Pros and Cons of using a Pacifier

Posted by Amanda Grace on August 07, 2015

Soothie, binky, paci - no matter what it’s called at  your home, the pacifier is generally that go-to soother that helps lull baby off to dream land, or at least provides you a few minutes of cry-free thinking time. Pacifiers have long been used by parents who wanted to soothe their little ones, with some doctors giving the choice two thumbs up and others saying stay away. It is true that there is a bit of controversy behind the use of the pacifier, but when used correctly it is generally considered safe, and perhaps even beneficial, to your baby. Take a look at some of the pros and the cons of using the pacifier.

Pacifier Pros. Studies show that pacifiers can reduce the risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Although researchers aren’t quite sure the connection between the two, however they say that it is definitely there. When baby is offered a pacifier it solves his craving to suck. This is a natural reflex that all babies are born with. Perhaps you were even lucky enough to catch an ultrasound of your previous baby sucking his thumb! In either case, a pacifier helps satisfy this sensation and generally results in a much happier baby.

Also, babies who are offered a pacifier are better at soothing themselves when upset or sad.

Pacifier Cons. There are a few cons of pacifier use that you should be aware of before deciding whether you will offer it to your child.  One of the biggest disadvantages of pacifier use is that it can interfere with the sucking of the nipple, thus also interfering with baby’s nutrition. Usually this is problematic only for the first couple of weeks of life as baby is getting adjusted, so you might still want to considering offering it a few weeks after birth.

There have been studies that suggest pacifier use can cause an increased number of ear infections. These infections are very painful to the child and quite bothersome to parents as well. Pacifier use may also cause problems with the teeth once they begin to show. Tooth problems generally only occur with prolonged use of the binky. Your child should not be offered a pacifier once he reaches two years of age, but it is a good idea to take it away well in advance of this stage.

Consider both the pros and cons of pacifier use to determine whether it is something that you want to offer your little one. Each family is different, and what is right for their family may certainly not be right for yours.