Baby’s Pacifier… with or against??March 10, 2020 7:51 am
When becoming a parent, there are plenty of new dilemmas that can really seem impossible to solve. Baby pacifiers or dummies are definitely on this list! Some people swear by them, whereas othersargue they are detrimental to health. If everyone has an opinion – which one is right?
The best step is to get the right information and make your own mind up. Everyone’s situation is different, and pacifiers may or may not be right for your baby. Read on for more.
- What is a pacifier?
Baby pacifiers have been around for millennia, though not always in the form we recognise today. In the past they could be made of ivory, coral or even animal bone! Modern types are made of latex, silicone or maybe plastic. The fact is, the sucking action comforts babies and is completely natural. However, use of a pacifier needs to be carefully managed to ensure it doesn’t have a negative impact on baby milk teeth, and involve unnecessary kids’ dental care.
- Is it bad?
Pacifiers and teeth are not always a good combination and in the long term they can affect the jaw and teeth.Teeth start to show from six months of age, and a pacifier can push them forward and out of their normal positioning.If front upper teeth move forward, it can also affect bite, the alignment of the teeth themselves, and the jaw alignment too. Thumbsucking has a similar effect. Later corrections can include orthodontic work like braces, space maintainers or other devices. Pacifiers if used long-term can also lead to more ear infections, as the sucking action changes the shape of the connecting inner tubes.
- How it can help
Pacifiers do also have their benefits. Using a pacifier not only helps soothe babies but could also reduce the chance of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Studies have shown that use of a pacifier means your baby doesn’t sleep as deeply, so you can wake your baby more easily. And, as long as you phase out a pacifier at the right time, it won’t cause any damage that can’t correct itself. Ideally you should phase it out between six months to one year, before teeth show. Upto two years of age is also OK, as after six months of non-use, any changes will correct themselves. If you leave it until upto four years then it can have serious implications for kids’ dental care.
With proper usage a pacifier is perfectly safe! To begin, don’t use a pacifier until a breastfeeding routine is established. If you are bottle feeding however, then you can do it straightaway. And, never use a pacifier instead of a meal. Keep pacifiers clean – bacteria from an unwashed pacifier can cause ear infections. You can sterilise along with baby bottles. Save the pacifier for nap and bedtime only, so your child doesn’t become over-dependent on it. Otherwise it can be more difficult to phase out the habit later.
- Choosing a pacifier
There are different types of pacifier, and they have age groupings too. Multiple piece pacifiers are made of separate pieces put together, whereas single piece pacifiers can’t come apart. Hard plastic is best to avoid as its uncomfortable for babies and may be rejected. Latex is the most comfortable choice for babies, though they also wear the fastest. Pacifiers need to be replaced from time to time as they will wear out. Bright colours are a sensible choice as baby won’t mind, but it will be easier to spot when you lose it! You might also want to buy more than one – for the same reason.
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