The dummy debate rumbles on

It’s the age old parenting debate; to use a dummy or not. While there is no right or wrong answer to this, there are a few things that you should consider when making the decision. In the end it’s up to your own personal style of parenting, but before completely tossing the dummy out or constantly stuffing it in your child’s mouth read over the following guidelines.

The original purpose of a dummy was to soothe fussy babies at night so that they would fall back to sleep. When used in this manner most parents do not have a problem with them, however, it is the parent that sticks the dummy in their child’s mouth around the clock that usually ends up with a problem. Not only does this increase the risk of crooked teeth, but it builds a dependence on the pacifier that may be hard to break.

There is nothing wrong with using a dummy occasionally on a fussy child, especially if you have other children, a full time job, and not much help with the kids. A little crutch here or there never hurt anyone permanently, but then again, there are not many children using dummies in college.

However keep in mind that it’s easy to rely on a dummy too much. It is not a one size fits all solution for crying and you will have to use other types of soothing measures to comfort your child.

When it comes time to stop using the dummy first try using it only at home, then only in the bedroom, and then finally only in the bed until you can take it away completely. Before the age of three you should approach the topic of getting the dummy out of your child’s mouth for the best results.