Why Should I Offer A Pacifier To My Baby
Some babies, when irritated or fussy can be soothed by rocking, hugging or cuddling or humming a lullaby. This wont work for all babies. For some babies sucking fingers helps to turn off worries and turn on the merriment and feeling of security. When your baby shows a strong urge to suck more even after he is well fed and if not allowed, becomes grumpy then a pacifier is your answer. However, a pacifier should be introduced to a baby only after she has become comfortable with breastfeeding. Because breastfeeding requires more effort from a babys side, if a pacifier is introduced early, it can make your baby lazy to suck breast-milk.
All Good Things Must Come To An End
When your baby starts using their pacifier as a chewing toy or teether, it might be time to wean him off of it. One sign that your baby is chewing the pacifier rather than sucking it is nonstop drool.
As with toilet-training, there are several different ways to cut the proverbial umbilical cord to babys pacifier. Try these tips to find out what works for your little one:
- take it away cold turkey
- give them the pacifier only at certain, consistent times the slow and steady approach
- limit the pacifier to one place, such as their crib
- offer your child other ways to self-soothe like a favorite blanket or toy
Can Babies Sleep With A Pacifier
Yes, you can safely give your baby a pacifier at bedtime. To make it as safe as possible, though, make sure to follow these guidelines:
- DONT attach a string to the pacifier as this can present a strangling risk.
- DONT give your baby a pacifier at night while he or she is learning how to breastfeed.
- Make sure to keep the pacifier clean using hot water to disinfect.
- Use the right size of pacifier for your childs age.
- DONT coat the pacifier with anything.
- Only use 1-piece pacifiers.
- Ensure the pacifier has breathing holes in the guard.
Read Also: How Many Hours A Day Should My Newborn Sleep
When Should I Take Away The Pacifier
If you find yourself with a 4+ month old baby and doing the pacifier dance all night long, I suggest you get rid of the it! Pick asleep coaching methodthat you feel comfortable with and apply it until your baby has mastered the skill of falling asleep without that paci.
As a general rule, I always suggest taking the pacifier away for sleep when you do any kind of sleep training. If you are already pushing your baby outside of their comfort zone, might as well do them a favor and save everyone the trouble of breaking the pacifier habit later on.
If your child is old enough now to manipulate the pacifier themselves, then YOU don’t need to be reinserting it for them. Make them do it on their own.
You can even place a handful of pacifiers in their crib so their chances of finding one in the dark are higher. Or try glow in the dark pacifiers that your baby can see in their crib in the middle of the night.
If you have a child under 18 months who uses the pacifier, I suggest getting rid of it sooner rather than later. Many dentists and pediatricians may suggest that your child not being using a pacifier past a certain age.
However, if you happen to have a child who is 18 months or older that sleeps with a pacifier, I suggest keeping it until they stop napping . Otherwise, you run the risk of them giving up their naps before they are actually ready to.
My Baby Wakes When The Pacifier Falls Out How Do I Keep The Pacifier In Her Mouth What Do I Do If My Baby Wakes Every Time The Pacifier Falls Out
First, lets be sure that you have the right size and shape of pacifier for your baby. Consider trying a different shape that your baby may be able to hold onto more securely. When you offer the pacifier, consider gently pulling the pacifier out of her mouth just a bit. Often babies will suck the pacifier into the mouth more intentionally, making the pacifier less likely to fall out.
If youre still struggling and your baby is 3 months or younger, this first method is for you! Watch this video to see me demonstrate how to gently pull the binky from your newborns mouth right before he falls asleep.
Doing this increases the likelihood of him putting himself BACK to sleep in the night without needing it replaced. Now, this skill wont develop immediately. It may take weeks for your newborn to learn to fall asleep without the pacifier. Thats okay. Its a work in progress. If your baby begins crying when you pull it from his mouth, just replace the pacifier and try again later. It will take time and patience.
Also Check: What Can I Use On Newborn Dry Skin
Are Pacifiers Safe For Newborns
To summarize, pacifiers are relatively safe when used properly. Pacifiers must not be used as a quick fix every time to calm your baby. Check whether your baby is hungry or has a dirty diaper. Tend to those needs first before giving a pacifier to the baby. Always try calming your baby by holding, rocking, or singing to them.
You Need To Wash Your Child’s Pacis Frequently
TRUE: It’s not news that they get germy–but just how dirty may come as a surprise. When examined under a microscope, used pacifiers were found to have fungi plus bacteria similar to E. coli on and within the nipple, according to recent studies by Richard Thomas Glass, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor of forensic sciences, pathology, and dental medicine at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. To eliminate some of the bacteria, experts recommend running your baby’s pacis through the dishwater or hand-washing with hot, soapy water daily or whenever they’re dropped. Store the clean, dry pacifiers in plastic zip-top bags for extra germ protection and during transport, suggests Dr. Glass. Plus, it’s also a good idea to replace your pacifiers regularly.
Originally published in the February 2014 issue of Parents magazine.
All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
Don’t Miss: What I Need For My Newborn Baby
What Is Safe Sleep
Safe sleep means putting your baby to sleep in ways that can help protect him from dangers, like choking and suffocation , and sudden infant death syndrome . SIDS is the unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year old. SIDS usually happens when a baby is sleeping. Its sometimes called crib death because the baby often dies in his crib.
Understanding Baby Sleep Cycles
Adults have four sleep stages that they cycle through during the night. Newborn babies, between the ages of 0 to 3 months, only experience two of the four stages of sleep: stage 3 and stage 4.
- Stage 3: This stage is deep, regenerative sleep. Your body repairs and rejuvenates the immune system, muscle tissue, and sparks growth.
- Stage 4: Stage four is REM rapid eye movement sleep. Your brain kicks in to consolidate information and memories throughout the day. REM is when you dream.
Once asleep, your newborn can be put down without waking most of the time after you rock him because he jumps right into a deep sleep stage. Around four months old, babies transition through all four stages rather than just two sleep stages.
These cycles last 30 to 45 minutes each, on average, for your baby. So, naps can last for an hour to two hours as he cycles through the two stages.
Can I Use A Pacifier To Get My Baby To Sleep
The short answer is a qualified yes. You arent going to do any harm to your baby by providing a pacifier to help your child get to sleep.
However, for the first month of life, your baby should not use a pacifier or any sucking device for soothing. After one month, when your baby is already a champion breastfeeder, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. Studies have shown this practice to help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome , which is most common between birth and six months of age. It is believed that babies who suck on pacifiers do not sleep as deeply and can arouse themselves from a deep sleep before they stop breathing. But before deciding to use a pacifier, consider the pros and cons.
The natural sucking action of a pacifier can soothe a fussy baby and help them drift off to sleep.
- The natural sucking action of a pacifier can soothe a fussy baby and help them drift off to sleep.
- If baby takes a trip on an airplane, a pacifier can help them pop ears when the air pressure changes.
- Pacifiers are easier to quit than thumb sucking, which is a ready alternative for babies with a strong drive to suck. This is one of the main reasons that the AAP recommends pacifiers.
When Pacifiers Become A Nuisance
Once your baby is closer to 4 months if they are using a pacifier to go to sleep they might start needing it every time they wake between sleep cycles . This is a lot of pacifier runs! .
Until your baby is able to replace their own pacifier at around 7-8 months old, they will need YOU to replace it for them because they are relying on the pacifier to fall asleep, so much so, that they arent able to go back to sleep without it.
If it becomes a problem, 3-4 months is a good age to ditch the pacifier, unless you’re happy to ride it out for a few more months until your baby can put it back in themselves.
What can also happen with using the pacifier at night is that it can actually mask genuine hunger – the sucking can trick babies’ brain into thinking they are being fed. This can, in itself, lead to more night waking because your baby is genuinely hungry, rather than just waking for the pacifier.
Use of a pacifier can sometimes mean your baby is going to sleep during the day before they’re actually properly ready for a nap – especially for younger babies. The sucking is such a strong sleep association it can mean your baby settles to sleep earlier than they should be, which can cause them to catnap due to not being tired enough for a decent sleep.
Don’t Miss: How To Play With Newborn
Are Pacifiers Ok For Breastfed Babies
If youre concerned about the potential of nipple confusion with pacifier use, I have good news for you! Researchshows us that nursing moms who introduce a pacifier are JUST as successful with nursing as those who dont. True scientific research dispels the myth of nipple confusion and shows that limiting pacifiers does not increase nursing success. In studies, limiting pacifier use actually resulted in decreased rates of exclusive breastfeeding. In summary, yes! Pacifiers are great for breastfed babies.
How To Put Your Baby To Sleep
Having trouble putting your baby to sleep at night? Youâre not alone! Itâs not uncommon for babies to cry at bedtime, and for it to be tricky to get them to go to sleep. This struggle to fall asleep can be due to anything from hunger or a wet diaper to colic, gas, or illness. Sometimes, you may not be able to pinpoint exactly why your little one is wakeful or fussy. Read on to discover how to put your baby to sleep.
You May Like: How To Feed Gripe Water To Newborn
Can My Premature Baby Use A Pacifier
In most of the preterm babies the skill of sucking is found to be less developed. Skill to suck properly is very important for easy breathing, and for both physical and neurological development. When a pacifier is introduced to a preterm baby shortly after birth, breathing process, oral-muscle functions, physical and neural developments are found to improve noticeably. They are discharged from hospitals faster due to quick gain of weight.
Do Pediatricians Recommend Pacifiers
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents begin providing their newborn with a pacifier at one month of age and older.
As a special bonus, scientists have discovered that sucking a paci at bedtime and naptime can lower your babys risk of SIDS . . . even if she spits it out after falling asleep.
You May Like: When Can You Do A Dna Test On A Newborn
Can Babies Pop Their Ears With Pacifiers
Babies cant intentionally “pop” their ears by swallowing or yawning to relieve ear pain caused by air pressure changes. Sucking on a pacifier might help. A pacifier might help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome . Sucking on a pacifier at nap time and bedtime might reduce the risk of SIDS.
How Do I Introduce A Pacifier
Step 1: Offer when the baby is calm, not hungry or tired, and swaddled.
Step 2: Apply pressure in the middle of the babys tongue.
Step 3: Move the pacifier in circles around his mouth.
Step 4: If your baby becomes frustrated, stop and try again later.
Keep trying each day for a weekif your baby wont take it, thats FINE! Its okay to move on.
- Do not offer in lieu of a feedingif your baby is hungry, a pacifier wont satisfy.
- Try different shapes and brands until you find one she likes.
- Sometimes, applying a bit of breast milk or formula to the tip helps.
- Newborns who become distracted by arms waving around often do better with the pacifier when arms are swaddled.
- Remember, a tongue thrust and gag are normal reflexes. Dont let either scare you away from trying!
Watch me use the steps to introduce a pacifier to a baby who had previously refused it.
Don’t Miss: When Newborns Cry A Lot