Pros And Cons Of Using A Pacifier

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Pros And Cons Of Using A Pacifier

It could be reliving to see tears disappear from your baby’s eyes once you pop a binky in your baby’s mouth. We cannot deny the fact that a pacifier works exceptionally well to comfort and calm your crying baby. That is the reason why many parents consider pacifiers as their must-haves along with baby wipes, diapers, strollers, etc. But are pacifiers really good for your baby?

You have the option of using a pacifier or not. Consider the dos and don’ts of using a pacifier with your baby, as well as how to assist him or her quit the habit. Most infants possess a robust sucking reflex. Some infants even suck their thumbs or fingers before birth. In addition to providing nutrients, sucking often provides a relaxing effect. However, are pacifiers really safe for your infant? Understand the advantages and hazards of pacifier usage, as well as safety precautions and weaning methods.

In This Article

Pros of Using A Pacifier

Some babies are only satisfied if they have access to a pacifier in the time between meals. Consider the advantages:

Soothes The Baby

soothes baby.

There is no doubt that sucking helps to pacify a baby. It’s a source of comfort for a crying baby. It helps in putting the baby to sleep. Until the baby is old enough to find any other way to soothe herself, this is the only way she may find solace and peace.

Develops The Suckling Reflux

Using a pacifier can satiate the need of sucking the baby when the baby has been well-fed but still feels like sucking. Sucking is a natural need of a baby.

Health Benefits

A dummy is helpful for a preterm baby. Research has shown that a dummy given to a premature baby right after birth has lesser health complications. It also encourages sucking and tends to stay shorter in hospitals. Another study has revealed that premature baby tends to gain weight faster when sucking on dummies.

Reduced Rate Of SIDS

Reduced rate of SIds.

Pacifiers reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), although there are no proven results on how pacifiers prevent SIDS. Use it to put your baby to sleep, but if it falls off do not put it back if the baby is asleep.

Read more about SIDS here

Can Be Disposed Of Easily

They can be disposed of easily once you decide to stop using it, thumb sucking habit is quite difficult to break.

Easing Ear Pains

Sucking on a pacifier during flights may ease the ear pain caused due to air pressure

Can Be Used As A Distraction

can be used as distraction.

It can be used to temporarily distract baby during vaccinations or blood shots, though it is strongly recommended that a pacifier not be used to delay feedings

Cons Of Using A Pacifier

Even though using a pacifier may provide your baby and you with some much-needed comfort, there are a few drawbacks to doing so, including the following:

Nipple Confusion

Some people believe that the use of pacifiers could cause nipple confusion in babies. And causes the baby not to work hard for the milk that actually fills up her tummy.

Can Cause Ear Infections

ear infection.

Using dummies for longer periods may cause ear infections since it enables bacteria to move from the mouth to the tubes in between the throat and ears, and prevents mucus from draining. This is most common in babies aged six months and over, therefore it is highly recommended to cut off the use of dummies before this age.

Tooth Problems

Ideally, you should wean your baby off a pacifier before her first birthday, but if that does not happen, the binky must go by the age of two. Tooth problems can self-correct themselves once the use of pacifiers is ditched for 6 months. If the habit continues by the time a baby turns 4, it could cause serious trouble for your baby’s teeth.

Can Deprive Baby Of Nutrition

It may refrain the baby from what she actually needs; food and nutrition. As it would be difficult to know whether the baby needs breast milk or a pacifier.

Can Cause Infections

can cause infections.

Usage of the dummy is linked to more cases of chest and stomach infection, though the actual reason is not known.

May Cause Face Changes

There are chances of some changes in the shape of the baby’s jaw and mouth if used for longer periods

Can Affect Speech

It could affect a baby’s speech development if your baby tries to talk, or makes sounds with the dummy in her mouth, always remember to take the dummy out when she does it.

Interrupted Sleep

Parents might have a disturbed sleep if the baby wakes up and needs to have a dummy put in her mouth once it falls off to go back to sleep.



Weaning off a pacifier can be really difficult sometimes- especially if the baby is very habitual of the same.

Best Practices For Using Pacifiers

If you want to use pacifiers for those trying times, make sure that you wait at least a month after the baby is worn – that will save the little fellow all the confusion regarding samples.

  • Try buying branded ones, and stay away from those flimsy 3-at-the-rate-of-one offers on retail.
  • Use age-specific pacifiers, and to figure out what your baby likes the most, give her various shapes to try.
  • Always keep pacifiers clean, do not touch the nipple, and never coat anything on it. Running water is enough to clean it.
  • Tying a pacifier around a baby’s neck could prove a choking hazard – never do that.
  • Finally, try weaning the baby off the pacifier by the time he is ready to celebrate his first birthday.

Many parents wish they hadn’t introduced a pacifier as it is difficult to wean off, while others find it to be a lifesaver. But also remember a binky can be thrown away easily, but your thumb follows everywhere you go!

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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