Little babies with pacifiers in their mouth are quite a common sight in malls, restaurants and other public places. It turns out that a pacifier becomes a mother ‘s best guard whenever the baby turns to unstoppable crying and wailing in public places or even at home when the mother cannot immediately attend to child’s feeding needs.
But is the pacifier used for plugging the bay’s cries only?
In fact, it serves a variety of more purposes.
Infants have a built in desire for sucking, apart from feeding. Studies show that babies suck their thumbs/fingers even when they are still inside the uterus!
Sucking provides comfort to the babies. They would often suck when they are bored or when they want closeness and company. Getting a baby off the thumb sucking is more difficult than getting him off a pacifier.
So the question arises if a pacifier is a good option for my baby instead of letting him suck at his thumb? Well the benefits of pacifiers are more universal than the disadvantages. Lest deliberate upon its pros and cons.
How Is Pacifier Good For My Baby?
• The major argument given in favor of pacifier is that it prevents SID. Sudden Infant Death/SID usually happens when babies lay on their stomachs and their faces push so deep into the soft bedding that they choke to death. But if they are sucking on a pacifier even while they lay on their tummies the chances of SID are much reduced, as the solid part of binky protrudes out of baby’s mouth preventing her from burying her face in the bedding.
• When a bay’s feeding need is sufficiently satisfied through the mother’s/bottle’s feed but does not satisfy the baby’s need to suck further, a pacifier provides the required comfort to him.
• Rather than having the baby suck at his thumb, which has a lifelong availability, and hence difficult to wean, a pacifier is disposable and a baby can be weaned off it easily.
• Pacifiers provide good distraction when baby is feeling irritated in public places and also at hospitals when you take her for shots and check up.
• Last but not the least; it can help your baby fall to sleep.
Imminent Harms in Its Use
• If given in the first month of birth it may interfere with a baby’s breast feed. Therefore its better to introduce a pacifier once a bay has developed a successful routine of breast feeding, which is around second to third month.
• You need to replace pacifiers regularly and clean them properly to remove any bacteria caused by saliva’s interaction with air while it lays idol.
• Prolonged use of pacifier can have negative health effects:
1. Ear Infections: excessive use of pacifier can lead to ear infections. It is believed that it happens because of a change in the pressure equilibrium inside the ear caused by the sucking.
2. Prolonged use of pacifier may cause a child’s teeth to be misaligned or grow in a protruding shape.
3. If a child uses pacifier at daycare too, chances are his pacifier may be used by other babies, ultimately exposing him /others to bigger health hazards.
When Is the Best Time to Introduce Pacifier to A Baby And When to Stop
• During the first month after your baby has developed a proper feeding routine you may introduce a pacifier to her.
• You can start weaning your child off a pacifier after she is six months old. However a child may continue with it until the second year. Beyond that it may cause health problems to her so it must be taken off by then completely.