As a new parent, you may have certain concerns about introducing a pacifier to your baby. You might wonder whether it is really the right option for your child. Usually, the pacifier is advised for children who have successfully finished breastfeeding or are breastfeeding, but whose sucking urges have not gone away. Doctors believe that some children may develop nipple confusion, a term used for children who are so used to the artificial pacifiers that they have trouble sucking on the breast. It is important to understand the pros and cons before you give a pacifier to a baby.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pacifiers for babies are preferred for use during the night time to reduce the risk of SIDS. New research indicates that using a baby pacifier for sucking stops the baby from falling into a very deep sleep. However, most babies become habitual users of the pacifier and will want it in their mouth before sleeping. If the baby drops the pacifier from its mouth, it might cry, and parents will have to wake up to put it back into the baby’s mouth. This may cause new parents to feel a bit frustrated. Using pacifier clips is a good idea to deal with this problem, although they should only be used under supervision and in the day time.
Another problem is that many parents tend to use pacifiers as a supplement to breast feeding. This means, instead of giving the baby the nutrition it requires, parents end up letting them suck on the pacifier. It is advisable to understand the needs of the baby and offer the pacifier only when the baby is done with feeding and still wants to suck.
Prolonged use of a pacifier can cause certain dental problems in toddlers. However, giving a pacifier to the baby is a better option than letting the child suck continually on its thumbs, which may cause allergies as well as deformed teeth.
The baby can be easily pacified even without the use of a pacifier. This can be done by cuddling, rocking, and talking to the baby. Usually, most children are satisfied with feeding and cuddling. Pacifiers are recommended only for those children who do not become pacified even after that. The use of pacifiers also puts children at risk of developing a habit, which can be difficult to break.
Using a pacifier is a matter of individual preference, and the child’s feeding habits. This should be kept in mind before introducing a pacifier to a baby.
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