Post may contain affiliate links. Thinking about using the pacifier? Here are the pacifier pros and cons as I’ve found them.
I’ve used the pacifier with all my babies (except my 3 month old thus far) and have to say that I do love them. They have their pros and cons, but can be an extremely effective tool in helping comfort, calm, and sleep train your baby.
But first, if you are deciding whether to take the plunge to pacify, consider three things: your baby will get addicted, he will not kick the habit willingly, and he will attempt to have you reinsert it day and night if you let him.
As long as you know those things you’re ready to go :)
Here are some general rules of
teat thumb when using the pacifier.
- Do let them suck during their wake time or when they’re happy as it satisfies the non-nutritive sucking need young infants have.
- Do use the pacifier to help night wean your baby or toddler. If they are used to nursing to sleep, try substituting the pacifier (particularly if it’s one they can put back in themselves) as this will help wean them from nursing. This probably works best if your spouse gives them the pacifier, not you.
- Do get a pacifier that babies can put in and keep in and toddlers can find in their crib without your help. I have purchased quite a few of these pacifiers, and they are easy to find in the dark for your baby or toddler.
- Do let your baby have the pacifier if you need to prolong the time until their next feeding. It will give them temporary relief, aka. they will be pacified, and you can get another 15 minutes out of them to finish at the checkout, pay the bill at the restaurant, etc.
- Do take the pacifier away when your children start to throw it out of the crib just so you’ll come back in to get it for them. This is a sign that they are now gettin’ tricky! When my son started this we took it away. After only one day he was sleeping without disruption again. If they’re old enough to play this game they’re old enough to go to sleep on their own ;). And, if they don’t want to do that they’ll stop doing it shortly.
- Don’t confuse them by prolonging the pacifier wean. Of course you’ll know your kids better than anyone else, but I’ve found with my kids that once you start the wean then finish it. You can poke a hole, make it bigger, etc. or another trick of the trade, but don’t take it away then give it back then take it away, etc. Make a plan then stick to it.
- Don’t use it so you don’t have to hear your baby cry. Learning their cries helps you accurately meet their needs which means they’ll probably cry less anyway. So sure you can use it to comfort your baby, but try to determine the reason of their cry first.
- Don’t let your babies use it indefinitely as a sleep prop. Using the pacifier can be a good sleep association, and help the baby or toddler to get to sleep, but don’t make a habit of going back into the room to put the pacifier back in. If they can’t put it in themselves again then I’d start out how you can hold out. Mine have all been given the pacifier at bedtime, but I’ve never gone back in to put it back in at night and that is the best of both worlds.
How to stop going in all night
If they are addicted to the pacifier and want it reinserted all night you’ve got a sleep prop on your hands and you are probably one tired mom. It sound simple and you’ll meet resistance, but there’s pretty much two options here. Get them a pacifier they can find and put back in (my kids used these) or just stop doing it. Continue giving it at bedtime, but comfort in another way until they’re back to sleep and learning to sleep through their transition.
You can use the pacifier to help your baby or toddler in many ways, and as long as you take a start out how you can hold out approach then you’ll all be happy you did.
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