Introducing a dummy
There are many benefits to having your little one enjoy a dummy/pacifier.
- Lowers heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels
- Reduces overall crying
- Once feeding is established dummies are helpful in allowing baby to settle and it releases the feel good endorphins.
- It also helps to reduce excess wind when your baby sleeps.
- It extends their naps and having longer stretches between feeds which allows them to take fuller feeds and avoids unnecessary snacking.
- Babies with reflux also benefit from this non-nutritive sucking as it aids in saliva production which helps to reduce acid.
We so often come across new mommies saying: “My newborn baby doesn’t like a dummy!!! Help!”
Sometimes, when parents offer a dummy, their baby really just doesn’t want to take it! And that’s perfectly okay, your baby can be a great sleeper without it too! It just goes to show that every baby is different, and we don’t want to force anything unnecessary on them.
After further investigation, most parents responded with: “My baby always pushes the dummy out” or “my baby gags when I try and insert it” – both of which are completely normal baby reflexes! (Gag and tongue thrust).
If you are a mom/dad who wants your baby to use a dummy, we always suggest implementing it as soon as possible, because from experience after 7-10 weeks they will probably never accept the dummy. Don’t worry about sleep, your baby can still sleep well without it.
Pick the right nipple, offer when your baby is calm first and try to experiment with the suggested methods.
Here are two methods we love to suggest moms & dads try out when they really want their baby to take a dummy:
1. How to help your baby take a dummy with some reverse psychology (by Dr Harvey Karp):
- Start by offering the dummy when your baby is calm.
- Some of them like different sizes and shapes, so try various ones.
- Lightly pull back on it when he/she starts to suck, but do not pull too hard.
- Your baby will resist these pulls and then suck harder.
2. Or the Dummy twirl:
- Offer the pacifier when your baby is calm and swaddled.
- Sometimes, you can put a bit of breast milk or formula to the tip of the pacifier.
- By applying firm pressure on the top of your baby’s tongue more in the middle not on the tip as that activates the tongue thrust.
- Once you are ready start to go around in circles and still holding the pressure.
- Stop and try again later if your baby still doesn’t seem interested in the pacifier.
Their are a few negatives to using a pacifier and one has to be aware of them too.
When your little one is 0-6 weeks they may tire from sucking the dummy instead of taking a full feed. Be weary of when its time to feed and look for hunger cues. Do not skip a feed.
A pacifier can be helpful with sleep but it can also fall out of your little ones mouth and become a frustrating replacement game throughout the night and naps. We recommend to moms to start weaning your little one from their dummy at the 4 month mark, as this is when they start developing their own self regulating skills.
Anything from 8 months you are able to teach your little one to find and replace their dummy themselves.
All our sleep programs do not depend on your baby having to take a pacifier. We can have great sleepers either way.
How did you get your baby to take a dummy!?