If you have a baby or an infant at home, you must be aware of a pacifier. It comes in the shape of a nipple and is be placed in the baby’s mouth. It helps to soothe a baby, as it causes a natural sucking reflex in the baby that allows the baby to suck breast milk. That is why babies get used to pacifiers very quickly and stay calm when they have a pacifier in their mouth. So what are the baby pacifier advantages, and are there any disadvantages?
There is a certain age during which you choose to introduce pacifiers to babies and at the same time, make sure that the baby gives up this habit at the right time. It is an accessory that you should introduce to your baby as there are many benefits to it. But every baby accessory comes with its pros and cons, like if your baby is using it in excess, then there are chances that the baby’s oral cavity development may be affected.
So, if you are not sure about a pacifier and its pros and cons, you will learn about them in this article. Continue reading to get more information about a pacifier.
What Are The Baby Pacifier Advantages
Here are some of the benefits that you and your baby will be able to enjoy with a pacifier:
- Suck Reflex
Commonly, babies keep moving their mouths just like they are sucking something. Even when their stomach is full, they will still make such sounds. So, make sure that the baby’s suck reflex is satisfied; you can use a pacifier. It will make them feel secured and calms the baby.
- It helps put the baby to sleep.
Sometimes, you need to put a lot of effort into putting your baby to sleep. But if your baby likes a pacifier, it can help you place the baby to sleep. It will be one of the most simple tasks, and you need not have to do anything.
- Works as distracter
Sometimes, the baby is fussy, and even after trying many things, you will not be able to calm the baby. In a situation, a pacifier can work like magic. Yes, it will help in distracting the baby, and so the baby will feel relieved.
- It works as a pain reliever.
If your baby is undergoing any invasive procedure like catheter insertion, lumbar puncture, and immunization, then a pacifier can work well. It is going to help as a pain reliever. There are no reasons how a pacifier can relieve pain in a baby, but sucking a pacifier is proven to alleviate pain. This is one reason why even your doctors will prefer a pacifier for the baby when they are undergoing such treatments.
- Helpful for flight travel
Sometimes, you will have to travel along with your baby. If you are traveling by flight, then you should carry a pacifier. There will be changes in the air pressure when the flight is taking-off or when it is landing. It can be tough or uncomfortable for the baby to adjust to such air pressure. With the help of a pacifier, you can help the baby to stay comfortable during the trip. Notably, the air pressure in their ears will be normalized. If you have ever traveled on a flight with an infant, then the air hostess will suggest you feed milk to the baby during take-off and landing.
- Benefits the premature babies
A premature baby will be born a few months early than the due date, and hence all their body parts will not be adequately developed. This kind of baby will have less sucking reflex, and they will not take breastfeeding from their mothers. With the help of a pacifier, you will be able to train the premature baby for breastfeeding. It is one of the best and safest ways to help the baby.
- To stop breastfeeding
It will help those whose mothers want to stop breastfeeding after a certain period. If you stop feeding immediately, it can tough for the baby to adjust. But you can slowly do it with the help of a pacifier.
Disadvantages Of Baby Pacifiers
Now that we have covered the advantages of baby pacifiers let us quickly look at the disadvantages.
- Dental and oral problems
If the baby is using a pacifier for too long or too much time, then there are chances that the oral cavity development will be interfered with. You should make sure that you are not using a pacifier for your baby after 4 years. If you are using flavored pacifiers like honey-dipped, then the chances of dental infections are high. So, always ensure that the baby gives up a pacifier at the right age to avoid any dental issues.
- The problem of ear infection
Along with dental issues, there is a high risk of ear infection as well. When you are using a pacifier, you should make sure that you are sterilizing it properly. You should clean it and boil it in hot water to not be any bacteria on the pacifier. If you are giving an unhygienic pacifier to the baby, the bacteria from the mouth can get transferred to the ear. This will result in Otitis media, which is an ear infection. Many studies were conducted about the same, and it has shown a high risk of ear infection in babies who are using baby pacifiers for a long time.
- A problem in breastfeeding
There is a certain age when you need to introduce your baby to the pacifier. But if you are doing it at an early age, then there are chances of breastfeeding problems at the age of less than one month. Your baby will get confused between a pacifier and a mother’s nipple. If used for a long time, the baby will stop sucking milk from the mother’s breast or nipple and use the only pacifier. It is essential to give breast milk to a newborn baby to ensure the baby’s healthy growth.
Many mothers believe that a pacifier can keep their baby calm and put them to sleep very quickly. Your baby will be able to sleep for a long time as long as the pacifier is in the mouth. But did you know that if you are using it even when not necessary, then your baby will get addicted to the pacifier and will not sleep without it? That means you will not be able to separate your baby and the pacifier. It can tough for your baby to sleep at night if the pacifier is missing or if you don’t give it to the baby due to some problem.
- Are baby pacifiers really necessary?
There are many advantages to a pacifier and just a few disadvantages. Even if there is one disadvantage of using a pacifier, you should look for ways to stop giving a pacifier to your baby. That way, you are helping your baby. Infants are more prone to health issues as they have a delicate immune system, and hence you need to be very careful about it.
There are two essential points that you need to think about before you start giving a pacifier. The first thing is whether the baby is at least four weeks old. Yes, it is not at all a good habit to start before the age of four weeks. The second point is essential, and that is whether your baby needs a pacifier or not. If your baby has a sucking reflex problem and you need to keep feeding to soothe the baby, then you can think about a pacifier. But if your baby does not like a pacifier, then it is always good to pass it.
If you are using flavored pacifiers, you can make them distasteful by adding vegetable oil to the pacifier’s tip. When they don’t like the taste, then they will automatically stop sucking it. Also, you can reduce the pacifier time for the baby. Many other techniques can be used to soothe the baby, like a swing or baby cribs that come in different models and with some soothing sounds that can help the baby fall asleep. They are accommodating for the babies and the mothers, and some can be operated with a remote.