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Can My Baby Sleep With A Pacifier?

3 min read

What Is A Pacifier?

Baby pacifiers or binkies as they are commonly called are magic for babies who wish to suck even after they have been fed adequately, especially during night time. As the name indicates these rubber or plastic binkies in the shape of a nipple helps to calm down your child when he acts cranky. Pacifiers comfort a baby by calming the need of suckling, especially till the time a baby does not figure her fingers out. Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, it might be a while till your baby picks her favorite one. You can read more about Pacifiers here.
Baby sleeping with pacifier

Why Should I Offer A Pacifier To My Baby?

Some babies, when irritated or fussy can be soothed by rocking, hugging or cuddling or humming a lullaby. This won’t work for all babies. For some babies sucking fingers helps to turn off worries and turn on the merriment and feeling of security. When your baby shows a strong urge to suck more even after he is well fed and if not allowed, becomes grumpy then a pacifier is your answer. However, a pacifier should be introduced to a baby only after she has become comfortable with breastfeeding. Because breastfeeding requires more effort from a baby’s side, if a pacifier is introduced early, it can make your baby lazy to suck breast-milk.

What Happens If I Don’t Encourage A Pacifier?

When your baby shows a strong desire for sucking and if you don’t give him a pacifier he will easily fall into a thumb sucking habit. Pacifier habit is easy to wean off than a thumb sucking habit, though it is entirely your choice whether or not you wish to introduce your baby to a pacifier.

Can A Baby Sleep With A Pacifier?

The answer is “Yes”. Using a pacifier during night time is approved and encouraged, until the baby is 6 months old.

  • The main benefit of using a pacifier is that it will reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). This is because sucking a pacifier while sleeping doesn’t let the baby go in a deep sleep. As they wake up easily when anything goes wrong, they will be less liable to SIDS
  • Ano ther speculation is that sucking pacifier increases the air space (ortho-pharyngeal air way), as the tongue is pushed forward while sucking, and the intake of oxygen will also increase simultaneously
  • Babies when put to sleep with a pacifier show less movement during sleeping. This will reduce the chances of covering the face accidentally with blankets
  • Another factor that is found to cause SIDS is the child’s face being accidentally get buried in the soft bedding during sleeping. The bulky handle of a pacifier will prevent this to occur

Baby with pacifier

Can My Premature Baby Use A Pacifier?

In most of the preterm babies the skill of sucking is found to be less developed. Skill to suck properly is very important for easy breathing, and for both physical and neurological development. When a pacifier is introduced to a preterm baby shortly after birth, breathing process, oral-muscle functions, physical and neural developments are found to improve noticeably. They are discharged from hospitals faster due to quick gain of weight.

What Is Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL)?

Pacifier Activated Lullaby or PAL is an FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) – approved patent system created for premature babies for helping them to develop proper sucking skills. PAL is a uniquely wired pacifier which provides musical lullabies each time the baby sucks on it correctly. It is found that the preemies, again and again, try to continue the sucking motion to hear the soothing lullabies.
This device is still in its early days. But the pre term babies using PAL are found to experience:

  • Faster and appropriate weight gain
  • Less period in the hospital
  • Less period in neuro-natal intensive care unit (reduces by around five days)
  • Earlier conversion from tube feeding to breast feeding

Refer here to know more about pros and cons of pacifiers.
We wish your baby safe and pacified sleep.

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