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 Guide: Advantages, Disadvantages And How To Wean The Baby From A Pacifier

The moment one learns about the arrival of a newborn, every member of the family experiences a surge of excitement 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 cynosure of all eyes. But this heaven-sent packet comes with various responsibilities and duties. While a baby looks adorable when it’s happy and playing, the coos and cries of the baby are bound to make your heart skip a beat. What is even more exasperating is that despite the small size, most babies have the ability to cry inexhaustibly and vociferously.

Once a baby starts crying, it wouldn't budge unless a bottle is stuffed into its mouth, as most of the times an infant cries when it is hungry. However, what if you've just fed the baby, and have ticked all the possible reasons of crying but the crying still persists. What to do then? It is here that pacifiers come as saviour. Made out of rubber, plastic, or silicone nipple, pacifiers help in soothing the baby. Most infants have a strong need to suck on something, that’s what comforts them and that’s when pacifiers come into picture.

So if you have been wondering about when, how, why, pros and cons of introducing pacifier to your little one then we have read your mind. Keep scrolling while we answer them for you one at a time.

Baby Pacifiers Guide: Advantages, Disadvantages And How To Wean The Baby From A Pacifier
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What is a Baby Pacifier?

As the name suggests, it pacifies or soothes and calms a baby. It is a soothing device for babies, made out of plastic, silicon or rubber that is given to a baby to suckle upon. It helps your bundle of joy to sail through the time when she is not hungry but still needs to satisfy her penchant for sucking that brings in comfort to her. Baby Pacifiers are also called binkies, soothers, buttons, soo soos and dummies.

Research suggests that approximately seventy-five percent babies in western countries use pacifiers at one point or the other.

When to introduce pacifier to my newborn?

If you have been wondering at what age babies need a pacifier, we have you covered. Going by the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), it is recommended to introduce pacifiers once your bundle of joy has a nursing routine, especially if you are breastfeeding. In order to avoid nipple confusion, it is recommended that you should wait for four weeks before you pop that pacifier in your baby’s mouth.

Sucking from a pacifier is far easier for a baby and thus, if pacifiers are introduced before four weeks, the baby might face difficulty in latching while you try to breastfeed it. Chances are that your teeny-weeny might get less interested in latching around feed time and fall asleep, sucking on the pacifier.

In case of preterm babies, sucking muscles are even smaller and the doctor might ask you to wait a bit longer before you introduce pacifiers. However, every miniature is different. You may discuss with your paediatrics about the time when you can pop the pacifier in your baby’s mouth.

Can newborns sleep with a pacifier?

Pacifiers not only soothe a crying baby, but if your baby’s stomach is full and she is still unable to sleep, these dummies can help your teeny weeny fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is one of the most common causes of infant deaths. Research suggests that the risk of SIDS is reduced possibly by more than half, if you give a pacifier to your baby while they sleep.

Are Pacifiers Good Or Bad? (Pros of Baby Pacifiers)

Advantages of Baby Pacifiers

  1. 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.
  2. Pacifiers keep your bundle of joy content between the feedings.
  3. If your baby is having some problem in sleeping, baby pacifier may help in putting your baby to sleep.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Research also suggests that babies might develop better breathing muscles and nerve reflexes when they suck on pacifiers.
  7. Pacifiers also help calm the baby from fear or general anxiety and general fussiness.
  8. During travel, especially flights, pacifiers come handy as they help relieve ear pain that might occur from air pressure changes.

What are the side effects of baby pacifiers?

Disadvantages of Baby Pacifiers

  1. 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.
  2. Recent studies have concluded that pacifier usage may increase the risk of middle ear infections.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Tips For Buying Baby Pacifiers

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. You can choose between latex and silicone pacifier nipples. Silicone pacifier is more sturdy, cleans up easily, it is quite hard for the baby to bite through and doesn't retain odours. In contrast, latex pacifiers retains scents, and though they are soft in baby's mouth are unable to hold up repeated cleanings and the little teeth of baby can easily chew through it.
  5. Make sure that you clean pacifiers to prevent spread of germs and allergies.

How and When to Wean Your Baby From A Pacifier?

The simple way to answer this is you just need to be observant. The moment you find that the cynosure of your eyes has started using the pacifier as a teether or chewing toy, it is time to wean her off. Going by the guidelines of AAP, it is advised that you wean off your baby by the time he/she turn one.

Following tips may come handy when you try to wean off your baby from a pacifier.

  • You may try to knock it off completely and be brave because you will have to face the music, but that will surely be temporary. Make sure you hold your ground. This means do not give into the fussiness or whines, stand strong and keep your boundaries. Once removed, make sure you do not offer it again on any ground.
  • You may adopt a slow and steady approach which means you may slowly reduce the time of giving the pacifier to your baby. Give him a pacifier only at a consistent and specific time.
  • Try using reward or praise for each day when your baby doesn’t use pacifier. This works best for toddlers.
  • You may also try limiting a pacifier to a certain place. For example, giving pacifier only your bundle of joy is in his crib.
  • Try other soothing techniques like rocking the little one to sleep or offer your baby its favourite toy or blanket instead of a pacifier.
  • It is important for you to brief the nannies, grandparents, babysitter or caregivers about the techniques you are using to wean off your baby. In your absence, the pacifier should not make its appearance at any cost.
  • It is also important to make sure that you do not start the weaning process when your little one is not feeling well, or the family is on a vacation etc. You need to time it well.

What happens if you don't give a pacifier to your baby?

Well, I raised two tiny tots and both my munckins were never on pacifiers. When I became a mother for the first time, I read a lot about pacifiers and purchased two of them. However, when the time arrived, the mother instinct never felt the need to pop the pacifier in my baby’s mouth. I tried other soothing techniques and they thankfully worked.

When my second packet arrived, I had to board a flight with her when she was three months old. I scrolled through a number of articles and the pacifiers again caught my attention. After all, a crying, howling baby on a flight can be like a nightmare that has come true for not only the mother but also the ones on board. So while I tied my seat belt I made sure to pop the pacifier in the mouth of my little one. But the moment we took-off, she made sure to pop it hard enough to send it rolling down the aisle. That’s when we bid adieu to pacifier which actually never made an appearance while I raised my tiny tots.

So whether you wish to pop the dummies in your baby’s mouth or not, it is completely up to you.


Pacifiers are great way to pacify your baby, which explains as to why it was named so in the first place. They are no doubt safe for your newborn. 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.

Using a pacifier for your little one is completely your choice. No judgements here. It did not work for me, or maybe I never felt the need. It might work well for you. However, you need to make sure when to introduce it, keep in mind the advantages and disadvantages of using it, pacifiers should be properly sterilized to keep away germs and infections and above everything you should know when to wean your baby from a pacifier. And then you are good to go. Happy Nurturing!

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