You asked

Is soother sucking a bad habit?

All babies suck their thumbs to calm and comfort themselves. Thumb sucking starts before birth in the womb. It is thought this is a way for babies to cope with stress.

There are may be advantages to allowing babies to thumb suck. Thumbs are readily available. They can't fall on the floor. Thumbs aren't tied to clothing by strings that are potentially dangerous. And they are directly under the baby's own control.

Studies have linked the frequent use of soothers to ear infections. It is believed that sucking on a soother increases the chance of infection from bacteria passing from the baby's mouth to the Eustachian tube. Dummies are being studied as an aid to prevent SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. There are babies that just don't like soothers. If your baby is one that doesn't, there is no need to worry; it’s not necessary to force a baby to take a soother on the basis that it may prevent SIDS. If you are breast feeding, don't offer a soother until the baby is at least a month old. A soother can confuse a breast feeding baby so that they don't latch onto the breast properly.

Experts recommend that you try to wean your baby off the soother by the time they are a year old to prevent problems with their teeth. Both soother and thumb sucking can affect how a baby's teeth grow and develop. Some experts argue that soothers interfere with speech development.

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