Pacifiers: Pros, Cons, and Smart ways to use them

Pacifier for babies
Should I give my baby a pacifier?

As a new parent, comforting your baby is one of your highest priorities, and you may find a pacifier very helpful.

Some babies can be soothed with rocking and cuddling and are content to suck only during 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 breast milk, a pacifier may be just the thing.

A pacifier isn’t a substitute for nurturing or feeding, of course, but if your baby is still fussy after you’ve fed, burped, cuddled, rocked, and played with her, you might want to see if a pacifier will satisfy her.

There’s another benefit to using a pacifier: Some studies have shown that babies who use pacifiers at bedtime and nap time have a lower risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). These studies don’t show that the pacifier itself prevents SIDS, just that there’s a strong association between pacifier use and a lower risk of SIDS.

Also, a pacifier habit is easier to break than a thumb-sucking habit. After all, you can dispose of a binky!

What are the disadvantages of pacifier use?

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.

 It used to be thought that babies who used a pacifier before they got the hang of nursing sometimes experienced nipple confusion, which interfered with successful breastfeeding. But experts now say the research is conflicting, and there aren’t any studies that conclusively show whether the two are related.But if you’re breastfeeding your baby, you may still want to wait until he’s a proficient nurser before offering a pacifier. Sucking on a pacifier and sucking on a breast are different actions, and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you wait until your baby is breastfeeding well and your milk supply is established.

Source: babycentre

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