Babies are not born with pacifiers in their mouths, but based on their prolific use in many countries, it’s hard to picture a world without them.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not to let your baby use a pacifier, here are some pros and cons to consider.
1.Pacifiers are convenient. They allow parents to quiet a fussy baby while in public without too much bother
2. Pacifiers are small and easy to carry along.
3. It can buy parents some time because the pacifier does what its name implies – it pacifies. It gives parents a chance to find a place to nurse or get a bottle ready (or prepare whatever is needed).
4. Some studies suggest that SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, is reduced with the use of a pacifier at nighttime.
5. Pacifiers have a reputation for preventing finger and thumb-sucking. (The jury is out on whether this is the case – the habit of sucking on fingers and thumbs may have its roots in more complex causes.)
1. Dependency can be a significant problem for some babies, and giving up the pacifier may end up being a major headache.
2. A pacifier can be a big source of germs if it falls out and is put back in the baby’s mouth without being washed first. (It’s very easy to get into this habit.)
3. If you lose the pacifier or it wears out, beware – a substitute may not do, making for a very discontented baby!
4. Proper tooth and jaw development may be adversely affected by the use of pacifiers. Speech delays may also be a problem with pacifier use (especially prolonged use).
Here are some tips to help you out if you decide to use a pacifier.
1. Sterilize the pacifier in the dishwasher (make sure you buy ones that are dishwasher-safe).
2. Don’t put the pacifier back in your baby’s mouth if it falls out and hits any surface (especially the floor).
3. When you find a style that works, buy several and toggle them so your baby gets used to changing nipples. This helps prevent the fussiness that may ensue if you lose the pacifier or if it wears out.
If you’re not going to give your baby a pacifier, here are some tips.
Use your breasts as a pacifier if you’re breastfeeding. This ups your milk supply and increases your bond with your baby. (Pacifiers are, after all, a substitute nipple!)
A clean pinky finger can suffice as a temporary pacifier.