For some moms, pacifiers are heaven-sent. They’re very convenient to take along and the babies love them so much. Such is the reason why moms have come up with so many pet names for the simple pacifier. The most commonly used names are: soother, dummy, paci, and binky, among others.
In fact, BabyCenter.com has actually listed 172 other names for the simple pacifier — all of which have been coined by the creative minds of parents and their babies.
Even if there are a lot moms who seem to think it’s okay for their babies to use a pacifier, you’re probably still in a quandary. After all, there are those who think that pacifier use may be harmful. For example, according to huffingtonpost.ca:
… some moms and dads fall squarely in the no-soother camp — worried their child could become dependent, harm their teeth or delay speech development.
Most pediatricians and researchers say it’s okay to use pacifiers during the early months of a baby. However, they also suggest and are in agreement with the American Academy of Pediatrics’s recommendation that pacifiers should NOT be overused and that babies should be weaned from pacifiers before their first birthday.
Here’s a great tip from North Shore Pediatric Therapy with regards to how long should a baby use a pacifier:
Depending on the specific needs of your child, wean him or her from the pacifier after 6 months (when risk of SIDS drops) and before 18 months (when speech and language development is occurring rapidly).
With that, here are the 7 good reasons as to why it’s okay use pacifiers during the early months of your baby:
7. Pacifiers may reduce the risk of SIDS. Several studies have found a decrease in the risk of sudden infant death syndrome(SIDS) in infants who use a pacifier. “The periodic movement of your baby’s mouth while sucking keeps him in a lighter state of sleep, so there is less of a chance that he will stop breathing,” says Jennifer Shu, M.D., a Parents advisor and coauthor of Heading Home With Your Newborn. “Plus, having a paci in your baby’s mouth helps to keep his airway open,” she adds, which could also help decrease his risk of SIDS. Source: Parents.com
This is probably the best reason as to why you should grab that pacifier.
SIDS is every parent’s nightmare. Imagine the sudden death of a little one not older than one year old. That’s truly heartbreaking, to say the least.
This is what livescience.com has to say about SIDS:
It is the leading cause of death of children ages 1 to 12 months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, more than 2,000 U.S. infants died from SIDS. The National Institutes of Health reports that SIDS is most likely to occur when the baby is between 2 and 4 months old. The incidence increases in cold weather. Infants who die of SIDS show no signs of suffering.
SIDS is scary. However, the good old pacifier can help lessen the occurrence of SIDS. According to babble.com:
Several studies have shown a two- to threefold decrease of SIDS deaths among babies who use a pacifier. As explained in a recent article in Pediatrics magazine, “The hypothesis is that a pacifier protects the upper airway from becoming obstructed by the tongue.”
So if a pacifier can lessen the chances of sudden stoppage of breathing in babies, then it’s definitely worth grabbing one now, right?
The next good reason as to why it’s okay for your baby to use a pacifier sets the record straight on nipple confusion.
Did you actually believe that a pacifier could interfere with breastfeeding? Well, this next good reason is not just surprising it’s also backed up by science.
6. Pacifiers increase the chances of breastfeeding. Limiting pacifier use resulted in decreased rates of exclusive breast-feeding. After tracking 2,249 babies born between June 2010 and August 2011, they noted that exclusive breast-feeding dropped from 79% of infants between July and November 2010 to 68% between January to August 2011. Source: HealthLand.Time.com
You had probably been warned about pacifiers, especially after making the decision to breastfeed. After all, there’s just so much talk about nipple confusion that’s associated with a pacifier.
According to the nursing experts on this breastfeedingbasics.com:
The risk of nipple confusion, whether by introducing a bottle or pacifier, is greatest during the early days of nursing. The longer you wait to introduce artificial nipples, the less risk there is of confusing your baby.
Here’s the good news; there is no nipple confusion after all. Hence, the pacifier will not intervene with your baby’s breastfeeding.
This is scientifically backed up. Today.com cites:
In December 2010, Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital locked up pacifiers in the newborn nursery to improve their breast-feeding record even more. To everyone’s surprise, they saw breast-feeding rates drop as soon as the pacifiers were no longer readily available.
Do you want to know why it’s quite natural for babies to use a pacifier? Turn and find out on the next page.