Babies can get extremely fussy, and something that’s know to, well, pacify them is the trusty old pacifier. Although that’s a fact you can’t argue with, the rest of the binky basics are a little fussier. This post aims to set the record straight.
Binky basics all parents need to know
Dummies can reduce the risk of SIDS
A lot of studies have shown that the risk for SIDS decreases when a baby uses a pacifier. When they suck their paci during nap time, they remain in a lighter state of sleep. This decreases the chance to stop breathing. Binky basics 101: a pacifier helps keep the airways open.
Breastfeeding babies CAN use pacifiers
There seems to be an idea floating around that binkies cause “nipple confusion” in breastfeeding babies. But more and more experts are questioning this prevailing wisdom. The truth is that some babies can’t meet their sucking needs by feeding alone. There’s nothing wrong with offering a newborn a pacifier. If she’s gaining weight and feeding well, it’s all systems go.
Binkies don’t cause dental problems
Babies that use pacifiers during the first two years of their lives are NOT at risk of developing dental problems. Because your baby’s mouth is so malleable, there’s no way a pacifier can change the shape of his or her mouth. Binkies can, however, cause malocclusion if used into the toddler years. This can lead to problems such as an open bite.
The use of pacifiers CAN increase the risk of ear infections
Older babies that use their binkies regularly have a higher risk of developing ear infections than those who stopped using them at six months. This might be due to the fact that sucking changes the pressure in the ears. The pressure difference can prevent liquid from draining through the tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat. All of this can lead to nasty ear infections.
Pacifiers need to be sterilised routinely
Binkies get germ-loaded, so much so that they carry fungi and bacteria similar to E. coli within the nipple if they’re not sterilized regularly. If you can’t run the pacifiers through the dishwasher, at least wash them with hot water and dish soap as soon as they’re dropped. Replacing your baby’s pacifiers at least every three months also comes highly recommended.