NUK soothers are the only ones in the UK to be approved by The British Dental Health Foundation.

Nutrition

Do NUK latex teats really have no harmful effect on health?

We guarantee it! Our latex teats are regularly tested by various renowned independent institutes (e.g. Fresenius) and fulfil all statutory requirements far in excess of what is demanded. One example is the N-nitrobased substances which were declared to be carcinogenic by the media some time ago. Something which they often failed to mention: These substances are to be found in many foodstuffs and are only determined to be carcinogenic if a certain chemical reaction takes place. A portion of fish, for example, contains 10 mg of this substance. In order to ingest the same amount using a NUK latex teat, 20,000 teats would need to be sucked (a new teat each day) for around 55 years! This clearly shows the standard of safety provided by NUK teats and why they receive the rating “very good” in nearly all quality tests.

What are the differences between latex and silicone teats?

NUK latex teats are made from rubber milk or latex, a high-quality natural material. Latex is particularly durable – it is very elastic and highly resistant to any pulling or tearing. However, because latex is a natural material, the fat contained in food can cause it to age. Direct sunlight will also cause it to age, quicker than normal in fact, which is why latex teats should be stored carefully. The general rule of thumb: A latex teat should be replaced every 1 to 2 months, at the latest when it starts to get sticky.

NUK silicone teats are made from a high-quality synthetic material. The clear silicone material is particularly resistant to temperature. Direct sunlight and fat also have no effect on the aging of the material. However, it can be more easily damaged. A silicone teat must be immediately replaced after the first bite marks or any other “faults” become apparent. For hygiene reasons, it is recommended you replace the teats every 1 to 2 months.

The material you decide to use depends on your individual requirements or preferences. And, of course, it is also possible to switch between the two materials. Should your baby refuse the new latex teat because of how it tastes, simply boil it for three minutes in milk first! However, while this will neutralise the taste, it will also age the teat quicker than usual due to the fat content in the milk.

Can NUK latex teats trigger allergies?

NUK latex teats have been immunologically tested for years for their latex allergen content. The results show no measureable risk potential and confirm our positive experience from the last 60 years. There are actually no latex products that do not cause some sort of problem for those people allergic to it – even when the product contains less than 30 mg/kg of soluble proteins like the NUK latex teats do!

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Oral Development

Why are the NUK soothers not designed symmetrically like other brand-name soothers?

Because NUK has based the special design of its soothers on nature. More precisely on the mother’s nipple when breastfeeding, where the baby can feed contentedly as nature intended.

The NUK teats and soothers are designed in such a way that sucking, to a large extent, demands the same sucking, chewing and feeding habits typical for breastfeeding. Thus training the lower jaw and face muscles.

The NUK design supports the natural, healthy orthodontic development of the child when used specifically to calm the child, avoid damaging thumb-sucking or to facilitate intensive orthodontic training in between meal times.

Round soother versus asymmetrical soother: Which is better?

Many mothers think that symmetrical soothers correspond to the nipple the most because they look like they have the same shape. It should be noted here, however, that the nipple changes its shape during breastfeeding and adapts to the shape of the child’s mouth, as well as the sucking and motor activity. The shape it takes has been scientifically proven to be orthodontically correct, unlike the round or cherry-shaped designs of many other soothers.

In the 1950s, the dentists Dr. med. dent. W. Balters and Prof. Dr. Dr. A. Müller looked for ways to prevent tooth displacement and jaw deformation in children. They discovered that these problems were seen much less often in children who had been breastfed. The dramatic change of the shape of the nipple during breastfeeding and thus its perfect adaption to the mouth of the child led the dentists to create the first anatomically pre-formed and thus orthodontically correct NUK teat and soother. Similar to what happens during breastfeeding, the flattened baglet of the teat supports the cavity of the lower jaw while the upper rounded side promotes the development of the palate perfectly. Meanwhile, the lip rest remains flat so that – almost like drinking at the breast – a firm closing of the lips is possible. The hole in the teat has been consciously placed further to the back and not directly at the peak. The food thus remains in the mouth of the child for longer, allowing for better salivation to take place, something which is very important for a healthy digestive system.

The teat with the typical NUK design optimally trains the lips, tongue and face muscles and is still recommended by orthodontists today.

How do I know if a soother is orthodontically suitable?

Fundamentally, a soother should physiologically adapt to the jaw of the child and should allow the tongue enough room for movement. A flattened baglet, i.e. with an undersurface rounded slightly upwards, facilitates the natural position of the tongue and supports the development of both the lower and upper jaw. It is also important to ensure that the soother is soft and flexible. It is recommended that the teat neck (the area that connects the baglet to the mouth plate) is narrow enough to ensure there is as little pressure as possible on the jaws and the teeth.

Is it a problem if my baby sucks on the NUK soother incorrectly, i.e. upside down?

The NUK teats and soothers are designed in such a way that sucking, to a large extent, demands the same sucking, chewing and feeding habits typical for breastfeeding. By using the NUK soother, your child is not only satisfying her natural sucking urges but is also intensively training his jaw.

Normally, the lip guard of the soother presses lightly against the mouth and chin of the child when sucking. The rubber part in the mouth of the child thus automatically returns to its correct position. Most children will turn around an incorrectly placed orthodontic soother themselves or spit it out if it is too small.

If the soother is simply being used to pacify the child or because it has become a habit, the original purpose of the soother has been lost: If anything, the child will no longer suck the soother but will regard it as a toy that can also be put into his mouth upside down. It may also be the case that your child has become accustomed to another, symmetrically designed soother that can be placed in the mouth in any position.

We would advise, however, that parents have patience when introducing soothers and show their child how the soother should be properly used.

There is no risk of jaw deformation or tooth displacement from the soother if the child occasionally turns it in his mouth. Because the NUK soother has such a flexible and soft baglet, there will be only very slight pressure on the child’s mouth. Which is certainly not the case for thumb-sucking, on whose damaging effects all experts agree.

Can soothers counteract Sudden Infant Death?

International studies show that the use of soothers does have a positive effect against Sudden Infant Death. In order to examine this finding more closely, scientists from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) (2)analysed two internationally relevant studies from the years 1966 to 2004. They came to the conclusion that children who go to sleep with a soother are at a much lower risk of Sudden Infant Death. The reasons for this are not yet known

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that babies up to one year of age are given a soother whenever they are put down for sleep, both during the day and night. This covers the age when Sudden Infant Death occurs the most, as well as during the period when children have their greatest urges for sucking. Children should not be unnecessarily encouraged to use soothers and the soother should never be coated with something sweet. If the soother falls from the child’s mouth after falling asleep, it should not be reinserted.(3)

The most effective way to protect your child is explained in the following basic rules:

Breastfeed your baby if possible. Your baby loves body contact – breastfeeding provides nourishment for both the body and soul. Breast milk will also protect your baby against allergies and infections.

  • Place your baby only on her back for sleeping. This is the safest and best sleeping position for your child.
  • Do not smoke while pregnant or after your baby is born. The risk of Sudden Infant Death rises with every cigarette!
  • Ensure your child has a healthy sleeping environment: In your bedroom, in her own cot on a firm mattress and in a baby sleeping bag. Covers, pillows and large cuddly toys etc do not belong in the baby cot! Keep the room well ventilated and do not dress the child too warmly.
  • Should you detect any signs of illness or if your child is not at ease, contact your paediatrician.(4)

(1) Source: Gemeinsame Elterninitiative Plötzlicher Säuglingstod (GEPS) Deutschland e.V. (German national SIDS organisation)

(2) Founded in 1930, the American Academy of Pediatrics has almost 60,000 members in the USA, Canada and Latin America, committed to the physical, psychological and social health of children and adolescents.

(3) Source: American Medical Journal “Pediatrics” (2005; 116 3716-e723)

(4) Recommendations from the brochure “How can my baby sleep safely?” from the Hamburgischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Gesundheitsförderung e.V. (Hamburg working group for the promotion of health) in cooperation with the Hamburger Behörde für Soziales, Familie, Gesundheit und Verbraucherschutz (Hamburg Authority for Social Affairs, Family, Health and Consumer Protection) and the Hamburg-Eppendorf Universitätsklinikum

Can a soother damage my child’s teeth in the same way that thumb-sucking does?

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Which soother is better: silicone or latex?

This generally comes down to personal taste as both materials have their own specific advantages. Of course, both soothers can be used interchangeably. Should your baby refuse a new latex teat because of how it tastes, simply boil it for three minutes in milk first. However, while this will neutralise the taste, it will also age the teat quicker than usual due to the fat content in the milk. A latex soother should be used as soon as your child’s teeth start appearing as latex, in comparison to silicone, is bite-resistant.

How they differ:

NUK latex soothers are made from rubber milk or latex, a high-quality natural material. The finished latex material is extremely durable and elastic. Thanks to its high-resistance, latex is particularly suitable for babies who already have teeth. A disadvantage to latex is that is must be kept out of sunlight – UV rays cause this material to age quicker. There is, however, a positive side to its discolouration: This is a clear signal that the soother needs to be replaced (after approx. 1 to 2 months). Another advantage is that latex, as a natural material, can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

NUK silicone soothers are made from a high-quality synthetic material. The clear silicone material is particularly resistant to temperature. Direct sunlight and fat also have no effect on the aging of the material. However, silicone can be easily damaged. A silicone soother must be immediately replaced after the first bite marks or any other “faults” become apparent.

Do NUK soothers contain bisphenol-A?

There is no polycarbonate (PC) substance, and thus the raw substance bisphenol-A which this contains, used in the manufacture of soothers. PC has been replaced by the equally light and milky polypropylene (PP) or transparent titanium. Both substances have been extensively tested by renowned independent institutes and are guaranteed to be BPA-free.

An official report regarding the theme of bisphenol-A can be found here.

What should I be aware of when cleaning the soother?

Before using the soother for the first time, wash it thoroughly using a gentle washing-up liquid (e.g. the NUK Rinsing Agent) and then boil it for approx. 5 minutes. Press out any remaining fluids from the baglet or simply leave it to dry. Never clean the teat in the dishwasher as this may damage the material. Adults should never lick the soother clean. Caries bacteria can be passed on to the child in this way. The same goes for spoons and teats. If the soother is dirty, it should be thoroughly rinsed under running water. Soother chains or ribbons which can be attached to the clothing of the child can prevent soothers from getting lost or falling on the ground.

There is water in the soother after boiling it!

All NUK soothers have an AIR SYSTEM. A valve ensures that air can escape from the rubber part when it is pressed together by the palate. The soother thus optimally adapts to the child’s mouth at all times. Due to the valve opening, water can sometimes enter the rubber part when the soother is boiled.

Our tip: Press out the remaining water from the soother directly after boiling it.

The NUK soother is very flat after boiling!

If a vacuum builds up in the soother, there is a simple trick that nearly always works: Pull sharply on the rubber part of the soother! You will not break the soother; the rubber part and the mouth plate are durable enough to withstand this.

Such a vacuum can occur if (e.g. after boiling) the AIR SYSTEM is blocked. This is because a valve ensures that air can escape from the rubber part when it is pressed together by the palate. The soother thus optimally adapts to the child’s mouth at all times. Should you be unable to release the vacuum using the aforementioned trick, simply send us your soother and we will provide you with a replacement free of charge.

When should soothers be replaced?

The general rule of thumb is: A latex teat should be replaced every 1 to 2 months like a toothbrush, or at the latest when it starts to get sticky. A silicone soother must be immediately replaced after the first bite marks or any other “faults” become apparent. It is recommended that soothers are replaced at an earlier date if your child contracts a cold or throat infection in order to avoid repeat contamination.

From what age can I give my baby a soother?

From the time he is born. Babies have natural urges to suck and a soother allows them to do this. This is par for the course when breastfeeding.

When and in what situations is it sensible to use a soother?

A soother is primarily there to be sucked, encouraging, comforting and calming the baby. If it just hangs loosely in the baby’s mouth, it should be taken away.

When should my child stop using a soother?

It is slowly time to part from the soother by the time the child reaches the age of three.

Are there any tips for breaking the habit of a soother?

Talk to your child: Explain to him why it is time to stop using the soother – for example, because the child is too big for a soother or the soother is now too old.

It won’t happen overnight: Saying goodbye to the soother in stages is often easier. Agree with your child that she only uses the soother in the house from now on and keep to this new rule until the child stops using it completely.

Give the soother away as a gift: Explain to your child that there are other children, for example a friend’s baby, who need the soother urgently. Give plenty of praise to your child when the soother is given away.

Use your imagination: A special “soother fairy”, like the Easter bunny or Santa Claus, can help ease the final transition. The child gives up his soother and receives a treat in return. In some parts of the world, there are “soother trees” which the soothers are tied to when children stop using them.