When should you introduce a pacifier?
According to experts, a baby should be able to use a pacifier at around 4 weeks years old. It is better to let your baby discover breastfeeding first before using it. Why use it? The comfort of your baby is important, and you will find pacifier a useful tool for it. Some babies will be satisfied with feeding or baby milk, but others are still fussy, with a need to suckle more, even when not hungry. This is where a pacifier comes in.
How should you use it?
· Wait until your baby is already accustomed to breast-feeding
· Don’t force it. Let your baby set the pace and see if he is interested in it or not.
· Keep the pacifier clean. Before you child uses it, make sure to disinfected and clean it. Your baby has a fragile immune system, any virus going into their system could led to a SIDS. Use dishwasher or boil pacifiers at first, then at age of 6 month, water and soap will suffice.
· Keep it safe. Change the pacifier every now and then, to the appropriate size for you baby. Any lose parts or deterioration can lead to an accident.
TYPES OF PACIFIERS
1. Orthodontic baby pacifier. Those types flatten with time, which provides the most natural sucking action.
2. Round-tip baby pacifiers. Suppose to mimmic an actual nipple, those are adapted for babies used to breastfeeding, to avoid nipple confusion.
3. Silicone baby pacifiers. Silicon pacifiers are more robuste, more easy to clean.
4. Latex baby pacifiers. It is meant to be soffer and more flexible. Carefull for latex allergie, and bitting off pieces of soft latex.
5. Multi and One-piece baby pacifiers. Pacifiers can come with one piece to avoid chokingor multiple piece with a nipple, a guard and a ring.
A pacifier represents a lot of advantages for babies, here some:
· First, a pacifier will calm down any baby who still wants to suckle after feeding. Making a fussy baby more comfortable is important, otherwise he might be agitated or crying a lot.
· It helps your baby to fall asleep. As you may know, parents may have some trouble finding sleep when their own child have some trouble too. A pacifier may help everyone, by helping a fussy baby settling down.
· Reduces the risk of SIDS. Sucking on a pacifier during bedtime can limit the risk of SIDS.
· Temporary distraction during transports. Whether its on a flight or a car, babies can have problems with transportations. Offer them a pacifier to help reduce the stress of travelling.
· Pacifiers are easily replaceable. Once a pacifier is damaged or used, changing it is quit easy.
It also comes with risks:
· Early use of a pacifier may create confusion among babies about breast-feeding. If you expose your newborn to a pacifier too early it may cause them to use less breast-feeding or to end it only in a few month. However if you wait for the right moment for the baby to use the pacifier, he will continue the breast-feeding with no problem.
· Risk of dependence. If your child is used to sleep with a pacifier in his mouth and then drops it. It might cause him to cry in the middle of the night.
· Prolonged use of a pacifier may create dental problems. At a age, its time to pull the plug otherwise the teeth may be misaligned.
Please understand that there is a time and place for babies to use pacifiers. Consult with a maternity nurse to see which types of pacifier is more adapted for your baby. And don't forget that a pacifier is a tool to ease up the life of the children, but should not be considered as a permanent solution after a certain age.
Written by Mathilde Allemand