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Your beautiful baby has finally calmed down and fallen asleep. You slowly carry the baby to the bedroom, carefully place the baby in the crib, and meticulously make your way out of the room in mission impossible style.
Just as you’re about to switch off the lights, you notice that the dummy is still in your baby’s mouth. You stand there for a few seconds and ask yourself: Should I remove dummy once baby is asleep?
You don’t have to remove the dummy if your baby sleeps with it. The dummy won’t cause any suffocation or breathing problems to the baby. You can sleep peacefully that night.
Is It Safe for My Baby to Sleep With a Dummy?
Dummies are designed to prevent the soft tissues inside the mouths of babies from overlapping each other. However, the length of the dummy isn’t long enough to risk blocking the airway.
That being said, a baby sleeping with a dummy is a perfectly safe scenario. You shouldn’t risk waking your baby up by trying to remove the dummy. But, you should always be aware that prolonged use can lead to dental problems.
However, care should be taken not to cover the dummy with any sweet foods like jam and honey. This may not pose a risk early on but as the baby begins teething, the teeth will be affected by early childhood caries.
Why Should You Use a Dummy for Your Baby?
Dummies and babies are a usual mix, here’s why.
Calming and Relaxing the Baby
Giving the babies something to keep their mouths busy is why most people use dummies. Even breastfed babies can use dummies – despite being used to a specific texture and shape.
The babies keep sucking on the dummy until their little energy store runs out, then they fall asleep. Dummies also train the babies on how to suckle which helps during breastfeeding.
Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
SIDS is one of the most dangerous issues that could affect a baby. Babies’ mouths are quite small and they have no teeth until they reach six months.
The soft tissue of their tongues, palates, cheeks, and gums sometimes overlap each other and block the airway passage which in some cases is fatal. The baby isn’t able to call for help or undo the blockage.
Dummies prevent the tongue from resting against the palate. They also prevent the inner cheeks from curving inwards which greatly reduces the risk of SIDS.
Should You Insert the Dummy Again if It Falls?
You’re now aware of how helpful the dummy is in preventing your baby from choking. So it’s only natural that you’d think you should put the dummy back in your baby’s mouth if it falls.
This logic is understandable but it’s not necessary. You don’t need to re-insert the dummy if it drops while your baby is sleeping.
The risk of SIDS is increased the most when babies are half asleep. That’s when they keep moving their mouths and increasing the risk of choking. Once babies fall asleep, the movement of their mouths is greatly reduced.
At that point, if the dummy falls, there’s nothing to worry about. The dummy had already protected the baby from SIDS during the dangerous stage. It’s not mandatory once the baby is in deep sleep.
That’s a Wrap
In a nutshell, should I remove dummy once baby is asleep?
You can, but you don’t have to because it may disturb your baby’s sleep. The dummy may have already prevented the risk of SIDS and allowed your baby to fall asleep, but keeping it in the baby’s mouth is nothing you should worry about.
Just make sure that the dummy is always clean and free from any sweet material to prevent early childhood caries. Replace them often.