Pacifiers are very appropriate for soothing your baby, experts agree but dentists feel that the pacifier should begin ending at age two years and completely ended by four years.
When purchasing a pacifier please look for these safety tips:
A one piece model with soft nipple (two piece models may break apart)
The shield should be made of firm plastic with air holes and should measure one inch across to prevent swallowing
Dishwasher safe or clean frequently
Pacifiers come in two sizes 0-6 months and 6 months and over
Never tie a pacifier around your baby’s hand, neck or crib railing- these are strangulation risks. Use a clip instead
Do not use a bottle nipple and ring in place of a pacifier
Inspect your pacifier frequently for damage and holes
Have a few on hand at all times
Sucking is a basic need for infants says Richard Dowell, PHD at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg, PA. Young infants, he says, have no other mechanism to control their distress. A pacifier can help satisfy baby’s non-nutritive sucking.
The only proven medical benefits linked to pacifiers have been seen in preterm babies. Preemies who suck on a binkie gain weight faster. Preemies with pacifiers show earlier sucking patterns and experience fewer health com-plications.
Pacifiers are associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
With all of this information, we conclude that giving your baby a pacifier can help relax your baby an in turn relax you. Although some babies prefer their thumb or the silky end of their blanket so suck on.
My next blog will address-“The rules of The Pacifier” and “When should I take away my baby’s pacifier?”