When you're forming your baby registry, you are encouraged to add a billion different varieties of pacifiers for different ages, genders, and occasions. Some have convenient snaps and buttons so they don't tumble out of the carseat, and others have favorite characters (cleverly aimed away from baby's view). If you receive any, you're likely to get many opinions on whether or not to use a paci.
Like every other parenting decision, you're on your own for this one. You get to decide whether using a pacifier is the right choice for your baby. Here are some things to consider:
1. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of an artificial nipple (they don't use pacifier in their verbiage) for healthy, full term babies who are 4 weeks old or older. They recommend their use for preventing SIDS, to aid with sleep, and to help with any painful procedure in the ER.
2. Using artificial nipples in the first four weeks of a baby's life (unless medically necessary) can confuse the baby and present some breastfeeding challenges. Human nipples work differently and sometimes after a baby becomes used to an artificial nipple it can be frustrating to go back to a human nipple.
3. If a pacifier is routinely used to pacify a fussy newborn, that baby may not nurse as frequently as it needs to.
4. BPA is not currently prohibited in infant products in the US. Zrecs offers some advice about choosing a paci that is BPA free, if this is important to you.
5. There are many ways to feed an otherwise healthy, full term baby than using an artificial nipple. If you've been informed that bottle feeding is your only option and you'd like to know more about other methods, find an IBCLC who can give you a full spectrum of options for your specific challenge.
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I'm one of those people who loves making your life easier (and I believe in you). I am an experienced registered prenatal yoga teacher and a lactation educator.
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