Is It Okay to Give Pacifier to your Baby? Know Pros and Cons

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 28, 2018
Quick Bites

  • Pacifiers can soothe the baby
  • They can be a source of distraction
  • Pacifiers can cause middle ear infections
  • Know all pros and cons

Most new mothers cannot decide whether they should give their babies a pacifier or not. Whereas, many parents rely on pacifiers to stop their babies from crying or to stop them from sucking their thumbs. Before you make your child completely addicted to pacifiers you must know its pros and cons very well. You should also check whether it works for your baby or not. Read on to know good as well as bad effects of pacifiers on infants.

The Pros

Pacifiers can be a key to contentment for a lot of babies. For such babies, nothing but a pacifier may work. Some other benefits include:-

  • It is disposable. When you want to stop your baby from using a pacifier, all you have to do is throw it away. 
  • It might soothe a fussy baby
  • It may put your baby to sleep
  • It may reduce risk of sudden infant death syndrome
  • It may ease discomfort on a flight. Babies are not capable of voluntarily popping their ear or yawning to ease pain in the ears. Sucking on a pacifier may do the trick for them
  • It may act as a temporary distraction, especially when the baby is getting shots or undergoing blood tests
  • It can stop your child from sucking thumbs

The Cons

  • Introducing pacifiers early on may interfere with breast-feeding. While it may seem like the same things, breast-feeding and sucking on a pacifier are different. Also, a baby is quite sensitive to the differences between the two.
  • Pacifiers increase risk of middle ear infections.
  • Prolonged use can cause dental issues. It has been found that a prolonged use of pacifiers for a couple of years may cause misalignment of teeth.
  • If you end up letting your child use a pacifier and have a hard time weaning. In such a case you must consult your doctor. 

Do's and Don'ts

Keep these tips in mind before offering your baby a pacifier:

  • Offer a pacifier to your child only when breastfeeding is well-established, and you've settled into an effective nursing routine
  • Offer a pacifier to your baby only after or between feedings
  • If your baby's not interested in the pacifier, don't force it. If the pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth while he or she is sleeping, don't pop it back in
  • Keep the pacifier clean
  • Change the pacifiers often and use the appropriate size for your baby's age

Read more articles on Parenting Tips.

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