Written By Schianne
There is quite a bit of debate about pacifiers. With all the conflicting information, it can be hard for you to decide which route to go, but we are here to help.
First, there are a few universal facts regarding pacifiers:
- Breastfed babies should not use pacifiers until their latch has been perfected, as pacifiers may cause their latch to be smaller.
- Always choose the appropriate pacifier size, allowing them to grow with your baby, as pacifiers that are too small cause improper oral development.
- Some babies do not even like pacifiers, preferring the breast or a thumb, which eliminates the decision for you.
So, if your baby does decide to take a pacifier – no matter when it may be (my baby did not take one until she was about 6 or 7 months old) – simply weigh out the pros and cons:
- Substituting a pacifier for a breast can make weaning and crib training easier.
- Most babies who use pacifiers do not develop a thumb-sucking habit, which can be difficult to break and can cause poor oral development.
- There is research that shows the possible link between pacifier use and a decrease in the risk for SIDS, as pacifiers keep your baby’s mouth, and therefore airway, open.
- Your baby may become very attached and reliant on her pacifier, making it hard to break her away as she gets older.
- It can become a first response for you, which may cause you to overlook the real reason for your baby’s tears.
- Using pacifiers into late toddlerhood can make it difficult for her to properly interact with people, as she is trying to talk around the pacifier in her mouth.