Today I want to talk briefly about pacifiers. Three of my five children have taken a pacifier. I kind of pushed Julia to take one for car rides and sleep times because I went back to work when she was 5 months old and didn’t know how anyone would be able to take soothe her. She never did like taking a bottle, but the pacifier was a blessing and a curse.
When Julia was two we talked to her about not using her “paci” anymore and threw them all away one night. This made for a rough first night, but we managed.
James was given a pacifier in the hospital and took to it right away. He had very strong sucking needs and, even though I didn’t mind being a human pacifier, it was nice to have a pacifier for car rides and times when he just wanted to suck without nourishment. Considering he gained 10 pounds during his first four months of exclusive breastfeeding I think it is safe to say he never had nipple confusion.
Joshua was a little colicky and I tried to get him to take a pacifier because he wouldn’t comfort nurse. There were so many times when I wished he would take one, but he never did like it so I finally gave up.
Joseph didn’t take a pacifier much when he was a newborn because he hardly ever cried. There were some times that he would take pacifiers when he was a baby like for car rides and sleep times. He lost the last pacifier we had before he turned two and we never looked back.
Janna will not take a pacifier and acts like she doesn’t have a clue how to suck on it when we have tried to get her to take one. The only time it would be nice for her to take one is in the car. However, it seems to suit her not to take one.
As you can see, I am not against the use of pacifiers. I think they have some benefits. I am; however, against letting children talk with pacifiers in their mouths or walk around with one when they aren’t even upset. I have never known a baby who was fussy 24/7. Therefore, babies shouldn’t have a pacifier in their mouth all day and all night. They need to be able to smile, babble and coo without a pacifier in their mouth.
If you are going to give your baby a pacifier here are a few things to consider.
Being a human pacifier isn’t necessarily a bad thing because…
- Pacifiers can lead to nipple confusion.
- If pacifiers are offered instead of the breast, a baby may not gain enough weight.
- A mother’s milk supply may be affected by the use of a pacifier.
- Babies do not need pacifiers ALL the time.
- When using a pacifier check for wear and tear before each use. Throw a pacifier away if it has any holes or tears.
- If using a pacifier clip, make sure that it isn’t longer than 10 inches to avoid strangulation risks.
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