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Pacifiers pros and cons.

Updated on July 19, 2017

Are Pacifiers Good for Baby or Not?

When baby arrives, we all imagine a cute little pink baby that eats, sleeps and gurgles happily! Very soon many of us find out our babies are not like this! Babies can't talk so they cry. Your baby may have just fed and also just had its diaper changed, but it is clearly very unhappy. Enter pacifier! Babies have a natural desire to suck, so from the very beginning it will usually respond to a pacifier quite easily. In my experience, introducing it sooner rather than later is best. I would however advise not using it until breast feeding is established, if this is how you choose to feed your baby.

Pacifiers may reduce risk of SIDS

Several studies have found a decreased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in babies that use Pacifiers.

Jennifer Shu MD and co author of a book "Heading home with your newborn" says pacifiers help keep babies airway open.

When to use a Pacifier

I am a mother to 3 children and a grandmother to 4. My own children never used pacifiers and until my grandchildren came along, I thought babies didn.t need them. Wrong! We are always learning! My first grandchild was a girl came bouncing into the world at 10lbs 11oz. The first few days she was sleepy and we all said how good she was. Day 4 and the crying started with very short periods of sleep. Her Mum and Dad tried everything to stop the crying, and then decided to introduce a Pacifier. She took it and all was calm on the western front! When she was unsettled there was nothing else only the pacifier that would settle her. My daughter didn't do anything very differently than I did with my babies - this new baby was just a child who needed a pacifier.

Pacifiers and sleep

Pacifiers are good to help baby go to sleep and also give Dad and Mum some much needed rest. I have found though that once your baby is sleeping, it is a good idea to gently remove the pacifier from baby's mouth. If you don't and baby gets used to sleeping with the pacifier, if it falls out you will spend all night popping it in again! This is happening with my friend and both parents are taking turns sleeping in the room with baby who wakes up every hour when the pacifier falls out! Nightmare!

Will pacifiers harm my babies teeth?

There is no real evidence to say that a pacifier will harm your babies teeth. If used sensibly they definitely help to settle a fussy baby. If you are concerned, there are pacifiers that are specifically designed to fit a baby's palate.

When To Stop Giving Baby a Pacifier

Some babies will naturally give up their pacifier but others become very attached to and dependant on it for comfort etc. When baby is weaned and potty trained, then try to focus on stopping the pacifier." This may be quick and painless but with some children, it may take a while. Don't get distressed about it as very few children go to school with a Pacifier!

Pacifiers are not Forever

The book below is a great help for parents and young children trying to give up their pacifier.

The book tries to make what can often be very stressful into a positive experience. it offers comfort with pictures and words that deal with the child's feelings of sadness.

It gives ideas of happy and fun things that children can do without the pacifier.

Do you use a Pacifier for your baby?

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Clean babies Pacifier.

Wash your babies pacifier regularly

When examined babies were found to have bacteria similar to E. coli and also a type of fungi.

Hand wash your babies pacifier with hot soapy water or sterilise it or put it through a hot dishwasher cycle.

Store the pacifier in a clean box with lid or zip lock bag.

It is also a good idea to replace your babies pacifier with a new one regularly.

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    • GoGranny profile image

      GoGranny 4 years ago from Southeastern PA

      I feel pacifiers serve a practical purpose for the first year, then need to be tapered off. Nothing annoys me more than seeing a 4 or 5 year old with a pacifier!! Nice article, good topic!

    • Jane51 profile image
      Author

      Jane51 4 years ago

      Hi Thank you for your kind comments! Yes I agree it annoys me too! They shouldnt need to be used after the first year. The longer they are used the harder it is sometimes to get the child to give it up.

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