Many parents have found that pacifiers are very helpful for their infants and toddlers because of what their name suggest, they pacify. It can be confusing to see them so often used and hear that people are saying that they are not good for your child. Here is why people use pacifiers and why people don’t use pacifiers.
Why People Use Pacifiers
To Pacify Their Baby
Babies and often toddlers find comforting in sucking on something, it pacifies them, and that is where using a pacifier comes into play. It is specifically designed so a baby can suck on it for comforts.
Baby Doesn’t Want to Eat So Much at Once
There are some babies that just want to be able to suck on something and not eat. Also sometimes if a mom’s milk supply is not to their liking, too much at a time when they first start to nurse, they pop off and begin to cry because although they are hungry they want the sucking comfort as well. In this case parents may give them a pacifier to calm down and then offer them milk again.
Baby Wants to Suck on Something But is Full
There is an easy way to determine if your baby has had enough milk but they are rooting, opening their mouth searching for something to suckle for food, they will spit up or even vomit the excess milk that they have drank. In this case many parents will offer them a pacifier.
Worried About SIDS
There was a time when pacifiers were thought to decrease that chances of SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome, but studies have yet to prove that being so.
Why People Don’t Use Pacifiers
Concerns for Nipple Confusion
Pacifiers have been linked to many different breastfeeding challenges that were a result of a baby using them. Nipple confusion, a baby can not latch on to the breast because of the sucking that they were doing when they were not nursing, is something that can occur when a nursing baby is given a bottle or pacifier. Not all babies who are nursing and have pacifiers get nipple confusion but many do.
Concerns for Ear Aches
Studies have shown that a baby that uses a pacifier is more likely to get an ear affection than a baby that doesn’t.
Concerns for Baby Not Asking to Eat
When a baby is hungry they will often root or fuss to let their mom know that they want to nurse, however the hunger urge that they have is very unsettling to them and so if they are sucking on a pacifier they may be less likely to speak up because of the mild comfort from the pacifier is covering the unsettling feeling. That is why it is important if your baby uses a pacifier that they have a full belly before they are offered their pacifier.
Concerns of Teeth Problems
Some people worry that skeletal problems with the jaw and placement of the permanent teeth may occur if a baby excessively sucks on a pacifier. However there are pacifiers that claim to be orthodontically correct and are said to avoid these problems. Another common concern is tooth decay, however as long as the pacifier that the baby is using is clean and in good shape it would be unlikely to cause tooth decay.
Concerns of the Chemicals DINP and Phthalate Esters
Diisononyl phthalate, DINP, and phthalate esters are chemicals that are plasticizers and can be found in some pacifiers. DINP may be released during the time that a baby is sucking on the nipple of the pacifier. Not all pacifiers contain DINP.
The use of a pacifier being a good thing is a debated subject, but these are the reasons that people do and don’t give their baby a pacifier.