Are Pacifiers Safe For Your Little One

By Melody

Are pacifiers safe for your little one?


So after those 9 months and an arduous labor, the newborn is born! And this grand arrival rings in a deluge of happiness and excitement in the family. A baby is a huge responsibility because you not only give birth to a new life, you also promise a comfortable and meaningful life to him or her too. While parenting a newborn child or an infant, you many face many hurdles that were hitherto completely unknown to you and one such problem could be a wailing baby who refuses to stop and no he or she is not crying because of hunger.

So what do you do as a new mom to stop the wails? In such a situation, the first advice that your friends, who have been there and done that, give you is hand the pacifier. This will put a full stop to the crying. But wait a moment, did you think it over or confirm once with the pediatrician?



Today let’s talk about why pacifiers are used and the pros and cons of using them.

What is Pacifier and why use it?

Babies love to suck and usually in the ultrasounds taken during pregnancy they are seen sucking something in the womb too. Sucking is soothing for babies and hence helps to calm a wailing baby. Pacifiers also known as ‘soothers’ are used to calm a baby down. It is often believed that a newborn baby cries the most because he/she struggles to adapt to the sudden change in the surrounding. So a pacifier becomes handy as it gives him/her something to suck on that they love mostly.

Here are the advantages of using a pacifier.

  • It provides temporary distraction. For example, if your baby is crying because he/she is hungry and you are in the midst of preparing the bottle, it gives you additional time if you give the pacifier to your baby.
  • During shots, blood tests or other procedures when the baby is crying due to pain or discomfort, a pacifier may put a stop to the crying.
  • Pacifier is used as a sleep inducing agent for restless babies.
  • Some researches have concluded that pacifiers lead to reduction in risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Compared to thumb-sucking, getting rid of the habit of sucking onto a pacifier is extremely easier. You can dispose the pacifier whenever you think your baby should be off it.

Disadvantages of using a pacifier:

There are drawbacks of using a pacifier too. Let’s take note of these.

  • Using a pacifier may interfere with breast-feeding as babies may struggle to learn to nurse properly if they begin to suck on a pacifier very early.
  • Too much of anything is bad, goes the popular saying remember? Likewise, while trying to get your baby off the pacifier could lead to frequent crying spells in the dead of the night. Your baby may also begin crying if the pacifier falls off his/her mouth while sleeping.
  • A pacifier may increase the risk of middle ear infections.
  • Using a pacifier for a long period of time may lead to dental problems. Continuous usage of a pacifier results in the misalignment of the top front teeth of the upper or lower jaws.
  • Dipping the pacifier in sugar syrup or honey is completely a no-no as it may lead to dental cavities.
  • Pacifiers have also been found to be the cause of language delay. Hence medical practitioners strongly suggest to stop using pacifiers by age 2, so that the jaw and bite formation occurs properly. Also, some kids who love pacifiers and suck on to them all day rarely talk or interact with other kids.

By now you must have had a fair idea about pacifiers. However the question remains — what should you do if your baby is crying continuously and refuses to listen to any of your sweet-talks? I agree during such times, it could be really confusing and frustrating. As a parent you need to keep a few pointers in mind that may help you decide the best for your baby in a given situation. Ideally, using a pacifier should be a parental decision because you will know your child’s needs and nature best. So take a call whether you would want your child to suck on a pacifier. If you have taken the decision to use a pacifier for your child because he/she seldom stops crying, you should take care to stop it once your child is a year old. If this is still not possible, you must stop this habit at the age of 2, because too much of dependence on any external object will lead to the development of bad habits in your baby, which could create serious health concerns later.

Happy parenting!

Do you use pacifiers for your baby?

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