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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pros and Cons of Giving Your Baby a Pacifier

Many parents use pacifiers as a soothing tool, because it gives babies something to fixate on as opposed to crying. As an alternative to habits such as sucking thumbs, it is definitely much preferred and even doctors recommend its use.

That being said, pacifiers do have disadvantages too. For starters, it can be extremely difficult to wean a child off using a pacifier once it has become a habit. Some children even end up waking up in the middle of the night for no other reason apart from the fact that their pacifier has accidentally fallen out of their mouth.

More importantly, recent studies have also begun to show that pacifiers may lower the chances of successfully breastfeeding, and also have other long term effects too.

Using Pacifiers in a Limited Fashion

One of the ways to limit the disadvantages of pacifiers is to use it only in a limited fashion. By not allowing your child to continuously rely on the pacifier, you can essentially control their attachment to it.

The recommended method of accomplishing this is to limit the use of a pacifier to sleep or naptimes, and even then only when your baby is under a year old. Once they are a year old, you’re going to want to stop using a pacifier altogether.

In this way, you’ll be able to get the benefits of using a pacifier to help your child sooth themselves when they are still very young, but not foster a strong attachment that could end up to be unhealthy in the long term. Needless to say, stopping a child from using a pacifier altogether can be tricky, but sometimes it is best to just go cold turkey.
Of course, this issue is not one that is without contention. If you head over to or any other website where mothers discuss pacifiers, you’ll see that there are many schools on thought on what the ‘best’ way to proceed really is. All said and done it is up to you to choose on behalf of your child – just be sure to remember that the last thing you want is for your child to become dependent on the pacifier.

On the whole, starting to build up healthy habits from the time your child is young will make things a lot easier in the long term and avoid many issues that often crop up.

11 Smart Readers SAID::

Nikki said...

I was pretty lucky with my son because he gave it up early. I did use one and it had its benefits, especially since he was a preemie. At 6 months, though, he refused it and never took it back. The bottle, on the other hand? Total nightmare to get him to give it up!

CourtneyLynne said...

Ahhhhhhh this is definitely one of those situations that it's a lose lose either way! My daughter refused a pacifier but ended up using a bottle to sooth herself! That can get pretty pricey with formula! And now she's going to be 3 at the end of the month and still has to have her cup of milk when she gets super upset or wants to fall asleep... I really don't know which is worse... A milk addiction or a pacifier lol...

Chubskulit Rose said...

@Courtney Lynne, don't feel bad about your still wanting milk. YOu can transition her from drinking formula to regular milk and also train her t use a cup or glass. MY son is 8 now and he still love milk although we are slowing him down from drinking too much milk because he is developing an allergy for it.

Terri Ramsey Beavers said...

I always gave my kids a pacifier and I always wished after the fact that it was easier to get them to quit using them. My last little monkey didn't want to part with hers until she was 2 and it was a nightmare while weaning her off of it. Thanks so much for sharing.

Amanda Simkin said...

My oldest never took a pacifier and solely sucked his thumb...and still does. Ugh. My other little man loves his pacifier. Right now he only gets it for sleeping, and we have been cutting the tips off so he isn't so reliant on them. Hopefully we will be able to get rid of them once and for all VERY soon!


Holly said...

My son used a pacifier and my daughter did not, although she sucks her thumb. We were lucky in that we were able to get rid of the pacifier not too long after my daughter was born fairly easily. We just told him that we lost them and after about a week that was the end of it.

spiffykerms said...

I haven't given it much thought about giving a baby a pacifier when it's my turn to become a parent. I suppose it will help soothe them to sleep when they've been fed but still want more, you know? I think I'd like to take it away from them when they start to have teeth though.

Jennifer Juro said...

My oldest was obsessed with her pacifier!! My two youngest ones would not touch a pacifier no matter it was a blessing we didn’t have to break them of the habit. They can be handy for soothing a baby.

Yona Williams said...

It's funny…I do not recall my nephew ever having a strong attachment to his pacifier. I guess my brother was successful in weaning him off of it. I suspect his method was to go 'cold turkey.'

Natalie Made It said...

Everything in life has pros and cons, doesn't mean someone is doing it wrong if they want to do it. This is one of those things, that it should matter what another does. 2 of my kids used them and 2 of them didnt.

Bailey K. | Let Birds Fly said...

We all had pacifiers growing up, and probably used them for too long (until we were around 2). Luckily, no lasting damage for us, but my sisters and brothers are now conscious of the fact that it may be a bad thing to use them past 12 months. So they start to ween before then.

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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