All babies are different – they like different types of songs, and different types of toys, but when it comes to nipples, now that’s something every baby can agree on. Pacifiers are rubber nipples used to keep babies comfortable when it’s not feeding time, and can be a very valuable resource for parents.
Advantages of using a pacifier
Babies don’t tend to be the most reasonable of people, and can get a bit antsy when they don’t get what they want, which is quite often your breasts. Giving Baby a pacifier can be an excellent way to keep her comfortable in between feedings, as suckling is among her favorite hobbies.
In addition, some studies show that infants who use pacifiers at sleep time have a lessened risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) than babies who don’t use them, although there is no evidence to support why this is so.
You should also note that pacifiers come in many different shapes, and a baby may gravitate towards one and not the other, so you shouldn’t give up if Baby isn’t a huge fan of the first few.
Are there any concerns with using pacifiers?
Although pacifiers can do quite a bit for a baby’s mood, there are also some disadvantages to using a pacifier. Babies who use pacifiers are significantly more likely to develop ear infections, although the reason for this is unclear. Pacifiers can sometimes cause orthodontic problems, so you may want to look into specially-designed orthodontic pacifiers.
Parents are also often advised to wait until breasfeeding is established (usually a few weeks to a month after birth) to introduce a pacifier to their baby, as earlier introduction may result in feeding problems.
The last major concern with using a pacifier is the weaning process – most parents will want their child off of the pacifier by the time they are talking, but this can be quite the battle, particularly if your child’s pacifier becomes an extension of themselves.
The bottom line
While it’s clear that you don’t want Baby still suckling a pacifier in math class, most are able to wean off in a reasonable time, although it can be a difficult process. Giving her a pacifier can be an excellent way to help her stay comfortable and happy when she can&;t have her favorite thing – you!
- Moon RY, Tanabe KO, Yang DC, Young HA, Hauck FR. “Pacifier use and SIDS: evidence for a consistently reduced risk.” Matern Child Health J. 16(3):609-14. Web. 4/12/2015.
- Sinead Hanafin, Peter Griffiths. “Does pacifier use cause ear infections in young children?” British Journal of Community Nursing. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjcn.2002.7.4.10227, 9/27/2013. Web.