We know the feeling of not being able to console your crying baby. You’re stressed, sleep deprived, and maybe out of options. When all else fails, a pacifier can be a lifesaver; they can bring an inconsolable baby back to their little angelic self.
Pacifier use is a hot topic, widely debated among both healthcare providers and parents. A pacifier is a tool, and as with every tool, there are positive and negative factors to consider before using one. Your baby has an innate urge to suck even when they are not eating, a behavior that is referred to as “non-nutritive sucking”. While non-nutritive sucking is soothing to infants and beneficial for development, a pacifier is not necessarily required to meet this need. We hope this article will help guide you in making an informed decision about whether to introduce a pacifier to your baby.
The Interesting History of Pacifiers
Tools intended to calm infants have been used for thousands of years. The first soothers that we know of date back more than 3000 years ago! They were clay pigs and frogs designed with a hole in the mouth where honey could be inserted for the infant to suck on. By the 1700s, the wealthy used dummies made of silver, gold, coral, ivory, and pearl, while the commoners made them from wood and bone.
The first modern-day pacifier, called “baby comforter,” was created in 1901 by a pharmacist in New York. This device began to resemble the rubber nipple with a shield and handle we recognize today.
Benefits Of Pacifier Use
Why do we use pacifiers? Besides the obvious soothing effect they have on infants, there are actually numerous benefits.
Risks Of Pacifier Use
Of course, there are also concerns that come along with pacifier use. It is important to be aware of the potential risks before using a pacifier, or any type of tool.
General Suggestions For Use
Keep in mind that these are general suggestions. For more specific recommendations and advice, reach out to your lactation consultant or pediatrician! We’re here for you if you would like to discuss pacifier usage.
Of course, there are some precautions that should be taken to keep your little ones safe. Pacifiers can pose a choking hazard if they are not used properly. To ensure that your child is at the lowest risk:
Remember, pacifiers have their pros and cons and not all babies like to use them. It is completely up to you if you decide to use one, and we are here for all of your questions and concerns! To make an appointment with one of our lactation consultants, click here.
***The information provided on our website is intended solely for general educational and informational purposes only. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions you may have regarding your or your child’s medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have received in this information.***