Par­ent­ing tips for chil­dren us­ing dum­mies

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY - — Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice

WHEN your baby is un­der six months of age, they’re prone to in­fec­tions and you want to en­sure their dummy isn’t a po­ten­tial car­rier of a range of germs and bugs.

That’s why it’s im­por­tant to not only wash the dummy, but also ster­ilise it.

This is sim­i­lar to ster­il­is­ing bot­tles and any toys they may put in their mouth.

As your lit­tle one gets older, they’ll be­come more re­sis­tant to in­fec­tions and you can shift to wash­ing the dummy with soap and wa­ter.

This re­places ster­il­is­ing. Just re­mem­ber to al­ways squeeze out any re­main­ing liq­uid in the dummy.

Be­yond keep­ing the dummy clean, you want to keep it well main­tained. Make sure you reg­u­larly check the dummy to en­sure it’s in good shape and isn’t be­ing worn out.

If the dummy has bro­ken or de­graded due to wear and tear, then it’s re­ally im­por­tant to re­place it be­cause any loose bits are a chok­ing haz­ard.

EF­FEC­TIVE DUMMY USE

One of the big is­sues around dummy use is that they can com­pli­cate breast­feed­ing and con­fuse your baby.

To make sure this isn’t an is­sue, it’s best to only of­fer the dummy when you’re cer­tain your baby isn’t in need of a feed.

If you give them the dummy while they’re hun­gry, your baby could start search­ing for the dummy in­stead of your breast.

If you do have this prob­lem, you need to speak with a lac­ta­tion con­sul­tant or one of our WBHHS child health nurses.

Un­for­tu­nately, we still see some parents who dip their baby’s dummy in sweet drinks or food.

Lastly, it’s a good idea to al­ways have a spare dummy on hand be­cause your baby is bound to drop the dummy with­out you notic­ing.

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