Is it okay to let my baby use her pacifier at night?

Is it okay to let my baby use her pacifier at night?

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For babies who find great comfort in sucking beyond the need for nourishment, pacifiers can be useful at bedtime. If you're nursing your baby, wait until he's a month old to give him a pacifier, to make sure breastfeeding is well established. And don't use the pacifier as a substitute for nurturing. Try cuddling, swaddling, rocking, and singing to your baby to lull him to sleep first. Dim the lights and put on some soft music. And during his waking hours, be sure to provide plenty of nurturing (rather than a pacifier) as well.

There are pros and cons to pacifier use. Some studies show that a pacifier at sleep times seems to have a protective effect against SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). On the flip side, babies who use a pacifier after age 6 months have an increase in middle ear infections, yeast infections (in the mouth), and intestinal infections.

Some parents find that while a pacifier comforts their baby and helps him get to sleep, he'll wake up during the night and cry if he's unable to find it. If this happens, you may have to get up regularly at night to retrieve the binky. Another potential pitfall: If your baby has a cold and can't breathe through his nose, he'll be much more miserable if he depends on a pacifier for comfort.

As long as your child gives up the pacifier by around age 5, there's probably no need to worry about long-term dental problems. That's because during the early months and years, your child only has baby teeth; permanent teeth generally don't appear until around age 6. Mention to your child's dentist that he uses a pacifier, though, and she'll watch for problems at each checkup, just in case.

Watch the video: Getting Rid of the Pacifier (May 2022).


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