Pacifiers are very handy in pacifying a crying baby. A pacifier stops a baby from crying by giving her a feeling of comfort. Pacifiers can be used as a preventive measure for thumb sucking. Read here to know everything about pacifiers.
Sometimes sticking a pacifier into
a baby's mouth has the same effect as waving a magic wand that makes your
wish come true. In this case, the baby stops crying. This miraculous object
has a deceptively simple appearance. A pacifier is a nipple without a hole
that is attached to a plastic disk. The disk prevents the baby from accidentally
swallowing the nipple. It is not very clear how exactly a pacifier stops
a mildly irritated baby from bawling. Either the act of sucking is a comfort in itself or the pacifier just keeps the baby's mouth occupied.
Sucking a pacifier
Parent share similar fears about
thumb-sucking and the use of pacifiers to soothe babies. They are apprehensive
that suckingthe pacifier or a thumb may develop into a nasty little habit.
According to Dr. Spock, pacifiers are the lesser of the two evils. He has
observed that babies who use pacifiers without restriction in the first
few months rarely become thumb-suckers, even if they give up the pacifier
in 3 or 4 months. In addition, it has been observed that babies who develop
a habit of sucking a pacifier voluntarily shun the pacifier after three
or four months. The same object that they have been sucking blissfully
for months is rejected. A three-month old baby will probably spit out a
pacifier without any coaxing. At the latest, a child will give up the pacifier
when she is one or two years old. On the other hand, babies who become
thumb-suckers in the first three months continue to suck their thumbs until
they are three, four, or even five years of age - sometimes even longer.
Another disadvantage of thumb-sucking is that it has a tendency to push
the baby's teeth out.
Parents who have
All parents envision laughing, gurgling,
babbling, smiling, even crying babies. However, a baby with a pacifier
in her mouth spoils the picture. A pacifier somehow seems to put your baby
on hold. The baby with a pacifier in her mouth somehow seems to lose her
personality, like watching television with the mute button on. This is
the reason that some parents express reluctance to calm their babies with
pacifiers even when the doctors indicate that there is no harm. The problem
occurs when these parents change their minds after a few weeks and offer
the pacifier to the baby. It may be too late and she may not be willing
to accept this object of comfort any longer.
Parents who can't
seem to stop
Some parents, noting the effectiveness
of a pacifier in calming a fretful or colicky baby, have a tendency to
use pacifiers for their convenience rather than the baby's. Believe it
or not, life does go on after the arrival of a baby. For parents rushing
around trying to do a hundred things at the same time, it can be quite
a nuisance to drop everything to comfort a whimpering baby. Sometimes it
is so much easier to pop the pacifier into your baby's mouth and have her
entertain herself. However, the problem begins when this becomes a habit
with the parents even after the baby is ready to give up the pacifier by
the time she is three or four months old. Continued use of the pacifier
even after this point could result in the baby perceiving the pacifier
as a source of comfort rather than something that assuages her need to
suck. In these circumstances, the baby may not be willing to give up the
habit till she is almost a year and a half old.
The pacifier as
a preventive measure against thumb-sucking
Parents should try to pre-empt thumb-sucking
by giving their baby a pacifier in the first few days or weeks of life.
The idea is to get her used to the pacifier before she becomes accustomed
to and enjoys the sensation of sucking her thumb.
Whenever parents notice the baby
reaching out for something to suck, they should pop the pacifier in her
mouth. Initially, babies are awake only before or after feeds. In all likelihood
you will only need the pacifier at these times. However, do not hesitate
to use the pacifier freely in the first three months of the baby's life.
The aim is that the baby be given every opportunity to suck so that she
gets it out of her system by the time she is three months old.
Phasing out the
Removing a pacifier is not as easy
as popping it in the baby's mouth. Most babies protest vigorously. The
best time to remove the pacifier is when the baby is feeling drowsy or
has just fallen asleep. Babies who become accustomed to falling asleep
with a pacifier can ruin their parents sleep. This is because when the
pacifier falls out, the distressed baby begins to wail lustily and will
persist till you replace the pacifier.
In normal circumstances, most babies
decide on their own that the days of the pacifier are over. They usually
indicate that they have outgrown the pacifier by spitting it out when it
is offered to them. However, this does not mean that she is willing to
give up the pacifier overnight. She may feel the need for it on days when
she particularly needs comforting. You can resume your attempts to decrease
the use of the pacifier when she seems willing again.
Remember to wash the pacifier with
soap when you first get it. You don't need to keep washing it unless it
falls on the floor, because the only place it's been is the baby's mouth.
Old nipples can crumble when babies chew on them. Remember to replace crumbling
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- The Indiaparenting Team