One of the first things most new parents buy for their baby is a pacifier. The relationship between babies and pacifiers go hand in hand in most people’s minds, but in reality, that connection isn’t always as simple as people expect. Many parents have one huge issue in common, why won’t the baby keep the pacifier in its mouth? The answer isn’t a simple one. There are quite a few different reasons that could be causing the problem.
Is Your Baby Ready To Use A Pacifier?
Babies are not born ready to take a pacifier. While babies can often be seen sucking on their fingers in utero during sonograms, sucking on a pacifier is not a natural action, they are born ready to do. It is recommended that parents wait until the infant is between 3 and 4 weeks of age before they attempt to give their newborn a pacifier. This allows your baby plenty of time to establish feeding routines and suckling habits before they take a pacifier, which will lead to a better relationship with their pacifier.
Babies Need Training
While babies are born with a naturally occurring suckling reflex, using a pacifier is not quite as natural. The action of sucking on it can soothe a baby, but it requires some training before they learn how to keep one in their mouth properly. When your baby is old enough to begin using a pacifier, you should begin training them by using a method of reverse psychology. Simply place the pacifier in their mouth, and as they begin to suck on it, gently pull back as if you are going to pull it out of their mouth. This stimulates them to suck harder and teaches them to keep the pacifier in their mouth.
Do You Have The Right Tool For The Job?
Pacifiers are not a one size fits all tool. Just like each baby is different, there are hundreds of different pacifiers on the market, and you need to find the one that fits your baby. Some babies have large mouths, while others have small. You should decide what size is appropriate for your baby. Once you have that narrowed down, start discovering if they want a smooth or textured nipple on the pacifier. Finally, are they comfortable with a pacifier that is entirely made of silicone, or do they need a big plastic backing resting against their lips? It all comes down to personal preference for your baby, but the right pacifier certainly makes it easier to keep it in their mouth.
Is Something Wrong?
If your baby is having trouble keeping the pacifier in their mouth and you have made sure it is the right fit for them, and they are the right age, it may be time to discuss things with your pediatrician. Have you checked to make sure they do not have a tongue or lip tie? A tongue-tie is when a band of tissue ties the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A lip tie is a band of tissue that tethers the top lip tightly to the top gum. Infants with ties often have a very difficult time suckling, and the issue needs to be addressed with a medical professional to get appropriate help. While ties can happen to any baby, they tend to be more common in boys and also tend to run in families.
Has Baby Suddenly Stopped Keeping The Pacifier In Their Mouth?
If your baby has always used a pacifier and suddenly begins to let it fall out or spits it out, this could be a sign of something bigger. Are they still feeding regularly? If not, the baby could be sick. Some infants, when sick, do not like sucking, especially when their throat or ears hurt. This could be a sign that it is time to take your baby to the doctor. Rest assured, if this is the problem, your baby should return to their normal pacifier use once they begin feeling better.
Are You Using The Pacifier At The Right Time?
Babies cry often. It is their only means of communication at the beginning of their life. They cry because they are hungry, need to be changed, too hot, too cold, uncomfortable, desire interaction with their parents, and when they feel colicky. While it can be difficult to distinguish the reason for their tears, it is important to pay close attention. Pacifiers should only be used when babies are tired or colicky.
If you offer the pacifier too often at the wrong times, it will not soothe the problem and leads the baby to dislike the pacifier because it doesn’t work for them. For example, if you offer a pacifier to a hungry baby, the pacifier will not fill its belly. This would lead to the baby believing nothing is soothing in the pacifier and could cause the baby to dislike their pacifier. You should do your best only to offer it to the baby at times. It can help soothe them, so they do not develop an aversion to it.
Some Babies Just Don’t Like Pacifiers
Babies are people, and everyone has different likes and dislikes. Some babies like pacifiers and find great comfort in them, while other babies never take to them. If you have tried all the different things outlined here and you are still having trouble with your baby letting the pacifier fall out of their mouth, it may be time to accept that your baby doesn’t like pacifiers. It is natural, and it happens more than you realize. Some babies never find comfort in using a pacifier that others do. Your child simply has a different taste, and that is just fine.
Most parents don’t realize that using a pacifier can be as complicated as it is. There are several different reasons the pacifier may fall out of your baby’s mouth or that your baby may reject it. What is important is that you keep calm and try to understand what your baby is trying to tell you. Maybe it comes down to a different pacifier, maybe they need more training, or maybe it just isn’t the right time.