Are you expecting a newborn? Are you stocking up on items for your nursery? Dummies are a common item parents buy for their newborns. Dummies are used to soothe a baby when it is fussy. The sucking action can calm the baby. Some parents use them to discourage thumb and finger sucking. Safety is always an issue with a newborn or young child. If your baby uses a dummy, you want to consider purchasing a dummy clip to keep it attached to your child’s clothing.
Dummies are one piece and have a guard or shield attached to the base. The materials used to manufacture dummies include latex, molded silicone or a combination of plastic and silicone. Siliconedummies are sturdy, do not retain odors, and are easy to clean. Those made of latex are softer than silicone and retain odors. If you are concerned about your baby developing an allergy or sensitivity to latex, you should consider purchasing silicone dummies.
A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) shows that dummies at nap time and bedtime may reduce this threat. There is also concern that dummies interfere with breast feeding. You may want to wait one month to six weeks before you introduce the dummy to your newborn.
Other concerns are that by using a dummy, your baby will develop dental problems such as protruding front teeth, an overbite, or improper jaw formation as they age. For these reasons, you should consider stopping the use of a dummy for your child between the ages of one and two.
Here are some tips for purchasing dummies:
Check to make sure the nipple is firmly attached to the base. If you can pull it off, your baby may be able to pull it apart. Purchase an orthodontic and a rounded dummy. Make sure the dummy has vent holes in the guard or shield to guard against skin rash. Read the package label to determine how the dummy can be sanitized after its use or after it has been dropped. Check for recalls. Not all babies like dummies. There are two types of dummies: orthodontic, which has a rounded top and a flat bottom and rounded ones. By purchasing both types you can determine which one your baby prefers.
Babies drop dummies. For safety reasons, you do not want to tie the dummy around the baby’s neck with ribbon or string. Instead, purchase a clip-on holder which will attach to the baby to the baby’s clothing. Make sure the dummy clips do not have beads or other objects which can cause choking.