Almost spontaneously, a mother’s hand resorts to a pacifier when the baby cries, and indeed pacifiers have the ability to calm babies when they cry. But what are the pros and cons of the lollipop?
Reluctant Parents: Lollipop – Yes or No?
You might not have imagined that something as small as a pacifier would make such a big mess, but to this day new parents are hesitant about the question of whether or not to give their children a pacifier.
Also in medical organizations, there is no unanimity of opinion and there are different opinions. We’ve rounded up the main claims these doctors make:
Pros of getting a baby used to a pacifier
Here are the main positive things that pacifier use can bring to your baby’s health:
Protection against sudden infant death syndrome.
Many doctors recommend that parents give their babies a pacifier when they sleep during the first year, as this has been shown to have a protective effect against sudden infant death syndrome. But it should not be returned to his mouth during his sleep.
The pacifier helps the baby calm down.
Babies need ways to calm themselves when they are in pain or distress. A pacifier can be a source of comfort for a crying baby.
The pacifier satiates the feeding instinct.
The sucking instinct in infants is present from birth. Babies crave to feed and often get this need when feeding on a bottle or breast, but this simply isn’t enough for some babies.
Sometimes the desire to breastfeed is not fully satisfied during feeding or when eating through the bottle. For those babies, a pacifier can be a great solution.
Weaning off a pacifier is easier
When you feel the baby is big enough, it is much easier to wean the baby off the pacifier as compared to finger sucking.
Disadvantages of accustoming a child to a pacifier
Here are the most important effects of the pacifier on the health of the child:
1- Increased risk of ear diseases
According to a recent study, pacifier use increases children’s risk of ear infections by nearly 40%.
Although researchers aren’t sure what causes this, they suspect this is due to changes in air pressure differences between the throat and the middle ear.
2- Nipple confusion
If you give a baby a pacifier too soon, he may get used to sucking on the pacifier and find it difficult to breastfeed.
In addition, parents may give the baby a pacifier to soothe his crying instead of feeding him when he is hungry.
3- Problems in the dental building
Sucking on a pacifier too late causes the mouth to lock in an abnormal position, causing the teeth to protrude more outward. Sucking on a pacifier in some cases can also affect the child’s normal speech.
Orthodontic problems are common in children who tend to suck on a pacifier excessively and not give it up until a relatively advanced age.
4- A pacifier is not a cure or a tool to silence a child
If the child is upset about something, he will express his anger and turmoil with all movements and sounds. Do not give him a pacifier (the pacifier), but find out what is wrong and try to solve the problem:
If he is hungry, feed him.
If his temperature is a little high, give him cold compresses.
If he complains of a diaper rash, clean and dry the area.
Weaning from a pacifier
An important aspect when using a pacifier is knowing when to stop:
Some pediatricians suggest weaning a baby at one year of age when he or she stops feeding and bottle feeding.
While others believe that it is okay to continue using a pacifier until the age of one and a half years.
Here are some tips on how to wean a baby off a pacifier:
Announce your intentions.
Tell the child in advance that you intend to wean him and do not hide the pacifier once. Explain to him that he will gradually stop using the pacifier over the next three days and that you think he is old enough and capable of it.
Try to limit pacifier use.
If the child finds it difficult to give up the pacifier, weaning should be done gradually, allowing him to use it only in the bedroom or at certain hours. Give the child something else, such as a toy or book, instead of a pacifier.
Take advantage of the natural calm.
When the baby is away, you can cut off the tip of the nipple. Explain that the nipple is now damaged and unsafe and that he can no longer suck on it. If you cut the nipple, do not return it to the baby, as this may cause him to suffocate.
Don’t keep an extra pacifier for an emergency, this will teach the child that if he screams enough, the pacifier he loves will be returned.
Of course, babies stop sucking after a while. Typically quenching occurs in the second half of the first year of life.
If the child does not show any explicit signs that he is interested in a pacifier, do not rush to give it to him, even if you know from experience that this is the only thing that calms him
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