Pacifier or not pacifier, that is the question! However, it may not be only a question of answering it so formally. Let’s take a look at its pros and cons. In the rest of this article, we will also look at some of its benefits, while clarifying some doubts.
Arguments in favor of the use of a pacifier
It is clear that many babies have a strong sucking reflex and some of them suck on their fingers before birth, which seems to give them some pleasant and soothing effect. It goes without saying that when the baby is calm, so are the parents, and that is why the pacifier often gets good press.
However, as it can sometimes interfere with the proper development of breastfeeding, its use is not encouraged in the first days and during the period when you are physically in maternity.
Use of a pacifier: advantages and doubts
The pacifier can be a source of calm and comfort for the baby and the parents.
It is useful for hours of sleep or when colic keeps the baby restless.
It is possible to exclude it, unlike the child’s finger which, when it gets into the habit of sucking, is more difficult to eradicate.
There is some evidence that it reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and, given its relevance and seriousness, it is important to come back to this point. Among the critics of the use of pacifiers, some arguments are linked to the possibility of interfering with breastfeeding, so that its use is discouraged, not permanently, but in the initial phase until the consolidation of breastfeeding.
The Spanish Pediatric Association and in particular its Breastfeeding Committee claim that:
“In breastfed newborns, it is best to avoid the pacifier during the first days of life and not to discourage it when breastfeeding is well established, generally from the first month of life, the age at which risk begins. sudden infant death syndrome. “
“In neonatal units, in the context of painful interventions, if there is no possibility of sucking the child, sucking a nipple should be offered as a non-pharmacological analgesic method”.
“To avoid the other harmful effects of using a pacifier, it is recommended that all children limit its use to one year, including the ages when the risk of SIDS is highest and those when the need to sucking is the biggest. “
Likewise, this scientific association suggests that the relationship between breastfeeding and SIDS, and the pacifier and SIDS, should be studied in depth, to shed light on all of these strangers. In the meantime, professionals should continue to educate parents about the convenience of breastfeeding and avoid exposing infants to the various risk factors associated with SIDS.
When the use of the pacifier is prolonged
According to the Spanish Society of Pediatric Dentistry, “non-nutritive aspiration would cause a progressive displacement of the lower central teeth inward, while those of the upper jaw would tend to separate and protrude outward (rabbit teeth) . In addition, the action of sucking sets in motion a series of facial muscles which, with the position of the tongue, end up making the upper and lower lines lose their parallelism. “
It is essential to clarify certain myths and truths regarding the pacifier.
Once it’s incorporated, we need to determine which is the best pacifier for our baby and promote safe use.
According to the Argentinian Pediatric Society, “consider offering the pacifier to your child when he has regained his birth weight when the mother has no difficulty breastfeeding and the child is exclusively breastfed. Do not insist if the baby refuses the pacifier. Don’t use the pacifier to give the baby sugar or honey. “