Pacifier Use in Babies

If you, like many mothers, have questions about the use of pacifiers for babies, welcome to our article, where we will answer each of them one by one.

Let’s leave you alone with the answers to all the questions such as is a pacifier harmful, when to give a pacifier to the baby, what kind of pacifier has what features!

Should given pacifiers to babies?

Your baby should get used to your breast before breastfeeding. The structure of the pacifier and the mother’s breast is not the same. The baby who gets used to the pacifier early may refuse to suckle. Of course, the baby can be given a pacifier, but this should be determined according to needs.

The question may come to mind, is the use of pacifiers in babies harmful? It is not harmful as long as you determine the use of pacifiers according to needs and age. Babies are born with a sucking instinct. That’s why they suck their thumbs to relieve themselves.

Does the pacifier ruin the teeth?

The baby pushes the front teeth forward with his tongue while sucking the pacifier. The front and upper teeth move forward, the teeth in the lower jaw move backward. The longer the suction time, the wider the distance between the anterior and posterior jaws. If the pacifier stops sucking before the age of 2, this disorder may improve. If it continues until the age of 3-3.5 years, it can become permanent. In fact, if it goes further, the upper front teeth take a V shape and this defect becomes permanent.

Therefore, you should keep the pacifier use time as short as possible and adjust the interval not too often.

When is a pacifier given to the baby?

Do not use a pacifier on a breastfed baby until milk production is fully formed, as this will cause breast confusion. Once you have active and proper breastfeeding, you can consider using a pacifier.

Even if your baby is not gaining weight or is not breastfeeding, you should delay the transition to a pacifier. Because the pacifier satisfies the baby’s sucking instinct and reduces his interest in the breast.

We cannot talk about a general age for pacifier use, but usually the first 4 months are the period when the need for sucking is the most. There are many experts who say that they should start using a pacifier after at least the first month .

Does the pacifier weaken the baby?

If you switch to a pacifier without getting enough breast milk and without getting the habit of breastfeeding, there may be disruptions in feeding because you will refuse the breast. This is not the case if she is eating properly and using a pacifier.

Can a newborn baby use a pacifier?

First of all, let’s clarify the following: The newborn period, the first 40-day period. Many people think of this as the first year. The use of pacifiers in newborns is strongly discouraged by many experts.

Do not introduce your newborn baby to a pacifier (false breast) due to reasons such as breast confusion mentioned above, not being able to feed enough because your breast will refuse to suckle, and reducing the bond he will establish with you during breastfeeding. The first weeks are a very special period when the baby learns to suckle and has to establish close contact with the mother.

Pacifiers are given in the hospital to teach preterm babies to suck, but this is a special case.

What are the situations that will require you to give your baby a pacifier?

  1. If the baby does not receive enough breast milk, and is fed with formula,
  2. If he wants to suck your breast for other than feeding purposes, he sucks his fingers, blanket, sleeping companion ,
  3. If she is restless and cannot calm her down in any way, you may want to consider giving her a pacifier.

If there are no such situations, do not accustom your baby to the pacifier if possible. But at the same time, don’t force your baby. A pacifier is a product that is used as needed. Be it your best friend or your fearful enemy. By the way, there is no rule that every baby will suck a pacifier. Every baby should suck on breast milk, not a pacifier.

How to use a pacifier at night?

If you’re putting your baby to sleep by breastfeeding, he gets used to it, it becomes a ritual for him. When he wakes up at night, he wants to continue this ritual. So if it’s not too late, start by giving up breastfeeding your baby. In our article on How to Sleep Patterns for Babies Month by Month, there is information that will save lives on this subject.

If your baby is used to suckling, he wakes up crying when the pacifier falls out of his mouth while sleeping. In this case, there is nothing you can do, you will have to wake up and put your pacifier in your tiny mouth.

When should the pacifier be released?

There are experts who say that it is beneficial to try to quit at the 3rd month so that they do not form a habit, and there are also those who do not mind using a pacifier until the age of 2 years. There are also experts who argue that after the age of 1, it is possible to gradually give up pacifiers by running the benefit-harm scale by considering all the conditions, from nutrition to sleep patterns.

As you can see, experts don’t have a consensus on pacifier use. Therefore, it is best to consult your doctor and act by observing your baby’s needs well.

How to leave a pacifier?

Do not try to stop the pacifier suddenly so that the child does not feel insecure.

You can go the way of forgetting. Giving drinks, listening to music, taking her to the park, rocking in her arms, taking a bath, singing, baby massage are some of them. You can try and see which one will be effective on your baby.

When should the pacifier be changed?

The average duration of pacifiers is 3 months. However, this period varies according to the frequency of use of the baby’s pacifier. If there are tears, cracks in the pacifier, if the form is deformed, you should change it.

How to clean the pacifier?

Wash in warm soapy water when first received. Boiling in hot water for 5 minutes is the best sterilization method for regular cleaning.

Let’s talk about a remarkable study done in Sweden. In Sweden, 184 children were examined by an allergist at regular intervals until they were 4 years old. The data obtained according to the answers to the questions they asked their parents when they were 6 months old are as follows:

  • He stated that 74% of them use pacifiers.
  • 83% of them said they wash their babies’ pacifiers with tap water.
  • 54% boiled the pacifier.
  • 48% of them stated that they clean the pacifiers by sucking in their mouths.

When children were 4 years old, they examined the microbes in their saliva and found that lambs whose pacifiers were cleaned in their parents’ mouths were less likely to suffer from allergies, asthma and eczema.

Again, according to the research, the risk of eczema in children born by cesarean section was 55%, and the risk of eczema in babies born normally and whose pacifiers were cleaned in their mothers’ mouths was measured as 20%. The transmission of germs in the mouth of the parents to the baby seems logical, since it is associated with gaining immunity.

What should you consider when choosing a pacifier?

Pacifier types are determined according to 2 criteria:

  1. baby’s age,
  2. The material of the pacifier.

We will explain below at what age you should use the pacifier made of which material. But one of the things you should pay attention to is that the pacifier does not contain BPA and PVC. These are harmful chemicals, they should stay away from your baby.

Also get some orthodontic pacifiers. Feature of orthodontic pacifiers;

  • Distributing the pressure on the gums and teeth equally thanks to the wings on the sides,
  • Keeping the tongue in its natural position while sucking
  • Reducing the pressure on the palate.

Rubber pacifier

During the teething period, babies tend to bite more due to itching. Since rubber is also a material that is resistant to tooth impact, this pacifier is a more suitable choice for teething babies. But when they absorb water, they deform quickly, you have to change them more often than silicone.

Silicone pacifier

It is recommended for babies who are not teething. It is more suitable for 1 year old as it is more similar to the breast form. You can wash it in the dishwasher, it will not be sticky.

Palateless pacifier

The palateless pacifier is also recommended for babies under 1 year old due to its flat form.

Pacifier with palate

More suitable for teething babies over 1 year old.

What’s the difference between a pacifier with a palate and no palate?

You might wonder if a pacifier with or without a palate is better.

Palateless pacifiers are better at accustoming babies with sucking problems to swallowing. For example, premature babies should definitely use a palateless pacifier. If your baby needs a pacifier a lot, you should consult your doctor about whether to use a pacifier with or without a palate.

4 mistakes made in pacifier use

1- Giving a pacifier every time the baby cries and is restless,

2- Having the pacifier used for a long time with the thought that one day it will stop by itself,

3- Giving the dropped pacifiers to the baby without sterilizing them well enough,

4- Putting sweets on the pacifier. It is a wrong practice to dip the pacifier in jam or molasses, because the baby gets used to it, and the mothers continue to give it in this way so that they will shut up. This is not a sweet ground for tooth decay, beware!

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