A pacifier is a nipple substitute that a baby can suckle on when they are in distress or between feedings. The decision to use one or not is entirely up to the mom. Babies should start using pacifiers after around four weeks when they have already mastered how to breastfeed. So, should you introduce your baby to one? We look at the pros and cons of using a pacifier below.
Soothes the baby
A pacifier is a quick way to calm a fussy baby. Many babies are happy when they are sucking on something.
Helps with getting to sleep
It might also help your baby get to sleep faster. If the baby is having trouble settling down, it might do the trick. It also helps babies learn how to sleep on their own.
Reduces the risk of SIDS
Experts suggest that using a pacifier may reduce the risk of SIDS. It might help open the air space in the baby’s mouth and nose which allows the baby to get enough oxygen.
Useful on a flight
If you are planning on flying with your baby, a pacifier might help. If your baby’s ears start to pop on a flight, it will be of great help.
They are disposable
When babies suck on their hands, it might be hard to break the habit. When they use a pacifier, you can easily break the habit by disposing of it.
Your baby may become dependent on the pacifier. If they use it to help them get to sleep, they may wake up crying every time it falls out of their mouth.
Some studies have shown that kids who use pacifiers are more likely to develop ear infections compared to those who don’t.
Babies who use pacifiers long-term may have misaligned teeth.
The decision on whether to use one or not is up to you. If you do, make sure that you keep it clean and don’t use it as your first line of defense.
By Beth Mugo