To Use Or Not To Use A Pacifier?

Pacifiers. Pacis. Dummies. Whatever name you have given it, it is one of those baby items where you will get 2 sides to using them. The ‘no, it is not healthy’ one and the ‘OMG, it is such a life saver’ one. Whatever it may be, its obviously personal preference and to each their own.

When I had my first 2 girls, my husband said “My children will not be taking dummies.” Well let me tell you, boy oh boy did he curse them, AND ME! They wouldn’t take the pacifier no matter how much I tried. The second I slid it into their mouths, they gagged. And yes, I did try different ones and even the smallest nipples! I just wanted them to have a self soother gadget for those moments I couldn’t do it.

Now with my third, Praise the Lord! My entire pregnancy I reminded my husband not to say what he did with the first two. I even told him I am the one who will mostly be looking after her so I need some time for my sanity here and there so she WILL take a pacifier. Finally he listened!

But before I continue with my little ones pacifier use, lets look into some facts listed on google:

  • Apparently studies have shown that babies who take pacifiers tend to wean sooner once they’re on solids. I need to look into this further, but my niece and nephews all took pacifiers and they didn’t wean themselves from the boob. My sister and sister in law had to wean them off. So I don’t feel this statement is true for all babies in the least.
  • Some babies who take the pacifier are more prone to yeast infections (thrush). Okay, possible. I can see where this is headed. Not gonna argue with this one.
  • A number of studies have shown that pacifier use had increased incidences of ear infections. Definitely gonna google this more because not sure how this makes sense.
  • Pacifiers can result in choking (if small pieces break off) or strangulation (those pacifier holders around the neck). Okay, okay. Makes sense for sure. But that’s why we as parents should be on top of our pacifier sucking babies.
  • Prolonged use can cause teeth misalignment. Got it. Of course this makes sense. But pacifier use until the age of 2 or 3 is not likely to cause dental harm. Note to self – work on a strategy to wean my babe off the pacifier around that age if not sooner!
  • Pacifier use by babies increases the moms chance of ovulating and getting pregnant. Okay….this is if the mom uses it in replacement to a feeding. Not what I do and hope no other mom out there does. Plus, smart moms use protection even if breastfeeding because smart moms know that breastfeeding is not 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. DUH!

Okay, now that we got the above cons out of the way, here are a few pros:

  • Studies have shown babies who use pacifiers at nap or bedtime have a lower risk of SIDS.
  • Easier to break the habit of pacifier sucking over thumb sucking (or finger sucking).
  • SELF-SOOTHER!!! Yo, us moms need some time off occasionally from a fussy baby who is well fed.

Now for my little one, I always knew I wanted to try the pacifier in hopes she would take it unlike my first two. I didn’t have any when she was born, but what tipped me off the edge to get one ASAP was her second night home. She was fussy all damn night. Only the boob soothed her. She was sucking my nipples and killing them non stop that night. I literally couldn’t sleep. She was in my arms the entire night and if she was not sucking on my nipples, OMG is all I can say. That next morning as my mom held her, she stuck her thumb straight in and was sucking away. I said HELL NO!

So 1. no way am I going to be a daily and nightly human pacifier and 2. I rather her not suck her thumb. That morning I sent my mom off to grab a couple pacifiers and the second we stuck that thing in her mouth, voila… she got to sucking. It was like a miracle. This baby did me a favor unlike my first 2 cursed children. You can say I was ecstatic. Yea, I know, ecstatic over my baby taking a pacifier LOL.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do NOT give it to her all the time. I give it when I see she’s a fuss bucket but has recently eaten and been burped etc. Plus, she won’t take it if she is hungry because she realizes no milk is coming out. It is so funny because you see her sucking harder trying to get milk out and after a few minutes she just spits it out and cries for the real deal, the boob. In my opinion, babies are smart. They won’t continue to suck on a pacifier if they are hungry. They’re not dumb. They know when they’re being fed.

So I feel pacifiers are a good idea and a life saver for certain times of the day. And if they start taking it all the time, it’s fine too. As long as they continue their usual feedings and are gaining weight on track. And at the end of the day, it’s all personal preference if we want our baby to take a pacifier or not. There is no wrong or right to parenting!!

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