All You Need to Know About Pacifiers for Newborns

All You Need to Know About Pacifiers for Newborns

New parents, especially first-time parents, tend to go into the newborn stage with rose-hued glasses. The idea that every day will be special, memorable, and “perfect” with their little bundle of joy is something that is felt by most parents. The reality of the newborn stage can be entirely different however. This is often a time new parents are feeling sleep-deprived, struggling to figure out what their little one wants or needs, and doing the best they can to keep their head above water.

It’s for these reasons and more that pacifiers for newborns can be a parent’s best friend. If you’re on the fence about giving one to your baby, unsure if it’s a good idea, then this blog will prove quite helpful. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about pacifiers.

Ideal for Soothing a Fussy Baby

Parents of newborns may be wondering what the best time to use a pacifier is, and generally speaking - it's any time your little one gets fussy. If you've already fed them, you've changed their diaper, and they are still fussy - having a pacifier to suck on can be exactly what they need. Many babies find that sucking is relaxing, soothing, and comforting.

Is a Pacifier Safe to Use When Babies are Sleeping?

While your initial instinct may be to give your newborn a pacifier to sleep, it's only natural for parents to second guess themselves. What you may find surprising is the fact that not only can a pacifier help your baby sleep better, but it can also lower the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). There has been a lot of research done on the correlation of the two, and while the jury's still out on why this the case, knowing that it can significantly reduce the risk is something parents should be aware of.

Which Pacifier Is Best for Your Newborn

Just as you may expect, when it comes to the variety of pacifiers available it can be overwhelming. It's important to factor in the material of the pacifier, the shape, and the size. Doctors recommend choosing the smallest one possible for your baby and no bigger. It’s also recommended you don’t change the size of the pacifier even as your little one gets older and bigger.

Always opt for a one-piece pacifier, especially with newborns. This is a much safer style. If you're nursing your baby, steer clear of pacifiers that are cherry-shaped or ball shaped. These can often lead to issues with breastfeeding.

While there are many types of material used, silicone is ideal since it is soft and is easy to clean.

What About the Negatives?

Sure, pacifiers can have tons of positives but what about the negatives? There are a few tips that experts like to share with parents to ensure the pacifier is beneficial for all.

First, you need to keep the pacifier clean. Pacifiers often fall on the floor, which means it's prone to all kinds of dirt and germs. Make sure you're giving it a thorough disinfectant daily. It's best to have a few pacifiers on hand so as one becomes soiled, you can replace it with a fresh clean one.

There is also some evidence that it can increase the risk of middle ear infections. Again this goes back to the germs.

Then there are parents with the valid worry that their newborn may become dependent on the pacifier, or that it can cause confusion with breast-feeding. The baby becoming dependent on their pacifier can happen, but disruption to breast-feeding due to a pacifier isn't generally something you need to worry about.

What Age Should a Pacifier Be Taken Away?

Finally, it's good to know when your child no longer needs the pacifier and most doctors agree it is by the age of three. If your child is still using one at this age, it's best to start weaning them off the pacifier. You don't want to risk issues with teeth alignment as continued pacifier use can create a crossbite.

A Confident Choice When It Comes to Pacifiers for Newborns

Being aware of all this information allows you to make an informed choice when it comes to pacifiers and newborns. It’s all about picking the right size and shape, combined with safe and hygienic use. A pacifier can easily be the best thing to give your little one, especially when they are fussy or having a hard time falling asleep.

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