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. Keep them in mind when deciding whether or not to use it.
- 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 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 medical procedures much easier to bare.
- 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 happens when kids 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, your baby needs your full and complete attention. That is why it is extremely important to consider the following before giving a pacifier to your little one:
- The recommended age range for pacifier use is from 6 months to 1 year.
- Never force your baby to use the pacifier, if it falls out of his mouth during sleep or in any other situation. Do not use honey, chocolate, sugar, or any other means to persuade him to use it.
- Frequently wash your baby’s pacifier, which will prevent your kid from getting sick.
- If your baby is feeling nervous or anxious, look for and try different methods to calm him. Do not use the pacifier as your first choice.
- If you have any questions, you can always consult your pediatrician.
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