Soothers - yes or no? The experts at NUK help demystify some common questions about soothers.
A good soother has many talents: it satisfies an infant’s natural need to suck and exercises the mouth and jaw muscles. Above all it calms your baby down while giving a feeling of security.
Does my child need a soother?
Every baby enters the world with an innate need to suck. It not only makes sure they can get their precious breast milk, it also calms them too. For many children breastfeeding alone is not enough to soothe them, so a soother can help.
‘This so-called non-nutritive sucking is often still present after drinking, and a soother will help here. But while experience shows that many baby´s need a soother, don't force one on your baby if it doesn't. For the rest, soothers also make a mother's everyday life easier’ says orthodontist Dr Hubertus von Treuenfels.
Which is better: soother or thumb?
Soothers are softer and more flexible than a thumb. A soother with an intelligent teat shape following the contours of baby’s mouth, unlike a thumb, promotes the healthy development of the mouth and reduces the risk of teeth misalignment.
‘If a child sucks their thumb a lot, changes to the jaw may occur and an open bite may result. This is because a thumb is not very pliable and does not adapt to the conditions in the mouth as well as a soother would.’
In general, it is easier to stop using a soother too because you do not always have it to hand.
There are transparent and golden soothers. What is the difference between materials?
Transparent soothers are most common and are made from silicone. Silicone is heat resistant and will not deteriorate easily due to light and sun exposure plus is neutral in taste and smell. Latex soothers are made from natural latex milk and are highly elastic and very pliable ideal for teething babies. In the end, your child will decide which soother it prefers.
There are different soother shapes – which one is best for my baby?
‘If you have the choice between a cherry-shaped or jaw-adapted (asymmetrical) soother, I would recommend the second. These soothers are designed to facilitate jaw growth and tooth row alignment. For these reasons, specialists and researchers developed a shape that is adapted to the form the nipple assumes in the child's mouth while breastfeeding.’
When should I replace a soother?
It is time for a new soother every 1 to 2 months. If it is damaged in the slightest way it should be replaced immediately.
This article is proudly brought to you by NUK in partnership with expert Dr Hubertus von Treuenfels. NUK is the only brand with teats and soothers accredited by the International Dental Health Foundation.
Find out more about NUK at www.nuk.com.au