Sucking is vital to meet nutritional needs. It allows your baby to feed but it also has another role – to calm a baby and provide pleasure.

Babies are born with more touch receptors in their mouth, around their face and on their neck than anywhere else on their bodies. The sense of touch is the most developed at birth and even utero, we see foetuses sucking on their thumbs. Through pregnancy your baby learns to use her mouth to derive pleasure. We call this non-nutritive sucking.

Non-nutritive sucking also helps to encourage peristalsis – the constrictions and relaxation of the intestines, which is important in digestion and getting gas bubbles through the digestive system.

Since the mouth holds the secret to soothing little ones, you should encourage non-nutritive sucking for digestion, calming and sleep. There are two ways a baby can suck for comfort:

  • Their thumb
  • A dummy

I believe that dummies are a fabulous route to go. Dummies are easy to introduce, replaceable and much easier to keep clean than thumbs. You will be able to manage when your baby uses it in the day and they are way easier to get rid of in the toddler years than a thumb!

In addition, if you use a specially designed dummy, you will decrease the impact of finger sucking or strong thumb sucking on the shape of the jaw.

A soother that takes up as little space in the mouth / is as flat & thin as possible (just like the breast) is the best soother in order to avoid any negative impact on the jaw. Check out NUK SOUTH AFRICA‘s range of orthodontically correct dummies.