Are Pacifiers Good or Bad? You Choose!

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Should Baby Use a Pacifer

Among the first questions new parents have to answer is whether they will give their newborn a pacifier. Although at first it doesn’t seem to be a significant issue in the grand scheme of things, the schools of thought as it pertains to giving pacifiers to infants vary greatly. The jury is still out: Are Pacifiers good or bad for babies?

Pacifier Without Permission?

About a day after delivering my first son, the post-partum nurse that was caring for us simply gave him a pacifier to calm him without asking me. I was appalled! I had no intention of giving a pacifier to my children (thinking back, I’m not sure why) and I asked her to take it away. A few days later when we were at home with a newborn for the first time and he was screaming his head off, we were running all over the house to find the ones we were given as gifts. It settled him right away. So began my love affair with the “paci.”

All Three of Kids Were Offered

I offered pacifiers to all three of my kids. My youngest never really became reliant upon his, so he was done with it by six months. At the advice of our pediatrician, after their first year my other two only had it for sleeping and were done with it entirely in the months around their second birthdays.

Pro-Pacifier Camp

If you are in the pro-pacifier camp, you may have read about the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome recommendations regarding pacifier use at bedtime to reduce the risk of SIDS. Another theory in favor of offering a pacifier is that since almost 100% of babies do some kind of nonnutritive sucking (sucking that is not needed for getting nutrients) because it is a natural reflex, the pacifier is much easier to “take away” than to try to get a child to stop sucking their thumb. As a person who sucked her thumb until she was seven, I can attest to this.

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