Many clients ask “can I give my baby a pacifier, and is it bad for her?” While I never directly tell a client the best choice for their baby, I give them all the information I have and allow them to make the best choice for their family. When used correctly, a pacifier can be greatly beneficial to meet the non-eating sucking needs.
There are controversial studies regarding the use of pacifiers right now. Most lactation specialist will tell you that you should not give a breastfed baby a pacifier, though, many babies have successfully switched from breast to pacifier with no issues at two weeks.
What you need to know:
- Only use one piece pacifiers. I know there are some really cute pacifiers out there, but as recent product recalls point out, the multiple piece pacifiers can come detached from each other and pose a choking hazard. Soothie and Gumdrop make one piece pacifiers.
- Once a pacifier falls out, do not continue to put it back in. This will create a bad habit, and no one wants to have to fill that need constantly.
- If mom is breastfeeding, baby should establish a good latch before being offered a pacifier
- Always check with Mom and Dad before offering a pacifier
- Pacifiers should not be used to postpone a feed
- Can help reduce the risk of SIDS
- Can help babies soothe themselves
- Satisfies non-eating sucking needs
- Can create a bad habit
- May increase the risk of inner ear infections
- May lead to dental problems
Tips for Pacifier Usage:
- Keep it clean– be sure to sterilize pacifier before first use, and then wash with soap and water as needed. Air dry.
- Watch for signs of wear– be sure to check for signs of deterioration or cracking. A damaged pacifier can cause a choking hazard.
- Use caution with pacifier clips– never use a clip with a strap long enough
to wrap around baby’s neck.