Babies are born with the innate skill to put anything they come across into their mouths. Some have even been seen on ultrasound sucking their thumbs while still in the womb. It is a reflex action. Sucking brings them comfort and doesn’t necessarily mean they want food. A pacifier may come in handy in comforting and calming down your baby. Some babies can’t get enough of suckling and cuddling or rocking them won’t be soothing enough. It is better to get them a pacifier (which you can get rid of) than to let them get used to sucking their thumbs.
Here are five tips to get the best out of your baby’s pacifier;
Don’t force your decision on the baby
Yes, you need something to distract your baby as you struggle to meet some tight deadline. A pacifier might just be the answer. Do not however force it on your baby. If they are receptive to it, go along. If they are not, try again some other time or just let them be. You’ll have more on your hands than you can handle.
Pacifier isn’t a substitute for your attention
Read that slowly and let it sink in. While pacifiers can come in handy when the baby has to wait, for example if you are in a check out queue, it should not be a substitute from you giving the baby attention. It is your parental duty to spend as much time as possible with them.
Taking care of the pacifier
Tying the pacifier around their neck or the crib to avoid it getting misplaced is a bad idea as the cord can strangle them. Instead, pin it to the baby’s clothes using a clip. Keep the pacifier clean by frequently detaching it and rinsing it with warm clean water. Do not clean the pacifier by sucking on it, neither should you dip it in sugary drinks. Replace it once it starts cracking up or wearing out. A silicone nipple-shaped pacifier is the Best Pacifier For Breastfed Baby since they are much easier to clean.
When not to use a pacifier
Pacifiers aren’t recommended for babies who have a problem breastfeeding. Suckling on the pacifier and breastfeeding require two different techniques and combining them at the same time might cause ‘nipple confusion.’ It can lead to them having weight problems from poor feeding. Keep the baby off pacifiers too if they have ear infections. Extended periods of use has also been known to cause dental problems to the baby, so get them off a pacifier as soon as you can.
Cleaning the pacifier
Before you get your baby on a pacifier, clean and sterilize it first. You have no idea the amount of germs you’ll find on things that otherwise look clean. You can use hot soapy water and a clean dish rag. You can also boil the pacifier for about five minutes then let it cool totally before letting the baby use it. If you are willing to dig deeper into your pockets, you can purchase an electronic sterilizer.