When it comes to comforting our babies, we do everything that we could to do so! That’s why we know exactly how pacifiers can ease the loads for us! For some babies, pacifiers are the key to contentment between feedings. Others just can't seem to suckle enough, even when they're not hungry. If your baby still wants to suck after having her fill of formula or breastmilk, a pacifier may be just the thing.
Sucking on a pacifier can easily become a habit, and many parents don't introduce one because they don't want to deal with having to take it away later (or because they don't like the thought of their 3-year-old walking around with a pacifier in his mouth). Also, a pacifier habit is easier to break than a thumb-sucking habit. After all, you can dispose of a binky!
Are pacifiers really OK for your baby, though? Understand the benefits and risks of pacifier use, important safety tips and steps to help wean your baby from the pacifier. Here’s what we learned from Mayo Clinic:
Consider the advantages:
A pacifier might soothe a fussy baby. Some babies are happiest when they're sucking on something.
A pacifier offers temporary distraction. A pacifier might come in handy during and after shots, blood tests or other procedures.
A pacifier might help your baby fall asleep. If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier might do the trick.
A pacifier might ease discomfort during flights. Babies can't intentionally "pop" their ears by swallowing or yawning to relieve ear pain caused by air pressure changes. Sucking on a pacifier might help.
A pacifier might help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Sucking on a pacifier at nap time and bedtime might reduce the risk of SIDS. If you're breast-feeding, wait to offer a pacifier until your baby is 3 to 4 weeks old and you've settled into an effective nursing routine.
Pacifiers are disposable. When it's time to stop using pacifiers, you can throw them away. If your child prefers to suck on his or her thumb or fingers, it might be more difficult to break the habit.
Consider the drawbacks:
Early pacifier use might interfere with breastfeeding.Sucking on a breast is different from sucking on a pacifier or bottle, and some babies are sensitive to those differences. Research suggests that early use of artificial nipples is associated with decreased exclusive breastfeeding and duration of breastfeeding — although it's not clear if artificial nipples cause breast-feeding problems or serve as a solution to an existing problem.
Your baby might become dependent on the pacifier. If your baby uses a pacifier to sleep, you might face frequent middle-of-the-night crying spells when the pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth.
Pacifier use might increase the risk of middle ear infections. Pacifier use may increase the risk of middle ear infections in babies and young children. Because the risk of these infections is generally lower in young babies, using a pacifier until your baby's half birthday (when his need to suck is greatest) and weaning him from it soon after may work just fine – especially if he's prone to ear infections.
Prolonged pacifier use might lead to dental problems. Normal pacifier use during the first few years of life doesn't cause long-term dental problems. However, prolonged pacifier use might cause a child's teeth to be misaligned or not come in properly.
After considering the pros and cons, the decision whether to use or not is up to you. If you will go for it mommy, feel free to check out our list of products for your precious one’s needs and more!
Pacifiers, are they good for your baby or not?