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To Give The Soother Or Not Give The Soother

Time to read: 2 min.

The soother the soother the soother... the good old soother.  To give the soother or not give the soother is the question.  If you are me, I always say, give the soother... for good reason too.

Let’s start with the basics... the soother is otherwise known as dummy or pacifier. Why? Because it simply does that... it pacifies your baby when all else fails... most of the time anyway. All three of my children have had soothers and I have never regretted it at any stage in time. In fact, I would go as far to say it was a godsend during those fussy colicky periods that felt like a lifetime.

A few facts about the soother:

1. There are literally hundreds on the market...the key is to find one that has an orthodontic design which can be difficult...Thankfully the Medela Baby range has that ticked.

2. When a baby is unsettled, they want to suck to settle...if your breasts or the bottle need a break, the soother will be your best friend.

3. Struggling to settle baby at night or for day sleeps? The soother will be a welcoming companion. It is the best settling tool!

4. The soother CAN be a positive sleep association… many use soothers just for sleep time and once you place the soother in your babies mouth, they know it’s sleepy time and generally settle off to sleep well.

5. Babies cannot self-replace the soother until around 7/8 months of age...this doesn’t mean they need you to replace it 4500 times a night as when they know how to sleep well and deeply the soother falling out should not wake them.

6. It can take many styles of soother for your baby to actually take to it...save yourself the hassle and get straight onto these Medela Baby soothers.

7. Baby teeth can be damaged by also thumb sucking...think about that for a moment...wouldn’t you rather something that has been orthodontically designed?

8. They are SO easy to sterilise...a quick zap in the microwave & you have yourself a clean soother.

9. If you are wanting to introduce a soother to your baby the key is to do It early on in the piece... there is a lot of talk about nipple confusion, but I believe if a baby is feeding well at your breast, then a soother shouldn’t hinder this at all.

10. Ensure your baby isn’t actually hungry prior to giving the soother...if they are they will continue to spit the soother until their little tummies are full.

The soother verdict?

Don’t ever feel guilty for giving the soother…we all need a break at times don’t we Mumma? It pacifies our baby and that’s all we want right? A content baby and Mumma…and remember…if you have an unsettled bubba, placing the soother, allowing them to suck can greatly reduce the discomfort that reflux & colic can give and also buy you some time during periods of intense comfort cluster feeding.  As a midwife I am well and truly 100% pro demand feeding but on occasion, our breasts and bottle need a break and that is when the soother is your best friend.

Lastly, don’t overthink the soother. It is simple...you want to choose one verified by a dentist/orthodontist and one that comes in a double pack...one that is quick to sterilise...one that can glow in the dark (thank me later) and one that is aesthetically pleasing... believe me it’s a thing ha and one that is easily accessible and affordable.  And I think Medela has easily ticked off all of the above.

Thank me later Mumma’s…pack these goodies into your hospital bag.

XX TMM