A pacifier is a nipple of rubber or plastic that is given to babies and children small so they suck in this article we will look at the pros and cons having your baby use them.
The designs of the pacifiers are basically similar, but there are some that are made of a single material, and therefore of a single piece; while others are made up of two or more materials and their design is based on the association of two or more pieces. The most important reason for designing the pacifier in one piece is to prevent the part that sucks from detaching from its support and reach the trachea of the baby, with the usual risk that this implies.
The convenience of using a pacifier in babies is very controversial. Nevertheless, a greater percentage of parents who choose to employ them with their children still prevails.
The reason for being scientifically proven that babies develop the sucking reflex from inside the mother’s womb and this being an act that will later allow her to feed in the first years of life, makes many consider their use useful since in another It is common to see the creatures sucking their thumb. Therefore in its first year (estimated) is usually a solution to calm anxiety and other discomforts that may affect the baby, as well as anguish that is usually relativized by the feeling that produces in the child the simulated effect of replacing the mother’s breast. Despite all that has been said, specialists advise that its use should not be extended for much longer than necessary or recommended.
Pros or advantages of pacifiers
Among the benefits that are attributed to the use of the pacifier are the following:
- According to recent research, the pacifier decreases the risk of sudden infant death (SIDS) when the child uses it during sleep, both at night and in naps.
- As much as there is the perception that finger sucking is a natural act, and therefore healthy, the fact is that specialists agree that it is much more dangerous to take the thumb to the mouth than to resort to the pacifier: these are easier to sterilize; they cause fewer problems – and less serious – in the dentition and once the opportune moment arrives, they can be thrown away.
- Soothing effect: during the first months the baby cries a lot and, sometimes, for long periods. If giving a pacifier, the baby calms down, then the parents will be less stressed and the father-son relationship will be protected.
- It helps babies fall asleep and that is of higher quality: babies who use a pacifier are, in general, able to go back to sleep at night before the others and to space their nightly shots.
- The pacifier mitigates the pain if the baby has to be subjected to some unpleasant or painful treatment. Hence, it is especially recommended for neonatal units.
Not all are pros, there are cons that are usually mentioned when we talk about the use of the pacifier:
- For years it has been argued that the pacifier interferes with breastfeeding, reducing the duration or exclusivity of it. However, the latest clinical trials do not support this adverse relationship, especially if the pacifier begins to be used once lactation is established (2-4 weeks after birth). Therefore, a rational use of the pacifier to reduce the syndrome of sudden infant death and not affect breastfeeding of the infant.
- The pacifier has also been traditionally associated with otitis media and dental malformations. However, according to the latest research, the harmful effects exerted by the pacifier on the correct alignment of the teeth are temporary if it disappears before three years of age.
- They can be dangerous if they are not used well: no handmade pacifiers, or smear them with sugar or hang them with a chain around their necks. These are dangerous practices that can lead to very serious accidents.
- The pacifier can generate dependence, both for the parents, and for the baby: when babies cry or parent needs the baby to sleep they parents systematically give the pacifier every time, it can become the indispensable element to help the baby
- If used to sleep, it makes it difficult for him to sleep on his own and if he falls at night, he can not go back to sleep without him.
- It interferes with the development of language because its mouth is occupied all the time.
- You can create an emotional dependence , thanks to which you will not learn to relate to your environment or to reassure yourself in another way. Many moms put the pacifier at the first sign of crying or discomfort of the baby, not caring if he wants is to eat, play, load or change the diaper.
Pacifiers have both pros and cons so here are some recommendations when using pacifiers.
- In breastfed newborns it is better to avoid the pacifier during the first days of life and not to discourage it when breastfeeding is well established, usually from the month of life, age at which the risk of sudden infant death syndrome begins.
- Professionals should know that sometimes the use of a pacifier is a marker that there are difficulties in breastfeeding, so they must identify these situations and acquire the necessary skills to adequately help mothers, both with the breastfeeding technique and infusing them self-confidence
- In artificially breastfed children, the recommendation of the use of the pacifier is especially important since they present other characteristics that may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) .
- To avoid other adverse effects of the use of the pacifier, it is recommended, in all children, to limit its use until one year of age, which includes the ages of minimum risk of SIDS and those in which the infant has more need to suck.
- Health professionals should know that, in addition to the pacifier, there are other maneuvers to calm a baby such as skin-to-skin contact and other methods of non-nutritive suction.
- It is up to health professionals to provide parents with balanced, unbiased information about the available evidence of the benefits and harms of using a pacifier to help them make their decisions. The parents are ultimately responsible.