When To Avoid The Pacifier
If you observe any of the following problems, it would be a good idea to discontinue pacifier use, at least until the problem is resolved:
- Pacifier use reduces your babys frequency or duration of feeds .
- Baby is having difficulties nursing well .
- Baby is having problems with weight gain .
- Mom is having problems with sore nipples
- Mom is having milk supply problems .
- Mom and/or baby have thrush, particularly if its hard to get rid of or repeated.
- Baby is having repeated ear infections .
Can There Be Problems With Using A Pacifier
- Using a pacifier incorrectly can lead to problems with breastfeeding, teeth , and possibly ear infections.
- Homemade pacifiers, sweetened pacifiers or pacifiers tied around a babys neck are NOT SAFE and could lead to injury or death. If you choose to use a pacifier for your baby, use it wisely and safely.
Do Pacifiers Interfere With Breastfeeding
Many doctors and lactation consultants recommend not introducing pacifiers to newborns. Early and frequent sucking helps to build up the mother’s milk supply and establish good breastfeeding patterns.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that baby pacifiers be introduced after breastfeeding is well established, usually around 3 or 4 weeks of age. Waiting on offering a pacifier helps new parents spot their baby’s early hunger cues such as lip smacking, sucking on hands, and making sucking motions. It also prevents newborns from developing “nipple confusion” or “nipple preference” when they switch between a pacifier and the breast.
Several studies have looked at the relationship between baby pacifiers and early weaning from breastfeeding. And the jury is still out. Many stopped short of saying that pacifiers cause babies to wean earlier, but they did find that using a pacifier may be a sign of breastfeeding difficulties or reduce motivation to breastfeed. However, other research suggests that early pacifier use does not create breastfeeding difficulties or cause early weaning in full-term babies whose mothers are motivated to breastfeed. The bottom line is that you have to do what is right for you and your baby. Be sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician about any concerns.
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How To Introduce A Pacifier To Your Baby
As a mom, pacifiers can be one of the most helpful tools for you and your baby. This is because sucking triggers your baby’s calming reflex, which can help them to self-soothe and cry less. Sounds great, right? But as many moms quickly learn, it’s not always easy to introduce a pacifier in the first place!
Are you struggling to get your baby to take a pacifier? We’ve rounded up a few tips to make the transition a little easier. Here’s to days full of happy, self-soothing babies, and hopefully some much-needed rest for mom and dad.
What Is A Pacifier
Paci, binky, bo-bo or soothie: Pacifiers go by lots of nicknames. Whatever you call them, its easy to see why so many parents swear by them. The nipple substitute soothes irritable babies by satisfying their natural need to suck. It can be very helpful when an infant is fussing, Dr. Mudd says.
A calm, quiet baby may be reason enough to hop aboard the binky train. But theres another big benefit. Numerous studies have shown that pacifiers reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome , especially during the first six months of life, Dr. Mudd says. SIDS, also known as crib death, is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby during the first year of life.
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What Are The Advantages
Sucking on a pacifier is better than a thumb or finger because it causes fewer problems with future tooth development.
A parent can control the use of a pacifier but its harder to control thumb sucking. When its time to stop using a pacifier, you can throw it away. You cant throw away a thumb!
Also, the latest medical research finds that using a pacifier may decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome or crib death.
My Baby Wont Take A Pacifier
You were counting on using pacifiers. But your wee one isnt interested. Should you be worried? Try not to overthink it, Dr. Mudd says.
While pacifiers can be one tool for decreasing the risk of SIDS, they arent the most important. The most important thing is to practice safe sleep, Dr. Mudd says. Lie your baby down on their back, on a firm mattress, with no blankets or stuffed animals in the crib. As long as youre practicing safe sleep, I wouldnt be concerned about a baby not wanting a pacifier.
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Does A Dummy Reduce The Risk Of Sids
Many studies have suggested dummy use and breastfeeding are important factors for preventing cot death .
Its unclear how dummies might protect against SIDS or even if they do actually reduce the risk of SIDS at all .
Experts do not specifically recommend using dummies to protect babies from SIDS . Thats because even studies that reported a remarkable reduction of SIDS with dummy use still say that actually recommending dummies is open to debate . Any association between using dummies and reduced risk of SIDS could be down to lots of other factors, for example:
- Dummies might prevent babies from rolling onto their front.
- Sucking on a dummy may keep babies tongues forward.
- A baby that sucks on a dummy might be more still at night, so less likely to become covered by blankets.
- Parents may check on their baby more frequently if their baby has a dummy .
How To Get A Baby To Take A Pacifier
3 min. read time
Hooray! You have weighed the pros and cons of the pacifier, and youve decided whats best for your baby. Like most parents, youre probably now wondering how to go about introducing the pacifier. Its completely normal to have lots of questions, such as whats the right pacifier age? and how can I get my baby to take a pacifier?, and here youll find the answers.
Read on to discover essential information, tips and advice on pacifier use, so you can feel confident giving a pacifier to your newborn.
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Offer The Breast First
Theres a false notion that you should only breastfeed your child for hunger. The thing is breastfeeding offers so much more to an infant than just nutrition.
Sometimes they just want to nurse, and thats okay! So if you are in a situation where you can nurse and baby seems like they want to nurse then let them!
I will say that Jack was probably the most attached to his pacifier, and hes the one that I thought I had to only feed every three hours. With Andrew, he will take a pacifier, but he much prefers nursing if I will let him. I dont follow any particular feeding schedule with him.
There have been times where he was upset and did not want to latch for whatever reason- and a pacifier helped to calm him down to the point where he would latch again. So in those situations, I was grateful for the pacifier!
What Are The Advantages Of Using A Pacifier
- You can control the use of a pacifier but its harder to control thumb sucking. When its time to stop using a pacifier, you can throw it away. You cant throw away a thumb!
- Several studies suggest that using a pacifier during the first year of life decreases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome .
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Start With The Pacifier You Want To Use
Trust me on this one babies gain preferences fast. Jack and Oliver wouldnt take anything but Soothie pacifiers.
With Andrew, he does now take the Chicco PhysioForma pacifier I mentioned above. At first when I introduced it, he acted a little confused, but within a minute or so, he was happily sucking away on it. Ive been able to switch back and forth pretty easily, too. So I think that this is a good alternative to the Soothie!
But the older your kid gets, the less likely they will be to take another pacifier. So definitely start off on the right foot with the pacifier you want them to use.
Should I Remove The Pacifier When The Baby Is Sleeping
There is no big reason to remove the pacifier during sleep. Several medical studies are in favor of sucking on a pacifier during sleep because they reduce the risk of SIDS . When babies do not cry, having a pacifier in their mouth helps them fall asleep for a longer time. A mother can also take nap during this peaceful period of the day.
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Are Dummies Bad For Baby Teeth
Some studies have found harmful effects on the way teeth grow if dummies are used for a long time . Effects of dummies on baby teeth include overbite, malocclusion, cross bite and open bite .
Using an orthodontic or flat dummy is much better for your babys teeth, so that can help. These dummies are much better designed than dummies were in the past .
Its also suggested that parents wean their children off dummies by two years old and discontinue using them before they turn three .
One mum, Helen, says: My little boy had started sucking his thumb and I thought an orthodontic dummy has got to be better than that because at least one day I can take it away.
Tips On Getting Your Child To Stop Using A Pacifier
Limit the time you allow your child to use a pacifier. Use it only for sleep time and comfort until about 12 months old and then plan to give it up.
Never use punishment or humiliation to force your child to give up using a pacifier.
Involve your child in the decision to stop using it by giving him the choice of throwing it away, putting it away or leaving it under the pillow for the tooth fairy.
Start a reward chart to mark your childs progress.
Praise your child when your child has given up the pacifier and tell her you are proud that she is growing up.
Allow your child to express his feelings and if your child is upset or angry, give him special cuddles to help him cope.
If your child asks for the pacifier again , dont give in. Remind her that the pacifier is gone and that she is grown up now.
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Remember That A Pacifier Is A Breast Substitute Not The Other Way Around
I often hear mothers say my baby is using me as a pacifier! What do I do!?
And I always try to remind them that a pacifier was invented to be a substitute for the breast not the other way around.
As Ive already said, babies will want to nurse for reasons other than nutrition. And sometimes they will want to nurse close together for reasons like increasing your supply, if they are going through a growth spurt, battling an illness, etc.
Cluster feeding is especially normal during the first few weeks and months, so I would encourage you to try and be patient through those times. Its okay if you need a little break and offer a pacifier, but I would try not to think a pacifier should be the first thing you turn to if baby is wanting to nurse a lot.
Best Tips For Using A Pacifier
- Offer it to newborns when falling asleep and to help calm with nonnutritive sucking
- Once your baby is 5-6 months of age the sucking reflex will fade-Try other soothing strategies before offering the pacifier
- Provide opportunities to play without the pacifier
- Limit to the crib with sleep
- Start to remove from the mouth once falling asleep to help promote other self-soothing strategies and wean away from sleep
- It is easiest to remove it around 6 months of age
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Techniques To Support Nns
Different techniques can be used to support sucking, some of which are regarded as better as and safer than others. They include sucking on the infants own hands or fingers, on the mothers emptied breast , on an adults finger, or even on an oro-gastric tube in the case of a hospitalised infant , as well as sucking on pacifiers.
The use of pacifiers for sucking dates back thousands of years and is helpful when the infants self-regulation needs support but when the mother is unavailable to provide comfort and sucking on the breast, and when alternative measures to support self-regulation are insufficient.
In 2009, UNICEF described oral feeding as an art and a science and not something that happens automatically. It has become increasingly clear that additional support may be required for infant feeding and, as indicated in a joint WHO/UNICEF statement as long ago as 1989 such support ought to be provided by trained professionals from a multidisciplinary team .
Here Are Some Tips To Help Your Child Stop Using A Pacifier:
- Limit the time you allow your child to use a pacifier. Use it only for sleep time and comfort. Plan to give it up by 4 years of age to prevent dental problems. This is also the age that most children start school and need to develop other coping strategies.
- Never use punishment or humiliation to force your child to give up using a pacifier.
- Include your child by asking him to throw it away or leave it under the pillow for the soother fairy. This is especially helpful if your child is older.
- Start a reward chart to mark your childs progress.
- Praise your child when she gives up the pacifier. Tell her you are proud that she is growing up and give her lots of hugs and cuddles.
- Allow your child to express his feelings. If hes upset or angry, give him special cuddles to help him cope.
- If your child asks for the pacifier again , dont give in. Remind her that the pacifier is gone and that she is grown up now.
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