Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pacifiers; Good or bad?

So many rumors... So many mysteries
Heres a small compilation of information that I have read and found very informative.

Are pacifiers good or bad? You decide!

The Pros

A way to soothe- The amount of time an infant spends crying increases from birth until about 6 weeks, when a baby cries for an average of three hours a day. “That’s a lot of crying stress,” says Cynthia R. Howard, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York. Sucking undoub
tedly helps calm a baby, she adds, which is why pacifiers are so popular. According to a 1999 study by Howard published in Pediatrics, approximately 75 percent of babies are given pacifiers to suck.

Health benefits- The only proven medical benefits linked to pacifiers have been seen in preterm babies. Preemies who suck on binkies gain weight faster, acc
ording to a 1992 study published in the Swedish journal Acta Pediatrica. Other research has found that preemies who use pacifiers shortly after birth show earlier sucking patterns and experience fewer health complications. “Sucking promotes oral-muscle function and muscle development,” says Nina L. Shapiro, M.D., assistant professor of pediatric otolaryngology at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine.

Reduced risk of SIDS- Pacifiers are a
ssociated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to four recent studies. But since a cause-and-effect relationship has not been proven, researchers aren’t sure how, or even if, pacifiers prevent SIDS. In the meantime, the SIDS Alliance refrains from recommending their use.

For some babies, pacifiers are the key to contentment between feedings. Consider the advantages:

  • A pacifier may soothe a fussy baby. Some babies are happiest when they're sucking on something.
  • A pacifier offers temporary distraction. When your baby's hungry, a pacifier may buy you a few minutes to find a comfortable spot to nurse or to prepare a bottle. A pacifier also may come in handy during shots, blood tests or other procedures.
  • A pacifier may help your baby go to sleep. If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier might do the trick.
  • Pacifiers may help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Researchers have found an association between pacifier use during sleep and a reduced risk of SIDS.
  • Pacifiers are disposable. When it's time to stop using pacifiers, you can throw them away. If your baby prefers to suck on his or her thumb or fingers, it may be more difficult to break the habit.

The cons

Of course, pacifiers have pitfalls as well. Consider the drawbacks:

  • Early pacifier use may interfere with breast-feeding. Sucking on a breast is different from sucking on a pacifier or bottle. Some babies have trouble learning how to nurse properly if they're given a pacifier too soon.
  • Your baby may become dependent on the pacifier. If your baby uses a pacifier to sleep, you may face frequent middle-of-the-night crying spells when the pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth.
  • Pacifier use may increase the risk of middle ear infections. However, rates of middle ear infections are generally lowest from birth to age 6 months — when the risk of SIDS is the highest and your baby may be most interested in a pacifier.
  • Prolonged pacifier use may lead to dental problems. Normal pacifier use during the first few years of life doesn't cause long-term dental problems. If your child continues to use a pacifier persistently, however, his or her top front teeth may slant out or the upper and lower jaws may be misaligned.

Pacifier do's and don'ts

If you choose to offer your baby a pacifier, keep these tips in mind.

  • Wait until breast-feeding is well established. Be patient. It may take a few weeks or more to settle into a regular nursing routine. If you're breast-feeding, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting to introduce a pacifier until your baby is 1 month old.
  • Let your baby set the pace. If your baby's not interested in the pacifier, try again later — or skip it entirely. Don't force the issue.
  • Choose the one-piece, dishwasher-safe variety. Pacifiers made of two pieces pose a choking hazard if they break. The shape and firmness is up to you — or your baby.
  • Buy extras. Once you've settled on a favorite pacifier, keep a few identical backups on hand. Many babies refuse a substitute pacifier.
  • Keep it clean. Before you use a new pacifier, wash it with soap and water. To keep fungus at bay, soak your baby's pacifier in equal parts white vinegar and water for a few minutes a day. Allow the pacifier to air dry thoroughly before returning it to your baby. Resist the temptation to "rinse" the pacifier in your own mouth. You'll only spread more germs to your baby.
  • Watch for signs of deterioration. Replace pacifiers often. A worn or cracked nipple can tear off and pose a choking hazard.
  • Use caution with pacifier clips. Never use a string or strap long enough to get caught around your baby's neck.
  • Let sleeping babies lie. If the pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth while he or she is sleeping, don't pop it back in.
  • Try other ways to calm your baby. Don't use a pacifier as a first line of defense. Sometimes a change of position or a rocking session may be all that's needed. If your baby is hungry, offer the breast or a bottle.
  • Know when to pull the plug. Most kids stop using pacifiers on their own between ages 2 and 4. If you're concerned about your child's pacifier use, consult his or her doctor for suggestions.
Just Saying No
When it comes to diminishing a child's pacifier attachment, Dr. Black says providing encouragement and a sense of independence for children is most effective. "Let's give children the decision to stop using a pacifier, just like you may give them the choice to wear the blue shirt, gree
n shirt or yellow shirt when they are learning to dress themselves," he says. "You always want to use positive language to help build a child's self-esteem, and you don't want to have a negative effect by saying things like, 'You don't want to be a little baby with a pacifier do you?' This gives children the wrong connotation and they may think that when they were babies, you loved them more. If we want them to feel confident about growing up, we need to teach them the decision-making process. We must help them grow up by themselves."

For many parents, helping their children realize they no longer need the comfort of a pacifier can be the most difficult stage of the weaning process. Although Dr. Black does not pinpoint a certain age at which a child should stop using a pacifier, he does warn of the sociological issues that are often involved. "If a child is over the age of 1 1/2 to 2 years, using a pacifier in public can carry with it a negative impact," he says. "We don't know why people have such negative feelings about older children with pacifiers, but it is an issue that can be brought up by other family members or even complete strangers. In that case, it's never good to negatively confront an individual who has reacted in some way in front of your child. You can approach the situation with your child by saying, 'Some people won't like you using your pacifier in public, so maybe we can try to go out without it.' This allows the child to stop using a pacifier by method of trial and error. It's not always scientific; it's about decisions."


I have a lot more stuff I wanted to share but, I figured I'd cut it short.
I'm goin g to put together a post of the most popular pacifier brands.

Ethan update!

Well, we haven't had a good detailed Ethan update in awhile so, I figured it was a good time.
  1. Two teeth on the top on coming in. So very close to breaking the skin.
  2. He has another ear infection(3rd)
  3. He is on Anti-biotics for it.
  4. He still has a sinusy type infection.

Shout out to Entrecard

Entrecard is a Blog Networking site that I am pretty active in. My entrecard profile.
Recently the site has been going through some tough times with their servers and the load times. I have been baring with them and the guys [Phirate] and [Graham] have been doing a tremendous job at being admins and fixing the problems. I can honestly say this is the first site I have EVER been on where the admins openly and publicly explain what the problem is, how their going to fix it, what they had to go through to fix it and how real they are. They actually comment on the forums and give their opinions to such topics as duplicate web sites and competition. I love the atmosphere and great place Entrecard is.

Also this is my twentieth post!! :D

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from experience...
if you didnt start the pacifier, DO NOT. itll be fine...
just trust me on this

JO-N said...

My experience:

I gave my sons pacifier when they are born. After a year, they managed to stop sucking. I only give it to them during bed time and when they are asleep, I'd remove it from their mouth.

My little girl whom I breastfed did not require a pacifier.

So, it all depends on the baby.

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kristinaQ said...

My now 2y/oson never liked pacifiers... I actually did try to get him to use them, mainly because at night he was using ME as a pacifier when he probably wasn't hungry anymore (supplemented breastfeeding with a bottle)... but he never got into it. No biggie.

So as jo-n says, yeahh.. it just depends on the baby.

Jared said...

My boy used a pacifier for the first few months and then he did not want it anymore. My opinion is use them when your baby is young and wean them from it as soon as possible. There are many ways to soothe a baby, most of them less addictive than pacifiers. :D

Jenny said...

ah the binky! i never had one far away. being a new parent and being all OMG when the crying started it was binky to the rescue. but when my son hit about 1 1/2 he forgot it exsisted. now we dont even need one, but sometimes i wish i still had one handy.

Michelle said...

My two sons had pacifiers, and we didn't have any problems with them giving them up. We just did it cold turkey, telling them it was time to give them up because they were big boys now. I've heard of some parents throwing "No Paci" parties to give them up or taking the kids to the store to "buy" a toy with the pacifier. Sometimes it can be difficult to wean a child off of a pacifier...something to consider.

Lian said...

Yeah, some babies are pacifier babies and some are not. Use it sparingly and wisely.

CelloBella said...

I had a pacifier - we call them dummies - for my son and I would have given one to my daughter but she wouldn't have it.

I think whatever works is fine.

And my son gave his up cold turkey - it just wasn't a big deal.

absolutelytrue said...

I thought my son would never give up his binkies! He always had to have one, no matter what. Our doctor said not to fight about it and let him give it up on his own. So we waited.. and waited.. and then after he turned 3, just overnight he decided to give it up. It's been like that with everything though. He learned to walk overnight, started talking all of a sudden, learned to go potty overnight and then the binky thing happened overnight too. My boy just does things when he gets ready. So my doctor was right about not pushing him to do anything.

Karl L. Gechlik said...

Great information. As a new dad I could not do it without the binky!

I will be back for more information!!


LadyBanana said...

I gave the dummy (pacifier) to all 3 of my kids.. they loved it and it was fairly difficult to get them off it, but it was worth it for the relief it bought not only the babies but us, the parents.

They have completely forgotten about them now, which is just as well as the youngest is now 19! lol

Courtney said...

My son refused the pacifier and sucked his thumb instead. My daughter instantly took the pacifier and can't go to sleep without. I think it just depends on the kid.

Cinnamon and Mike said...

Heh, buy extras, that's one that is so underrated. We bought "extras" by buying 2 extra pacifiers. Yeah, those were lost in day. I think we've bought at least a dozen by now and we don't use them all the time, just in the car or if we go out to dinner. :)