Should your bubs be sleeping with a dummy?

Should your baby be sleeping with a dummy?

A dummy is a really great way to settle a newborn. Not only does it stop them crying but induces a calming reflex to help them sleep. If you do choose to offer your baby a dummy, I suggest only using it for the first 3-4 months.

Around 4 months of age a dummy can become a very deep-rooted association in that each time the dummy falls out through your little one’s sleep cycle (which is around 30-45 minutes), they will wake up and need it replaced. Because they are unable to replace it themselves until around 8-9 months, they will usually be unable to link their sleep cycles which will cause a very overtired baby who is unable to have consolidated sleep. In older children the dummy can become an issue in that it can affect their speech as well as cause middle ear infections.

When a dummy becomes an issue

If you are finding that your little one is unable to link their sleep cycle it might be worth ditching the dummy. There are a few ways of doing this.

Cold turkey

Although this is scary it is important to remember that to kick the association it can take 1-3 days if you remain consistent. I would suggest removing all the dummy’s you own and throwing them away. By doing this you won’t have the urge to give it to them if you hit a rough patch.

Gradually

Because this way is a little gentler you will find it takes a bit longer. Start with removing it at night-time as there is a higher drive to sleep. After your baby has tackled the nights, you can work on the day naps.

If you choose to keep the dummy be aware that your little one may continue to have disturbed sleep. From 4 months you can start to place the dummy in your baby’s hand and guide it to their mouth. Over a few months of doing this it will teach them the motion of replacement. 

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