Babies are born wanting to suck. Some even suck their thumb or
fingers before they are born. This is a natural behaviour that allows them to feed and grow. It is also comforting and helps them settle. The use of a pacifier can help soothe a fussy baby.
What are the advantages?
· Sucking on a pacifier is better than a thumb or finger because it causes fewer problems with future tooth development.
· A parent can control the use of a pacifier but it’s harder to control thumb sucking. When it’s time to stop using a pacifier, you can throw it away. You can’t throw away a thumb!
· Also, the latest medical research finds that using a pacifier may decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or crib death.
What are the disadvantages?
· Not using a pacifier properly can lead to problems with breastfeeding, teeth (cavities and overbite), and possibly, middle ear infections.
· Homemade pacifiers, sweetened pacifiers or pacifiers tied around a baby’s neck are not safe and could lead to injury or death.
· If used too much, baby can become dependent on it
The Do’s and Don’ts of pacifiers
· Try not to start using a pacifier until breastfeeding is fully established. An exception is for premature or sick babies in the hospital. They may use one for comfort.
· Always see if the baby is hungry, tired or bored before giving him the pacifier.
· Always sterilize the pacifier by putting it in boiling water for 5 min before the first use. Make sure it’s completely cooled down before giving it to the baby. Then, keep it clean by washing it with hot, soapy water.
· Always check for cracks or tears before giving a pacifier to the baby.
· Never dip the pacifier in sugar or honey. This will damage the teeth. Honey can lead to botulism, which is a type of food poisoning.
tie a pacifier around a baby’s neck. This can cause strangulation and death.
make your own pacifier out of bottle nipples, caps or other materials. These
can cause choking and death.
This is a great place to ask your questions. Anything from prenatal to preschool. From feeding to sleeping...ask away!