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Q&A: Pacifier safety?

My baby loves her pacifier. Are there any safety issues I should be thinking about?

Re: My baby loves her pacifier. Are there any safety issues I should be thinking about?

The Bump Expert

Congratulations -- you've got a self-soother on your hands! Keep in mind these tips about the beloved binky.

[  ] Only use the one-piece, dishwasher-safe variety.

[  ] Always have extras on hand, and make sure a few are identical to her favorite.

[  ] Clean the binky early and often. Wash it before the first use, soak it in equal parts white vinegar and water for a few minutes every day (or at least a few times a week), and don’t rinse the pacifier in your own mouth, mom. (That's germy and, well, gross.)

[  ] Replace pacifiers frequently -- worn-out nipples can break off and become a choking hazard.

[  ] Don't use pacifier clips that are attached to strings or straps long enough to wrap around baby's neck.

[  ] Don't be a pacifier-popper. If the binky falls out of baby's mouth while she's sleeping, don’t put it back in.

[  ] Know when to say when. Most kids lose interest between ages two and four -- if yours doesn't, talk to your pediatrician. Beware, though -- your child (and you) may have to go cold turkey!

Paula Kashtan

re: Q: Pacifier precautions?

Yeah, not into pacifiers.. Ive seen enough people stick it in babie's mouth (and hodl it there for a minute until babay gave up and took it!).. Also can get in the way of breastffeding.

caromartin |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

Love pacifiers! The best thing is you can take them away!! I know several thumb suckers that have a really tough time giving it up!

JoLiz |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I was totally against the pacifier before my baby was born. I felt like it was a tease and was mean. I have since changed my mind. We did not start using it for a couple months and now only use it when really necessary. It helps to settle her down to sleep when regular soothing doesn't and I remove it once she is asleep or if she really needs an afternoon nap and is tired but not sleeping. I do not want to get her hooked on it or get used to using it as a crutch ourselves, but is nice to know it is there in a pinch.

mojomom1 |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I was against pacifiers at first because I was told that it can create nipple confusion, but since she has hit that period of purple crying (after 2 months), when she doesn't need to feed or is overtired and needs to go down for a nap, then I use it. I believe it's a self-soothing device and does come in handy. My doctor says that as long as she has the latching on of the breast down pat, then the binky should only help her stay calm.

alphamom74 |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I too was against paci's before my baby was born, but I soon got hit with a reality check. the first night in the hospital with she cried cried cried and she wasnt hungry or wet and that was 1 thing that would sooth her in addition to her hand. To this day( essie made 7 weeks today) she only sucks it on her and please dont force her to suck it it only makes matters worse plus if she doesnt want it she WILL spit it half way accross the room!!!!LOL

jonesleticia |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

When I was pregnant, I fully intended to use no pacifier. I didn't want confusion while breastfeeding. It ended up with me not being able to breast feed, so I had to go to a bottle. Sometimes I found that my son was letting milk pool in his mouth while comfort sucking and then choking on it, instead of eating actively. I turned to Soothies newborn pacifiers (like the hospitals) and gave it to him only when I noticed him doing this. I've since switched to orthodontic pacifiers and he only takes it a couple of times a day until he goes to sleep. I really love that my son isn't reliant on it! And it's distracting him from thumb sucking too (even though it's darn cute!).

Aristes |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I think the stigma with pacifiers is unnecessary. Ivy took the bottle and the pacifier at the same time, because she would go through a bottle in -10 minutes and still want to do her typical 15-20 minute feedings and be upset if she didn't - she'd give her 'feed me' even though she was full. And yes, I had to hold it in her mouth until she gave up - just like I've had to let her cry before she fell asleep... as a mother, you know when she's just crying when she's tired... or when she wants her pacifier. Sometimes the crying has to cool off a little before the other can start. At any rate, a pacifier is to help with the 'sucking', which is a way to sooth just like swaddling. I feel not letting her have that is not helping to sooth her. It's all about knowing when to use it, and NOT relying on it.

lizzica |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I wouldn't worry about nipple confusion with a pacifier; it was a huge fear of mine before he was born but our son breastfeeds, takes a bottle when I'm at work, and uses a pacifier for comfort.

naelace |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

My son is 7 weeks old and we use the pacifier as a calming factor. It seems to help him focus on taking in the world around him when he wants to be sucking. We have no nipple confusion when it comes to breastfeeding for me, bottle feeding for dad and daycare, or even sometimes self soothing sucking on his fist in his crib when he wakes up from a nap. It took 4 tries of different shapes of the nipple part but we found a match. He knows when he doesn't want it and we don't force in on him. If he doesn't want it or is truly hungry, he WILL shoot it out of his mouth. Otherwise, it is nice to be able to calm down the fussing and have him focus on the world. We can point thinggs out better and he will try to focus on them. Highly recommend if it works!

amyridgley |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

We started using a pacifier at 4 weeks old to give time to establish breastfeeding. She was very fussy before the pacifier and is a very happy baby now that she's been given the pacifier. It helps calm her down so that we can get her settled for a nap or bedtime. One thing I am careful about is only giving it to her when she's fussy. If it falls out and she doesn't care (whether she's awake or asleep), I do not pop it back in. Not having the pacifier in her mouth all the time allows her a chance to smile and "talk" to me. Things I might miss if it was in her mouth at all times. I also wait for it to fall out of her mouth while trying to put her down for the night. That way she won't be so dependent on having it in her mouth to sleep.

etepsick |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I'm okay with binkies, or nuknuks. My question is which ones help prevent problems with oral growth? A vast majority of thumb suckers and pacifier users have severe overbites that lead to costly orthodontic procedures, such as braces, retainers, a herpst appliance, or even ( in extreme cases ) a head brace.

jltaylor318 |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I was against a pacifier before my baby was born and I'm still against it. It's a cruch for parents. My in-laws and husband just pop that pacifier in her mouth and don't bother to figure out what's really wrong with her. Then, they can't figure out why she's just not calming down. There is no need for a pacifier. If baby needs something to suck on, she's got hands. Getting a child to stop sucking fingers/thumbs is just as easy as getting them unhooked from a piece of plastic if you're not too lazy to bother.

tmhooper0605 |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I was against a pacifier before my son was born because I heard it caused nipple confusion; however, he was admitted into the NICU immediately after birth due to his breathing and they gave him a Soothie to help regulate his breathing and soothe him while hooked up to all the machines. Since then, I can't pry it from his mouth but he does spit it out when he doesn't want it and we don't force it on him.

MandaBeth582 |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

In response to iltavior318, I am an orthodontic technician, and have seen a lot of problems with the mouths and teeth of young children caused by thumb sucking and pacifiers. Avent makes an Orthodontic pacifier, which is what i give my son. The shape of the nipple you will notice is much more flat so that it doesn't extend into the roof of the mouth so far. By far thumb sucking causes the most damage to the roof of the mouth as well at the front teeth. Yes, most thumb suckers end up needing orthodontic treatment in order to bring those front teeth back into place.

amschultheis |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

Someone on here mentioned that parents hold a pacifier in their child's mouth against their will until they give up and take it. It may look like that's what they are doing, but children often need it held there for a few seconds to get a good grip on it. You can tell they are sucking, but it pops right out because they don't have a grip on it yet. If they didn't want the pacifier, they would not suck. It's not abusive to hold it there for a few seconds or even a minute until they have it, and that doesn't mean they didn't want it. Also studies have shown that infants who use pacifiers have a decrease risk of SIDS. It's actually safer for them to use a pacifier. Not to mention that sucking is a soothing method of infants. You aren't relying on a crutch, they need to suck to learn to sooth themselves rather than have you soothing them. And yes, they can use their hands, but that can cause gum and tooth damage, which is why the pacifier is a much better option. I've studied child development for 5 years and have a degree, so don't let anyone make you feel bad for using a pacifier, because it's not dangerous or harmful, in fact, it's often beneficial.

haythor |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

tmhooper0605 -- Don't be so quick to judge -- some babies just need to suck more than others. Mine was always sucking on my finger or hanging on at the breast until my nipples were really sore -- I was anti pacifer too, but after the first week we decided to try it, and he is a much easier baby. is it a crutch? Maybe if you don't want raw fingers or nipples, which I don't. There is even evidence that using pacifiers HELPS breastfed babies because it helps to reinforce the sucking reflex on babies with latching issues. If mine is really hungry, he won't take the paci at all -- he knows the difference between the nutritive breast or bottle and the non-nutritive paci. And we don't give it to him unless he seems to really want it. The only reason for so-called "nipple confusion" is when you introduce a bottle too soon and the baby prefers the easier-to-feed-off-of bottle to the breast. Using a paci has nothing to do with it.

maglite7 |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

During pregnancy I used to say that I wouldn't use pacifiers, but after my baby was born reality set in!! I am breastfeeding and I've had no problems with alternating the bottle, the pacifier and my nipple, it is about being consistent. I do not use it all the time, only when extremely necessary, often when away from the house.

DiMendez |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I was completely against pacifiers until two days ago (7 weeks in) I was so tired of having to soothe her w. my nipple because all she wanted was to fulfill her sucking need. I haven't had any problems with nipple confusion. She only takes the pacifier when she really wants it. I also introduced a bottle at 4 weeks. No confusion here! But persistence helps.

katelauderdale06 |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

Every baby is different, my daughter (7 weeks) loves her pacifier. I wasn't going to introduce it to her until she was a little older, but the only way she would fall asleep was sucking on her entire hand until a little red spot was on her skin. So we replaced her hand with a gumdrop pacifier. She took it right away. We only give it to her when she is tired and needs to suck on something to fall asleep. If she does not want it, she won't take it. The only time I will hold it (lightly) in her mouth when she is SO tired, and she is upset and does not realize I've given it to her.

LPH3111 |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

People complain that pacis get in the way of breastfeeding but they did not have "nipple confusion" 20 years ago... Are babies dumber now? My sister and brother in laws were breastfed and took a paci (in the hospital). It didnt hurt breastfeeding. My husband wouldnt take a paci but his parents tried. I gave my daughter a paci a couple times when she was 2 weeks old and it didnt mess up breastfeeding.

aray06 |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I love the women that says pacis are a crutch and its just as easy to break a child of thumb sucking as it is to break them of the pacifier. Clearly she has never had a child that sucks there thumb. My daughter is now 13 and my son is 7 weeks. You can not take a child's thumb away from them but you can take a pacifier away. My daughter had one till she was 2 and we took it away cause it was the recommended age at the time. She went straight to sucking her thumb within 3 weeks. Mind you she gave is no problems getting rid of the pacifier. It took us years to break the thumb sucking (we worked with her dentist and tried everything). Finally at 8 years old she decided to stop herself. I was not going to use one with my son to prevent this same thing from happening but after needing to use one while he sat under the ultraviolet light and noticing that he went for his thumb A LOT we went for it and he only takes it when he wants to otherwise he spits it out and makes a face. My point is that it easy to take away a pacifier not so easy to take your kids thumbs away. And there is nothing wrong with your kids using a soother!!

bsawyeradam |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I too was anti-pacifier...then my daughter was born... She Is a 100% breast-fed baby. She was born at 1125 at night by 9 am the next morning the nurse recommended I give her a paci...she was sucking 30-45 min a breast every 2 hrs. My nipples were raw. She was using me as her pacifier and it was extremely painful. My little one has strong need to suck and has never had a problem with nipple confusion... I will add she latched without a problem after she was born...if you have a baby who doesn't latch well, the nurse said giving a paci do early is problematic. My advice, work with a lactation consultant and listen to your baby. They are all different, some need the paci, others don't.

ErinPate |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

My son is 6 weeks, he was given a pacifier in the hospital because he could not understand the sucking idea after he was 3 days old and still hadn't eaten or latched properly, the pacifier helped him to practice the sucking and work his muscles. Since then, he eats fine and the pacifier is something he likes sometimes and doesn't want other times, but he doesn't fuss for it, just accepts the comfort of it when fussy (generally from gas).

lilPaganFire |

Q&A: Pacifier safety?

I love paci's ... I call them "The Plug"... it is also shown to aid in preventing SIDS... But def follow the rules given by the expert... if it falls out at night it is not necessary to put it back in, besides you usually wake the baby up when you do that... My Son loves his Paci, my daughter did too. when it was time to break her (when she whent to a big girl bed)... we took her to Build a Bear and got her a bear that she put her favorite paci in. She never asked for her paci again.

awalrath2 |