Pacifiers and your Baby’s Comfort

Soothing your baby is a high priority. Cuddling and rocking can be comforting to some babies If suckling makes your baby happy, you may consider getting a pacifier. This toy is a silicone, rubber, or plastic nipple that’s given to a baby to suck on. The comforter is increasing its popularity among Kenyan moms. Let’s get enlightened on the use of pacifiers.

Considerations Before Using One

The pros of using a pacifier:

The cons of using a pacifier:

  • Early introduction may interfere with breastfeeding
  • Your baby may develop a dependence on the pacifier
  • It increases a chance of attaining middle ear infections
  • Prolonged usage may cause dental problems

 Remember that your baby may start using a pacifier at 1 month when you’ve well-established breastfeeding. 

Safety Tips 

 If you plan to use a pacifier for your baby, keep in mind the following guidelines for your baby’s safety:

  • Get a pacifier that fits in his mouth 
  • Wash your baby’s pacifier in hot water and soap to keep them clean
  • Choose a pacifier with ventilation holes to enhance air passage
  • Don’t let babies share a pacifier as they can share germs
  • Avoid securing a pacifier with a cord- it may strangle your baby

Some of the ways to break your baby’s dependence on pacifiers include:

  • Try limiting its use to sleep time only
  • Teach your child other ways to cope with anger and frustrations
  • Offer replacement comforters such as a soft, fluffy toy.

Quitting pacifiers

Your baby’s time with the pacifier will reach an end. You need to let your baby quit in a gentle way.  An example is using a pacifier fairy- a fairy gathers all pacifiers at night and leaves a gift. You may let him continue using a pacifier when major changes occur at home. Transitions may warrant continued pacifier use for soothing. They include:

  • Having a new caregiver/ Nanny
  • Having a new sibling
  • Stress at home
  • Moving to a new place

You can decide to wean your baby from using a pacifier at 6 months or later. At this time, chances of getting SIDS are low while the risk of getting ear infections increases.

Note that after weaning your child from using pacifiers, he may choose other comforters. For instance, he may chew on his blanket or suck his thumb. You may need to develop his self-awareness and sooth him with comforters such as Teddy bears.

Disclaimer:

#Please note that development differs from one child to another

# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

# Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: easybabylife, maternityathome, mayoclinic

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