Pacifier – YEY or NEY?
I will touch the tricky topic – pacifier. It is up to you whether to use or not a pacifier, I am simply sharing my experience and the reason I chose of avoiding it.
I decided to not use a pacifier as the negative sides of it outweighed the positive ones.
Let me start with positive ones, where I will add my own comments to show that those can be replaced by alternatives 😊:
1. Pacifier can sooth your baby. – You can also soothe your baby, if you want to, by very light rocking, hugging, singing and etc.
2. Pacifier as a temporary distraction. (After shots, blood tests or other procedures). – I prefer breastfeeding in these cases, as it is the best anti – stress for babies, I believe.
3. Pacifier can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). – though it is not proven
4. Pacifiers are disposable. You can stop using pacifier whenever you want by throwing it away. If your child prefers to suck his/her thumb, you will face difficulties to break the habit. – I have seen how difficult is stopping the pacifier as babies get very upset when parents throw the pacifier. So I really didn’t buy this part 🙂
Now I am going to detail the negative sides of it which can make you think before offering the pacifier:
- The first, main and most feared reason of mine is that baby taken pacifier from birth, tends to skip breastfeeding, while sleeping with pacifier, this way reducing the amount of meals (breast milk) per day. Mother gets happy that her baby sleeping longer hours and doesn’t really estimate the “harm”. Regular check ups show that baby gained less weight and mother starts worrying, then offers the formula.
They start the mixed feeding (breast milk and formula). All these cause the decrease of milk supply which puts both mother and baby in a stressful situation. Baby can refuse breast milk or mother can give up and move to exclusive formula milk feedings.
This is the pattern I observed in most babies with pacifier and made a clear decision of not giving the pacifier to my children.
- Babies tend making habits. Breastfed babies get a habit of having mommy’s breast as “on mode” through the night (with my 19 months old exclusive breastfed boy, I really know what I mean in here 🙊🙈🙉). The babies using the pacifier for a sleep, also get a habit towards pacifier. Therefor, they might face frequent middle of the night crying spells whenever the pacifier falls off.
- Some researches show that pacifier use might increase the risk of middle ear infections
- Other researches show that it may also lead to dental problems 5. Some babies using the pacifier tend having the oral yeast (thrush), which can be transformed to mother’s nipples.
If you still want to offer a pacifier to your newborn please follow the below frame to not face the above issues:
- Never offer the pacifier from day one. American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to offer after 3-4 weeks old as they believe this is the time when your breastfeeding is well established. I personally think that 3-4 weeks is the period when you start understanding the proper latch-on moments and just on the way to well establishment. So better wait for 7-8 weeks, when 6 weeks growth spurt is over.
- Don’t use the pacifier there and after. Sometimes you can simply calm your baby by changing the position or a light rocking. Offer the pacifier only after of between the feedings.
- Your baby knows better! Don’t force your baby if he/she doesn’t want it now. Don’t pop it back when it falls out his/her mouth while sleeping.
- Don’t sugarcoat it. Offer the pacifier without dipping it to sugar or milk.
- Keep it clean. Frequently sterilize it. Wash it before offering. Keep in special closing box. Never “rinse” it in your mouth.