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Are pacifiers Bad?

Poll Results: are pacifiers bad?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 12% (36)
    Yes they are bad. they are for lazy parents.
  • 31% (87)
    Maybe not BAD but I choose not to use them
  • 16% (45)
    take it or leave it. I don't care.
  • 32% (90)
    They are good for some kids
  • 3% (11)
    They are great! I wish I had one! LOL
  • 2% (8)
    other
277 Total Votes  
post #1 of 120
Thread Starter 
We never used one with Bean at all, but I offered one to Bella once and she took it like she has always had one! AND she slept better then she has ever slept before, so now I am starting to wonder if this may be a good thing? But it seems to easy and I'm wondering if there is some negative to using a pacifier that I may not be aware of? Let's hear it mamas!
post #2 of 120
My son is 3 1/2 and still has his

I've always worked and feel the little comfort his binkie can give him is worth its weight in GOLD and DIAMONDS.....

Chelly
post #3 of 120
We tried giving ds one early on to see if it would curb his need to suck our fingers off. He liked it, but still preferred a nice clean pinky, so would only get the pacifier occasionally.

Around 6 weeks or so my MIL watched him and she had it in his mouth for the whole time we were gone. This combined with some EBM via a bottle earlier in the weekend resulted in some nipple confusion. He refused to open his mouth to nurse. We got over it in a few days, but I banned the pacifer after that.

However just in the last couple of weeks he has started to really like it. This also corresponds to his first teeth (he's now six months old.) Not only does he suck on it but he likes to take it out and chew on it.

I didn't want him to have a pacifer, and I definitely offer alternatives, but it does give him comfort. That said, I hope it goes away after his teething pain is over.

I would say, if you're not using it as a crutch, don't worry!
post #4 of 120
It's a subject of ongoing controversy, as are many parenting choices. There has been research on both sides of the dental issue (ie some "proving" it has negative affect on teeth alignment later, and some "proving" that it doesn't affect teeth alignment later), so that's a pretty mute point. Personally, I think that some kids just need to oral stimulation, and if mom can't have the child at breast 24 hours a day (and who can?) for several years, then a pacifier can be a really helpful soothing device. I had one pacifier baby, and one thumb sucker, and nothing I did could change that.
post #5 of 120

I posted that they are good for some

I originally did not want to use a pacifer for DD. We really fought it for a while, but after she was constantly sucking on one of our pinkies, we decided to give it a try. We didn't buy the right one at first, but she got the hang of it and it has proven to be quite benefial in soothing her sometimes.

Lately she has gotten to the stage where she quite often refuses it and gets rightly mad when you try to give it to her and it isn't what she is wanting. Weaning herself from it?

I would still prefer that it wasn't necessary, but since she isn't the type to take it all the time and all day long like some babies I know, I take it as it comes. It is great for when we are out, on public transit in particular, to keep her happy and not fussing or screaming.
post #6 of 120
I wouldn't say all babies should have a pacifier, but for some it's a really helpful tool. My first ds had such a need to suck that I just could not keep up with only my breasts - especially since I went back to work and my dh had to comfort him while I was working. The paci was a godsend and he used it (only for naps and nighttime, until age 3). DS#2 was a much more mellow child and didn't require that constant sucking and so we never used a paci for him.

I think they can be overused - i.e. parent doesn't pay attention to what the child really needs and just constantly plugs them up to keep them quiet - but I think if you are an AP parent who really listens to your child's needs then you'll know when a paci is okay for calming extra sucking needs and when your child really needs to be held or nursed.
post #7 of 120
Quote:
Originally posted by dotcommama

I think they can be overused - i.e. parent doesn't pay attention to what the child really needs and just constantly plugs them up to keep them quiet - but I think if you are an AP parent who really listens to your child's needs then you'll know when a paci is okay for calming extra sucking needs and when your child really needs to be held or nursed.
ITA! If it is just part of your arsenal of ways to calm your child, then fine. But too many people I know use it as a plug. Baby falls down and starts crying, stick the paci in their mouth. Baby is sick of sitting in carseat carrier (not in car), bouncy, etc, just stick the paci in their mouth.

So I chose "other".

FTR, I did try to give DS a paci after some of those early nursing marathons and he would never take one. Some people suggested I should just force it in and hold it. Whatever. As a toddler, he occassionaly finds an old paci and plays with it, but thats it.
post #8 of 120

uh-oh

Well here are my thoughts. Get out your stones.

I think the majority of people who use pacifiers are lazy in their parenting and just want to plug the kid up. I do think they are bad in that sense. I also think it is incredibly horrible to see toddlers with them in their mouth. They are a source for germs, they are displeasing to the eye, they are not good for the teeth -- I could go on. When I see a pacifier in a childs mouth over the age of 18 months I cant help but think the parents are really lazy in several areas, one is hygiene for their child and two discipline. Little children look ugly with those plugs in their mouths and its not a good thing to form an attachment too.
I used a pacifier with my middle child for five months and weaned him off it. He didnt need it anymore, and rather than sucking it was biting it. I never even attempted to use one with my youngest.
Children with a strong need to suck I can understand using the pacifier, sparingly, but I cant help but frown upon a mother or father who lets their baby go around with a pacifier in their mouth like it is a part of their wardrobe. Its just plain gross.


:::dawning on flame suit:::
post #9 of 120
OnTheFence - don't worry, I'm not going to flame you. I do think your opinion is a bit harsh though, but I would have said the same thing before having my ds - that paci users were lazy parents and that a child should not have one after age 1 or so. Raising DS #1 was and still is a HUGE life lesson for me.

However, if you think about it most of us here agree that breastfeeding is fine to continue way past the age of one, therefore the need to suck must still there - so why not use a paci if you are not breastfeeding or cannot breastfeed as often as the child needs to suck? Maybe it's not a sign of lazy parenting, but a sign of a parent who cares about the needs of their child (just another way to look at it).

I still have to admit that I hate seeing older children (2+) in say the grocery store with a paci and trying to talk with it in their mouth. We always made my ds remove his paci to talk and as I said when he was a toddler it was for naps and nighttime only - he didn't walk around with it all day long.

Again, I think it can be used as a tool for lazy parents or it can be used to help a child whose need to suck is so strong it cannot be satisfied by boob alone. Especially in LaLa's situation where we are talking about an infant - I think that is a perfectly legitimate way to use a paci.
post #10 of 120
Quote:
Well here are my thoughts. Get out your stones
heres the first rock. you dont know me or my child. do not forget that you are not perfect. I am not lazy. if you didnt want to start a flame war, then you could have put your position on the subject in a lot more diplomatic way. to do broad generalization is just not fair. a woman here at MDC can breastfeed a 6 yr old and get support, but a mom cant give her child a pacifier?

my first child did not take a pacifier. my second child used one when he napped and at night. i never saw him with it in his mouth unless he was in bed. my third child had a tremendous need to suck and i just couldnt have him on my breast 24/7. my nipples were cracked and bleeding as it was. he loved his pacifier. i think it comes down to each individual child.
post #11 of 120
Great thread! I voted with the majority of not BAD but I prefer not to use one. Sequoia never had one, and Dylan at 7 weeks has found her fingers and loves to suck on them, I probably won't offer them to her either. I do know alot of "lazy paci moms" KWIM. BUT I do agree with the point that an AP parent is usually so intune with her child's needs that she won't use it as a substitute for comfort or whatever the child is lacking. So, use sparingly if at all!
post #12 of 120
Thread Starter 
before everyone starts getting upset, let's remember that we are just expressing our opinions and hopefully learning from each other.

And sometimes we just won't agree, but that is life!

I guess I'm just hoping that we can be respectful and try to even be nice in the face of disagreement.

Looking at the numbers above, it looks like the majority of Mothering members so far do not think it is a bad thing to use a pacifier in a non neglectful manner, and I doubt any of us "ap" mamas are neglecting our babies

so let's not get too hot headed! I know you are all great mamas and papas!
post #13 of 120
Sweetbaby3, ITA - OnTheFence, you should walk a mile (or two, or ten, or a hundred) in other people's shoes before you presume to judge them. I was not going to give my baby a pacifier at all, until he ended up in the NICU after he was born, with IVs blowing out left and right until he ended up with bruises in all four limbs and a head IV (that also blew out). The nurses gave him a binky, and it gave him comfort, and I was damn glad that something could comfort him through that horrendous time, especially the (few) hours I couldn't be there (including when they put IVs in).

Since then, he's gone through times of needing it and times of not needing it. I don't think it's any grosser or germier than having his thumb in his mouth - both end up on the floor, but I wash the pacifier once it's been on the floor whereas with my soon-to-be crawling baby it's not like I'm washing his hands every 10 seconds.

Typical experience for the majority of parents? Maybe not. Are pacifiers an unqualifed good or evil? No. As in every situation there are extremes of the spectrum and then shades of grey in between.
post #14 of 120

This is JMHO

.
post #15 of 120
Nothing like coming to MDC to get my daily dose of "you are a terrible parent". Wonder why I took a break?

I won't defend my pacifier use here. I just want to say that it is posts like the one above that lead to me holding myself to some impossible standards and lead me into ppd. (I do recognize that the majority don't feel this way, but it is funny how the negative posts stick with you.)

I exclusively nurse twins on demand, cosleep, sling them and hold them whenever possible, as well as shower them with love and attention. I cosleep and shower ds with love and attention as well. But I recognize that there are people out there that think that is not enough. I am a lazy mom for using pacifiers especially ones that hang off their clothes (so they don't fall on the floor when they decide they don't want them anymore). I am neglectful for using pumkin seats or swings. I am selfish for using disposables at night. Sigh...

I woke up thinking I was a pretty good mom, but thanks for the wake up call. I'll go pick up that antidepressant script now.
post #16 of 120
jane, wow. hug your sweet boy for me!

i swore i would never use a pacifier, thought the moms who did were lazy, etc. all the stereotypes that have been posted here. i was very judgmental, to the point of assuming a child, esp. an older child, was neglected if he used a paci.

then joe was born. HA! he was colicky for the first 6 wks of life. nothing would calm him down. in desperation, i got out the binky.



he would NOT take it! aargh!

i feel bad for the women who say their child will NEVER take a binky. my son is four & just weaned. a lot of the negative things being said here about pacifiers would have been said about me on a mainstream board if i posted a poll about nursing a three year old.

if seeing a three-year old nursing makes you smile, so should seeing a three-year old using a pacifier. as long as it isn't just stuck in her mouth willy nilly, it could be a great tool for overcoming the stressful times of toddlerhood. (just like nursing.)

i never thought i would post in a poll in SUPPORT of pacifiers, but there you go! let's embrace each other & realize that while the choices we make are right for us, every mother has the right to parent how she chooses.

when no more children are being neglected, abandoned, abused, THEN we can worry about getting rid of all the binks!
post #17 of 120
Quote:
they don't snuggle, they dump their babies off to CIO. THey are also the ones who don't enjoy their infants
Kater, please do not imply that because my third child had a pacifier that i did not snuggle, that i left him to CIO and did not enjoy my infant.

no one can tell me they enjoyed their baby more than me. I adore my kids, and my third is a dream come true.
post #18 of 120
I voted bad, for lazy parents...I voted that 'cause my older dd has one, and it's my biggest regret! When she was 3 months with colic dh convinced me to use one on her. Now she's almost 2 and a half and uses it for sleeping. I think that when she used it during the day it repressed a lot of her emotions, and they came out when I limited it to night use. I think pacifiers stiffle emotions that need to be vented.
edited to add that I was being lazy, my case was not a case of total necessity. But I can understand how moms of twins and other more demanding situations use pacifiers, and it is definitely not the same as my case of being a bit lazy.
post #19 of 120
Quote:
Originally posted by joesmom
if seeing a three-year old nursing makes you smile, so should seeing a three-year old using a pacifier. as long as it isn't just stuck in her mouth willy nilly, it could be a great tool for overcoming the stressful times of toddlerhood. (just like nursing.)

i never thought i would post in a poll in SUPPORT of pacifiers, but there you go! let's embrace each other & realize that while the choices we make are right for us, every mother has the right to parent how she chooses.

when no more children are being neglected, abandoned, abused, THEN we can worry about getting rid of all the binks!
A big round of applause for joesmom! Joe's a lucky boy to have such a smart momma!
post #20 of 120
Quote:
I woke up thinking I was a pretty good mom, but thanks for the wake up call.
I know the feeling. call the mommy police...oh wait, they are right here!!:
joesmom, i feel the same way. well said, and spoken from a mom who has "been there, done that".
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