As a third-time mum, I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about childcare and child safety but it appears not. I always thought dummies were bad for babies - there's the whole thing about nipple confusion for breastfed babies, which suggests they might not feed properly. When they get older, they can stop their teeth growing properly. Then they're forever falling on the floor so they're totally germ-ridden. Not to mention all the social pressure that looks down on babies with dummies as the lazy parents' option, using a soother as a "gobstopper" for a crying baby instead of trying to find out what's really causing the problem, in the same way as "TV babysitting" is looked down on.
Well, all of my babies have had dummies - but I did always feel like it was some deep dark secret and they weren't allowed to take them out of the house ! I remember feeling guilty the first time I gave them dummies, and first time around, I was planning on avoiding the temptation of using them at all. But, as a friend pointed out, some babies need the reassurance of sucking to manage to sleep so why deprive your baby of something that makes them feel calm and safe and happy ?
I was shocked today to discover there is a very big reason why parents should be ENCOURAGED to give dummies to their babies - research has shown that it can reduce the risk of cot death, or sudden infant death syndrome as it's now known. I'm not the only one who is uninformed though. "A recent survey by soother experts MAM and parenting website madeformums.com found that 33 per cent of parents didn't know that a soother can help to reduce the risk." Yes, I know - I can see you rolling your eyes at quoting a dummy manufacturer as proof that they really are good but there's more : "FSID (Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths) includes information about soothers in its advice on safe sleep following research by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Babies who use them are more protected in their sleep."
You can find out more on the MadeForMums website : http://www.madeformums.com/advertorial/get-soother-savvy/4459.html