Home Truths About Soothing
When Mikhail was 10 months old, i took his NUK dummy away. i had heard about children who still sucked their dummies at 4 years old and i didn’t want this to happen, so one night i simply took it away. Mik just cried and cried and then he discovered his index finger! At last... silence. For the next six years Mik sucked his finger until the nail became soft. We tried everything, but there was nothing we could do. When Mik turned 7, he was developing serious buckteeth and dr Nicol, our dentist, said that if he fell on his face he could cause damage to his permanent teeth. The orthodontist, dr Weber, explained that Mikhail had an inherited malocclusion (overbite) that had been exacerbated by his finger sucking. Correcting his overbite has so far cost over R40 000 in orthodontist’s fees, but that is nothing compared to Mik's psychological pain. This has affected his self confidence, evidenced by his embarrassed smiles and mannerisms. Mik is nearly 16 now and will soon have his braces removed. When our daughter olivia was born a month before Mikhail turned 10, i was much wiser – because i now worked for NUK!
Most children need some form of soother, be it a “blankie”, bottle, breast, finger, thumb or a dummy. A “blankie” is unhygienic and tends to disintegrate or get lost. With bottles, it is the contents of the bottle. The sugar in juice attacks the enamel on teeth. Mom’s breast, cannot be lost and is fantastic for the baby, but it is not realistic to expect a mother’s breast to act as a regular soother. This leaves the lottery of the finger or thumb (and possibly similar problems with Mik) or the dummy. The NUK dummy was designed by a professor and a doctor – both in orthodontics. The solution was the NUK orthodontic shape. NUK is short for Natuerlich und Kiefergerecht, loosely translated as “natural and correct for the jaw”. it is as simple as that. if only i’d known this when Mik was a baby! When olivia turned 2 we started to limit daytime dummy use and she quickly learned that her “nummy” was only for sleep time. She gave it up when she turned 4, declaring dummies were for babies. Parents simply don’t understand the trauma caused by trying to take away the “blankie” or dummy too early. Your child will make that decision at the appropriate time.