Ask Rachel: "Is it OK to give my baby a dummy?"
Parenting expert Rachel Fitz-Desorgher is here to help with all your questions around dummies: read more of what Rachel has to say here.
How do you choose the best dummies for breastfed babies?
- The dummies need to be made of latex, and be BPA- and phthalate-free.
- The dummies need to be sized and shaped for your baby's mouth - always check the advised age range.
- The dummies need to leave your baby's nose free.
- The dummies need to be taste-free and odourless.
- It’s better to invest on a dummy approved by the British Dental Health Foundation.
How to use dummies
- Limit for how long your baby uses a dummy.
- Most experts advise starting using a dummy only after baby is at least one month old and preferably getting them used to it once your baby is feeding well.
- Don’t give a dummy dipped in sweet foods, like honey or juices.
- Try to use an orthodontic or flat dummy; some research suggests they are better for tooth development.
- Don’t force your baby to use a dummy; if they don't want it, let it be.
If you aren’t sure how to use a dummy, read more here: when is it right or wrong to use a dummy?
Pros and cons of using a dummy for breastfed babies
Pros of using dummies for breastfed babies
- Dummies can prevent your baby from sucking their thumb.
- Dummies are also called pacifiers, as they can calm your baby.
- You can use a dummy to distract your baby during vaccinations.
- If your baby has colic, using a dummy can keep them calm.
- Most premature babies are given a dummy.
Cons of using dummies for breastfed babies
- Sometimes dummies can interfere with breastfeeding; to avoid this, you need to make sure your baby is feeding well and gaining weight before introducing a dummy.
- It can be really hard to break the habit of using a dummy.
- If your baby uses a dummy all day, it can be harder for them to communicate with you or begin to make sounds.