Should I give my child a pacifier? Know the truth before you decide!

I had my delivery in the UK and it all went off smoothly. I had a painless labour (opted for an epidural), my midwife was super co-operative and my son looked flawless when he was pulled out! But, that was not all. When we brought him home, things were different. My husband and I were adjusting ourselves to the new normal and both of us were up through day and night, figuring out things. However, there was one thing we could never crack about little N.

We had our breastfeed routine set and still, I noticed my son would constantly cry and also showed a strong sucking reflex. Assuming he was hungry, I would nurse him and burp him, only for the fuss to continue. It was then that my doctor suggested I try a pacifier and I cannot thank her enough. Today, we have comfortably established that N would be given a pacifier when he wants to sleep or nap.

However, in a country like ours, using a pacifier is often associated with all things bad and negative. So, if you are wondering whether you must introduce the pacifier to your baby or not, this post is sure to help you decide.

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Why it will help

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1. Some kids can be cranky as hell and yes, calming them down can be hard. A pacifier does a trick even mothers cannot. So, why not!

2. Babies have a very strong suckling reflex. So, eventually, of not a pacifier their next go-to will be their thumb! Isn’t that worse? Imagine that habit when he is 5 years plus. Also, you can throw the pacifier, what will you do to the thumb?

3. Studies also reveal that using a pacifier reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome) among babies.    

Why it is a bad option

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1. If you are introducing a pacifier in the initial days, then chances are your baby might get super confused with the nipple, leading to a lot of breastfeeding struggles.

2. Like any other habit, getting rid of this one too can be a big task in store for mommies.

3. Studies also reveal that frequent use of pacifiers can cause ear infections among babies.

4. Lastly, keeping the pacifier clean and sterile (especially if your baby has started moving around a bit) can be really hard. We definitely don’t want him sucking on something that’s prone to infect him.

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Myths about using a pacifier

The only and biggest myth about pacifiers is the malformation of teeth in kids. However, until the age of six, children don’t develop permanent teeth and six is too long a time for a kid to be glued to the pacifier!

Pointers to remember

1. Like for anything else, make sure you discuss with your doctor before you offer the pacifier to your child.

2. Never offer a pacifier to stave away hunger. This can be dangerous for the child.

3. If your child is fussy, give him lots of cuddles, hugs or carry him and walk around. Never offer the pacifier first. Try all other means and only after repeated failures should you resort to the pacifier.

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