Pacifier: yes or no?

Many parents face this doubt and, like much other life’s issues, you have to make a decision. You should not offer only because… Does every baby need a pacifier? There are a bunch of them who never have touch one and “survived”.

It’s not mandatory to use a pacifier. It was invented in 1680 and, as we can still assume by its name, it was created to soothe babies. And, we must tell you, it’s very effective!

The sucking reflex is innate, that is, the (full-term) baby is born with the ability to suck whatever is placed in its mouth. This ability is what allows the baby to feed itself outside of the womb, that is, to nurse. And it’s precisely this fact that can cause problems when introducing a pacifier too early. It activates the reflex that allows the baby to feed itself by not feeding it … Therefore, the pacifier should not be introduced before the proper establishment of breastfeeding. It is only when the mother and baby are perfectly comfortable with breastfeeding and this is happening without any associated difficulties that you should consider to introduce (or not) the pacifier.

Pros:
It helps to soothe the baby when it is sleepy or having a tantrum.
There is some evidence that shows some protection from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) when used during the night after the 1st month of life (till 6th months).

Cons:
It’s an addition. They will (probably) need our help to deal with it in future.
Can cause allergies (to latéx, to drool, etc.)
It’s easily a source of microbes (virus, bacterias, etc.)
Less hygienic.

There are only a few things in life there are “all or nothing” but like everything else in life, it’s a decision that has to be made and this one should be discussed by both parents.