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Article: How to choose a dummy for your baby

How to choose a dummy for your baby

How to choose a dummy for your baby

How to choose the right dummy for your baby

There are so many dummies (or pacifiers or soothers!) on the market it can be a little overwhelming working out which one is best. So, here are our best tips on how to choose a dummy for your baby, what the differences are, how to best clean them, when to replace them and some safety precautions. 

Natural Rubber Soother


Should you use a dummy?

There is a bit of debate about whether dummies are a good thing or not! We say, you do you.

The purpose of a dummy is to help babies self soothe as it mimics the action of breastfeeding. If using a dummy helps baby (and you!) get more sleep and rest, then we think that's a good thing.

Some experts say that long term use of dummies in older toddlers can affect teeth development, so you may want to consider weaning them off the dummy when they no longer need the comfort. The Dummy Fairy might make an appearance! 

Dummies are thought to be better than thumb sucking as they dummy can be taken away. You could also choose to limit their use to only when bub is unsettled and not make them available all the time. So there are a few things for you to consider. 

There are many different pacifiers on the market. However, when it comes to teeth, it does not matter which pacifier your baby uses, as the teeth normally will align no matter the misalignment when the recommendations are followed, and the child stops using the pacifier around the age of 3."
- Nina Nissen Falbert, Dentist

What are dummies made of?

Dummies can be made of various materials including latex rubber, silicone and plastic. As the dummy is in your baby's mouth and will be sucked and chewed on, choosing the safest material is really important. We only stock dummies that are completely safe and non-toxic and made from natural rubber or food-grade silicone. Cheap plastic dummies should be avoided! 

Bibs Try It Dummy Pack


What shape of dummy teat is best?

This depends on your baby! All babies have different anatomy and sucking techniques, so it can be trial and error to see which one they like. There are three different teat shapes: round, orthodontic and symmetrical. 

The Bibs Try It dummy packs include all teats so you test which one your baby prefers. 

Hevea Round Natural Dummy


  • Round (or cherry) shaped teats are similar to the shape of baby bottles and are recommended for babies that are bottle fed. 

Hevea Orthondontic Natural Rubber Dummy


  • Orthodontic (or anatomical) teats have flat bottoms and rounded tops and are designed to be mindful of future tooth alignment. The curved top is a natural fit to baby's palate. 

Hevea Symmetrical Teat Dummy


  • Symmetrical teats are the closest in shape to a female nipple so recommended for babies that are breast fed. 

Are there different dummy sizes?

Yes! The basic rule of thumb is the smaller the baby, the smaller the dummy. Each range will have their own sizing. 

BIBS have sizes 1 (birth to 6mos), 2 (6 to18mos) and 3 (18mos +) 

NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHER have small (0-3mos), medium (3-6mos) and large (6mos +)

BUMI BEBE  and HEVEA have 0-3mos and 3 to 36mos

Dummy strap ribbon chain


Do you need a dummy strap?

Dummy straps, clips and chains can help avoid the dummy being dropped on the floor or lost. They attach to clothing and are easy for older bubs to grab and pop in their mouth again if they fall out. 

It's really important to choose a strap that has been independently tested and made in compliance with mandatory safety standards.    

We have a few different dummy strap and chain styles in store for you to choose from.    

How do you clean dummies?

Regular cleaning is recommended! Before the first use, boil the dummy for five minutes to sterilise. After that you can sterilise by soaking dummies in boiling water in a bowl for five minutes.

Don't forget to gently squeeze the teat to allow any water to be removed. Other methods of sterilising aren't recommended to avoid latex breaking down. 

You can keep dummies clean by storing them in a container as well. We have two you can choose from, Bibs Paci Pod and the Zebra Babies Dummy Storage Case

The MontiiCo pouch is also great for storing dummies and can be clipped onto bags and prams.

Bibs boheme dummies


When should you replace a dummy? 

More often that you would think! Look to the brand you have purchased for their specific recommendations. Some say 4-6 weeks and others say 2-3 months. 

Bibs dummies recommend replacing dummies if:

  • the latex nipple changes size or shape too much. Keep a new dummy to compare with and you will know when it is time.
  • if the latex nipple starts to get sticky or darkens too much, it is a sign that the material is ageing and needs replacing.
  • there is any sign of damage, weakness or bite marks in the nipple material. Inspect daily for these signs.

You can do a dummy pull test regularly to know when to replace. Simply pull on the dummy teat hard, in all directions and then pull on the handle and ring to see if there are any issues. 

Dummy safety tips

  • Your baby should be able to suck on the dummy unassisted and spit it out when needed
  • Always use the right size (if dummies are too small, they can possibly block the airways)
  • Inspect for signs of deterioration before every use (as above)
  • Clean them regularly and store in a clean container to avoid infection
  • Ensure any dummy clips are not used when baby is sleeping and the length is short to avoid a choking hazard 
  • Store in a cool, dry place to avoid deterioration (not in the car!) 

Bumi Bebe Dummies


What brand of dummy is best? 

Well, that depends on you and what features you are looking for! Each brand and type of dummy has different features. 

We stock a great range including Bibs, Hevea, Natural Rubber Soothers and Bumi Bebe

All the dummies we stock are superior quality and totally safe, so from there you can select which brand, size and type of teat you prefer and that suits your bub.

Natural Rubber Soothers are made from all one piece and Bibs have gorgeous colours and designs. 

We hope these tips help you when deciding how to choose a dummy for your baby. There is more to consider than you may have thought of!

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask our team in store or send an email. 



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