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Can Newborn Babies sleep with a Dummy?

A dummy, also known as a pacifier, can be a helpful tool for parents to soothe their crying baby. This may tempt parents to let their baby sleep with a dummy. However, while it may provide temporary comfort, it's important to understand that there are potential risks associated with allowing babies to sleep with a dummy in their mouth.

Firstly, too much use of a dummy, especially during sleep, can interfere with developing a proper latch for breastfeeding. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life, and the use of a dummy can disrupt this process. If a baby is given a dummy before they have established a proper breastfeeding routine, it can lead to a decreased milk supply and difficulty in latching.

Secondly, the excessive use of a dummy by your baby can also increase the risk of ear infections. This is because the sucking motion can cause bacteria from the mouth of the baby to enter the Eustachian tube, which connects the throat to the middle ear. This can lead to inflammation and buildup of fluid in the middle ear, which can cause pain and even hearing loss in extreme cases.

Thirdly, allowing a baby to sleep with a dummy in their mouth can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). While the exact causes of SIDS are still unknown, there is evidence to suggest that the use of a dummy during sleep can increase the risk of SIDS in certain situations.

Finally, the prolonged use of a dummy during sleep can also have negative effects on a baby's teeth and jaw development. Frequent use of a dummy can cause baby's teeth to shift and become misaligned, which can lead to problems with speech and bite in the long term.

In conclusion, while a dummy can be a helpful tool for parents in soothing their baby, it's important to be aware of the potential risks associated with its use. It's recommended that parents avoid allowing their baby to sleep with a dummy in their mouth, and to encourage them to gradually stop using a dummy altogether by around 6-12 months of age.

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