Are pacifiers good or bad for babies?

Babies take everything to their mouths, from the smallest object they find to their own thumb, it is a stage where, through this activity, they discover the world. This primary reflex, which they use to adapt to their surroundings, is known as sucking. It is a way for them to calm down. Sucking is done in diverse situations: when they are sleepy, hungry, bored or nervous.

So, is it good or bad to give your baby a pacifier? The use of the pacifier has several advantages and disadvantages, which we are going to discuss next so you can keep them in mind when deciding whether or not to use it.

Pros

  • The use of the pacifier may decrease SIDS probability (sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy baby) when used during sleep.
  • It may relax your baby, reduce anxiety and help him or her calm down.
  • Reduces thumb suction time, which causes severe dental problems.
  • Its use can make any complicated situation such as air travel, blood tests, vaccines or injections much easier to take on.

Cons

  • The abuse of pacifier use can often interfere with breastfeeding.
  • It can affect your baby’s teeth and cause dental problems.
  • It generates emotional dependence and becomes an indispensable object to ensure your baby’s tranquility. The same when they need the pacifier to get to sleep.
  • Delays the development of language, as babies keep their mouths busy and do not try to reproduce the sounds they hear around them.
  • Poor hygiene of it can lead to infections.

As you know, better than anyone else, your baby needs your full and complete attention. That is why it is extremely important that you consider the following before giving a pacifier to your little one:

  1. The recommended age range for pacifier use is from 6 months to 1 year.
  2. Never force your baby to use the pacifier, if it falls out of his or her mouth during sleep or in any other situation. Do not use honey, chocolate, sugar or any other means to persuade him to use it.
  3. Frequently wash your baby’s pacifier, which will keep him or her from getting sick.
  4. If your baby is feeling nervous or anxious, look for and try different methods to calm him or her, do not use the pacifier as your first choice.
  5. If you have any questions, you can always consult your pediatrician.

 


If you’d like to learn more, visit the following site:

  • http://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/0415/p681.html

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