Parenting is a very personal adventure even though almost anyone you know (and some you don't!) will attempt to give you advice. Big decisions start even in pregnancy, and continue for the rest of your baby's childhood. Many decisions attract strong opinions, and that certainly goes for pacifier use. Ultimately, you will decide. To paci or not to paci?
Rather than mention the advantages and problems of pacifiers, we will just give you a few things to think about before you start using a pacifier. After all, everybody's situation is unique, and your perceived advantages may be another mom's perceived disadvantages. At the same time, there are some objective risks associated with pacifier use. Several studies showed that babies who use a pacifier are more likely to have regular ear infections, for instance. You have probably heard about nipple confusion. This is the reason breastfeeding mothers should wait for a while before introducing pacifiers, if they feel they need a paci at all.
Bottles and pacifiers are easier to suck on than nipples, and your baby could have trouble latching onto the breast after being introduced to a pacifier. In addition, the changed breastfeeding pattern caused by the fact that sucking for comfort is now done on a pacifier could lead to milk supply issues. Wait until your baby is at least six weeks old to introduce him to a pacifier if you are a breastfeeding mother. In addition, keep these safety issues in mind:
- Never place a pacifier on a cord around your baby's neck. This can lead to strangulation if the cord tightens around the neck for whatever reason.
- Pacifiers should be of good quality and made by a reputable brand. You don't want the pacifier to fall apart while your baby is sucking on it, which could lead to suffocation.
- Some babies are allergic to some of the ingredients of pacifiers, like latex.