A recent survey found that 33% of parents didnt know that a soother can help reduce the risk of cot death. Recognised baby brand MAM are proud supporters of The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) and together they have teamed up to educate parents about how soothers can make a real difference in the fight against cot death.
Here are some answers to the most common questions parents ask when it comes to using soothers and the subject of cot death:
Q Where has this evidence come from?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) set up a group to investigate all published literature on this subject. At the same time, three researchers from the UK, New Zealand and the Netherlands also reviewed the literature and their findings were essentially identical to the AAP's. All found that infants who had used a dummy were significantly less likely to fall victim to cot death. We don't know why dummies have these protective benefits, but they do, and experts have the research to back it up.
Q At what age does a baby most benefit from using a soother?
Babies under 6 months benefit most from using a dummy while falling asleep. Cot death risk to babies reduces after the age of 6 months.
Q What Soother should I use?
Choose a soother that's appropriate for your baby and keep it clean. Replace it as soon as it shows any signs of wear. The MAM soother's shield is curved for comfort and good for the skin thanks to generous air holes. Theres an anti-slip surface so that soother stays easily in your babys mouth and the orthodontic teat is ideal for babys jaw and teeth development because it adapts to the shape of your babys mouth.
Q Should I pop her dummy back in if it falls out when she's asleep?
The protective properties appear to be greatest as your baby falls asleep, and in the initial stages of sleep. Three quarters of dummies fall out when babies are asleep, but there's no need to put it back in. Every time you put your baby down for a sleep, give her a dummy - use it for naps too. But don't force her to take one if she doesn't want it.
Q I'm breastfeeding. Will using a dummy confuse my baby?
Breastfed babies should not be offered a dummy until breastfeeding has been established. Research shows that if you follow this rule there is no evidence of an adverse effect of using a dummy.
Q Are dummies bad for my baby's teeth?
Experts have found no detrimental effects, as long as a child 'gives up' his dummy by 2 and a half years. There is some evidence that continued use after this time leads to more ear, nose and throat infections. An ideal time to wean him off his dummy is between 6 months to 1 year - by then the risk of cot death has passed.
Q Are there any benefits in using a dummy when my baby is awake?
A dummy may provide some comfort through 'non-nutritive' sucking if used while awake, but there's no extra benefit.
Q What else can I do to reduce the risk of cot death?
Cut smoking in pregnancy- fathers too! And dont let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby.
Place your baby on the back to sleep (not on the front or side)
Do not let your baby get too hot, and keep your baby's head uncovered.
Place your baby with their feet at the foot of the cot to prevent them wriggling down under the covers, or use a baby sleep bag.
Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib or cot in a room with you for the first six months.
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For more info visit fsid.org.uk or call the parent helpline on 0808 802 6868.
MAMs Soothers are available in Boots, Mothercare and all good nursery and pharmacy outlets, priced at £4.58, for a pack of two. For more information about MAM products visit mambaby.com