A pacifier is every baby’s best friend. It is like your baby’s first love, and the breakup can be tough just like any other breakups. This tiny little thing can be a life-saver for new parents. Pacifiers come in handy when you have a fussy baby. Not only does it help soothe a crying baby, but can also help your baby fall asleep as well as ease discomforts. In fact, some studies have shown that babies who use pacifiers at bedtime and nap time have a lower risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). However on the other hand, there are some drawbacks of popping that binkie in your little one’s mouth.
Let’s check out the advantages and disadvantages of pacifying your baby.
Advantages of pacifiers
1. Help to relieve colic
The sucking reflexes bring a sense of security and soothes the baby.
2. Reduces the risk of SIDS
SIDS can happen anytime, especially during sleep, as the baby may suffocate due to excess bedding or when in an incorrect sleeping position. Experts assert that the use of a pacifier reduces the chances of SIDS as it helps open airways wider and lets the infant breathe better. And this significantly brings down the risk of SIDS.
3. Works as a distraction
Pacifier use during unpleasant situations can help make baby less upset.
4. Benefits preterm infants
Preemies have poor sucking reflex due to incomplete physical development. Research shows that exercising the sucking reflex has also been observed to support digestion in premature babies. It is also shown that preemies who suck on binkies gain weight faster.
Disadvantages of pacifiers
1. Dental problems
If your little one uses the pacifiers over a long period of time, it can affect the shape of the teeth and mouth.
2. Increase risk of middle ear infection
Research shows that when baby sucks or swallows, there’s a change in pressure behind the ear, which may shift fluids into the middle ear and cause an infection.
3. Over dependency
If something feels good, babies are going to keep doing it. Unfortunately, that means pacifier use can become addictive to your little one.
4. Interference with breastfeeding
Introducing a pacifier to your newborn in the earlier stage can lead to nipple confusion. In which, they are confused between the nipple of a breast and pacifier. This interference is observed only in full-term infants, and is different from preterm infants where pacifiers are used to exercise the sucking reflex.