Pacifiers can work like magic! These are what most moms go to when babies become fussy - whether it’s due to overfeeding or they need help getting to sleep at night or when we just can’t figure out the reason why our babies don’t stop crying. They’re really like a miracle pushbutton!
Sure, there can be several reasons why you should try using pacifiers or binkies - there's no doubt about it. But the question is: are they all beneficial? We’re certain you’ve done a lot of research to know if pacifiers are a boon or a bane, so we list down the pros and cons of using them to help you weigh both and decide what’s best for your baby.
PROS OF PACIFIERS
#1: Pacifiers can be a life-saver.
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, using pacifiers help to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when putting a baby to sleep. Make sure to not attach one to your baby’s neck or crib with a strap, which can be a choking hazard.
#2: Pacifiers may calm crying babies.
Some babies cry after feeding even if their bellies are full. They are not hungry, they just want to keep on sucking and this is where pacifiers come in. Babies can suck on them for as long as they want without getting a lot of gas, which prevents more crying.
#3: Binkies may be a much needed distraction from any stress.
Babies occasionally need to take a vaccine shot or two and you can anticipate that they will whine. Your poor little one may stop crying and forget all about the needle once you slip in her pacifier.
#4: Pacifiers can help your baby fall back to sleep.
Most babies fall asleep into your arms after feeding. You may prevent waking her up by putting a pacifier into her mouth before easing her to her crib. If your baby awakens due to any sudden movement or sound, a binky can soothe her back to sleep without picking her up again. Sweet.
#5: The pacifier habit may be easier to break than the thumb habit.
Since pacifiers are not a part of a baby’s body - unlike the thumb - many say that this habit might be easier to break if it’s time.
CONS OF PACIFIERS
#1: You may overlook the real reason why your baby is crying.
Since pacifiers are what you turn to when the baby cries, you might tend to overlook the things that really make your baby fussy - like a need for a diaper change or she feels cold. Always make sure to check everything and know if she just really wants something to munch on.
#2 Your baby might become too attached to the pacifier.
Your baby is supposed to have a better night’s sleep by using it. But when the pacifier falls out from her mouth, it may cause her to cry and probably wake her up which kind of defeats the purpose when she becomes too dependent on it.
#3 It may cause dental problems.
According to an article from the Bump, long-term pacifier use can affect the shape of the teeth and mouth, especially if the baby continues to use it well into the toddler years. And while there’s little evidence that baby pacifiers lead to speech delays, it can be hard—to say the least—to figure out what a toddler is saying when he’s trying to talk with a piece of plastic in his mouth.
Whatever you decide, mama, we are just behind you. You’re a mom for a reason! Just listen to your gut and everything will still fall into place. 💋