Whether you call them soothers, dummies, pacifiers, comforters or binkies, many parents use them to calm and settle little ones.
Even if you’ve decided that you don’t want to use a soother, you won’t be the first parent to change their mind to pacify your baby’s cries and tears. But are they okay to use at night time?
Sucking is a natural reflex, which babies use to feed and comfort themselves. They may even start sucking their thumb in the womb. While soothers are not an automatic substitute for cuddles, comfort and feeding when your baby is hungry, they are fine for helping them to settle and calm.
If your baby is comforted by sucking, then offering a soother at bedtime can be another tactic to add to cuddling, rocking, singing lullabies and all the other things you do to try and get some sleep.
There are some studies that show that using a soother while your baby sleeps can mean a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It’s not clear exactly why this is the case and there’s no need to give your baby a dummy to prevent cot death, but it may make you feel a little less guilty if you choose to.
A soother at bedtime may also encourage your baby to soothe themselves back to sleep. But equally you may find yourself being summoned when they lose it!
Many parents worry about the effect that soothers can have on little one’s developing teeth and mouth. Look for orthodontic or dentist approved soothers which are shaped to suit your baby’s mouth.
All Tommee Tippee soothers have orthodontic teats and are BPA free.
Safety tips when using soothers:
- Check your soother regularly and throw away at the first sign of wear
- Don’t dip soothers in anything sweet, including juice
- Keep soothers as clean as possible – sterilise them just as you would a bottle teat
- Choose BPA free soothers designed for your child’s age
There is no rule book on parenting. Everyone adapts to the challenge of bringing up their baby in different ways. You know your little one better than anyone, so whether you choose to offer a soother during the day or night, it’s really up to you.