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Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I've heard a hundred different opinions-- pacifiers, yes or no?

Re: I've heard a hundred different opinions-- pacifiers, yes or no?

The Bump Expert

Forget politics! Once you're a parent, pacifiers are a farmore intense topic of discussion. Here are the pros and cons, spelledout by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


[  ] Babies love to suck -- a pacifier can soothe a fusspot or help a night-waker fall back to sleep on his own.

[  ] Pacifiers provide distraction, buying you time to make a bottle or finish a phone call before nursing. A pacifier can also work wonders while baby's getting shots.

[  ] Research links bedtime pacifier use with a decreased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

[  ] The pacifier habit is much easier to break than thumbsucking- simply throw away those binkies when it's time.


[  ] Starting baby with a pacifier too early may interfere withbreastfeeding, because sucking a nipple requires a different techniquethan sucking a pacifier (or bottle). The AAP recommends waiting a month before giving a baby a pacifier, which will help him learn to nurse first.

[  ] If baby uses the pacifier at night, you might experience someloud pre-dawn protests when it falls out of his mouth and he can't findit.

[  ] Using a pacifier may increase the incidence of ear infections.Keep in mind, though, that middle ear infection rates are lowest duringthe first six months- when the risk of SIDS is highest. The trade offmight be worth it.

Ultimately, the choice is yours -- and baby's. Wait a month after delivery to establish a solid feeding routine, then try a pacifier if you'd like. If baby takes to it, great; if not, toss it.

Paula Kashtan

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

Although a new parent myself, I have taken the advice of others and tried to remain as open and flexible as possible when my preconceptions of what I would and would not do have become challenged. I did not want to use a pacifier with my son, but after many nights of having difficulty getting him to sleep and staying asleep for longer than half an hour, I scrambled through some gifts and found a pacifier my sister gave me. It worked like a charm, and for the first time he only woke up two times that night. The soothing affect of the pacifier was apparent immediately as was the affect it had on my own morale as a new mom.

mcoonen |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I was against pacifiers too, but during our first week home my little guy had a hard time falling asleep, and I found that he just wanted something to suckle, since he came out of the womb sucking his finger, i figured he would find that very soothing. I found the best pacifiers...they're the playtex brand ones and they're shaped like a nipple, not as big as the others out there....He absolutely loves it, and has had no trouble transitioning from that to BF.

denawong |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I think the pros end up wieghing out the cons in this situation. I didn't want to use pacifiers at first but I knew I definately didn't want her to suck her thumb. I did it until I was in second grade because my dad thought it was cute. It calms her down, so I dont see the problem.

marielv11 |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I too didn't want to use a pacifier but have found them necessary when at a store and you can't BF right away, in the car and you're driving, or at home when you just got them off the breast and you know they're full but want to continue sucking on something, etc.... My DD is a BF champ. She's only 2 weeks old and has no trouble going between both. However, I do use the paci sparingly and we don't use is for her to fall asleep we're trying not to build habits but rather use when necessary.

Sansonee |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I was really against the use of a pacifier but had no choice since the baby was in NICU and they put him on the pacifier to soothe him. I think it helped put him on a feeding schedule and keep him calm when receiving shots. The pediatric doctor also said that it prevent against SIDS. He does not take it much now which is good.

pams22 |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

My LO wanted something to suck on. At first I thought she was hungry but when I gave her my breast she would push it out of her mouth but would continue to cry. I couldn't be her human pacifier like she wanted but when I offered her a paci she eventually got the hang of it and realized that's what she wanted.

mrsdchastain |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I was never against using a pacifier but I have been wary of overusing it. If I see she is ok without it I do not use it. But yes at times it is necessary to soothe her and for my sanity lol.

Aniegbuna |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

Funny thing is I WANTED my son to use a pacifier but he prefered his fingers! I tried and tried but to no avail...I thought it would be easier to calm him down when he got fussy, and I think kids look so cute with them. Oh well, at least now I won't have to send them to the "binky fairy"!

Ceceb69 |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I WISH my baby girl would take a paci. I snuck her a paci occasionally when she was 2 weeks (she is breast fed so its not advised).. She would take the paci at 2 weeks but only had it a couple times because my husband said NO absolutely no pacis EVER. With enough complaining he said OK after she was a month old. Long story short I am the paci and I hate it. I told my husband that if we have anymore children they are getting a paci in the hospital or Im not breastfeeding and he says they ARE being breastfed and they arent getting a paci. My daughter had trouble latching when she was a newborn so my nipples were super cracked and all she wanted to do alllll day was suck... I really resented breastfeeding. The first 2 months (they were so bad it took a long time to heal--the doctor said at 1 month it should be more enjoyable) we hell and I wanted to quit and change to bottle feeding.

aray06 |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I breast feed and my baby girl has taken a binki from the get go with out a problem at all (no nipple confusion). She only sucks on it when going to sleep and as soon as she falls into a deeper sleep it pops out of her mouth. I only offer it to her when she is tired and so far it has worked out great in our situation.

sastaton |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

No for breastfeeding babies - at first anyway. I gave a paci to my two day old son. He went from latching like a champ straight from birth to losing his ability to latch at all. It took us two weeks and a lot of anguish to get him to learn to latch again. My milk came in at around the time the paci was introduced, so that may have also had something to do with it. Granted, I'm getting tired of being a human pacifier, but I will reintroduce the paci when the timing is right, waiting a month as suggested by BF pros.

amybb27 |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I was against using a pacifier and since I'm BF I didn't want to have any complications. While talking to my mom though she said that sometimes babies just want to suck on something and when you are in the store and they are screaming to be fed and you really can't at the moment the pacifier is helpful. I waited until my daughter was at least 2 weeks before we gave her one. I try to only give it to her when I really can't feed her at the moment, but quickly find a spot that I can. We also give it to her at night if we can't get her to fall asleep any other way such as rocking her husband though trys that before other things so he needs a little work lol. She still latches on really good while BF

snshyne52 |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

Since our daughter is bottle feeding, we felt the pacifier was a great substitue since she couldn't locate her fingers!

laurazebra |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

We BF, so I was ging to wait until my baby was 1 month old so there wouldn't be confusion. But one of the nurses told me not to let him "snack" on me, but to use a pacifier. So occasionally he will take it, but still prefers to just be held, or use me instead.

paulahartson |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

My baby is 3 weeks old and she loves her pacifier. It helps settle her down before taking a nap or going to sleep. It also bids me time when I have to prepare a bottle or change a diaper. Once she's relaxed, she ends up spitting it out. I don't see anything wrong with using a pacifier, I wouldn't force it if the baby doesn't want it though.

rebby0315 |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

Another pro to pacifiers that is not listed here is that it helps strengthen the mouth and jaw muscles. My father is a doctor that specializes in head, neck, and jaw pain and he was very adamant that I give my baby a pacifier to help with jaw development. He has been on it since the hospital. I breastfeed and there has been no issue with nipple confusion.

cbl131 |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

Both my boys took a paci at just a few weeks old, and it never affected their breastfeeding. They would overfeed themselves in an attempt to soothe themselves, so it was nice to offer them a paci after a feeding instead of dealing with a crabby, gassy and spitting up baby. And it is fantastic to be able to break them of the habit when the time comes. I have so many friends trying to break their kids of thumbsucking before they enter gradeschool, and it's a nightmare for them.

bwsf |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I'm all for them. I believe most of the cons listed can be avoided if you are careful. I've exclusively bf my baby from day one with no confusion. We started puming an giving her bottles almost right away which I think things easier. As for being woken up, don't offer the pacifier at nap/bed times. And between sids and ear infections who wouldn't choose the latter?

MrsWill07 |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

I was always the person who said "never".... I am a new mom and I didn't want my daughter to have one either. But I ended up have a hard delivery that ended in a c section. And I wanted to nurse on top of all that. The nurse in the hospital suggested I use it to help me get some rest because I didn't want the baby to go to the nursery. The nurse also told me that if I really didn't want to use a "paci" that it's very easy to wean babies off when they are 5-6 months old as well. Luckily my baby only uses it to help her fall asleep. Once she is completely asleep she will spit it out.

SLGILL1978 |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

it looks like they are ok to use but try to wait a couple weeks. my step son used one but wasnt breastfed. it was great and when he was a year and a half i just took them all away he hardly even cared. i however sucked my thumb til not second grade, not third people, but until i was 16. my teeth are ok but not what i would like and i know its because i wasnt given a pacy and thumbsucking is freaking as hard to stop as smoking i think! Binky pros outweigh the cons.

prettyprincessjellybean |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

One of the nurses who took care of us in the hospital said if we were going to use a paci, to use the "orthodontic" kind. (Tommie Tippy is the only example I have) because some pacis can change the shape of the roof of babys mouth. I dont know how true this is but its become a big factor in my decision to use and not use them.

laudenslager |

Q&A: Pacifier pro and con?

Before I gave birth I was against using pacifiers as well. But I was in a lot of pain and not getting any rest/sleep in the hospital. The nurses wanted to take the baby to the nursery so I would get some rest but we can to a middle ground to use a paci. Worked wonders! My daughter mainly uses them when she goes to sleep. She will spit it out if she doesn't want it and she will put it in herself when she's ready for it. I breast fed as well and my daughter knew the difference and ate very well .

SLGILL1978 |