Babies and Pacifiers
Most children stop sucking a pacifier on their own between two and four years of age.
Hi, I am Kathy Moore for About.com. Many parents wonder if they should give a pacifier to their baby. This program will explore the benefits and considerations of pacifier use by infants.Comforting a crying or fussy baby is one of the primary duties of parenthood. Using a pacifier is one way to teach the baby how to comfort herself. Pacifiers help fulfill a babys instinctive desire to suck. Offering a pacifier especially at bedtime can help calm your baby. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics pacifier use may also reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.The Academy endorses offering a pacifier to infants at bedtime. Breastfeeding mothers should delay offering a pacifier until the baby is at least one month old to avoid nipple confusion.If your baby does not seem interested, do not try to force the pacifier. And if it falls out of her mouth after she falls asleep there is no need to stick the pacifier back in.Some parents worry that using a pacifier will damage a babies teeth or jaws but according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, normal pacifier use is unlikely to damage to the teeth or jaws for most babies and most children stop sucking on thumbs, pacifiers or other objects on their own between two and four years of age. Limiting pacifier use to bedtime or longer car trips will also reduce the likelihood of overuse.Be sure to keep the pacifier clean and inspect it for signs of wear and replace if necessary. I like to keep a few spares on hand in case we lose one or it becomes worn out. Using a pacifier is one dependable way calm your baby or to help her get to sleep. But remember once you start, you will have to find a way to get her to give it up later.Thanks for watching. To learn more visit us on About.com.