A New Mom’s Complete Guide To Pacifiers

New moms are entering a world that can seem confusing and overwhelming. This is especially true for a first-time mom, who has to navigate this new world while taking care of a small and vulnerable baby. The baby relies on mom for every single thing that they need, and the fact that women have babies all the time can lead us to forget that this means a lot of pressure.

This means that new moms are always looking to educate themselves one everything related to motherhood. They are asking their doctors, they are talking to their friends, and they are looking online.


The only problem is that the internet can be full of information, and that can also be overwhelming. How is mom supposed to know what is right, or what to do when she is constantly reading conflicting information?

The solution to this is to put together a complete guide with all the information that mom will ever need on a subject, and this one is all about pacifiers.

RELATED: ‘Smart Pacifiers’ Can Help Monitor Babies In The NICU

Whether you call them pacifiers, dummies, pacis, or anything in between, there is a lot to know about this aid, and we are going to go through it all.

Why Mom Would Want To Use One

Just like everything, pacifiers come with their own list of pros and cons, so we need to look at what these are before we decide if we are going to introduce them to our babies.

According to Mayo Clinic, pacifiers have a lot of benefits to them. Babies have a strong sucking reflex, which is essential for eating, but this also means that pacifiers can help soothe those who need at any time of the day. They can help calm a baby who is fussy, and they may even help them fall asleep.

Pacifiers have also been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS, and this may be benefit enough for mom to give them a try. Since babies have this strong need to suck, they are going to find something to suck on.

When you offer a pacifier, you may be preventing them from developing a thumb/finger sucking habit, and since a pacifier is disposable, it may be easier to stop.

Why Mom May Want To Hold Off

There are also some reasons why mom may not want to introduce a pacifier to her baby, and these are important to know too.

According to WebMD, If mom is breastfeeding, a pacifier could lead to nipple confusion. It is advised that a breastfeeding mom waits until nursing has been well established before introducing a pacifier to her baby.

Pacifiers can also have an impact on the development and alignment of the teeth. While babies do not have teeth when they are born, they are going to come in quick, and if baby is using a pacifier, it could have an impact on how the teeth come in.

There is also always the risk of choking. While pacifiers are usually manufactured properly, there is always going to be the risk that the nipple could fall off, or the pacifier is too small for your baby, and the whole piece ends up in their mouth.

Why Some Babies Won’t Take The Pacifier

Every baby has their own little personality, and there are some babies who just won’t take a pacifier. Moms who are breastfeeding can often feel like they are a human pacifier, and this can be tiring, and they may want their baby to take a pacifier to get them a break.

According to Romper, There are many reasons why a baby may have a hard time taking a pacifier, and breastfeeding may be one of them. They may prefer the breast, and are used to the shape of mom’s nipple.

Another common reason why a baby may not take a pacifier is because that is not what they want.

One of the hardest parts of parenting is when a baby is young, and they can’t tell mom what they want. Mom has to try and figure out, and if her baby is not taking a pacifier, that could mean that baby has other needs that need to be met.

If mom forces it too much, it can lead to a baby who has a pacifier aversion.

How To Get Them To Take One

If mom is having a hard time getting her baby to take a pacifier, there are some things that she can try. There are a lot of different kinds of pacifiers on the market, and it may just mean that mom has to spend some time finding the right ones for her baby. This is going to take some time and money, but it may end up being the easiest solutionaccording to Healthline.

Another great tip is to not offer it when baby is upset. Introduce it as part of play time, and let the baby get used to it and how it feels. When we introduce it for the first time when baby is already upset, it can lead to aversion.

When you offer it to them when they are happy, and they take it, you can start to introduce it as a way to calm them down.

When it comes to getting a baby to take a pacifier, it really is all about having patience.

There Are Different Types

A quick walk down the baby aisle in any store will show you that there are a lot of different kinds of pacifiers.

According to Evenflo, the design of them may all be different, but mom really needs to pay attention to the nipple shape. This is going to be the biggest factor when finding a pacifier that your baby likes.

The main shapes are cylindrical, cherry, butterfly and orthodontic.

For babies who breastfeed, they are more likely to prefer a shape that promotes tongue placement, which would be cylindrical and cherry shapes.

For babies who are not breastfed, look at their bottle nipples and try and match up the nipple on the pacifier.

The weight of the pacifier is also a factor, and they can come in all shapes and sizes. Mom will notice that some are heavier than others, especially if they have something attached to them.

A pacifier that is too heavy may be harder for your baby to hold on to, but a pacifier that is too light may fly out at the slightest movement.

When Should Mom Take It Away?

One of the reasons why moms don’t want to introduce a pacifier is because they are afraid of their child becoming overly attached to it, and they envision a struggle when it comes to taking it away. It is important to remember that there are children with special needs who rely on the pacifier when they are older.

According to the AAP, for children who do not rely on a pacifier for medical reasons, they would like them to be gone by the time a child is 4 years old. While most moms will try and get rid of them well before this age, this is the hard limit for the organization.

With that being said, they state that The ideal age to wean a baby off the pacifier is anywhere between 6 and 12 months. Not only for teeth development, but because it can be easier for mom to take it away at a younger age, than to wait until they are older.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Romper, Healthline, Evenflo, AAP

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