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Pros and cons of giving your baby a pacifier

Many parents give their children a pacifier for a number of benefits, but this also brings many harms to children in oral development, causing infections.

For newly breastfed babies, the difference between the breast and the pacifier makes the baby uncomfortable when sucking, even refusing to breastfeed. Many parents are concerned that the use of pacifiers in infants leads to early weaning. However, many studies show that pacifier use does not affect the length of breastfeeding until the baby is 4 months old. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents start giving their babies a pacifier after they’ve had good breastfeeding, usually around 3 to 4 weeks old.

Parents who know their baby best should work together to determine if using a pacifier is right for their baby or consult a doctor before making a decision.

The AAP recommends giving babies a pacifier at naptime and before bed, which helps protect babies from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Many babies have the urge to suck even when they’re not hungry, and a pacifier will fulfill this need for non-nutritive suckling. In case of infant colic, vaccination, injury, illness can be soothed by the use of a pacifier.

One study found that giving babies a pacifier helped them latch on more successfully. A pacifier is a tool that helps parents take a break from caring for their babies. Pacifiers are also useful during airplane travel because sucking reduces pressure in the middle ear.

Giving babies a pacifier at the right time is the key to avoiding complications when breastfeeding.. Photo: Freepik

Giving babies a pacifier at the right time is the key to avoiding complications when breastfeeding.. Photo: Freepik

However, introducing a pacifier too soon can interfere with the baby’s ability to latch on and suckle, which can lead to breastfeeding problems such as nipple pain, engorgement, blocked ducts, and breast abscess. If pacifiers are used to replace feedings, the mother’s milk supply will be affected leading to weight loss in the baby.

The AAP recommends that parents limit or eliminate pacifiers after 6 months of age because of the potential for ear infections. Pacifiers often fall out of babies’ mouths, which is easy to become a breeding ground for germs if not cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Some parents consider pacifiers unnecessary because babies who don’t use pacifiers often find other ways to soothe themselves, such as sucking. Overusing a pacifier during the day can cause your baby not to get enough milk at feedings, which in turn causes your baby to wake up more at night to feed. Regular use of pacifiers affects the oral development of children, especially the anterior open bite and posterior crossbite.

Pacifiers can pose a number of risks such as choking, so parents must keep the following safety guidelines in mind: clean their baby’s pacifier daily to prevent thrush, bacterial infections; do not hang the pacifier around the baby’s neck or use any string or ribbon to tie the pacifier to the crib, car seat, stroller, infant car seat, the baby may be strangled; do not use the nipple from the bottle as a pacifier, unsafe, causing the baby to choke; avoid latex pacifiers if the child is allergic to latex; Regularly inspect pacifiers to replace them when discolored, broken or damaged.

Quynh Anh (According to Verywellfamily)

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