Are Pacifiers Bad For Newborns?

Keeping your baby calm and contented always is your number 1 priority. Yes, pacifiers are great soothing devices but there are legitimate concerns among parents asking themselves ‘are pacifiers bad for newborns’? 

There are a lot of ways to comfort your baby like rocking a little or simply cuddling her. Yet, pacifiers are getting popular day by day as babies like it. It has some benefits to offer like it helps the baby to fall asleep fast and calmly.

In this article, I will talk about why pacifiers maybe a good idea, some of their bad impact and proven to be effective tips on it from experienced mommies.

How Bad Pacifiers Can Be For Newborn?

baby sucking pacifier

I will explain why they are popular later in this article. But let’s see why some parents consider it bad for their newborns. When you are done reading it, you will learn how to overcome these disadvantages as well. Here are some mentionable reasons why some parents think pacifiers are bad:

  1. Breast-feeding Trouble: Sucking the pacifier and breast nipple is not the same. Newborns who get used to the pacifier first will have a hard time settling with breastfeeding because of the nipple confusion. 

Some newborns are very sensitive to such differences. Some mommies have complained that their babies spend less-frequent time breastfeeding because of the pacifier.

  1. Problematic Dependency: After a while, sucking the pacifier becomes a habit and your baby may give you a hard time giving it up when it is the time.

They suck it when they need to fall asleep when they play, and you offer it as a distraction so that she stops crying. That’s the reason, your baby may be dependent on it deeply.

  1. Dental Issue: Nothing to be scared of here. However, your baby may face dental problems if she uses it for a prolonged time. But using it for the first few years is still okay. Using it more than that or for an extended period may lead to misalignment of teeth. 
  1. Middle Ear Infection: Yep, there is a real chance of the increased risk of middle ear infection of your baby and young children using the pacifiers. The risk is relatively lower in newborns than in youngsters. 

Benefits Of Using Pacifiers

You may find these troubles scary and maybe wondering whether you should give the pacifier to your newborn. Here are some positive sides to it that may help you decide better:

  • Great Soothing Device!

You know how hard it is to stop the temper tantrum of a fussy baby, right? A pacifier can work as a soothing mechanism here. In most of the case, it will work like a charm to calm the baby. 

  • Offers Temporary Distraction

Some newborns will give you a tough time while taking shots, go through procedures, or any simple blood test. In such times, offering a pacifier can act as a great distraction.

  • Helps To Fall Asleep

Let me first clarify something. A pacifier has no role in the quality of the sleep of your baby. It does not lengthen the duration or awakening at the night. But it will do the trick in helping the baby settling down and fall asleep fast.

  • Reduce Traveling Discomfort

Traveling flights can be discomforting for the baby and she might have trouble settling down. That is simply because they find it hard to settle due to the air pressure. A pacifier works great as a comforting device in such times. 

  • Risk of SIDS Reduced

Sucking the pacifier at bedtime and nap time may help to reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Tips From Experienced Mommies

Giving pacifiers to your baby is still a good choice, even though there are some ‘issues’. However, you should follow these tips shared by experienced mommies if you plan to give pacifiers. 

  1. Safety comes first before the calming of your baby. Never attach the pacifier with anything. Yes, it is a soothing device like a musical baby mobile, but you should not attach it with any string or strap. Frequently replace it. If you notice any deterioration, change it immediately. 
  2. It’s never a good idea to give your little one a pacifier until breastfeeding is well-established. As per the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), if you are already breastfeeding, then you should wait until she is 3 or 4 months old. By this time, you should have already settled an effective nursing routine.
  3. There are many ways to soothe a crying baby. Offering the pacifier should be your last line of defense! Give her a little bit of rocking or try to change the position to calm her down. If nothing works, then giving the pacifier is okay.
  4. To avoid choking hazards, never have two-pieces made pacifier. Any dishwasher safe single-piece made pacifier from a reputed brand is okay. Keep several of them at your hand as a backup. They get lost a lot!
  5. Sucking the pacifier is the choice of your baby. Never force her. You will find plenty of time to offer it.
  6. Each time you offer it, make sure it is clean. Until the baby is 6 months old, regularly boil it or run it through the dishwasher. That’s the reason you should have several of them.
  7. Nothing to be over-enthusiastic about the pacifier. You should never sugarcoat it so that your little one likes it more.

Conclusion

As your baby grows, the pacifier will be less beneficial day by day. Most babies stop sucking it at the age of 2 to 4. Sometimes, they need a little bit of nudge to give it up. Praise them a lot when they don’t use it.