Using pacifiers is considered a parental choice that’s determined by your baby’s needs. But as with most things where newborns are concerned, binkies come with pros and cons. So, what would happen if I gave my newborn a pacifier?
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding your newborn baby, ensure they have established a regular feeding routine before introducing a pacifier. To avoid nipple confusion or preference, wait until their third or fourth week after birth before offering a binky. Even when you’re bottle-feeding or alternating, a dummy keeps your tot occupied in between nutritive feedings.
Orthodontic pacifiers are recommended for premature babies and those hospitalized for various conditions. They help preemies establish sucking skills required for breast or bottle feeding. In this article, you’ll find out when you can safely give a newborn a pacifier, and whether it’ll affect breastfeeding.
Should or Shouldn’t I Give My Newborn Baby a Pacifier?
Sometimes, straightforward decisions can become complicated due to the availability of conflicting information. Supposed ‘expert advice’ offered by individuals who haven’t taken care of a single child is responsible for this misinformation. It’s the reason pacifiers have been vilified for causing nipple confusion, purporting that your baby will prefer an artificial over the real thing.
In different avenues, you’ll also hear how a pacifier is a lazy way out. That’s meant to evoke guilt for not doing better. The proper alternative, they say, should be to rock your baby, comfort feed, or sing to them until they calm down. Such summarizations only point to the fact that these forum trolls have never come across a screaming bundle of joy. Particularly when you are bone-tired, irritant, and sleep-deprived.
And then there are self-proclaimed prophets claiming your baby will become an addict of the binky. That they’ll not be able to stop even at ages 10 or above. They envisage all manner of corrective orthodontics that will cost you thousands because you gave your newborn a pacifier.
It’s easy to be scared of introducing pacifiers to your newborn. That’s mainly due to this terrible rap. However, facts point to dummies reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. It’s also been proven that a binky won’t interfere with breastfeeding whatsoever. Instead, it’ll make your baby’s life much easier.
What Are the Benefits of Giving a Pacifier to a Newborn?
Despite everything you’ve heard, giving your newborn a pacifier isn’t going to be the start of feeding, teething, or any developmental issue. Pacifiers calm the natural sucking instincts babies are born with. They help them relax when they’re fussy and even soothing them to sleep.
The truth is that a pacifier will soothe, calm and help put to sleep a crying, irritated or tired baby. Each child and its circumstances of birth are unique, so there’s no general answer to when you should introduce pacifiers. One tot will switch between breast, pacifier, and bottle without challenges where others will falter or raise your concern levels.
There’s nothing wrong with satisfying your baby’s needs. But you still need to give them a lot of snuggling and cuddling. That way your child will grow with a sense of safety or security, plus it’ll give you some breathing, sanity preserving time. Using a paci well will create much-needed space for a mental and physical break from your newborn.
How Long Should I Wait After Birth before Giving My Newborn a Pacifier?
The early days with your little one can be exhausting, but it’s best to give your baby time before pulling out the pacifier. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, start using a binky soon after you’ve established a concrete breast- or bottle-feeding regimen. Your body will give off cues, but that should be around the third or fourth week postpartum.
If your breasts begin to feel not as full as before during nursing, it’s a sign that your milk supply has started to regulate. It can be tough to do without a pacifier for that first month or so. But the odds of long-term breastfeeding success are upped considerably. It’s all about demand and supply, and your body will require more stimulation to produce more milk in the early days than later on.
Your newborn will typically need to feed between 8 – 12 times. That’s every two or three hours in 24 hours. Use these first weeks to study your baby’s hunger cues so that you don’t misinterpret and pull out a pacifier instead of your boob. Your breasts will need all the stimulation they can get so that your early day’s milk supply won’t be hindered.
When Shouldn’t I Give My Newborn a Pacifier?
The correct use of a pacifier requires that you adhere to the main rule. That means not offering it to your baby in the place of feeding. It’s true even when your milk supply has become established, and especially for those middle-of-the-night sessions. Holding back on the binky for the first three weeks ensure that you also develop a routine that won’t afterward mess with the milk supply.
If your baby is having breast- or bottle-feeding issues, you may want to steer clear of offering a pacifier. Another instance is when your child doesn’t gain weight, particularly during the six-month growth spurt. In such cases, consult your pediatrician or a certified lactation consultant to help figure out what’s wrong, or come up with an effective nutrition plan.
Hold back the binky when your baby has constant inner ear infections, as it could be related to excessive sucking. A pacifier aggravates this condition due to mouth fluids traveling up aeration poles into the ears where bacteria can set in. The same goes for other infant conditions such as thrush, seeing as fungi on the nipple of the pacifier is a potential re-infector.
The best pacifier for a newborn preferably has a latex nipple, orthodontic, or mimicking your breast to promote feeding. If your baby develops a rubber allergy, find skin soft silicone teats which are dishwasher or microwave friendly. Your baby’s favorite binky will have a rounded tip which is easier for latching.
However, your choice may not be theirs, and you’ll have to try a few models and sizes to find the one your bay accepts. Buy pacifiers in pairs or value packs, which you’ll keep as clean as possible, throwing out any you find with signs of damage.
I’m Cathrine and I’m a 39-year-old mother of 3 from Utica, New York. And I’m extremely happy you’ve come to visit my hide-out on the web. Here I post about everything related to family-life and usually it will involve babies and lessons I’ve learned over the years from experts, friends, and my own mistakes. So hopefully you will find what i write fun and informational!