Baby Soothers: are they good or bad?

Baby Soothers - Photo Credit - Matt MacGillivray (flickr)
Baby Soothers - Photo Credit - Matt MacGillivray (flickr)
Baby Soothers - Photo Credit - Matt MacGillivray (flickr)
Baby Soothers – Photo Credit – Matt MacGillivray (flickr)

Soothe me..

Should we buy soothers or shouldn’t we?

Soother, pacifier, dummy, which ever you call it one thing is for sure soothers can be a God send at times but they have got their pros and cons.

Many parents find themselves stressing about what others might think is extremely silly, but to a first time parent it could potentially be vital in trying to calm and soothe their baby, lets face it every parent wants some sort of soothing technique especially for when trying to survive in public with a screaming child.

Some say it’s a harmless quick fix for both parent and baby, others say it will lead to a bad habit that will create a progressively dragged out problem further on down the line. Remember you’re the parent you decide

Relaxing baby - Photo Credit - Sovgunga (flickr)
Relaxing Baby – Photo Credit – Sovgunga (flickr)

Advantages:
Babies are born with what is a natural instinct to suckle for nourishment, sucking for a lot of babies is a great comforting mechanism.

• Soothers can help to relax a baby.

• If your baby is crying because they are hungry, giving them a soother as a quick fix might calm them down which then gives you time to prepare their bottle.

• Some find sucking a soother can help their baby to fall asleep as it can calm and relax them.

• Research has found that soothers can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Disadvantages:

• It is very common that children can become overly dependent on soothers and it can become quite difficult to put a stop to the use of the soother and that might create more difficulties for you the parent

• When choosing a soother, mothers are best off waiting until breastfeeding has been established before giving their child a soother. Sucking a soother could interfere with breastfeeding. Also, when choosing a soother, it is important to try and get one that is designed for breastfed babies.

• It has been advised by experts that children should be weaned off soothers before they are two simply because they can be linked to reduce speech development in children.

• It is said that prolonging the use of a soother can cause children to develop dental problems later on with the positioning of teeth.

Soother for the bin - Photo Credit - Erwin (flickr)
Dirty Soother – Photo Credit – Erwin (flickr)

Tips:

• Make sure if you have a couple of soothers to keep tabs on which ones are clean and sterilised and what aren’t. Don’t suck your child’s soother to clean it! Make sure to sterilise.

• Discard of any soothers that have been lying around outside after playtime.

• Try other alternatives to soothe your baby, for example: changing them, feeding them or rocking them, rather than opting for the soother straight away.

• It is important to consistently make sure there are no wears or tears in your baby’s soothers, as they could pose as a choking hazard for baby.

• You should never tie a string or anything to that effect to your child’s soother as it could cause danger if it became wrapped around your baby’s neck.

Crying for their soother? - Photo Credit - Upsilon Andromedae (flickr)
Crying Baby – Photo Credit – Upsilon Andromedae (flickr)

Packing It In:

Usually between the ages of 2 and 4 a child should have given up their soother. That being said there are still a majority that won’t be as willing and that’s ok.

• Try to keep your child distracted throughout the day when they look for the soother, until eventually they forget about it.

• Use a chart to reward your child with stickers or stars to try and encourage them to gradually wean themselves without them noticing.

• Maybe suggest to your child that soothers are in fact for babies and that ‘big boys’ and ‘big girls’ don’t use soothers.

• Try to encourage your little one to leave their soother out for the ‘fairies’ or ‘Santa’ to take and replace with a reward, as the tooth fairy does with children’s teeth.

Make sure that whatever decision you decide to make that you do what works for you and your baby. Each and every child is different so remember to do what suits your family and not what others are advising you to do. If a doctor has given you medical advice against using soothers then of course that is different.

About Donna Rooney 10 Articles
Love writing about things I'm passionate about.. Feel free to drop a comment, and share your opinions.. :)

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