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Should you introduce a pacifier?

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Pros and Cons to Pacifiers

Infants have a natural need to suckle. Breastfeeding infants often will use their mother's breasts as a pacifier. Because of their natural desire to suckle, babies will find something if a pacifier is not used; fingers, breasts, a toy or blanket.

Pacifiers can be used as a way to calm and sooth babies. Pacifiers have been known to decrease the risk of SIDS. Most parents choose to use a pacifier especially during nap time and bedtime. Infants having something to suck on can learn to sleep for longer stretches of time, calm themselves down for car rides, or help them acclimate to unknown situations such as tummy time.

Pacifiers have some cons as well: for some children, a pacifier can increase the risks of middle ear infections. The use of a pacifier may also cause a wet rash round the mouth and nose. And prolonged use of a pacifier may cause dental issues as well as possible speech in formalities.

Ultimately, the decision to use a pacifier is up to the parents. Some parents choose them use out of tradition. Other parents are resistant due to the potential damage to the oral cavity and the possible influence it may have on breastfeeding. Traditionally, the use of a pacifier doesn't have a dramatic effect on breastfeeding because the shape and length of the nipple of the pacifier, it is different than that of the breast or a bottle.

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