When you can give your baby a pacifier

The pacifier was invented to make life easier for the mother, it helps soothe a crying baby, satisfy his sucking reflex. Let’s try to understand if sucking of a pacifier is harmful for a child, when it should be offered and how to choose a pacifier.

When you can give your child a pacifier

When to start giving the pacifier to the baby

The American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that the pacifier should be given after the child has been able to master breastfeeding fully, not before 3-4 weeks of life. Most babies have no problem making the transition from breast to pacifier. But there are some rather controversial opinions about early pacifier attraction that it can lead to feeding problems. So the pacifier should be given only after the baby finally settles the breastfeeding scheme and regime.

Effect of a pacifier on breastfeeding

The experts of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend giving a pacifier after lactation has become established. To avoid rejection of the baby from the breast. But the study found that infants who were given a pacifier in the maternity ward were exclusively breastfed and these infants were 79% breastfed. Of those infants who were not given a pacifier at birth, 68% were naturally breastfed.

In the first weeks of life it is necessary to monitor the proper grip of the nipple, otherwise it can cause rejection of the breast. After all, the grip of the breast and the nipple are fundamentally different. More muscles are involved when the baby is sucking on the breast, and the tongue begins to contract in a wave-like fashion. If the baby gets used to sucking on a pacifier he transfers the easier sucking style to the breast, making natural feeding ineffective.

The sucking reflex

The strongest reflex in a newborn is the sucking reflex. The baby begins to actively suck everything in his mouth, the mother’s breast, a corner of the diaper, fist, finger, pacifier. This action is natural. It is necessary for survival, because with the help of sucking the baby gets for themselves food and drink.

The monotonous sucking movements have a soothing effect on the baby, help him fall asleep, relieve stress, and eliminate abdominal pain. It often happens that the baby can not fall asleep for a long time, crying, as soon as he is given a pacifier, he, sucking a little, falls asleep.

Particularly important is the sucking of the pacifier for infants who are artificially fed. They, as a result of bottle-feeding, do not get to fully satisfy their sucking reflex. Naturally breastfed children have a more satisfied sucking reflex. They are not on schedule feedings, like babies on birth control, but on free breastfeeding and have an opportunity to be attached to the mother’s breast not only to get food and drink, but also to calm down or to fall asleep.

Nursing infants need to make up the time they have to spend at their mother’s breast by sucking on a pacifier. This way they are able to satisfy their sucking reflex.

Opinion of psychologists

Child psychologist Marina Romanenko believes that it is not necessary to give the baby a pacifier during any crying. It is not uncommon that as soon as an infant cries parents give him a pacifier hoping he will calm down. And indeed, it calms him down and often falls asleep. But maybe he needed the attention of his mother or felt physically unwell. Instead of satisfying his true needs he received a pacifier, which did not satisfy his needs, but acted as a compromise.

A pacifier should act as the last resort used when a baby is crying. First of all, you need to figure out the real reason for the behavior. Child psychologists do not advise parents to give a pacifier to their baby for any crying. They are unwittingly addicted by their actions. A pacifier is not an easy thing to give up or wean a child from. Later in life, these activities lead to constant fingers in the mouth. These babies nibble on pencils, nails, hair, lips, and so on as they get older.

Marina Romanenko argues that the safety should be felt at a physical level and advises parents to take the baby in their arms more often. If you notice that at any time your baby calmly gives up the pacifier, take it away, try not to offer it for a while. The pacifier should be given only when it is really necessary.

Is a pacifier necessary for sleep

When can we give the baby a pacifier?

There was a study in the American Academy of Pediatrics which showed that children who did not suck on a pacifier or fingers woke up less often while sleeping. Babies who suck the pacifier wake up more often than those who suck their fingers. The last test subjects had a longer period of uninterrupted sleep. And the cumulative duration was lowest for infants who did not suckle anything.

The study also found that in the first 6 months of life, among those babies who sucked on a pacifier, only 40% woke up in a good mood. Among infants who have not sucked anything or sucked their fingers 80% wake up without crying.Anxious intermittent sleep has been reported in the following categories of children:

  1. 70% were sucking on a pacifier;

  2. 26% sucked their fingers;

  3. 20% have not sucked anything.

At 6 months and older, babies who sucked their thumbs were half as likely to wake up as those who sucked nothing or sucked on a pacifier.

In connection with the study, scientists at the American Academy of Pediatrics found that pacifier and finger sucking have no effect on sleep, no way to improve it.

How to get your baby used to the pacifier

If parents have decided that it is time for the child to get accustomed to the pacifier, you can use the recommendations given by experts, which will help the child quickly get used to the pacifier.

  1. The pacifier should not replace food intake. No matter what kind of feeding a baby has, artificial or breastfeeding, it is necessary to stick to the usual schedule. A pacifier should not delay or completely replace a newborn’s food intake. Babies produce hormones while sucking that mimic satiety. A pacifier should only be used to satisfy the sucking reflex after a meal or before nap.

  2. When you are used to a pacifier you should not force your baby to take it.If a child refuses to take a pacifier, spits it out, it means he does not need it. The purpose of a pacifier – to calm and relax the baby, to satisfy the need to suck.

  3. Do not attach the pacifier to either hand, Neither to the neck, nor to the crib.

  4. Don’t use sweeteners. Even now young parents may hear from the older generation advice to smear the pacifier with honey or dip it in sugar syrup, so that the baby calms down. It is strictly forbidden to do this. The baby may develop an allergy, the destruction of the enamel of the teeth.

  5. Give the pacifier at bedtime. When putting your baby down offer him a pacifier. This way he falls asleep more quickly.

If parents have made the choice in favor of a pacifier, you must first make sure that it does not harm the bite, does not contain hazardous substances.

How to choose a pacifier

When can you give your baby a pacifier?

Choosing a pacifier it is important to pay attention to the material it is made of.

  1. Latex nipples are made from a completely natural material. It is characterized by both softness and elasticity. But, these pacifiers often cause allergic reactions. They must not be used for a long time and must not be boiled. This material is better suited for newborns.

  2. Silicone pacifiers are made of a synthetic, hypoallergenic material. Such products can be used for a longer time. They can be boiled. Silicone soothers are tougher and more easily chewed by teething babies.

Also when buying a pacifier your baby needsPay attention to its shape.

  1. The classic shape is represented by a rounded nipple. It is shaped like a mother’s breast and is more familiar to the baby. Such a pacifier is given by either side.

  2. Anatomical shape provided in the form of an oval pacifier. It is flattened on one side to allow the tongue to position itself properly and distribute pressure evenly on the palate. This shape does not cause deformation of the gums and teeth, does not allow air to be swallowed.

  3. The orthodontic shape is presented in the form of an organic drop-shaped pacifier. The baby swallows a soother just like a mother’s breast. This type of pacifier takes up little space in your mouth and allows you to form a correct bite.

When buying a pacifier it is better tobe guided by the age of the child:

  1. From birth to six months – size A;

  2. Under 1 1/2 years of age, size B;

  3. from 1.5 years old – size C.

Some manufacturers have pacifiers based on the age from birth to 3 months, from 3 to 6 months, from 6 months, and for premature infants whose weight is less than 1700 g. It is important to choose a pacifier with your baby’s age in mind.

According to orthodontists, the best pacifier for an infant is an orthodontic. But, of course, the choice of pacifier depends on your baby’s preferences. When choosing a pacifier it is better to give preference to a safe material, which does not contain Bisphenol A. Also, when buying it, it is important to consider the age of your baby.

How to prolong a short nap with a pacifier

If your baby has a short, short nap, which does not give him a good night’s sleep, the nervous system to recover for waking time, you can try to correct this problem with a pacifier. Usually babies start to sleep for 15-20 minutes at the age of 2-6 months. Sometimes this situation can last longer. The baby wakes up crying, is capricious, though he may wake up in a good mood, but he doesn’t have enough time to stay awake for a long time.

In this case, you need to consult a pediatrician, neurologist. If the examination showed no problems, then a short nap occurs against the background of immaturity of the nervous system. The child is not yet able to move without assistance from the surface phase of sleep to deep sleep.

A pacifier can help to make this transition. Mom needs to put the baby to bed and time. A few minutes before the habitual awakening, you should sit down next to him, you can read a book. As soon as the baby begins to worry, whimpering need to quickly, quietly and calmly give him a pacifier, stroke, make soporific sounds. This way the baby sleeps better. It will have to behave like this from 3 to 7 days. Then the child’s body gets used to, “remembers” prolonged sleep. In this way your baby learns to sleep without waking up.

The pacifier is designed to satisfy the sucking reflex, especially this issue is relevant for infants. It should not replace feeding, it is better to use it before bedtime.

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