There are some great benefits to pacifier usage, like comforting the baby but also some drawbacks. I will cover some pros and cons of using a pacifier and you can decide using your own parental intuition what is best for your baby. Some babies and parents love them, and some hate them and here I will share my experience with the pacifier and some things to consider when choosing to use a pacifier. Because like most parents I was wondering are pacifiers good or bad for the baby? Let’s cover some points that can make your choice easier.
The Truth and Myths of Pacifier
When I did some research into Are Pacifier Good or Bad for the Baby? Some linked pacifier use with less frequent breastfeeding or end of breastfeeding for some babies after a couple of months usage. This can be caused by nipple confusion and poor latching. You can minimize the risk of this happening by waiting until your baby is used to nursing before introducing a pacifier. I started to give my baby pacifier after two weeks of nursing.
Your baby might become dependent:
Having the pacifier in the mouth constantly can be disturbing, especially when the child is sleeping, and the pacifier falls out of the mouth and wakes the baby up. Finding that balance is very important when choosing to use a pacifier.
Might increase the risk of ear infections:
Babies have three times higher risk of developing ear infection if using a pacifier, however, if used sparingly the risk is much lower. I am still worried about this but so far baby has not shown any signs of ear infection.
Prolonged use might cause dental problems:
Chronic use might cause a child’s teeth to be misaligned, cause chronic tooth decay and narrow palate. Normal use of a pacifier during the first few years has not shown any problems of tooth development. I am going to bear this in mind throughout and keep checking for any signs. Although, replacing pacifiers periodically and cleaning them as instructed is always helps.
I chose to use pacifier despite discovering the cons of using a pacifier because my little one was extremely colicky and I was willing to take a risk.
How Pacifier has helped my baby
It’s soothing to my crying baby:
It really helps to comfort my baby when he is crying intensely. Some babies simply feel more comforted when they have the pacifier and my baby seems to agree.
Can offer quick temporary distraction:
It helped him during blood tests, vaccines and also helps him distract from colicky pain.
Can help the baby to fall asleep:
Can be used to get my baby to fall asleep. It doesn’t seem to have any direct effect on the length or the quality of the sleep. Just as long as you remove the pacifier when the baby is sleeping.
Some other benefits which I have not personally experienced:
Useful during flight for the baby’s ear pressure:
A pacifier can help to relieve the baby from any pressure in the ears caused by air pressure changes.
Pacifier can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
How I monitor the Use of Pacifier
Every baby is unique, and you will need to trust your parental intuition when it comes to your baby. There is no one-way approach that works for everyone. The information above is there to help you to make the best decision for your child from a more informed place. I make sure to only use the pacifier at specific times. I only use a pacifier when I’m around and I’m able to monitor and if I’m not around then I don’t use a pacifier. It’s about creating a balance and making sure it doesn’t create dependency for you or your baby to constantly have to use a pacifier.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of giving the baby a pacifier each time he cries or everytime you have something or someone else to attend. I just remind myself that baby pacifier is for my baby and not for me to rely on to make my life easier. I try to avoid this behavior as it may make me more dependent on the pacifier which is not the point or reason for using a pacifier and prolonged use can definitely cause the aforementioned issues in babies which I obviously do not wish to risk.
Make sure to share your experience with the pacifier and any tips or tricks for new mums. Are Pacifiers Good or Bad for the Baby? Is a question and a choice you will need to make for your baby.