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What mothers need to know about pacifier use

The pacifier is a lifesaver for many mothers when their baby is restless or has trouble falling asleep. However, the harms of misused pacifiers do not end with counting. The pacifier, which has become a sweet habit for babies over time, can not only disrupt the structure of the mouth and teeth, but also cool the baby from the mother’s breast. Experts emphasize that the pacifier should only be used for babies who need sucking.

From the moment they are born, babies are introduced to the pacifier at an early stage as a requirement of their feeding reflexes. After a while, the pacifier becomes the main habit of breastfed babies. However, if this habit is not prevented after a certain stage, mothers are waiting for a hard work. On the other hand, the answers to questions such as what kind of pacifier should be preferred during the teething period of babies or what methods should be followed during the pacifier withdrawal period are extremely important in order to abandon this habit with the right timing.

If the child is sucking his thumb, he should be directed to the pacifier.

Every baby is born with some primitive reflexes that will make it easier to hold on to life. One of these reflexes is the sucking reflex. The sucking reflex is very important for the baby’s feeding. It can be weaker in preterm babies and strong enough to be difficult to satisfy in some babies. The pacifier is a device that has been invented for the purpose of satisfying the sucking reflex from outside the mother’s breast and has many types. Apart from feeding, it is used to meet the baby’s unsatisfied sucking instinct. There is no need to use a pacifier for babies who are peaceful after breast feeding and sleep as soon as their needs are met.

But some babies feel the need to continue sucking to calm down even if they are fed and the mother does not want to leave the breast. This may even be so intense that it alienates the mother from breastfeeding. Even if the right breastfeeding techniques are applied to the breast, it can cause damage. The pacifier acts as a comforter for this group of babies. In addition, thumb sucking behavior can be seen in babies with a strong sucking instinct when the pacifier is not used. This condition also deteriorates the jaw structure over time. In babies with strong sucking reflexes, pacifiers can be a good alternative to prevent the mother from feeling cold after breastfeeding and to prevent the use of the thumb for sucking.

Pacifier use is not recommended for the first month.

The pacifier should not be given for the first month, if possible, in order to establish the bond with the mother correctly. Because pacifiers have different characteristics with the mother’s breast, it may cause the baby to refuse to suckle. In addition, sucking is a tiring action. Taking a pacifier for too long can reduce the mother’s sucking time. The ideal pacifier is in the form of a droplet resembling a mother’s breast and has a wider tip called palate. It can be in the form of a curved or bulging round tip to prevent swallowing. The drop form, which looks like a mother’s breast, is preferred in the first months as it strengthens the suction and does not give a different feeling. For older babies, the palate form is recommended. Teats with a swollen cherry-shaped tip should not be used as they adversely affect the palate structure.

During the teething period, a rubber pacifier should be used.

Silicone pacifiers are transparent and have a smooth surface. It is easier to clean and easier to sterilize as it withstands high temperatures. Rubber pacifiers, on the other hand, are perishable and should be replaced when they start to change color (approximately 4 weeks). Since rubber pacifiers are more durable, they can be preferred during teething periods. Despite all this, it should not be forgotten that the baby has the right to choose the pacifier. Make sure that the pacifier does not contain bisphenol A. Pacifiers should be changed every 2-3 months in accordance with the baby’s growing palate. If there is wear and deterioration in the structure of the pacifier, this period should not be expected.

Do not give pacifiers to calm

The pacifier is a habit-forming tool for the baby. Behaviors that encourage habit should be avoided. It should be used considering that it should be left for one day. Instead of applying to the pacifier in every stress, first cuddling, lightly patting the back, soothing words or singing should be tried, and if the result is not obtained, the pacifier should be applied. The pacifier should not be left alone as a falling asleep ritual, but attaching it to an additional comforting object, such as a blanket or a soft toy, while the baby is trying to sleep, can reduce the occurrence of sleep disturbances when releasing the pacifier and help the baby experience less stress.

Do not dip the pacifier in sugar or honey

The pacifier should never be mixed with sugar, honey, jam or food when giving it to the baby. These affect both oral and dental health negatively and cause the baby to see the pacifier as a feeding tool, thus creating an obstacle to successful breastfeeding. There is no definitive data that pacifier use causes infection. However, there are publications indicating that pacifier use in sensitive babies increases middle ear infections after 6 months. For this reason, if it is known that there is no additional risk in recurrent middle ear infections after making sure that the baby is not fed while lying down, quitting the pacifier should be tried.

A quiet period should be chosen to quit the pacifier.

The pacifier should be left around the age of 1, when the baby’s mobility increases and gains the capacity to reach things that can distract him. This process should not be done suddenly and forcefully, and should not cause stress for the baby. Stress increases the need for pacifiers due to the need for sucking, which is a relief action. For quitting, a period when the baby does not experience major changes (birth of a sibling, starting nursery school, changing home, etc.) and is relatively calm and healthy should be preferred. First of all, it is ensured that the pacifier is not in sight. For this reason, it is recommended to always keep the number of pacifiers at one. From the first use, an image of an indispensable and essential need that is easily accessible should not be created in the baby. Access is reduced during the day, while the baby is kept busy so that it does not come to mind. Having an alternative sleep ritual helps a lot during this period.


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