Kids & Company Blog

The Pacifier Debate

Whether or not to use a pacifier to soothe your baby has been a longdebated question for parents and pediatricians. There have beenstudies that suggest that pacifier use has health benefits for babies, including the reduction of SIDS in babies who use pacifiers. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institute of Child Health and Human development recommend using a pacifier at night because of this.

Also, pacifiers provide comfort to babies (hence, their name), as the sucking motion releases chemicals from the brain, which reduces stress.

There are a few negatives about using pacifiers, including interference with breastfeeding, over-reliance to soothe, and sometimes teeth can be affected.
However, most doctors say that these downsides can be avoided with proper use of pacifiers. For example, if you are breastfeeding, many doctors recommend waiting about one month until nursing is well established.

None of my children had pacifiers, not because I was particularly against them, but more because I did not want them to get attached to one and have to worry about taking it away. If you do use a pacifier, remember to carry an extra in case one falls on the ground. Doctors recommend that you take it away sometime between 6 months and 2 years, and no later than the age of 3.

What are your thoughts on the pacifier debate?