Many mothers find pacifiers as a blessing, while others can not make their baby habitual to the pacifier. It’s not always the mother’s fault; sometimes, the babies are quite stubborn and unwilling to accept pacifiers. Are planning on introducing a pacifier to your baby? Or are you tired of placing a pacifier in your baby’s mouth constantly, because it keeps falling out? I’ve got some tips and help on the way so you can stress less.
If your baby drops a pacifier after every minute or so, then you need to try introducing pacifiers of different brands and designs as some babies have a big mouth while others have a small mouth. Similarly, some babies have tongue ties and lip ties; therefore, their non-nutritive demands and needs vary. Aside from trying several brands, you can try the trick of reverse psychology. It is a proven method that has stimulated numerous babies to accept the pacifier. And if your baby does a tongue thrust or gag, then do not get scared; these are normal reflexes that your baby might do when you put a pacifier in their mouth.
At What Age Should I Introduce A Pacifier To My Baby?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) recommends parents to introduce the pacifier once the baby learns to breastfeed, and once you have settled the feeding routine for your baby.
It usually happens when your baby is 3 to 4 weeks old.
Doing so helps the baby use their energy for breastfeeding rather than wasting it on pacifiers and falling asleep without any power left for breastfeeding.
What To Do If A Pacifier Keeps Falling From My Baby’s Mouth?
Yes, I can understand how frustrating it can get to put the pacifier back in your baby’s mouth frequently. The first thing you can do is try pacifiers of various brands and different designs. Some babies have tiny mouths, while others have large-mouths. Similarly, your baby might have lip ties and tongue ties; therefore, you are advised to try Avent, or WubbaNub pacifier to identify which one your infant loves.
However, if you have tried pacifiers of numerous brands and designs but still cannot prevent the pacifier from falling, don’t worry. There is a well-known trick, reverse psychology, that has helped many parents. Recently I discussed this trick with my cousin, and she can not stop thanking me. It had changed her life. My cousin showed me all the pacifiers she tried; there were around 10 of them. I then suggested that she stop forcing the pacifier into the baby’s mouth every time it falls; instead, I told her to pull it out slightly on every suck her daughter, Emily, gives.
Then, while nursing, she waited for Emily to slow down, sucking, and then she switched her breast with the pacifier. Then she would wait for Emily to recognize it and give it a suck. As soon as Emily would give it suck, my cousin would pull it out slightly, causing Emily to suck the pacifier even harder. My cousin made it a habit to play this trick with Emily 4 times every day for one week. This is how Emily learned how to keep her pacifier in her mouth. I hope this trick helps you too.
What If My Newborn Refuses To Take The Pacifier?
According to my experience, if the baby does not accept a pacifier within 7 to 10 weeks of age, then it isn’t easy that he accepts the pacifier in the future. But it does not mean that you can not sleep peacefully at night.
If your baby does a tongue thrust or gag, it does not mean that the baby can not take a pacifier; such reflexes are normal reflexes for a newborn to do.
Dos And Don’ts Of Using Pacifier:
- Do not offer pacifiers whenever the baby starts crying or gets fuzzy. Try to rock him, distract them, or play with them. The pacifier should be given to fulfill their non-nutritive sucking needs. Never use it as the first-line defense equipment.
- Use pacifiers to wean your baby at night. If he is habitual to sleep through nursing, try to replace the bottle or your breast with the pacifier.
- Do not use pacifiers as a sleeping prop. Try to cuddle them and rock them; this way, they will learn to sleep for an extended time.
- Do not force the pacifier on your baby. If he does not accept it, then let it be. There are many alternative ways to soothe the baby.
- Boil the pacifier frequently until the baby is 6 months old. As till 6 months, the baby’s immune system is weak; it can not fight the harmful germs and micro-organisms. After 6 months, you can wash the pacifier with soap and rinse it with water before giving it to your infant.
- Do not put honey or any other sweet substance for the baby to take a pacifier.
- Keep a close eye on the pacifier; as soon as it starts to wear out, replace it immediately. And avoid attaching the pacifier to any string or cord; it can strangle your baby’s neck.
Should I Let My Baby Take A Pacifier While Sleeping?
Your baby wakes up at night, and once you put a pacifier in their mouth, they go back to sleep? Well, it sounds amazing. But is it okay to let them suck the pacifier while they are asleep and you get more hours of undisturbed sleep?
Yes, it is completely fine. Pacifiers are known to reduce the risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is the most common cause of death in babies between 1 month and 1 year. According to AAP’s guidelines, pacifiers help even after the pacifier pops out of your baby’s mouth. So let them suck and night, while you sleep peacefully.
When And How To Eliminate The Habit Of The Pacifier?
According to AAP, the ideal time to withdraw the pacifier’s habit is when your baby turns 6-9 months. On the other hand, child specialists recommend that parents wait until their baby turns 12 months old when their need for non-nutritive sucking decreases.
The drawbacks of the pacifier indeed start to overtake the benefits as your baby grows older. Usually, your child will stop using pacifiers on his own when he is 2 to 4 years old. However, if it is getting challenging to eliminate pacifiers’ habit, you can read “How To Get Rid of Pacifier At 15 Months” to get a better insight regarding some useful tips and tricks.
I tried introducing pacifiers with both my sons. I tried every pacifier brand for my firstborn, but he was quite stubborn, and despite trying every method on the internet, I failed. The first 4 months were quite challenging as I hardly slept, but once he learned self-soothing, I got my precious sleep back.
Then comes my second born, he again was stubborn, and I thought this time I would fail too, but guess what? After 5 months, he happily accepted the pacifier.
So basically, in the end, it depends on your baby and his needs. Some babies accept the pacifier easily, while some give a hard time accepting them, and the remaining ones simply do not take a pacifier, no matter how much you try. So take a chill pill and let your baby decide.