A NEW study shows first-time mums are still giving their crying babies a dummy despite evidence it interferes with breastfeeding.
Almost one in four first-time mothers are advised by a midwife to use a dummy, according to the research in the BioMed Central journal.
Although dummies can be a useful settling tool, they can also be addictive and dentists say prolonged use can cause an overbite and speech problems.
The matter of whether to give your crying newborn a dummy is as polarising as the breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding debate.
The study of 670 first-time mothers by Flinders University and the University of Queensland shows 22 per cent of new mothers who gave their baby a dummy were advised to do so by a midwife.
A further 28 per cent were told to use a pacifier by their mother or mother-in-law. It found 95 per cent who gave their under-four-weeks baby a dummy stopped breastfeeding, compared with mums who didn't use one.
Queensland hospital policy recommends against dummies "until breastfeeding is established".
Queensland Health's breastfeeding initiation guidelines say: "Dummies have been associated with shortened breastfeeding duration and may contribute to breastfeeding difficulty."
Sunshine Coast mum Ali Morris used dummies with both her sons from about four weeks old and had no problems breastfeeding.
Her eldest boy Mavrik, 4, was breastfed until he was 11 months, while her youngest, Harper, 1, is still on the breast and dummy.
Mrs Morris said she received varied advice but decided to use a pacifier.
"I know they say not to use it but I've found it helpful," said Mrs Morris.
She uses the dummy when Harper is very upset, to hold him off from a badly timed sleep or draw out the time until his next feed.
"I agree with the dummy but only for a period of time; not until they are two or three or four," she said.
"But while they're a baby, I agree it helps when they're screaming and nothing else will settle them."
Really shocked by this bit "It found 95 per cent who gave their under-four-weeks baby a dummy stopped breastfeeding, compared with mums who didn't use one." just wow!
I'm curious to know if you gave your child a dummy when did your child wean? Poll to come..might take me a little bit!