There’s something about dummies. Most babies love them but many parents can’t help but feel concerned that their little one is too attached and that they will end up regretting letting them have one. And this leads to the dreaded dummy guilt that many new parents face. Relax mamas, we’ve found the best dummies and 8 reasons why you need to ditch the dummy guilt.
This is just one of the many guilt trips we come across during our parenting journey. That’s well before we start to feel other popular guilt trips such as “Oh geez, I let my kid eat Maccas” guilt and the “My child likes Cocomelon better than me!”
Dummy Guilt is one of the first ones though so it’s quite impactful.
But before you let the Guilt Hole come and swallow you up, allow us to share a few very important reminders about soothers and babies. Let us ease your concerns and remind you that the best dummies are actually good for babies, even if the “Guilt Fairy” thinks otherwise. She doesn’t know. She probably doesn’t even have kids.
Ditch the Dummy Guilt: Here’s 8 Reasons Dummies are Good for your Baby!
1. Babies want to suck – it’s what they do
Babies don’t have a lot of super skills just yet. They are pretty good at grunting and pooping their pants at inappropriate times, but they are also expert suckers. Obviously, their sucking reflex is designed to help them receive nutrition but babies also suck simply because they are babies and they have a strong suckling reflex. A dummy can satisfy this natural reflex.
2. Dummies support tongue development
Soothers also can support the early development of the tongue, helping babies to master the fine art of sucking.
3. Dummies give you (and your breasts) a break
As babies naturally want to suck, they often get fussy when they can’t. For breastfed babies, the best thing in the ENTIRE WORLD is to breastfeed as it provides a soft, snuggly space and satisfies the suckling reflex. Plus, it fills their hungry bellies.
However, often babies still want to suck when they aren’t hungry. Enter comfort feeding, which is great in some instances, but can also be incredibly draining, emotionally and physically for us mums. In between feeds, a dummy can keep them happily sucking and gives you a much-needed break from being a human pacifier.
4. Dummies help calm them down
Sucking has a soothing and settling effect on an infant. It’s quite incredible to watch actually – how a few sucks can cause instant calm.
Too bad we couldn’t use this trick with our older kids. “Here teenage-son-who-hates-me-for suggesting-he-do-his-homework, have a suck of this soother.”
5. Dummies assist in falling asleep
Soothers are also a proven sleep aid and can make bedtime and naptime so much smoother. Even if your little one wakes up at night (and isn’t hungry), you may find all they need is the dummy to be placed back in their mouth and they are ready to go back to sleep.
This beats having to resettle and return to the living room to do the mombie shuffle as you bounce up and down with your baby in your arms until they are calm again.
6. Dummies keep them more comfortable during travel
It’s proven that soothers can help reduce air pressure during take-offs and landings when travelling by plane, but I swear my three kids also were much more settled in the car when they had a dummy in their mouths.
7. Dummies reduce the risk of SIDS
When babies have dummies for every sleep, dummies might reduce SIDS risk. Red Nose has an in-depth look at a few studies that indicate this.
8. Calm baby = relaxed you
Giving your baby a dummy isn’t giving up or giving in. It’s giving your baby something they naturally want and also providing you with a chance to rest. You can’t be expected to be the only pacifier for your infant and this pressure is insane. Trust me, it will lead to parental burnout, frustration, anger, and a waterfall of tears at 1 am as you realise how hard it is to soothe a fussy baby all the time.
Not all babies need constant pacifying but most will want to suck. If you do have a fussy baby who wants to suck, then there’s no reason to feel guilty about bringing out the soother.
If dummies are so beneficial, why the bad rep?
There are three main concerns with extensive dummy use:
Many infants who love the dummy will transform into toddlers who love the dummy which can make it a bit trickier to convince them to get rid of it when the time comes (usually no later than 36 months). Some tots will easily ditch the dummy while others may need a bit of convincing. Check out our top tips and tricks on ditching the dummy down the road.
2. Problems with breastfeeding
Another concern for new mums is that a dummy may interfere with breastfeeding which is very rarely the case but it is why many new parents will wait until breastfeeding is established before introducing a dummy (around the 4-week mark).
This is also why it’s important to choose a dummy that mimics the breast.
3. Dental issues in the future
Normal pacifier use during the first few years of life generally doesn’t cause long-term dental problems. However, prolonged pacifier use might cause a child’s teeth to be misaligned, especially if your little one is using a dummy from 4+. Even so, many parents are concerned about dummy use in infants and what this could mean.
Not all pacifiers are designed the same. There is one pacifier that has been proven the best dummies for babies and that pacifier is NUK.
Which dummy to choose: The best dummies on the market
You’ve probably heard of NUK before. NUK work with experts such as midwives, doctors and nutritionists to design their range of baby and toddler products.
Their NUK Orthodontic Soothers not only settle babies but also encourage healthy oral development. In a recent survey, NUK pacifiers went up against three other leading soothers and were proven the best dummy for teeth, jaw and palate**. NUK’s unique shape provides the least pressure on the palate and minimal realignment of the teeth.
100% of orthodontists surveyed confirm that the new NUK Pacifiers do not cause crooked teeth or jaw misalignment.*
NUK Orthodontic soothers are also considered the best dummies for breastfed babies as their shape is modelled on the mother’s nipple as she breastfeeds. NUK Pacifiers are accepted by 95% of babies* and recommended by medical experts*.
ANOTHER FUN FACT:
93% of mums confirm that the NUK Pacifiers did not affect breastfeeding.*
If you want to introduce a dummy to your infant, then go with a soother that squashes any of those common dummy concerns, one that’s ideal for breastfed babies, will settle your baby, will aid in teeth, jaw and palate development and will ensure the Guilt Fairy doesn’t pay you a visit. Ever.
A soothed baby with a dummy means a relaxed mum with a chance to rest her breasts, her body, and her mind in between the baby chaos. Check out the NUK pacifiers range and see why these soothers are so many parents – and orthodontists – consider this the best dummy range on the market. The perfect dummy really does exist!
NUK pacifiers come in several sizes and designs, either with a silicone or latex teat. Silicone is neutral in taste and smell, heat-resistant, hygienic and easy to clean while Latex is a natural product and feels soft and warm to the touch.
NUK Soothers are available nationally at Baby Bunting, Big W, Chemist Warehouse, Target, Kmart, Woolworths and Coles.
This is a sponsored post for NUK
*Independent market research, Germany, 2017 and 2020
**”Pacifiers: the right shape is crucial”, Pharmawissen aktuell, 2022