Pros and Cons of Pacifiers

If you have a baby, chances are you’ve heard about the pros and cons of pacifiers. Pacifiers are a controversial subject for parents, with some saying that they’re necessary to help babies sleep, while others insist that they make it more difficult for babies to learn how to fall asleep on their own. We’ll explore both sides of this issue below so that you can decide for yourself if using a pacifier is right for your family situation.

Using a pacifier helps prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a leading cause of death in infants, especially between 2 and 4 months of age. SIDS is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant younger than 1 year old that cannot be explained after a complete autopsy, examination of the scene, and review of circumstances surrounding the death.

SIDS affects about 1 in 1000 babies under one year old. There are many theories as to what causes it. One proposal suggests that some babies who die from SIDS were born with immature neurological pathways; another suggests that toxins in the environment may play a role in causing some deaths from SIDS; still others believe that genetic factors or unusual responses by some babies’ bodies or brains may contribute to their deaths if they experience certain stressors such as excessive heat, coldness or fatigue during sleep time (e.g., being too hot while sleeping).

A pacifier can help with breastfeeding.

A pacifier can help with breastfeeding.

  • It can reduce stress on the nipple. When a baby suckles at the breast, milk flows from their mouth into the nipple and then back out again. This process is known as “let-down.” If a baby has been using a pacifier for several hours prior to feeding time, they’re less likely to have strong let-down reflexes when they begin breastfeeding — which means less pain and irritation for you!
  • It helps babies latch on properly. A study found that babies who had used pacifiers during infancy were more likely to latch on correctly than those who had not used one — even if they hadn’t used one in months before beginning nursing! The researchers believe this might be because of how much sucking babies do in general while using their thumbs or fingers; it’s similar motions when they’re on their mother’s chest (or other soft surface).
  • It helps calm fussy infants down so they can go to sleep peacefully. If your child has trouble falling asleep after eating, try placing him/her in bed with either an empty bottle or his favorite pacifier nearby – many times this will be enough for them fall asleep without any fussing at all!

It may help when it comes time to wean.

Pacifiers are an important tool when it comes to weaning your baby from the breast or bottle. Using pacifiers may help your little one transition from breastfeeding or bottle feeding to eating solid foods, which can be easier for both mom and baby.

A pacifier can also help a baby sleep through the night. When babies get upset, they often cry and scream for hours; this can be very stressful for parents who want their child to stop crying so they can get some rest themselves. If a parent has to run back and forth from their bedroom multiple times each night in order to comfort their little one, it will take its toll on both of them quickly! Pacifiers are great because they keep babies calm enough so that they won’t need constant attention throughout the night—which means mommy gets some much-needed shut-eye!

A pacifier can be part of a bedtime routine.

A pacifier can be part of a bedtime routine. Babies often find sucking on a pacifier calming, so it can be used to help calm the baby during stressful moments. Some babies even use their pacifiers as sleep aids, and some parents believe that using a pacifier during breastfeeding helps maintain milk supply. In addition, if you’re trying to wean your baby off the pacifier but he or she still needs comfort at bedtime, consider using one with holes in it (such as this one) that will allow air through while also encouraging him or her to suck less on it.

It calms and comforts babies during stressful moments.

Pacifiers are designed to help soothe babies, and they do this job quite well. Many parents believe that pacifiers can calm and comfort babies during stressful moments. This is especially true when it comes to sleep, as pacifiers can be used to help lull a baby into slumber by restricting the noise of sucking on their fingers or thumb.

A recent study showed that pacifier use helps reduce crying in preterm infants, which is a good thing for everyone involved (except maybe for your neighbors). In addition to helping babies cope with stress or anxiety in general, pacifier use has been linked with reduced crying episodes associated with other painful medical procedures like vaccinations or blood work.

These benefits aren’t just limited to newborns—research suggests that older children who use pacifiers regularly tend to experience fewer tantrums overall than those who don’t. Some experts also believe that using them at night can have an impact on your child’s sleeping patterns over time; however this hasn’t been thoroughly studied either way yet so we’ll leave it up top you decide what’s right for your family

It has benefits after the first year of life.

After the first year of life, pacifiers can still be used to benefit your child.

  • They can help babies sleep and stay asleep. If a baby is having trouble sleeping because they’re not comfortable in their crib, they may find that sucking on a pacifier calms them down enough to fall asleep.
  • Pacifiers can also be used to calm children during stressful situations like doctor visits or bedtime routines when parents are tired and stressed out themselves. This will make both you and your child more relaxed.
  • Pacifiers have even been shown to help comfort children who are afraid of the dark! If your little one is still scared after turning out the lights at bedtime, give him/her a pacifier so he/she’ll feel safer under his/her blanket with something familiar nearby (like mommy).

Pacifiers may cause ear infections.

Ear infections are common in babies, and they are more likely to develop in children who use pacifiers.

This is because the sucking motion of using a pacifier can cause your baby’s eustachian tube to become blocked, which makes it difficult for fluid to drain properly from their middle ear. This can lead to an ear infection or other complications. If you think your child has an ear infection, see your doctor immediately!

If you already have one or more children who use pacifiers and have noticed that they tend to get sick often (especially colds), then keep an eye out for symptoms such as:

  • stuffiness/runny nose
  • coughing spells
  • fever

Can interfere with breastfeeding (if you’re breastfeeding)

If you are breastfeeding and your baby uses a pacifier, it can cause some problems.

  • Nipple confusion. The sucking action needed to breastfeed is different than that used with a pacifier. If your baby takes the breast after using the pacifier, they may not latch on correctly, which can result in nipple soreness or decreased milk supply. This is why many mothers choose not to give their babies a pacifier until they start breastfeeding because it can delay attachment if given too early.
  • Pacifiers can also cause nipple soreness for this reason as well—the sucking motion of the breast differs from that of a bottle or teat (which tend to be harder).

May cause dental problems.

Although pacifiers are a must-have for many babies, they can cause dental problems. If your child falls asleep with a pacifier in their mouth, the suction will pull their tongue and lips into the back of their mouth, causing early tooth decay. The sucking motion can also cause jaw misalignment and tongue tie (an abnormal attachment of the tongue to other tissues). If your baby uses the pacifier for more than one year and sucks on it for at least four hours per day, he or she is at an even higher risk for developing these dental issues.

If you’re worried about these potential problems but still want to use a pacifier to help soothe your baby back to sleep after feedings or whenever needed, be sure to clean them regularly as well as replace them often—at least once every three months—to keep bacteria from building up on them.

May encourage thumb-sucking.

If you’re wondering whether or not your baby might be developing a thumb-sucking habit, the answer is likely yes. Thumb-sucking is a natural reflex that babies and children have. It’s how they comfort themselves when they’re feeling anxious or insecure, and it’s also just a part of growing up in general. For instance, if you’ve ever seen an adult with teeth marks on their thumbs after biting them while stressed out—that’s probably what they were doing as an infant or toddler!

It can be painful to watch your child stick their fingers in their mouth all day long, but don’t panic: like many other developmental milestones during infancy (such as crawling), thumb-sucking tends not to stick around for too long. In fact, most children stop by age two or three without any external intervention; however if left unchecked it could cause permanent changes in facial structure which could make speech difficult for them later on down the road!

Pacifiers have many pros and cons, but may help ease your baby in some situations for a limited amount of time


  • A pacifier may help ease your child if he is overly fussy or teething.
  • Using a pacifier can help your baby learn to soothe himself when he is upset.


  • If you rely on the pacifier, it’s easy for you to forget that your baby needs other forms of attention and love from you as well. It’s always important for parents to give time and attention to their babies, even when they’re old enough to be weaned off the binky—and even more so in those first weeks. You want to show him how much you love him by holding him frequently and speaking with him often.


In the end, it’s up to you and your baby. You may want to try out a pacifier if all else fails and your baby is inconsolable, but be aware that they can cause some problems. If you do decide to use one, try the soothers designed for breastfed babies—they’re made with fewer chemicals and less plastic than other types of pacifiers. And remember: While they’re not always necessary, there are times when even just a few minutes’ worth of sucking on something soft or familiar can help calm down a fussy infant (or toddler!).