Shortly after we were back from hospital, a big question preoccupied us: with or without pacifier - or inspirelly called peace makers? We read a couple of articles before, and listened to various opinions, but we also feel that a pacifier will just help the baby - but also us - to sleep. There was also the option of just having a baby that rejects it but it was not mean to be so we were back to step one.
Carefully, we set up a list of pros and cons, but as in the case of many other things in life, moderation is key. We accepted it as a temporary solution for maximum 2 years and things look more bearable.
As for the reasons, here is my pro and cons list for now:
- It has a soothing effect that calms both the parents and the baby
- It offers a temporary distraction to the kid, especially when at doctor, during flights and during a visit
- Reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) - more about that in a next post
- Compared to the finger sucking, it is disposable, being up to the parents when to stop it
- Make the kid more secure and helps to control feelings
- Avoid the risk of overfeeding
- It may interfere with breastfeeding and can decrease the appetite for mother's milk
- If intensively used after 12 months it can lead to a certain delay of speech
- Increases the risk of middle ear infection (otitis media) as it may increase the pressure in the middle ear
- If used after 3 years old it creates dental problems
- For sensitive children, it can cause latex allergy or oral ulcers. It may also be associated with exhaustion.
- It may create dependency and if not used it it the cause of various sleep troubles
And now, a couple of advices:
- Try to use the BPA-free type
- Do not use a cord, because it presents life risks
- Do not share it with other children
- Clean it properly
- If the kid doesn't want it, do not give it to him. Especially avoid to feed it into his mouth.
- The square orthodontic shaped pacified will most likely avoid too many dental problems.
- The best time to introduce it to the toddler is between 2 weeks and 4 months, when there is the peak for extra sucking. After 10 months most probably the kid will use it discontinously.
- Before one year, try to plan getting ride of it, little by little.