Baby Pacifier?

When should you offer a pacifier?

A pacifier

A pacifier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do baby pacifiers hurt a child’s teeth later on?

Does using a baby pacifier interfere with breast-feeding?

How long should you let a baby use a pacifier?

What do you do when the pacifier falls out of a baby’s mouth in the middle of the night?

Is pacifier use related to SIDS?

Do babies who use pacifiers get more ear infections?

What Does the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommend?

I watched the new mother and the grandmother with her first grandchild as though they were acting out a comedy skit as I stood next to the new baby.

The new grandmother would come by and take the pacifier out her grandchild’s mouth, shaking her head.

“I don’t know why she thinks this baby needs a pacifier.”

The new mother would come by after her mother walked away, give the pacifier back to her baby, shaking her head.

“I don’t know why my Mom thinks there’s anything wrong with a pacifier.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), says pacifier use is fine between one month and six months.

Their guidelines suggest that pacifiers, if they are going to be used, be introduced to breast-feeding infants after breast-feeding is well-established, which is usually after fifteen days to one month.

A recent study, however, suggested that using a pacifier as early as in the hospital after birth did not interfere with breast-feeding.

Although the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says that there should be no long-term dental problems for a child using a pacifier up until the age of three, they recommend it be discontinued between six months and one year.

One study suggested that babies who stop using a pacifier after six months had one-third fewer ear infections than babies who continue to use it up to the age of two or three.

Pacifier use has actually been found to reduce the risk of SIDS when offered at naptime or bedtime.

This protective effect continues even if the pacifier falls out of the baby’s mouth when they fall asleep.

Pacifiers, ideally, should only be offered when a baby is put down to sleep, but can be offered any time for soothing, as babies naturally like to suck.

They should not be offered instead of breast-feeding or formula to a hungry baby.

In my experience, a hungry baby will reject them, in any case.

They should not be attached to a string because of the risk of choking.

Thanks to AAP for their thorough covering of this subject in their article on safe sleeping conditions.

Click on “SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Sleeping Environment” for the whole article.

Did you use pacifiers with your children?

How old were they when they gave them up?

Did you “lose” them or did they just lose interest?

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To you and the safety and sweet sleep of your grandchildren.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers


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