How To Keep Pacifier In Babys Mouth
While there are a number of different pacifiers on the market , weve found that reverse psychology is one of the best methods to keep the pacifier in your babys mouth. That is, every time your baby tries to take the pacifier in his/her mouth, you pull it away a little bit until they suck harder. This method teaches your baby to keep the pacifier in his mouth.
Can I Introduce A Pacifier At 2 Weeks
Its probably a good idea to wait to introduce the pacifier moms milk supply is well established and baby is easy and comfortable on the breast, usually between two and eight weeks. That said, some moms have introduced pacifier use as early as 10 days without marring the breastfeeding experience.
Tips For Pacifier Success
As with many aspects of parenting, pacifier use comes down to doing your research, talking with your childs doctor, and trusting your gut. Family doctors and pediatricians recommend the following tips for safe pacifier use:
If you have questions or concerns about using pacifiers, talk with your pediatrician or family doctor.
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Are Pacifiers Bad For Babys Teeth
Pacifiers really only become a concern for your baby’s dental health once she turns into a toddler, when the continuing use of pacifiers is linked to recurrent ear infections , misaligned teeth and changes in the roof of the mouth especially if baby is still reliant on a paci past 2 years old.
The most common dental effect in older children is an anterior open bite, or a gap between the front upper and lower teeth. Kids are also at risk of maxillary constriction . Your best bet is to wean baby off the pacifier by the time she turns 2.
Path To Improved Well Being
Pacifiers have several benefits. These include:
- Pacifiers are the most helpful in children younger than 6 months of age.
- Soothing a fussy baby. Sucking on a pacifier will calm your baby. It can even help a baby fall asleep. Many parents find pacifiers helpful at night or in public areas. Using a pacifier also can be helpful during your babys common medical procedures. This includes vaccinations and blood tests.
- Sucking on a pacifier when sleeping may lower your babys risk of sudden infant death syndrome . Doctors believe this may be because babies sleep lighter while sucking the pacifier.
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Nursing: Should You Give Baby A Pacifier
But what if you dont plan to nurse your baby? And what if your baby still wants to suck when shes finished nursing or a bottle feeding? A babys nervous system is underdeveloped. The baby may need to suck past the point of what is needed to produce milk. Here, a pacifier can be a darned good thing to have. The baby has something to suck, and is calm and happy which means you are calm and happy, too.
On the other hand, also due to the developing nervous system, a baby can develop what is known as nipple confusion. In nipple confusion, the baby becomes used to one sort of nipple, be it mothers, a baby bottle nipple, or the nipple of a pacifier. The baby can become agitated and refuse to suck more than one type of nipple. That can be a big problem if you want to nurse, but your baby only wants the pacifier, for instance.
One way to ensure your baby wont refuse the pacifier is to bring it with you to the hospital when you arrive to deliver your baby. You can purchase and sterilize a few pacifiers, bag them up, and stow them in your hospital bag, to use whenever the baby is next to you and between feedings. Sterilize the pacifiers by boiling them for 5 minutes in a small pot of water.
Finally, it is important to consider the mothers skin type. If she is fair-skinned, she may be more vulnerable to cracks in the skin and pain from nursing. In such a case, if milk is ample, the pacifier can give the baby the extra sucking he needs while giving moms skin a break.
And You Definitely Shouldnt Feel Like A Lazy Parent For Using One
Babies are born with a built-in sucking reflex, which is why pacifiers can be so calming.
Popping a binkie in your little ones mouth can help soothe them when theyre fussy or help them relax so they can fall asleep more easily.
And guys, theres nothing wrong with that.
Yes, you need to hold and cuddle and snuggle your baby. These kinds of things will help them feel safe and secure and sometimes even stop them from crying. But having an option other than your own nipples to help your baby chill out can go a long way toward helping you feel a little more chill yourself.
A pacifier can also be a tool for your partner or other caregivers to use to give you a physical and mental break from your baby.
Especially in the newborn phase, mom can easily feel touched-out, a common sensation of being overwhelmed with the physical touch of your baby, says Crystal Karges, IBCLC. So you can, you know, go take a shower or a walk around the block or even eat a meal with two hands.
Because even though your babys comfort and well-being might come first right now, its not the only thing that matters.
You deserve to do things that make you feel good, too. And in fact, getting a chance to rest and recharge will help you be the best mom you can be.
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Fetal Development Of Sucking
Sucking is an important part of feeding this skill starts to develop in utero as early as the eighth week of gestation and continues well after birth . NNS precedes nutritive sucking and can be observed during the fetal period as early as 13 weeks post menstrual age . Sucking movements are observed in the fetus between the 24th and 28th week of gestation, and coordination of the suck, swallow and breathing pattern is evident from week 28 . This pattern becomes a mature rhythm only after 36 weeks, however, and in some infants only after birth, depending on their individual level of maturity, which is vital in effective feeding from the breast.
Infants utilize reflexive responses associated with feeding, such as suck/swallow, tongue thrust, rooting and gag reflexes, which enable them to locate the food source and feed effectively . If any of the reflexes are absent, feeding may be interrupted at birth. In addition, sucking may be delayed, interrupted, and even seen as a developmental challenge in immature and preterm infants, such as those admitted to an NICU, since the more immature the infant, the poorer the ability to suck . Furthermore, as Arvedson reported in 2006, normal development of sucking and feeding is significant for understanding feeding disorders in infants and children . Although reflexes are important disorders in the SSB is the determining factor.
Are There Times When You Shouldnt Give Your Baby A Pacifier
Even after your milk supply has been established, the main rule is to avoid offering a binkie in place of a feeding when you suspect your baby is hungry.
Many well-intentioned new parents will try to replace some middle-of-the-night feeds with a pacifier, Madden says. That can potentially mess with your supply, even after the 3- or 4-week mark.
You might also want to steer clear of the paci if your baby is having issues breastfeeding well or doesnt seem to be gaining weight, Karges notes. In those cases, its worth meeting with a board certified lactation consultant to figure out what might be going on and come up with a plan to help your little one feed more efficiently.
Nixing the pacifier may also be a good idea if your baby seems to have a lot of ear infections, since constant sucking may make the problem worse.
Same goes for if a child has thrush, since yeast on the nipple could potentially reinfect your baby. But its fine to reintroduce the paci after the thrush has cleared.
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Some Journal Articles On Pacifier Use In General
Larsson E. Sucking, chewing, and feeding habits and the development of crossbite: a longitudinal study of girls from birth to 3 years of age. Angle Orthod. 2001 Apr 71:116-9.
Martinez Sanchez L, Diaz Gonzalez E, GarciaTornel Florensa S, Gaspa Marti J. Pacifier use. risks and benefits. An Esp Pediatr. 2000 53:580-5.
Marjo Niemelä, Outi Pihakari, Tytti Pokka, Marja Uhari, and Matti Uhari. Pacifier as a Risk Factor for Acute Otitis Media: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Parental Counseling. Pediatrics 2000 106: 483-488. A Finnish study on pacifiers has found that reduced pacifier use in children can decrease the incidence of acute otitis media, or ear infections. The study, published in the September issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, followed two groups of children under 18 months. In one group, pacifier use was decreased by 21 percent, while children in the second group used pacifiers continuously. The first group had a 29 percent lower incidence of acute otitis media than the second. Researchers concluded that restricting pacifier use to when a child is falling asleep could prevent such infections.
Fleming, P. J, Blair, P. S, Pollard, K., Platt, M. W., Leach, C., Smith, I., Berry, P J, Golding, J., the CESDI SUDI Research Team. Pacifier use and sudden infant death syndrome: results from the CESDI/SUDI case control study. Arch. Dis. Child. 1999 81: 112-116.
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
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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.
Can Pacifiers Help With Traveling
Pacifiers can help with traveling by plane. Have you ever forcefully yawned when taking off or landing in an airplane to pop your ears? Pacifiers can help achieve the same effect and will protect your infants delicate ears during takeoff and landing. It can be used as a tool to help soothe your baby. Sometimes babies are just fussy.
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Ways Of Calming Your Newborn Baby
Beside the use of pacifiers, there are other ways you can soothe your crying baby. Some of the ways are:
- Breastfeeding your baby more often. The body to body contact between mother and baby while breastfeeding has a way of soothing your baby. I wrote a detailed post on breastfeeding tips for new moms, it makes breastfeeding fun instead of stressful. Do check it out.
- Moving the baby by rocking him, swinging him, or driving around in a car. The motion has a calming effect on babies.
- Taking a walk and giving the baby an opportunity to see new scenes is a good distraction and it calms the baby down.
- Making the baby more comfortable by swaddling, etc.
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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One Last Note On Pacifier Use And When To Introduce Them:
Just like breastfeeding is a skill that your baby has to develop, learning how to suckle a pacifier and have the ability to hold it in ones mouth is a skill that has to be developed! Many families wait to introduce a pacifier for fear it can damage a breastfeeding relationship, and inadvertently miss the window of opportunity to introduce its use. So! We recommend introducing pacifiers between 6-10 weeks of age. They dont have to be used all the time, but without at least some sporadic use, you will never get the benefits of these tools.