I've seen the arguments both pro (thought to offer protection against S.I.D.S., satisfies suck reflex) and cons (delayed speech in toddlers, nipple confusion in L.O.'s, mistaking need to suck for need to eat.) What is your take on the pacifier?
Why or why not pacifiers?
I figure that if I'm going to put my child in a car seat, which is very unnatural/modern, then it's okay to soothe them with an unnatural thing, like a pacifier. This is for my second son. With my first, I was hard-core no paci and I ended up hearing a lot of screaming in the car or sat in the back with him stretching my boobs to him. Now sitting in the back isn't even an option with the two car seats and I refuse to hear that kind of crying, so I pop one in my 3 week olds mouth and every one is happy. I restrict it to just the car. At home, I'm there for all his suck needs. I wouldn't give him a paci so early if it wasn't for his firmly established breastfeeding. I understand if you wait too long, even until 6 weeks, it's harder for them to accept a dummy.
The 3 of my children who had an apparent needed to suck found their thumbs/fingers... I know that is a whole separate debate, but I find they are much more "all natural", easier to deal with and find when the child needs them, and never get lost or damaged.
My older two who are 6 and 5 only suck it when they are sick or really hurt, and it hasn't been a big battle to "quit the habit".... just some positive reinforcing and reminders.
My 3 yo still LOVES her thumb and might be a tad harder to teach her not to suck, but she entered our family via adoption and really I 'd be ok with her sucking for as long as she wants if it makes her feel good and safe and content...
My other two didn't have a huge "sucking need" and were happy with out anything to suck on other than during feeding or comfort nursing from time to time.
I have a real issue with the idea of my child sucking on something plastic (even if it is deemed "safe")... and also I have never experienced my 3 thumb/finger suckers walking around as a toddler with a paci/thumb in their mouth and talking through it (which I find annoying). They generally take them out more to use their hands and don't just keep it in their mouths out of habit other then when they are sleepy.
The only HuGE down side to thumbs is that they touch things with germs and then stick their hands in their mouths... which wouldn't happen as much with a paci...
Another con which doesn't get mentioned very often is that dummy use is associated with an increased risk of middle ear infections and gastro.
I can see the benefits of them in some circumstances but, as I said, I'm glad we didn't need to use one for either of our girls.
I don't use them, and I personally think they look awful sticking out of kids' mouths, but lots of my friends have used them and whatever works for other people is their decision to make. We don't use sippy cups, either, though. I know kids like to suck on things, but I don't know whether they really need to that much. I was a thumb sucker until about age 4, but neither of my kids are. I don't recall either of my kids being in distress and needing to be pacified with something like that, though. Every child is different, so other parents may have a different experience and feel a pacifier is best for their child.
They can harbor thrush so if you think you have thrush you need to find a way to sterilize all of them or throw them away and get new ones. You're supposed to replace them regularly anyway because of hygiene issues.
Standard lab cultures produced strep bacteria, various strains of staph, including staphylococcus aureus, plus the bacteria that causes pneumonia. The pacifier samples also produced the yeast that causes thrush.
RESULTS - Forty different species of bacteria were isolated from the 10 pacifiers tested.
"Candida albicans is the one that causes thrush in infants and vaginal infections in women," said Jay Bullard, M.S., senior lab technician at OSU HSC. "It's one of the most common yeast infection."
Even worse, the tests revealed mold."These are the kinds of mold that cause respiratory distress. Asthma-like symptoms," said Glass. "That was one of the most distressing parts of the whole study. We also found bacteria we did not expect that, by nature of their very being, release poisons into the system."
Edited by WifeofAnt - 2/6/14 at 9:41am
I used to be against them but after the second babe and watching a lot of babies grow up around me, I think sometimes there is a tendency to make big deals out of minor decisions parents make. DD was able to suckle all day long so I happily became her human pacifier. DS cannot, he ends up chocking, gagging and screaming then wants to suck on something. He is kind-of finding his fingers but sometime I give him the pacifier - he does not always accept it - and he calms down and seems relaxed & happy. I think in 2 years I will have forgotten all about this!
"Natural" is a tricky subject. Humans have a front cortex so it is incredible likely that going back thousands of years (where things were 100% "natural") some enterprising mama was able to fashion some sort of pacifier for her babies. Anyone watch the movie "Babies"? I was amused at the mother in Mongolia who gave her baby a piece of lamb fat stuck on an match stick as a pacifier. Can't get more natural than that
I see them as a tool that can be a very effective sanity saver, or also could be overused/abused. I tend to have a pretty fast flow especially in the beginning, and my babies fill their tummies before they fill their need to suck. I've seen my babies nurse, spit out the milk, nurse some more, spit out of the milk. Also nurse and fuss because they were getting milk they didn't want. Or, simply nurse too much and then spit up the excess, or be fussy/gassy. All 3 of mine found their thumb by 3 months, and I do prefer that to pacis. But in the meantime, I offer my finger for them to suck, which sometimes they accept, sometimes not. Only one of mine ever did take a paci, and it was only for a few weeks, then he found this thumb and didn't want it anymore. I do think its kinda ridiculous when I see a mom shoving a paci into a perfectly calm, content baby, and keeps on pushing it back in despite baby spitting it out! I've seen that before and I'm always like, wtf, why?
My daughter liked to suck a lot. After I introduced the paci, she had a clear preference for it sometimes and for me sometimes. It gave me a break! It did not impede nursing and her speech and teeth are just fine. Eventually she stopped using it of her own volition. She was never interested in sucking her thumb.
I think we get far too hung up on trivial crap as parents. Sure, there are theoretical things that could happen, but why make yourself crazy over them? Use one or don't, but if you're going to use one, do it based on what works now, not what might hypothetically happen in 2 years. If there is a problem later, you'll deal with it then. No need to stress out about every theoretical potential problem.
" I do think its kinda ridiculous when I see a mom shoving a paci into a perfectly calm, content baby, and keeps on pushing it back in despite baby spitting it out! I've seen that before and I'm always like, wtf, why?"
I dunno but I assume that mom knows her kid better than I do and maybe she has a reason for it.
I'll never forget the judgy comment some crunchy mom made to me when I ended up leaving a play group b/c my daughter was melting down and I didn't have a paci. "You know, you have two of those attached to your body." Yeah, but that wasn't what she wanted! Thanks for assuming I have no valid reason for my parenting decisions, lady. Never went back to that play group.
Oh! I tried that too-- admittedly sort of half heartedly-- because I was really conflicted about the paci-- but her screaming in the car seat was terrible. She never took to the pacifier. At best she would suck for a minute or two and spit it out and cry-- mostly she spit it out immeadiately.
Now she is happy in the car--although she still doesn't love it. I think the forward facing seat made all the difference. I know rear facing is much safer but the difference in her behavior made me wish we could have done forward facing from the start -- I switched it the day she turned 1 and it was a new world. That said we don't have a car so she was almost never in the car seat ; perhaps she would have adjusted to rear facing if we used a car more often.
Mostly she uses me as a paci..(I know children use pacis as nipples not the other way around but you get the picture) She is turning two and I am about to begin to wean her (very, very slowly) and I think its going to be a huge deal because she loves to nurse. Still not going to introduce one-- it just feels odd to me.
I never used them. I gave a half hearted try a few times. I was a human pacifier, but I didn't mind. Better for long term milk supply and growth. They never took to thumb sucking, so I figured they got what they needed BF. But I am pretty indifferent to them. Do what works for you. The only think I really hate about soothers is when one falls to the floor and a parent picks it up and "cleans" it by sucking on it themselves for a few seconds. That is just gross and probably makes the soother dirty than if just left alone! I see people do this quite often!