Is it healthy to pop a pacifier in your baby’s mouth? An expert reveals

Published on: 9 February 2022, 09:00 am IST

Have you introduced your baby to a pacifier? If yes, you must give this piece a thorough read to understand the good, bad, and ugly of a pacifier.

pacifier
Pacifiers – Yay or nay for your child? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Pacifier – well, as the name suggests, it’s popped into a newborns’ mouth to calm them from incessant crying. It may or may not work though. But what you need to understand is if it’s really working for your baby or not?

If you have decided to use a pacifier, you must remember one thing for sure that your baby might become dependent on it. The major reason behind that is they start enjoying its soothing and calming effect. Basically, it becomes therapeutic for them.

But the ugly side of using a pacifier is a little traumatizing and we want all new parents to know about it.

5 big problems that can occur when you use a pacifier

  1. It can invite a middle-ear infection

    Yes, you heard it right. Continuously using it can cause ear problems.

  2. The baby will become dependent

    “Your baby will be quiet when you give him/her a pacifier. But, he/she cry when you take it out. This can be disturbing for you too. Since the baby is used to it, you will find it difficult to get rid of this habit,” warns Dr Atul Palwe, a consultant paediatrician and neonatologist from Motherhood Hospital, Pune.

    pacifier
    Pacifier weaning can even make your baby cranky. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  3. It can lead to dental problems

    Your little one’s teeth will be misaligned, if the pacifier is used for extended periods. You will have to wean your baby from a pacifier as advised by the doctor. It can also affect the shape of the baby’s mouth.

  4. The baby can fall sick

    “Pacifier contains a lot of germs, if it isn’t cleaned properly. Those germs can make your baby sick,” suggests Dr Palwe.

There are some pros of using a pacifier

  • It can be helpful for your fussy kid: Is your baby fussy? Is he/she distressed? If yes, parents can give their little ones a pacifier to make them happy. They feel good when they are sucking on something.
  • It can temporarily distract the baby: A pacifier can be beneficial, when parents take the little one for a flu shot or a blood test. It will allow the baby to shift their attention from pain caused due to these procedures.
  • It can help with sleep: Some parents tend to give a pacifier to their babies to help them fall asleep without any trouble.
  • It reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): Are you aware? Sucking on a pacifier at bedtime might minimize the chances of SIDS.
pacifier
Music can help you sleep like a baby. Try it! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Message for all parents

“Parents should not force their babies to use pacifiers. You can use other options like singing or rocking, instead of giving a pacifier to the baby. The pacifier can get stuck in the mouth and choke the baby. Thus, parents are suggested to weigh the pros and cons and then only give pacifiers to their little ones,” concluded Dr Palwe.

So mommies, the moral of the story is that a pacifier can a be breather, but don’t depend on it way too much.

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.