Many new parents wonder if a pacifier for baby is the right decision. When it comes to using a pacifier youâ€™ll find that other parents tend to be completely for or completely against the use of pacifiers.
There are many pros for using a pacifier as well as cons. Today Iâ€™ll dive into the topic to help you determine if using a pacifier is the right decision for your family.
Do doctors recommend pacifiers?
According to the Academy of Pediatrics, itâ€™s recommended that parents offer a pacifier to babies when theyâ€™re about one month old.
This recommendation is for giving a baby a pacifier at bedtime to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
The Pros of Using a Pacifier for Baby
Minimizes Infant Crying
Women who experience Postpartum Depression tend to breastfeed easier when their baby isnâ€™t crying as often. Using a pacifier for baby girl will help minimize crying in between feedings by allowing your baby to learn how to self-soothe.
Using the pacifier will help provide emotional support for a crying baby as well as a brief break for women who may be experiencing PD after giving birth.
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Distraction From Stimuli
A pacifier can be used as a distraction device when your baby is about to get vaccines or experience something that they may feel uncomfortable with. Using a pacifier for breastfed baby can help reduce the pain and nerves by providing a self-soothing option during procedures that may otherwise upset your baby.
Helps Preemies Thrive
Research has shown that babies born prematurely often leave the hospital quicker when theyâ€™ve been offered a pacifier. Preemies were shown to have shorter hospital stays and take to bottle-feeding quicker when a pacifier was utilized. The research also showed that there was an improvement in digestion when preemies were given a pacifier for baby during tube feedings.
Ease Discomfort during Flight
A pacifier for baby can help ease discomfort during flights. If youâ€™re a traveling family then chances are youâ€™re going to go flying with your baby before theyâ€™re older.
Using a pacifier for baby girl can help reduce the pain from ears popping during a change in air pressure. When the air pressure changes during a flight, your ears may pop but the suckling on a pacifier helps reduce the pain with this.
The Cons of Using Pacifier for Baby
Might Interfere with Breastfeeding
If youâ€™re thinking about a pacifier for breastfed baby then youâ€™ll want to hold off on giving your baby a pacifier too early. Itâ€™s best to allow your baby the first month to latch onto your breast to feed before introducing a pacifier.
The suckling on a pacifier is different than suckling on a breast for food so some babies have shown preference to a pacifier over breast when introduced too early to a pacifier.
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Increase Dependence on Pacifier
Using a pacifier for baby girl may be beneficial during an uncomfortable situation as noted above, but it can become something your baby becomes dependent on.
A pacifier for baby girl may encourage dependence on needing a pacifier for any situation that makes your baby feel uncomfortable.
If this dependence on pacifier for baby occurs, itâ€™ll be harder to wean off the pacifier in later years.
Possible Dental Problems
With prolonged use of pacifier for baby, you may find that thereâ€™s a higher risk for future dental problems. The long term use of a pacifier can make your babyâ€™s teeth become misaligned and lead to future dental problems.
The short term or occasional use of pacifier for breastfed baby has not been linked to any long-term dental problems.
As with most parental decisions, itâ€™s hard to figure out the best route to go. I highly suggest you review my pros and cons of pacifier for baby and discuss the options with your spouse before deciding as to whether or not youâ€™ll introduce a pacifier to your baby.