mother
loVe Your Relationship