Baby pacifier is an artificial nipple, generally made up of rubber, plastic, or silicone, which is given to an infant to suck upon. Read this article to know more about the use of baby pacifiers.

Baby Pacifiers

The news of the arrival of a newborn baby in the house fills the heart of every family member with joy and happiness. While the adults want to hold the little blessing of God in their hands, young kids want to play with it. The little bundle of joy becomes the centre of attraction for days and months. However, with the arrival of the baby come responsibilities and duties. While a baby looks good until it is playing and is happy, problem arises when it starts crying, as most parents are clueless as to why is the tiny tot crying. What is even more exasperating is that despite the small size, most babies have this annoying habit of crying inexhaustibly and vociferously. Once a baby starts crying, it wouldn't budge unless a bottle is stuffed into its mouth, for most of the times an infant cries when it is hungry. However, what if you've just fed the baby and it still persists crying. What to do then? It is here that pacifiers come as savior. Made out of rubber, plastic, or silicone nipple, pacifiers help in soothing the baby. Most infants have a strong need to suck on something to comfort themselves and it is here that pacifiers seem to be god-send stuff for new parents. However, just like everything else, pacifiers too have their downside. So, before you let your tiny tot pop in a pacifier into its mouth, it is best to know the pros and cons of using a pacifier. You can then decide whether or not you want your baby to pop in one.
Pros of Baby Pacifiers 
  • Pacifiers can be very helpful in offering temporary distractions at urgent situations like driving, blood tests or other procedures. When the baby starts crying due to hunger, pacifier may buy you some time till you can arrange for a bottle for the baby.
  • If your baby is having some problem in sleeping, baby pacifier may help in putting your baby to sleep.
  • Pacifiers may help in reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Recent studies found an association between pacifier usage during sleep and a reduced risk of SIDS.
  • Once a baby gets into the habit of sucking the thumb, it becomes very difficult to make it overcome the inclination to do so. Pacifier can be greatly helpful in breaking your baby’s thumb sucking habit. 
Cons of Baby Pacifiers 
  • Early usage of pacifiers may interfere with breast-feeding. Breast feeding is different from sucking on a pacifier or bottle. If babies are given pacifier too soon, they may have trouble in breast feeding.
  • Recent studies have concluded that pacifier usage may increase the risk of middle ear infections.
  • Long usage of pacifier may lead to dental problems in babies. Studies show that normal use of pacifier during the first few years of life doesn't cause long-term dental problems but prolonged pacifier use may cause a child's top front teeth to slant outward.
  • Dependency on anything is not good. Babies who have pacifiers in their mouth all the time get dependent on the same. As such, they tend to start crying when the pacifier is taken out of their mouth or falls off accidentally.  
If you are ready to monitor the usage of pacifier and are sure that you would not let your child become dependent on it, here are some buying tips. Get one that comforts your baby!
Buying Baby Pacifiers Tips
  • While buying a pacifier, always ensure that the nipple is firmly attached to the base of the pacifier. If the nipple is easily detachable with a tug, there are high chances that your baby will eventually detach it.
  • Avoid pacifiers that have liquid or gel inside the nipple as they're messy and can be harmful if the baby bites strongly as this may lead to the discharge of the liquid.
  • Many baby products can be recreated at home, but pacifiers should not be included in that category. Never use bottle nipples and caps as pacifiers, as they can come apart and cause choking. Homemade pacifiers are not sturdy enough to withstand repeated usage and may pose other health risks to baby.
  • You can choose between silicone and latex pacifier nipples, but the baby's preference is more important here. Though silicone pacifier is sturdy, doesn't retain odors, cleans up easily, it is quite hard for the baby to bite through. In contrast, latex is soft in baby's mouth and retains scents, but latex pacifier doesn't hold up repeated cleanings and the little teeth of baby can easily chew through it. 

Pacifiers are great way to pacify your baby, which explains as to why it was named so in the first place. Give your baby a pacifier to calm it down but make sure that you don't end up making sucking the pacifier a habit for the tiny tot.

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