Pacifiers, also known as dummies or soothers, are often used to calm, pacify or soothe a fussy baby. Babies love to suck for comfort and security, as well as nutrition and a pacifier provides a bottle-fed baby with a substitute to frequent comfort sucking at the mother's breast.
A pacifier (or soother) can be used to satisfy a baby's need to suck. However, it should never be used instead of feeding, and it should never be used without the extra comfort and cuddling a parent can provide. If your baby seems to want to suck in between feedings, a pacifier can help.
Pacifiers have many different informal names: binky or wookie (American English), dummy (Australian English and British English), piece, paci, bo-bo, nookie, teething ring, device, sugar tit, teether, comforter, soother (Canadian English and Hiberno-English), and Dodie (Hiberno-English).
If you're breast-feeding, you might wait to offer a pacifier until your baby is 3 to 4 weeks old and you've settled into a nursing routine. However, a review of unrestricted pacifier use in healthy, full-term infants found that it had no impact on the continuation of breast-feeding.
For most mothers, this is usually when your baby is about 3 to 4 weeks old. If you have chosen to feed your infant formula, you can introduce a pacifier immediately after your baby is born.
It's perfectly safe for babies to sleep with pacifiers. In fact, sleeping with a pacifier may even help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). For babies who find great comfort in sucking, pacifiers can be very useful. They can soothe a fussy baby and also help them fall asleep at bedtime.
Using a pacifier incorrectly can lead to problems with breastfeeding, teeth (cavities and overbite), and possibly ear infections. Homemade pacifiers, sweetened pacifiers or pacifiers tied around a baby's neck are NOT SAFE and could lead to injury or death.
While bottle-fed babies can sleep with a pacifier from birth, breastfed infants should only sleep with a pacifier once they are at least 3 to 4 weeks old and have settled into a breastfeeding routine with no latching issues.
Can Babies Sleep with a Pacifier? Yes, you can safely give your baby a pacifier at bedtime. To make it as safe as possible, though, make sure to follow these guidelines: DON'T attach a string to the pacifier as this can present a strangling risk.
AAFP/AAP joint guidelines recommend reducing or stopping pacifier use in the second six months of life to reduce the risk of otitis media. ICSI recommends avoiding pacifier use after 10 months of age. ADA and AAPD recommend actively discouraging pacifier use after four years of age.
Other Names for Pacifiers
Dummy: England and Australia. Soothie/soother: Canada. Dodie: Northern England and Ireland.
Here's the truth - your baby isn't using you like a dummy, they're using a dummy like you! Babies are programmed from birth to suck for comfort. It's biologically normal for them to fall asleep suckling at the breast.
Check how he's sucking. If he latches on well and takes long, drawn out pulls, then he's likely hungry and actually eating. But if his sucking motion is shorter and shallower, then he's probably sucking for comfort. You can also check whether he's swallowing the milk.
Pacifiers cause eventual crooked teeth.
However, pacifier use should be limited to less than 6 hours per day. With that in mind, it's important to remember that each child's mouth and teeth develop differently.
The Mayo Clinic recommends sterilizing pacifiers for under-6-month-olds before each use, and cleaning with hot, soapy water before each use for children older than 6 months. Other experts feel less strongly about sterilizing pacifiers, but still recommend cleaning with hot, soapy water before each use.
Other things that can cause gas include normal baby stuff like crying, sucking on a pacifier or simply getting the hiccups. Anything that causes baby to swallow excess air can trigger gas.
Pacifiers have many benefits – including soothing babies, helping them fall asleep at night, and potentially reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Cons of pacifiers include establishing a habit that could be hard to break, as well as a possible increase in ear infections.
Using a pacifier.
“Almost all babies will find some baby gas relief by sucking on a pacifier,” O'Connor says, because the sucking action releases endorphins that will soothe them.
It may be because babies don't sleep as deeply when they have a pacifier, which helps wake them up if they're having trouble breathing. A pacifier also keeps the tongue forward in the mouth, so it can't block the airway.
Should I remove the dummy once my baby is asleep? No, you don't have to take it out once they have fallen asleep. Still, if the dummy falls out during sleep, which is very common, there's no need for you to reinsert it.
In order to receive the accreditation, hospitals must demonstrate that their staff discourage the use of formula feeding or the use of pacifiers since, the theory goes, those can interfere with breastfeeding.
One the other hand, these most common concerns about pacifier use may make you rethink that binky: Dental problems. Long-term pacifier use can affect the shape of the teeth and mouth, especially if baby continues to use it well into the toddler years.