Help! Should My Baby Use a Pacifier?

Pacifiers, binkies, nookie, bo-bo, soother, sugar-tit, dummy. There are so many different things that a pacifier can be called. Some people will let their child use a pacifier for years. At the same time, others may not let their child use it past a certain point. Other parents may only let their baby use one at specific times. There is so much to consider when it comes to pacifiers. Here is the good, bad, and everything else to know about pacifiers.

Do you have to give your baby a pacifier?

Yes, you should give your baby a pacifier. They are going to be a very useful tool when it comes to relaxing a grumpy baby. Pacifiers can also be used to put a baby to sleep with ease. Some babies don’t take to pacifiers, especially if they have already started sucking on their hands or thumb. Just like everything in life, there are pros and cons to pacifiers.

When should you give a pacifier to a baby?

It is important that your baby is nursing or taking their bottle before you introduce them to a pacifier. This will be when they are about three or four weeks old. The reason that you should wait is that the sucking method that they use for breastfeeding and a pacifier is different. So, you don’t want them to get confused and stop taking your breast for feedings.

What advantages does a pacifier have?

The most notable benefit that a pacifier has is the fact that it can put a grumpy baby to sleep in just a few minutes. They may lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome while your baby is sleeping. Doctors are not exactly sure how it works. However, they have noticed that if you give your baby a pacifier when they go to sleep, they are at a lower risk of experiencing SIDS. Pacifiers are also a great way to encourage your baby to self soothe. Whether you are letting your child cry it out for hours or not at all, they must learn to self soothe eventually. The last benefit that a pacifier has is the ability to satisfy their sucking sensation. Babies naturally feel like they need to be sucking on something. This could be a bottle or a breast. However, this desire can linger even after their bellies are full. That is why pacifiers are great to satisfy this sensation without causing a bellyache.

How can a pacifier be bad to your baby?

There are a few reasons that a pacifier can be bad for your baby. It can cause your baby to experience more ear infections as they get older. One study proved that babies who use pacifiers are nearly twice as likely to get numerous ear infections as children than their peers who didn’t use pacifiers. They can also lead to some serious tooth issues, especially if they use it past two years of age. Pacifiers can change the shape of the roof of the mouth, which will create issues with tooth alignment. As long as you take it away before they turn two, these problems should correct themself. If you are trying to breastfeed, you need to hold off on giving your baby a pacifier until they have gotten used to breastfeeding. It can be difficult to get them used to be breastfed, so be sure your baby is used to it before introducing a pacifier.

What are some safety tips for pacifiers?

There are safety precautions for everything that is made for babies, and pacifiers are no exception. You should never give them a pacifier that comes apart. The safest ones would be the ones that are molded into one solid piece. You should never tie your baby’s binky around their neck; this could cause them to strangle themself. The size of their pacifier is also important. The ring should be at least one and a half inches across; that way, your baby cannot fit the whole pacifier into their mouth. As they get older, you should make sure you are following the recommended age range. The pacifier that works for a newborn will be too small for an infant. You should be inspecting their pacifiers every so often to make sure they aren’t getting worn out. It is easy for the rubber to get tore, and then your baby could end up swallowing it.

When and how should you take the pacifier away?

The American Academy of Family and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that you start to limit or even stop pacifier usage around six months. This is not only the easiest time to take their pacifier, but it can also prevent problems for them later down the line. If your baby is already susceptible to ear infections, then pacifiers will put them at risk of getting them more often. When you do decide to take away their binky, you need to be careful with how you approach it. They will most likely put up a fight, but you should never try to embarrass your child into giving it up. Embarrassing your baby can lead to a lot of problems as they get older.

Conclusion

There is nothing wrong with allowing your baby to use a pacifier. They are a very useful way to help soothe your baby. They can help to ease the stress that can come with moving or meeting new people. However, some problems can come along with them, especially if they use them for longer than recommended. You will want to make sure that they don’t become dependant on it. After nine months, your baby will have developed an emotional attachment to it. So, be prepared to deal with more arguments if you try to take it away after then.