Giggly Tots, Pacifier Bib Catch Pocket for Baby's Dummy

Pros and Cons of pacifiers

Evidence shows that their precursors have been used since the Neolithic Period to calm down children. Small balls made of fabric containing food were portrayed in paintings. Other balls made of non-perishable material persisted throughout time. Pacifiers have been used to stimulate sucking or to coordinate this reflex, promoting an earlier beginning of the oral feeding of newborns (Pacifier Habit: history and multidisciplinary view., 2009)

One of the main benefits of using a pacifier is that it can soothe a fussy baby. Sucking on a pacifier can help calm a baby down and provide them with a sense of comfort. This can be especially helpful when a baby is teething or developing a growth spurt. Another benefit of using pacifiers is that they can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents consider offering pacifiers to infants one month and older at sleep onset to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. While the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, research has shown that using a pacifier while sleeping can reduce the risk of SIDS. Pacifier use may provide an additional strategy to reduce the risk of SIDS for infants at high risk or in adverse sleep environments (Pacifier habit: history and multidisciplinary view., 2009).

In addition to soothing a fussy baby and reducing the risk of SIDS, pacifiers have a few more benefits. For example, some studies have shown that pacifiers can help premature babies gain weight (Prematures and feeding therapy: new lullaby-powered research. , 2013). Pacifiers can also provide a sense of security for babies who are experiencing separation anxiety or adjusting to new environments. Overall, pacifiers can be useful for parents when used appropriately and in moderation.

Data on the possible beneficial effects of these objects are numerous, but there is also a long list of disorders that have been associated with their use. The most important risks of this nonnutritive sucking habit are failure of breastfeeding, dental deformities, recurrent acute otitis media, and the risk of accidents. Studies show that pacifiers can interfere with breastfeeding. If a baby becomes too dependent on a pacifier, they may not want to breastfeed as much. A study recommends pacifier use for infants up to 1 year of age, which includes the peak ages for SIDS risk and the period in which the infant’s need for sucking is highest. For breastfed infants, pacifiers should be introduced after breastfeeding has been well established. (Do pacifiers reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome? A meta-analysis. , 2005).

In conclusion, pacifiers can be a helpful tool for parents when used appropriately. They can provide comfort and reduce the risk of SIDS. However, parents should be aware of the potential dental and breastfeeding issues that can arise from prolonged pacifier usage. As with anything, moderation is key.

To sum up

Benefits are:

  • Soothing/ comforting effects, which reduce stress for both a baby and a parent
  • Helpful during teething
  • Helpful during a growth spurt
  • Reduced Sudden infant death syndrome (there is academic debate on this subject)
  • Helping premature babies gain weight

Cons are:

  • Possible dental problems
  • Interfere with breastfeeding if introduced when breastfeeding is not well established
  • recurrent acute otitis media

REFERENCES:

Hauck FR, Omojokun OO, Siadaty MS. Do pacifiers reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome? A meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2005 Nov;116(5):e716-23. doi: 10.1542/peds.2004-2631. Epub 2005 Oct 10. PMID: 16216900.

Castilho SD, Rocha MA. Pacifier habit: history and multidisciplinary view. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2009 Nov-Dec;85(6):480-9. English, Portuguese. doi: 10.2223/JPED.1951. PMID: 20016867.

Moon RY, Tanabe KO, Yang DC, Young HA, Hauck FR. Pacifier use and SIDS: evidence for a consistently reduced risk. Matern Child Health J. 2012 Apr;16(3):609-14. doi: 10.1007/s10995-011-0793-x. PMID: 21505778.

Discenza D. Prematures and feeding therapy: new lullaby-powered research. Neonatal Netw. 2013 Nov-Dec;32(6):429-30. doi: 10.1891/0730-0832.32.6.429. PMID: 24195804.

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