You may be surprised to discover not all dummies are created equal! In fact it’s just the opposite – there are many distinctive factors that should influence your choice! From shape and design, chemical composition, the developmental age of your baby and any special needs, such as a baby in the NICU, a dummy should be selected with all these factors in mind…
As mums we do not receive much education in the area of dummies. We hope they might soothe our crying baby or assist with our baby’s want to comfort via sucking. The ‘dummy decision’ often comes when we hit desperation point with an unsettled bub and as such a product is chosen in haste.
The majority of mums leave the hospital with a newborn that is not yet using a dummy (as they are largely not advocated for in maternity wards) but as many as 50% of mums are using a dummy within 3 months of getting home. The prevalence of dummy use in western society is in fact so great that UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Initiative comments, ‘Dummy (pacifier) use has become a cultural norm in many parts of the world’.
As such, mums may make their dummy purchasing decisions blind and without the understanding and knowledge that different dummies meet different needs.
Here’s some information to help you make an educated decision in choosing the right dummy for your baby – there’s much more to getting it right than you might think!
1. Special dummies for your baby in special care
Having a baby in Special Care or Neonatal Intensive care is an incredibly difficult and taxing time. Choosing the correct dummy for your baby need not add to your stress, as there is in fact one that is designed just for this baby’s special needs. With a single piece construction that’s approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics their design specially moves away from the nose area allowing baby to have the comfort of a dummy without interrupting oxygen or feeding tubes. The Gumdrop and Jollypop pacifiers are the choice of Neonatal units around the world for this very reason.
Clinical research proves there are actual advantages for NICU and pre-term babies to use dummies including the development of a more nutritive suck when feeding, less defensive behaviours and less fussy state during tube feeds.
2. Dummies without chemical nasties
Not all dummies are made the same; in fact some cheaper models can contain several plastic compounds that are less than desirable for in your little ones mouths. In choosing a dummy always seek ones that are phthalate-free, latex-free, BPA-free and DEHP-free. At Baby Hints and Tips we don’t like to create fear around product choice but we will always encourage you to do your own research on the impacts of these chemicals with some chemical compounds banned in Europe but still permitted in Australia. Either way, knowing that there are less proverbial yuckies in anything that your baby has close contact with is certainly peace of mind! Interested? Here is a great place to source nasty-free dummies and teething products, check them out here.
3. Dummies designed for safety
The construction and safety of anything your baby puts in their mouth is obviously important. Thus, the construction of a dummy is an integral part of your purchasing decision. Single piece construction is the design of choice as it ensures there is no chance for pieces to break away and pose a choking risk. While other multi-piece brands have been recalled in the past for weakness and potential choking-hazards, single piece pacifiers are considered to be the safest choice of all. You can purchase single-piece construction dummies here.
4. Choose a dummy based on developmental need
A dummy that offers different sizes and robustness based on your baby’s developmental stage is imperative. From the needs of tiny prem babies to a stronger choice for a child that may be teething, it is wise to ensure that the dummy you give your child suits their current needs. Whilst dummies are not teething devices an older stage dummy is made of stronger more resistant latex, an older baby using a newborn dummy risks biting through the nipple and a potential choking risk.
As mums we seem faced with many decisions regarding dummies – to use or not to use? And then to decide which is the best choice for our child?
Finding a brand that can cover all of the points on our checklist is the best possible option for medical, safety, health and peace-of-mind factors. When it comes to what we put into our little ones mouths, an informed decision is truly the best one! If you are a dummy-proud-mummy, select your pacifier with knowledge of these important factors and you (and your baby) will enjoy the benefits of dummy use for many months to come. Happy sucking!
Looking for a place to purchase dummies that tick all the boxes? Check out Mamma-Bee online. A family-owned, Australian business who are your experts in selecting Gumdrop and Jollypop dummies. Not only are they competitively priced they are true dummy experts and always willing to assist you with expert knowledge in your purchasing decision.