While many parents think that a pacifier is the obvious solution to soothing their baby, in fact it comes as quite a surprise that lots of infants do not readily take to one. If you want to take advantage of the benefits that come with introducing your little one to a pacifier at an early age, this article looks at how you might achieve success if your baby seems a little reluctant at first.
Why Introduce A Pacifier?
Giving a pacifier to your baby is very much down to the parents' personal choice. While some people hate them and think they are a bad idea, just as many others rely heavily on them and are delighted with the many advantages that they bring. There are certainly some benefits that are known to introducing your baby to a pacifier, with the most obvious being that they are a great way to soothe a fretful baby, relying on their strong sucking reflex to help them to sleep and calm down when upset. Another major benefit is that sucking on a pacifier has been linked to a decreased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, which may be reason enough alone to give one to your little one at an early age. It is important to note however that if you are breastfeeding your infant, a pacifier may interfere with their ability to suckle effectively and there have been some links with a greater chance of developing middle ear infections. Nevertheless, if you have decided that a pacifier is the right choice for your baby but your infant seems reluctant to suck on it, there are several things that you can do to improve your chances of success.
Pick The Right Pacifier
All pacifiers are not the same. Although many are pretty and decorative, they may not be right for your little one. It is important to look at the developmental stage that each pacifier is suited to and match the correct one to your infant's age. The packaging should state the suitable age range for each product, making it easier for you to choose the correct one. You should also look for a pacifier that most closely resembles your baby's feeding method. Some pacifiers are designed to resemble a human nipple while others are more like a feeding bottle. You should choose the right one so that your child will be most likely to recognize the sensation and take more readily to sucking it. For safety reasons, choose a pacifier with holes in the base for easy breathing and one that is made in a single piece so that it will not fall apart.
Introduce At The Right Time
When you first introduce the pacifier to your baby, wait until they are calm and peaceful. If they are already upset they are unlikely to accept it. By touching it gently to his cheek, your baby's natural reflexes should be stimulated and he is likely to turn towards it and suckle. The first few times, you can allow your baby to suck the pacifier for a few minutes before removing it. If your baby is not keen, you can try dipping it in a little breast or formula milk as an encouragement or try warming the nipple in your hand before offering it again. However you should never dip the pacifier in anything sugary as this can damage your infant's growing teeth.