Page 8

Parenting Matters Spring 17 HIGH RES

To Dummy or Not to Dummy There has been an ongoing battle for many years as to whether dummies or pacifiers are an effective tool to use with your new baby. Parents come across many different opinions and strong views causing confusion on determining what is best for their child. Early pacifiers date back the 17th Century and were created as a soother to aid a child’s ability to cope with pain. They were made from coral, ivory and bone which were often mounted on the handle of a rattle. In the 1900’s, the pacifier was modernised and patented as the "baby comforter" inspired by flexible rubber teethers and bottle teats. For many parents who choose to use a dummy the most important role is to soothe their baby and settle them down to sleep. This can be a challenge on a day to day basis let alone when you have an overtired, teething or poorly baby. In premature and very young babies, studies have shown a dummy can aid and establish good sucking patterns. Babies begin to experiment with sound from the moment they are born, as they are developing their understanding of how sound can have meaning. Continuous use of a dummy causes the muscles in the mouth to become over developed in the front and underdeveloped at the back, reducing your child’s ability to babble. Babbling is an important part of a child’s early language development and is a skill which needs to be practised regularly. Young children learn words by watching, listening and copying adults, therefore the presence of a dummy can restrict them from properly forming the sounds or even trying to say them at all. "The more practice babies get the better their awareness of their mouths and the better their speech will be. This means that using a dummy for too long can really affect how much toddlers talk and how clear their speech is." Jacqui Woodcock (speech and language therapist) When the time comes, making the break from using a dummy can be hard. For many parents the fear of tantrums and sleepless nights can be daunting. The ideal time to stop using a dummy is when your child is 12 months old. Carly West Level 3 Senior Early Years Educator, Brinkley Lane Nursery


Parenting Matters Spring 17 HIGH RES
To see the actual publication please follow the link above