A parent has urged people to think twice before giving their babies a dummy to soothe their cries – as it could cause more damage than good in the long run.
The Australian mum, known only as Kathleen, has spoken out after discovering that her son is going to need braces as a teenager due to his use of pacifiers.
Kathleen revealed all to Kidspot.com.au where she explains how a midwife convinced her to give her baby a dummy to stop his crying.
She wasn’t keen on the idea, but followed the expert’s advice at the time.
“I had wanted to avoid using one where possible as I knew dependence on them can be strong – but I didn’t feel like I had a choice,” she admitted.
Her little boy had been in agony after starting to teethe at just four weeks old.
The child was too young to use the regular toys or teething gels, so a dummy was suggested as the solution during a midwife appointment at the hospital.
He wasn’t initially a fan of the dummy, and Kathleen claims she had to “force” him to use it – a decision she feels guilty about now.
She said: “He kept spitting it out, so I would spend most of my time putting it back into his mouth. That was what was recommended, but now I wish I had never done it.”
The real problem began when her son got used to having the dummy in his mouth, as he then wanted it all the time.
He wore it every evening and would ask for it during the day whenever he felt upset or anxious.
“It was a coping mechanism,” explains Kathleen.
The child ended up using the dummy for several years after and trying to get him to give it up proved difficult.
After nearly four years, she finally managed to get him to relent – but then she discovered the damage had already been done.
During a routine check-up, a dentist explained her son would need braces in the future to correct damage to his teeth caused by the dummy.
“I was devastated. Getting braces isn’t an ideal thing to go through as a teenager – not to mention that it’s expensive.
“I wish I had never forced that dummy – there should be some kind of warning about this,” the mum added.
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