Who knew a small plug that a baby sucks on could cause such a debate? There are some parents that are anti-pacifier and others who are pro-pacifier. Each person has their own opinions on the matter and the decision is yours if you want your child to have one or not. Let’s explore the pros and cons of pacifiers presented by a Mayo Clinic article.
To read the original article, click here.
- Pacifiers are soothing for many babies. It can offer a distraction and help calm them down when they are upset. It helps some children settle down and fall asleep more easily.
- There are some studies that have shown that pacifiers may aid in reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Children can become dependent on the pacifier as a way to soothe themselves when they are upset or want to go to sleep.
- Pacifiers can cause ‘nipple confusion’ when a baby is very young and breastfeeding. It is sometimes recommended to not offer a pacifier until a baby is three to four weeks old and already breastfeeding well.
- The prolonged use of pacifiers could lead to dental issues such as misaligned teeth when a child gets a bit older.
- There are some studies that show that pacifier use may increase the risk of ear infections.
Pacifier Safety and Use
If you choose to use a pacifier for your child you should keep these useful tips in mind.
- Keep pacifiers clean. Babies are not born with a strong immune system so it is important to keep anything that goes into their mouths as clean as possible. Make sure to sanitize them regularly.
- Don’t put anything on the pacifier such as sugar. This isn’t healthy for a young baby.
- Watch for signs of damage and deterioration to the pacifier. If it becomes damaged, throw it away. It could become a safety hazard.
- Choose a one-piece pacifier. A two-piece pacifier could break apart and become a choking hazard.
- If a child isn’t interested then don’t try to force the use of a pacifier on them.
- Use a different type of soothing method such as rocking or softly talking to your child before going for the pacifier. This will help resist pacifier dependence.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, February 10). Pros, cons, do’s and don’ts of baby’s pacifier. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 21, 2022
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