Parenting or mothering precisely has changed drastically and dramatically over the years. Mothers of today believe in themselves and their instincts to make a choice or take decisions for their babies. Among the several dilemmas of a mom – one is whether or not to use a pacifier to soothe her baby.
I, as a baby had grown up with a soother or a pacifier, I had seen most babies around me use one. When my baby was around two months of age, I asked my paediatrician if I could use a pacifier to soothe my crying baby. He rejected my plea outright and strictly adviced against them.
When my baby would cry uncontrollably and refuse to breastfeed, the exhausted mom in me wanted to seek solace in a pacifier but the overtly protective side of me wouldn’t budge.
Here I list the pros and cons of using a pacifier and why I chose to not use them for my baby:
• Soothens a crying baby – According to experts a baby cries for approximately 3 hours in a day. ( I felt like mine cried all day) Undoubtedly, sucking helps in calming the baby and that is exactly why pacifiers have gained so much popularity. According to a study in 1999, approximately 75% of the babies are offered pacifier to suck.
• Benefits to health- The only medical benefit that a pacifier has is for preterm babies. Babies who suck binkies are believed to gain weight. Several researches have proved that the babies who suck pacifier right after their birth show early patterns of sucking and experience few health complications. Sucking helps in promoting the oral muscle functions as well as the development of muscles.
• Reduced risks of SIDS– Pacifier are related to reduce risks of a SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), as suggested by 4 recent studies. But considering a cause and effect relationship, this hasn’t been proven, the researchers are still not sure if the pacifiers help in preventing this syndrome. Meanwhile, SIDS alliance restricts from suggesting their usage.
• Ear infections– Pacifier has proved to be responsible for approximately 25 % of ear related infections in kids under the age of 3 attending the day-care centres as per a study which was published in the paediatrics department in the year 1995. Refraining the use of pacifier only before the baby sleeps, even though returned the risks to normal. Sucking a pacifier promotes collection of fluid in ears that may lead to infections in ears.
• Early weaning from breast– pacifier can keep the baby away from what is really required for her – that is food. Indeed, some studies have even linked it to an early cessation of breast feeding.
• Dental issues- Babies who suck on something like a finger, a thumb or a pacifier after the age of 2 have a high risk of having protruding front-teeth.
• Forms a habit – Babies are likely to develop a habit of things they find comfort with. It may not be feasible to have a pacifier around a two all times. It may become challenging for the parents to look for in the middle of the night when a baby wakes up.
• Hygiene – Baby sucks on to a pacifier and so it requires to be sterilised before every use. But it would not be possible to wash and clean the pacifier each time it drops on the floor.
• It’s plastic eventually – I am vary of the idea of my baby constantly sucking on to something that is made of plastic.
I chose to become my baby’s pacifier myself.
But every mom has a different story and each one is a perfect one.
Did you use a pacifier for your baby ? How was your experience?