The Dummy Debate & Dumbleby Forest!

I have read so many articles about the use of dummies and indeed there are recommendations from the Department of Health to use a dummy at the start of a sleep period to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

However, as with any debate there are always the arguments against and the biggest one has to be using a dummy for too long! Overuse of a dummy can cause speech delays and even speech impediments (an inability to pronounce all sounds correctly) and it should not be used as a pacifier for tantrums either. They should be a sleeping aid to encourage a good sleeping routine and to encourage your baby to settle themselves. However, do not put a dummy back into your baby’s mouth once it has fallen out when they are asleep, this defeats the objective.

If you choose to use a dummy you should aim to wean your baby off it by the time they are one year old, any later and it can become damaging to their development. As many parents are not given this advice it is not uncommon to see children with dummies when 3 or 4 years old or even later. I would encourage any parent that finds themselves in this situation to wean their child off their dummy as soon as possible and now there is a fabulous new book, Dumbleby Forest to help them on their journey. Not only does this delightful book give your child a reason to ‘send their dummy home’ but you will also be spending some crucial time reading with your child, encouraging their speech and language development and that all important imagination! If you are lucky enough to live close enough to Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, where you can visit the wonderful Dumbleby Forest Walk you can widen the whole experience to include a nature lesson too, and you all know how much I encourage families to ‘get out in nature!’

Here’s what Mark White, Creator of Dumbleby Forest has to say…..

“I am really excited about bringing Dumbleby Forest to life at Paradise Wildlife Park. To see the story come to life in the first instance with the book and now to see a tangible place to go to is great and something I always hoped would happen and something I was working towards.

Paradise Park have done a great job and its been great working with them on this, to hopefully see lots of families go along to the park and visit Dumbleby Jack, King and Queen Dumbleby and the Gigglelots will be great and for it to help the child and parents with the letting go process will be so rewarding for me and I know how tough it can be.

The area that has been created is a vibrant space to go visit, have a picnic with the Gigglelots, and give the dummy to Dumbleby Jack to put in his sack.”

I was delighted to be asked by Mark to preview and champion his work and provide some advice on the use of dummies. I hope you all enjoy the magical journey to Dumbley Forest through this beautiful book and get the opportunity to visit the Forest at Paradise Wildlife Park to post those dummies ‘back home’.

You can find more information on Dumbleby Forest here www.dumblebyforest.com and Paradise Wildlife Park here www.pwpark.com

Author Mark White can be contacted on 07702359021