Most new parents have many questions about pacifiers, and it’s no surprise: according to a 2017 survey, over 85% of babies use a pacifier at least a portion of the time! That’s why it’s important for parents to know what exactly are the dos and don’ts of pacifiers.
“What are the best newborn pacifiers?”
“What is the ideal pacifier for a breastfeeding baby?”
“How do I keep a pacifier in the mouth of a baby?”
We’ll talk about the answers to these question in this article.
Babies have a natural desire to suck, and many find sucking on a pacifier (or their fingers or thumb) to be quite calming. We’ll discuss pacifier facts and information to help you decide if your baby needs one.
Pacifiers raise a lot of significant questions for being so small.
Pacifier safety is a vital first step, but there is more to consider when giving your infant a pacifier.
Do pacifiers obstruct breastfeeding?
Many doctors and lactation specialists advise against giving newborns pacifiers. Early and frequent sucking aids in developing the mother’s milk supply and establishing optimal breastfeeding practices.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises introducing baby pacifiers when breastfeeding is firmly established, usually around 3 or 4 weeks. Waiting to offer a pacifier assists new parents in identifying their baby’s early hunger cues, including lip smacking, sucking on hands, and sucking motions. It also helps neonates avoid “nipple confusion” or “nipple preference” while switching between pacifier and breast.
Several research has been conducted to investigate the link between baby pacifiers and early weaning from nursing. And the verdict is yet out. Many researchers refrained from concluding that pacifiers cause babies to wean sooner, but they did discover that using a pacifier may be a symptom of nursing difficulties or lower motivation to breastfeed.
Other research, on the other hand, indicates that early pacifier usage does not promote nursing difficulties or early weaning in full-term babies whose moms are motivated to breastfeed. The bottom line is that you must do what is best for both you and your child. Discuss any concerns with your child’s pediatrician.
Do pacifiers for babies promote ear infections?
It’s unclear, but it’s possible. Pacifiers have been linked to problems with babies’ inner ear tubes, according to research. Other research has found that nursing protects babies from ear infections.
Ear infections are most frequent in children aged six months to 3 years. If your child has a history of ear infections, you should minimize or eliminate the usage of a baby pacifier. Keep track of ear infections and see your child’s pediatrician.
Do pacifiers for babies harbor a lot of germs?
Pacifiers can harbor germs, so wash your baby’s pacifier frequently. If your infant is unwell, clean or sterilize all of their pacifiers with hot, soapy water before each use. Pacifiers should be cleaned whenever they fall to the floor or ground, and they should never be shared. Don’t put the pacifier in your mouth to clean it; this is a definite way to spread germs between you and your baby.
Do baby pacifiers help to avoid SIDS?
Using a pacifier to put your infant to sleep may help avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), though researchers aren’t sure why. Doctors believe that sucking on a pacifier causes babies to sleep lighter and roll less during the night.
To prevent sleep-related death, your infant should sleep alone, on her back, in her cot, without cushions, blankets, bumpers, or stuffed animals. It is acceptable if the baby’s pacifier slips out while she is sleeping. Never put a pacifier back into the mouth of a sleeping infant; instead, offer it to the baby if she wakes up agitated.
Are pacifiers harmful to my baby’s teeth?
Eventually, yes. Thumb sucking and pacifiers can create crooked teeth and even modify the structure of your child’s mouth. Pacifiers should be eliminated by the time your child is four years old, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). This will aid in the regular development of your child’s teeth and jaw muscles.
Pacifiers are preferred over thumb-sucking by the ADA because they are easier for parents to cease when the time comes. However, the American Dental Association warns parents not to clean baby pacifiers by putting them in their own mouths because this can spread cavity-causing germs to their children. Tooth decay begins as soon as the baby’s first teeth appear, which is normally around the age of six months.
How do I keep my baby’s pacifier in his mouth?
On this one, follow your baby’s lead. Pacifiers should be used only when the baby requests them. You can assume that your baby is done with the pacifier if she spits it out or refuses it when you offer it to her. You can reintroduce it later, but never push a pacifier into a baby’s mouth.
Do’s and Don’ts of Using a Baby Pacifier
Every family must make their own decision regarding whether or not to provide pacifiers. If you do decide to give your child a pacifier, follow these guidelines.
- Wait until your infant has mastered breastfeeding before introducing a pacifier because each has a unique sucking mechanism. If you start using a pacifier too soon, it may interfere with good nursing.
- Before offering a pacifier, try alternative methods of comforting your infant, such as hugging, rocking, or singing. If you use a pacifier right away, you may miss the underlying cause of your baby’s fussiness. Perhaps she has stomach pain, requires a diaper change, or is hungry or sleepy.
- Check that the pacifier is clean and dry. If you drop a pacifier on the ground, clean it with hot soapy water.
- Put a pacifier back in a baby’s mouth if it comes out while the baby is sleeping.
- Allow siblings to exchange pacifiers or clean pacifiers in your own mouth. This has the potential to spread bacteria that cause tooth decay or sickness.
- Sugar or honey should be applied to the pacifier. This can result in tooth decay. Furthermore, offering honey to a youngster under the age of one year can result in botulism, a deadly infection.
- When your infant is sleeping, use pacifier clips or attachment cords. They could become entangled around a baby’s neck.
- With a ribbon, string, or cable, attach a pacifier to your baby’s cot, playpen, or stroller or around your baby’s neck or wrist. Babies can be strangled in this manner. Pacifier clips and attachment cords are safe to use only when your baby is awake, and you are watching her.
- Use the infant pacifier in any way that goes against the manufacturer’s safety guidelines.
- Use a pacifier to replace attention or other types of comfort like calming, snuggling, rocking, or singing.
But which infant pacifier is the best?
Choosing a pacifier is similar to selecting underwear in that it is a personal decision. Despite what pacifier producers claim, no one pacifier is optimal for infants. You’ll probably have to try a few different types to find out which pacifier your youngster prefers! Here are some things to think about:
Size: Many manufacturers provide pacifiers in a variety of sizes. Smaller pacifiers are available for infants, whereas larger pacifiers are available for older children.
Shapes: Some have flat tips that resemble the shape of a nipple. Others claim to be “orthodontic” to keep newborns’ jaws in the proper position during sucking.
Materials: We advocate using a silicone pacifier because they are more durable and can be washed on the top rack of the dishwasher. Furthermore, like adults, certain babies can be sensitive to or allergic to latex.
Meaningful articles you might like: 10 Strategies For Calming A Crying Baby, A Guide To Breastfeeding, Children And Adolescents With Eating Disorders