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By Planning Family

Pacifiers - Yes or No?

The use of pacifiers has become a debate of late. Despite its bad reputation, parents continue to be perplexed on whether to use it or not. Many continue to use it because of the advantages sucking a dummy offers never mind the minus points. It pays to decide by considering the matter-of-fact pros and cons listed below.

The GOOD aspect

• Pacifiers help calm restless infants and help them fall asleep more easily.

• Sucking without eating is said to have some benefits for a baby's state of mind

• Distraught parents get a break from the incessant wails and cries and feel less helpless once their infant is calm

• Pacifiers can make the vanishing act when the time is right while the same cannot be said for a baby's thumb.

The BAD aspect

• Since it keeps falling out of baby's mouth it needs to be sterilized just as many times.

• Studies indicate that babies on dummies (especially those who use a lot of it) are prevented from babbling and producing other sounds that babies make in preparation for speech.

• For some babies dummies become their crutches; they grow very dependent on them even when sleeping. They can only sleep with a dummy in their mouth and this poses a problem for the parent when the dummy falls out and baby wakes up wailing a couple times in the night.

• Using dummies can interfere with breastfeeding.

• The use of pacifiers has been linked to dental problems such as it can interfere with the development of baby's jaw.

• Using dummies have been linked with ear infections, mouth and stomach infections as well (especially with older babies and children).

Precautions to..

• Do not tie the pacifier to baby's shirt with a long string - your child can choke on the string.

• The shield should be large enough to prevent swallowing.

• Do not dip pacifiers in honey or juice as this can promote tooth decay

However if you decide to use one make sure it is very clean (pay particular attention to hygiene). Dummies should be sterilized for babies until six months. Put the dummy to good use by making these decisions:

• Use a dummy for six months and then ditch the practice before dependency grows.

• Use it to help baby fall asleep and then remove it once he is sleeping.

• Avoid using pacifiers at all other times so there is no interference with his attempts to babble or make conversations.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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