As a new mom or dad, you will be introduced to many tools to assist you in caring for your new, precious little one. Pacifiers are one tool that many parents have questions about...and as a newborn nurse, I was often asked for my opinion on if a baby should take a pacifier or if mom should even offer it.
My answer: it’s 100% up to you.
Like so many other decisions we make for our children, there is no right or wrong answer.
My husband and I chose to offer both of our babies pacifiers, starting in the hospital. For us, pacifiers have been an irreplaceable tool!
Our daughter was a fussy infant, she struggled with gas and reflux - often, the only way to calm her enough to sleep was our trusty pacifier.
Now, we have a 9-week old son who is exclusively breastfed. Of course every experience is different, but pacifiers have been no issue with his latch.
We use his pacifier to calm him and often get him to sleep, which is such a helpful tool for all of us to remain rested and sane :)
Our friend Cara, at Taking Cara Babies, wrote a great post and created a very helpful video about introducing your baby to a pacifier. As she states, there are many benefits to non-nutritive sucking which is often achieved through pacifier use:
- soothing, keeping baby calm
- decreased risk of SIDS
- distraction or pain management (during shots, painful procedures, etc.)
- promotion of relaxation/sleep
- for babies with NICU admission, pacifier use can help to decrease oral aversions
But what about breastfeeding and using a pacifier?
Cara says, “research shows us that nursing moms who introduce a pacifier are JUST as successful with nursing as those who don’t.”
I've found that research to be true in my own life.
I haven't experienced any adverse side effects of using a pacifier while exclusively breastfeeding my son. It's not even a concern for me.
While hunger should not be pacified, if your baby is fed and content - this can be a great time to introduce a pacifier!
Tips for Getting Your Baby to Take a Pacifier:
Again, all babies are different. Some babies may never take a pacifier, and that's okay. But if your baby is interested or if you're looking for tips to encourage pacifier use, we have some tips to help you out:
Each baby is unique, which is why we recommend purchasing our Cutie PAT Kit to see which nipple style your baby may prefer. Each of our limited edition colors are also offered in all nipple styles!
Self-Soothing with a Pacifier:
If you're here and you have a baby that's 5-6 months old and you're wondering how to get them to self-soothe with a pacifier—we have great content and tips on that topic in a previous blog post.
We even have a great activity you can try with your little one to encourage them to find their pacifier and replace it. It's a great way to teach your little to self-soothe with their pacifier without you having to always replace it and calm them down.
It's another great collaboration with Cara at Taking Cara Babies.
Make sure you're following us on Instagram @ryanandrose for all of the latest updates, insights, blog posts, and more. Also, we encourage you to check out the Cutie Community, which is an incredible community of moms and a great place to connect, especially during these difficult times and social distancing.