Soothers, dummies and pacifiers. All the advantages and disadvantages.
Whatever you choose to call it, the dummy has always been a valuable ally to both mums and dads as well as little ones. They are able to calma hungry child and help us out with those innocent cries for attention, and the times when we simply don't know what else to do. So, let’s take a little journey around the world of the dummy, to get a better understanding of how to use them correctly!
When to give them their dummy?
The benefits of the dummy
Dummies offer a multitude of advantages which begin withsatisfying the instinctive desire to feed.
By giving an infant their dummy, we not only are able to calm them – and ourselves – we also stop our little one from developing another habit, thumb sucking which, in many cases can be quite hard to overcome.
...and a few disadvantages.
The dummy does, however, have a few minor disadvantages: it slows down language development due to the fact that the baby’s mouth and attention are distracted (it would be better to wait until they are a month old before they are given one). Furthermore, as we well know, even if it is preferable to the thumb, it generates a strong sense of attachment, both for the child and parent – one that we risk turning to immediately in order to calm the child and ourselves.
Then what am I supposed to do?
This brings us to the big question: dummy, yes or dummy, no? Yes, obviously, but no parent wants the dummy to become a habit which they can no longer do without! It is for this precise reason that we want to give you some advice about using a dummy:
Here are a few suggestions about removing the dummy from the mouth of a child
We must always remind ourselves not to pull the dummy out brusquely, avoiding an unpleasant, possibly traumatic experience for the child. For example, it can help to point out the behaviour of their peers to the child, while trying not to create a competition of comparisons and confrontations that could prove to be more harmful than useful!
Another strategy is attempting to wean them off their attachment to the dummy by telling them imaginary stories and associating their giving up the dummy with the reward from a fairy, a goal to be proud of or a giftthey desire.
An unusual alternative, if the other solutions have not worked, isto createa negative connotation with using the dummy. In this instance, the rubber dummy, used usually after the child reaches six months, begins to give off an unpleasant odour over time – even if washed, obviously. If the child is affected by this odour, they may decide to quit using their trusted companion.
Quite often, the journey is slow and gradual, however it is precisely for this reason that you should not give in during a moment of weakness, perhaps due to tiredness or tenderness, and reach for the dummy!
Young mums and dads, whatever approach that is chosen, must decide in a manner which is agreed and followed by all members of the family. By giving little ones a few small rewards and lots of praise, they will be able to make good use of the experience and come out the other side with a greater sense of pride and a feeling of being more grown up!