Whether you call it a soother, dummy, pacifier, comforter, or binky, you won’t be the first parents to use this comforting item to calm and settle your little one at night.
Sucking is a natural reflex, which babies use to feed and comfort themselves. They may even start sucking their thumb in the womb. While soothers are not an automatic substitute for cuddles, comfort, and feeding when your baby is hungry, they are fine for helping them to settle and calm.
If your baby is comforted by sucking, then offering a soother at bedtime can be another tactic to add to cuddling, rocking, singing lullabies, and all the other things you do to try and get some sleep.
There are some studies that show that using a soother while your baby sleeps can mean a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It’s not clear exactly why this is the case and there’s no need to give your baby a soother to prevent cot death, but it may make you feel a little less guilty if you choose to.
A soother at bedtime may also encourage your baby to soothe themselves back to sleep. But equally, you may find yourself being summoned when they lose it.
Do soothers damage baby’s teeth?
Many parents worry about the effect that soothers can have on little one’s developing teeth and mouth. Look for orthodontic or dentist-approved soothers which are shaped to suit your baby’s mouth.
Safety tips when using soothers
- Check your soother regularly and throw away at the first sign of wear
- Don’t dip soothers in anything sweet, including juice
- Keep soothers as clean as possible – sterilise them just as you would a bottle teat
- Choose BPA free soothers designed for your child’s age
Won’t my baby become too attached to a comfort item or soother?
Parents sometimes worry that their child will become so attached to a comforter that they become inconsolable without it. Losing that precious toy or blanky can then become a real source of stress.
If your little one is particularly attached to a comfort item, it’s a good idea to have another one in reserve. Or, if they’re attached to something larger, like a comfort blanket, you may find you can cut it into smaller pieces to have some spares. Remember to alternate them so each comforter is equally worn and picks up the same kind of smells.
Most children will gradually wean themselves off their comfort object, with it gradually becoming less important as they develop their independence. But you may still find the odd much-loved blanky in University halls of residence.
Is it good for children to sleep with a dummy in their mouth?
Dummies can be very useful at bedtime for those babies who find great comfort in continuing to suck beyond the necessary moment of breastfeeding. Although many parents wonder if it is good for children to sleep with Dummies in their mouth, the answer is positive. To sleep with the Dummies does not bring any risk for the little one!
Babies make the sucking movement when they are tired, bored or need comfort. Some have a stronger need to use the Dummies than others and, in this sense, suction can provide the necessary peace of mind for a good rest. Of course, in case the dummy falls out during sleep, it is not necessary to put it back in the child’s mouth.
However, if you are still breastfeeding the baby, we recommend waiting to offer the dummy; that way you will be sure that breastfeeding is well established. This usually takes 3 to 4 weeks.
Dummies can be used to soothe your baby when you know he/she is well nourished and no longer hungry. Also, research has shown that sleeping with a dummy in the mouth is not a critical factor for sleep, as there are no significant differences in sleep patterns between babies who sleep with a dummy and those who do not. Therefore, parents shall not be excessively worried if the baby cannot get without the Dummies when it is time to go to sleep.
Is it good for children to sleep with a dummy?
The answer is yes, you can feel safe in offering your baby a soother at bedtime. However, it is necessary to take into account some instructions so that the habit happens in the safest way possible. Take note! Here we will tell you everything you need to know about the use of a soother:
- Do not attach a rope or anything like that to the dummy, as it increases the risk of strangulation.
- Don’t offer your baby a soother while he/she is learning to suck from the breast.
- Make sure to keep the dummy clean and use hot water to disinfect it.
- Use the correct size soother to match your baby’s age.
- Don’t cover the dummy with anything.
- You should only use 1-piece dummies.
- The dummy should have holes for breathing in the protector (the part outside the mouth).
The benefits for children who sleep with a dummy
First, the obvious benefit of using a dummy during sleep is the calmness it provides to the baby. Those who love dummies will not put them away easily, especially at nap time or when it’s time to go to bed at night. And, as you can imagine, a quiet baby is synonymous with calm parents.
If you notice that your baby is in a bad mood when it’s time to rest and you want to take the dummy away, think twice: remember that it makes him feel better and has no negative consequences for his sleep. The sucking movement generates calm in the baby, which makes falling asleep easier.
In addition, another important advantage of offering a soother for your baby to use during sleep is the reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome. In fact, the risk drops by half in such cases. In addition, this tool can help babies learn to control their feelings, relax and make them feel safe when it comes to sleep.
In this respect, several studies have shown a correlation between the use of a soother and a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome. The reasons for this positive consequence are not yet clear, but the research is quite consistent: giving your child a dummy at night may help to reduce the chances of seeing them suffer from this problem.
In conclusion, remember that it is not bad for children to sleep with a soother. Therefore, if you notice that your baby doesn’t want to get rid of it while sleeping, you don’t need to worry. As you have seen, the use of the dummy can still bring some very important benefits for your baby’s well-being.
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Tommeetippee.com. 2022. Is it Ok for My Baby to Use a Comforter to Sleep? | Tommee Tippee. [online] Available at: <https://www.tommeetippee.com/en-us/parent-room/is-it-okay-for-my-child-to-use-a-comfort-object-to-get-to-sleep-at-night/> [Accessed 9 June 2022].
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