To Use or Not to Use a Pacifier
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health

To Use or Not to Use a Pacifier

In cases when the child whines and frets a lot, a pacifier may be justified. Pediatricians and dentists will strongly object to this practice. It is also an established fact that prolonged use of the pacifier will produce misalignment of the teeth.
                           child using pacifier

Image Credit

 "I never believe in using the pacifier until our third child was born. She fretted to the point that almost drove me berserk. As a last resort, I gave her the pacifier. That solved the problem. My question is - have I committed an error in resorting to the use of the gadget?"

No, you have not, and don't feel guilty about it. Some babies just need more sucking activities. Obviously, your first two did not.

All babies are born with a variety of reflexes to insure they will obtain nourishment for survival. One of them is the sucking reflex. This activity, however, differs among individual babies.

Some infants will take a nipple only when they are hungry. They tend to reject a pacifier if offered when they are not yet ready to feed.

Others have much stronger sucking urge. They seek prolonged sucking activities even when they are not hungry. This is similar to the urge in adults to smoke, chew gum, or eat snacks. This urge is known as oral gratification.

In cases when the child whines and frets a lot, a pacifier may be justified. Pediatricians and dentists will strongly object to this practice. I have always considered providing pacifiers too easy a way out for a mother. It is also an established fact that prolonged use of the pacifier will produce misalignment of the teeth.

You may use the pacifier judiciously if the choice is between preserving your sanity and violating your principles against its use.

There are, however, some safety precautions when selecting a good pacifier. It should be made of one piece and constructed so that the nipple will not be pulled out separately.

Never string it around your child's neck. It could be nibbled and choke the child.

Observe when the child no longer needs extra sucking exercises which should happen after the fifth or sixth month. If the child still demands it, do not give in readily. Resist the urge to use it as a permanent tranquilizer. This is the stage when your baby is ready to respond to a variety of stimuli that interests her and reduces her fretfulness. Teach her to do actions with her hands, as clapping, open-close palms, peak-a-boo, flying kiss, etc. Instruct your household members to take her outdoors to see flowers, plants, insects, and pets. Converse with her, sing songs, listen to music (regulate the use of TV, if at all).

Human interaction is very important at this stage of growth. Awake her awareness of the world around her.

Even if the need for the pacifier lingers into the second year, it is very important for you to capitalize on activities that will enhance her senses - sight, taste, hearing, smell and feeling. They are definitely more desirable than dependence on a piece of rubber.

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
experts
in Children's Health & Nutrition on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Children's Health & Nutrition?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (3)

Thank you for your wisdom in this parental area for choosing a pacifier or not.Promoted

Each of my four children were different. Only one required a pacifier and I always had a spare one on hand until he gave it up. He was inconsolable without it.

Insightful article on the pacifier. Well, I think the approach varies between people.

ARTICLE DETAILS
RELATED ARTICLES
RELATED CATEGORIES
ARTICLE KEYWORDS