5 Benefits of Using a Pacifier
There can be a lot of information out there about both the cons and benefits of using a pacifier for your newborn baby. Here are some of the top Benefits of Using a Pacifier
Benefits of Using a Pacifier
I always tell new moms to use a pacifier right away because there are so many benefits of using a pacifier with your baby, and if you don’t introduce early, they may not take one. Only 1 of my 4 babies took a pacifier and for the one that did, it was a lifesaver. She was the baby that I was able to take to many more places than the others, and new baby stress was much lower. The benefits of using a pacifier with your baby far outweigh any cons in my opinion. Here are 5 top benefits of using a Pacifier:
Things to Consider: 5 Benefits of Using a Pacifier for Babies
Pacifiers are good at soothing in public places
Sometimes you may need to calm your baby quickly in a public place, whether it be at church, waiting in a doctor’s office, or sitting at your kid’s dance performance. Pacifiers come in really handy for situations like this. There are so many things I was able to attend that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise if my baby wasn’t soothed by a pacifier.
Pacifiers Can Help Baby Fall Asleep
Babies love to suck, but that doesn’t always mean they are hungry. For babies who love sucking while falling asleep, you really don’t want to fall into the habit of having to nurse or bottle feed your baby to sleep. Pacifiers can help soothe baby to sleep without depending on you each time. Trust me, you will appreciate this when you are sleep-deprived and exhausted.
Pacifiers Can Bring Comfort During Distress
One of my favorite benefits of using pacifiers is that they can provide comfort to a child when they are away from mom, getting shots, or feeling distressed in other ways. It’s also a much smaller item to carry along than a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, and can also be replaced without breaking the bank. I will never forget the time that my husband drove an hour to retrieve my daughter's stuffed lamb when we realized it has probably fallen out of our car in a parking lot. Had it been a pacifier, we would have easily just replaced it. Pacifiers are also great to take along on flights for take off and landing so that baby avoids having ear pain with the cabin pressure changes.
Pacifiers Can Help Prevent Thumb Sucking
Because many babies love to suck, some can take on the habit of thumb-sucking. This is not a great habit for babies to form, especially as teeth start to come in. One of the benefits of using a pacifier (rather than allowing thumb-sucking) is that they are much easier to wean your baby from. This can help save you from an expensive orthodontic bill later on. Pacifiers can be taken away, thumbs cannot.
Pacifiers are Helpful When Others are Watching Your Baby
Not everyone has lots of experience soothing babies and a crying baby can put caregivers or babysitters in a frustrating experience if they can't calm them. Pacifiers make the experience much more simple for those who may need to watch your baby from time to time.
Helpful tips for Using a Pacifier
While there are many benefits to using pacifiers, here are some tips for added success:
Tips for Using a Pacifier
Wean at the appropriate time: While there isn’t much risk in the first year, allowing an older toddler to remain attached to the pacifier can start to cause dental issues. This is not enough reason to outweigh the benefits, but as your child gets older, keep this in mind and start the weaning process. This article on How to Wean My Child Off of Their Pacifier should be helpful for the weaning process.
Don’t Throw out Other Soothing Techniques: Yes, there are many benefits of using pacifiers, but there may be times when the pacifier is lost or you have forgotten it at home. It’s wise to not always make the pacifier your first line of defense when soothing baby, so that in these kind of situations you have other tools in your pocket. Experiment with other methods of soothing your baby rather than always running to the pacifier. You might try rocking your baby, changing positions, and making sure baby is well-fed before offering the pacifier.
Don’t Force It: Follow your baby’s cues. You do not want to create a negative association to the pacifier by trying to force it when your baby is truly not interested. Just try again later and in different situations. If baby always refuses the pacifier when crying, try offering it when baby is relaxed.
Get a Pacifier Clip: One of the most frustrating things that can detract from the benefits of using pacifiers is when they get lost or fall to the ground and become dirty. A pacifier clip will save you both frustration as well as money spent replacing pacifiers. Make sure you are using a pacifier clip that is safe, high quality and won’t pose as a choking hazard to your baby. These silicone and wood pacifier clips are a trendy favorite and they come in the cutest colors. They also attach to these teething toys that will be helpful when baby starts teething and you want to keep their teethers off the floor as well.
Keep it Safe: Because pacifiers are always in baby's mouth, you want to make sure that it is not made with harmful plastics. Frigg silicone pacifiers are a great option, and incredibly cute. They are made with natural rubber and are BPA-free. You also want to make sure that pacifiers are sanitized anytime they touch the ground and never coat your baby's pacifier with sugar or other things to try and convince them to suck on one. You will do more harm than good with this tactic. When introducing baby to the pacifier in the beginning; you can however try dipping the pacifier in breast milk or formula.
It's a good idea to inspect pacifiers frequently as baby ages to make sure there are no signs of wear and that pieces are always intact.
Don't Give Up: If the benefits of using pacifiers has you motivated, don't give up if baby doesn't attach to one right away. Try offering when baby is happy and playful. You can also try several different brands and varieties. Some babies refuse certain brands or shapes but take on quickly to others. Also try not to offer the pacifier to hold baby off longer from a feeding. You don't want baby to associate the pacifier with being hungry and unsatisfied.
Good luck on your parenting journey, I hope these tips were helpful in understanding the many benefits of using pacifiers and that you feel confident in giving them a try!