Should I administer a pacifier to my baby?
When you become a new parent, you are always willing to leave no stone unturned in order to ensure that your little one is comforted in the best way possible and pacifiers can be really handy in this pursuit.
While rocking and cuddling calms some infants down and contently suck only during feeding sessions, there are others who simply want to suckle all the time even when they are not feeling hungry. If your baby is still intent on sucking even after having been fed, a pacifier is the best way to go about the whole business.
A pacifier, in no way, is a replacement for nurturing or feeding but if your baby is still in a bad mood despite all your efforts of rocking, cuddling and playing with her, then a pacifier might do the trick.
There is another advantage that can be had from using the best pacifiers out there. According to researches, the probability of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is greatly reduced in babies who suckle at their pacifiers at the time of sleeping or taking a nap. These researches do not necessarily claim that pacifiers tend to reduce the risk itself rather they are of the view that there is a close correlation between pacifier usage and a reduce risk of SIDS.
Moreover, it is always a lot easier to break the pacifier habit in contrast to the thumb-sucking one since you can easily dispose it off and get it out of sight of your bundle of joy.
Disadvantages of best pacifiers
Pacifiers are likely to enhance the risk of middle ear infections in infants and toddlers. The risk of these ear infections is the lowest in infants so it is judicious that you make him use a pacifier till his half-birthday and then gradually reduce its use afterwards. This can be very helpful if your baby is prone to ear infections.
It was believed that babies who were made to use best pacifiers suffered from nipple confusion which disrupted the successful administration of breast-feeding. But the recent researches say that there is no evidence to support these assertions of the past and that no studies conclude that there is any relation between the two.
But if you are a breastfeeding mom, then you may want to wait until he is a decent nurser before administering him a pacifier. Sucking on a pacifier and on a breast are two disparate things. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), you should wait until your milk is well-established and your baby gets breastfed appropriately.
As a rule of thumb, the one month birthday should be the right time for offering your baby the best pacifier. If you feel that your baby is nursing well, weighs right for his age and is getting fed adequately, then you may introduce him to the pacifier a bit earlier. You might as well offer him the pacifier after his regular feeding so that he gets all the needed nourishment.
Sucking at a pacifier can become a habit that can be really hard to get rid of for parents. This is exactly why most of the parents refrain from even introducing their babies to pacifiers. If you want to let your baby use a pacifier but do not want to indulge yourself in small skirmishes with your infant later on, you may then take it away from him when he is about to reach his first birthday. You need to be careful in ensuring that the pacifier is not overused and it will prevent your baby from becoming reliant on it. Here are some ways that you can employ to help your kid get rid of the pacifier.
Managing the baby’s pacifier usage
If you plan to offer a pacifier to your baby, here are a few things that you ought to keep in mind:
– If your baby accepts the pacifier as soon as you offer it to him, go ahead. If there is some resistance from his end, do not use force. You may make another attempt some other time or simply accept his preference.
– It is prudent to offer the pacifier to the infant during feeding sessions when you are confident that he is not feeling hungry.
– Do not give your baby a pacifier to procrastinate his feedings or as a replacement for your attention. Nevertheless, there can be a few occasions when you will not be able to feed your baby instantaneously. In such a case, a pacifier can be really handy.
– You should offer the pacifier to your baby when he is about to sleep. If he is in a bad mood, you may as well try comforting him with rocking, singing or cuddling first and then try out the pacifier.
– It is not a good idea to tie a pacifier around your infant’s neck or to his crib. It could result in strangling. Therefore, it is prudent to attach the pacifier to his clothes with the help of a clip made especially for this purpose.
– Opt for the pacifier that is safe and healthy and develop a habit of washing it clean with warm water frequently. Get a new one as soon as you observe cracks appearing on it or when you notice other signs of wear and tear.
– According to the American Dental Association, adult saliva contains bacteria that can cause cavities in an infant’s teeth as soon as the teething begins. Moreover, it is also not safe to dip the pacifier in juice or sugary water which can also create cavities.
When not to give your baby a pacifier?
It is not safe to offer a pacifier to a baby who is not gaining weight. If your baby is going through a difficult time nursing and you are having issues in developing a steady supply of milk, it is prudent not to use the pacifier at least for the time being. It is also not safe to offer your baby a pacifier if he is prone to ear infections.
But if you have a premature baby who is not gaining weight, a pacifier will not probably effect one way or another. Moreover, using a pacifier may reduce the risk of SIDS so you may discuss it with your doctor.
If you do not want your infant to be introduced a pacifier, you should inform the nurses well before time and let them know that you are planning to breastfeed the baby. Of course, pacifier’s use for a couple of days cannot really help in developing a habit but it is nonsensical to let your infant use something that you plan not to offer him at home at all.
Can pacifiers affect teeth development?
Kids may end up damaging their teeth, jaw or bite if they keep on using a pacifier till they are two or three years of age. Generally, kids tend to use pacifiers only during the time when they have their baby teeth.
Nevertheless, the longer your infant uses a pacifier, the greater is probability of damage to his teeth development. If you are concerned about this, you may contact your doctor or dentist and discuss the development of your baby’s teeth and jaws.