Babies often want to suck when they’re not hungry. It calms and soothes them when they’re over-tired, bored or fussy. There’s a bewildering array of dummies (baby soothers) on the market, so how do you pick one that’s right for your baby?
One of the first things you need to decide is whether you want your baby to use a dummy with a latex or silicone nipple.
Should I choose a rubber or silicone baby dummy?
Rubber is the traditional material for dummies. It’s natural and supple, but it also has a characteristic taste and smell. It has a habit of perishing, so a rubber dummy may deteriorate more quickly than one made of silicone.
Silicone is a more modern material – it’s slightly stiffer than rubber, but has little taste or smell. Silicone is easier to clean and less prone to deterioration than rubber.
Try both kinds on your baby – you’ll soon find out which one she prefers!
Three main things to look out for:
- physiological or orthodontic design
- thin teat
- soft materials
So, what type of baby dummy should I choose?
Look for dummies that encourage normal development of your baby’s mouth and baby teeth, known as orthodontic baby soothers. The teats are curved to fit your baby’s palate and tongue correctly.
Other features to look out for include:
- a teat that should be as thin as possible
- a teat that’s soft and kind to little gums
- a shield with air holes to prevents any soreness or irritation.
- A glow in the dark dummy so your baby can find it easily
Should I clean or sterilise my baby’s soothers?
It’s important to keep your baby’s dummy clean, so sterilise it before giving it to him for the first time. Ideally, you should sterilise the dummy regularly during their first 2 months too, and rinse it when it falls on the ground.
And since prevention is better than cure, why not keep the dummy in a carrying box?
Never clean a soother in your mouth – you may pass germs to your baby.