Making the decision to give your baby a pacifier can be a tough decision. Some parents feel comfortable with allowing their child to have a pacifier, but there are those who prefer not to. The decision will be yours to make for your little one. Comforting your little one will always be at your highest priority, and a pacifier in many of these circumstances might help soothe your baby faster.
Disadvantages of a Pacifier
Pacifier usage has been known to raise the risk of middle ear infections in babies and even toddlers. However, it is believed that the risk does not occur as much in your infants as in children who are over 6-months. If your little one does take a pacifier it is important to get them weaned from it by their half birthday—especially if the child is prone to ear infections.
Children who suck on a pacifier might also develop a habit, one that many parents do not like having to take away from their child as they get older so they just avoid it altogether
Managing Your Child’s Usage of the Pacifier
- Allow your baby to persuade your decision. If the little one takes to the pacifier right away, that is perfect. However, if the baby does not take it, do not force it on them. You can always try again later, and respect the little one’s preference.
- Offer the pacifier between meals. If you know your little one is not hungry, but is quite fussy, offer the pacifier to see if it will comfort them.
- Do not offer the pacifier to delay feeding. There will be times when your child’s feeding will have to be delayed. It might be that you are traveling a far distance and cannot feed your child. It is acceptable during that time to give them the pacifier.
- Try giving the pacifier before a nap. Many times a baby will get fussy right before their nap. If it is not time for the little one’s feeding, allow them to such on the pacifier to comfort them. It might help them get to sleep. However, once the baby falls asleep and the pacifier falls out their mouth, do not put it back in.
Proper Care for the Pacifier
Be sure to choose a safe pacifier that is appropriate for your little one. Clean the pacifier by rinsing it with warm water. Check it regularly for cracks and other signs that it might be getting worn out. You want to make sure your little one is safe at all times.
When not to give your baby a pacifier
If you suspect your child has an ear infection do not give them the pacifier. Also, if your little one is having trouble gaining weight, or not taking the bottle, avoid giving them a pacifier. You also want to make sure you discuss the behavior with your child’s pediatrician. If your little one has teeth it is not a good idea to give them a pacifier because they usually bite right them the rubber part.