Sucking is a definite need of babies. It's a great way of self-soothing. Some even babies suck their fingers or thumbs when they are still in the womb. But for those babies who doesn't know how to put their fingers into their mouths, pacifiers are great alternative.
American Academy of Pediatrics find pacifiers OK in the baby's first year.
Here are the pros of using pacifiers:
- Pacifiers can help soothe fussy babies.
- When you are in need of couple more minutes while preparing to nurse or feed, pacifiers can help buying that time.
- Settling down to sleep could be quite hard sometimes... Pacifiers can help the babies go to sleep.
- Pacifiers can be a great help of relief during any stressful procedure (shots, blood tests, long drives, plane rides...etc.)
- Pacifiers are easier to drop than thumb/finger sucking habit thanks to their disposable nature.
Here are the cons of using pacifiers:
- When introduced to pacifiers to soon, babies can have trouble learning how latch and nurse.
- Those babies who get used to use pacifiers as a tool to settle down, may wake up and cry in the middle of the night when they drop the pacifier.
- Extended use of pacifiers may cause dental problems.
So... Pacifier or no pacifier?
The answer depends on your baby and on you. Every baby is unique. Let your baby's needs guide on your decision...