Binky, soothie, pacie...they're all the same thing and get the job done just the same. And while they are a very typical tool for soothing your baby, should I use a pacifier for my baby?
When we first started choosing items for our baby registry, I looked at the page of pacifiers, chose the one I thought was the cutest for a little girl and went on to choose the next item. Not even a single thought crossed my mind about potentially not giving Ava a pacifier. Growing up, I used one, my sisters used them, all of our friends used them, and I just assumed that using one was just something you were supposed to do with a baby. I mean, there has to be a reason they are so popular right?
And then I started reading mommy articles on the 12 different pregnancy and mommy apps I had downloaded, and I came across an article on the pros and cons of using a pacifier. Wait a second...you mean to tell me that a pacifier - that little piece of rubber that makes my baby stop crying - could possibly harm her?
Yes, I heard about the one case earlier this year where the toddler bit off the end of his binky and choked on it but other than that, I just had never heard of anything possibly going wrong. Okay just one more - I do remember it being very difficult for my little sister's best friend to give hers up when she was getting a little too old to use it but other than that, no harm seemed to come out of them. And that isn't the end of the world, right? So I began researching the pros and cons of using a pacifier:
The Pros: Your baby gets to suck on something which soothes him or her to sleep and makes her happy!
The Cons: It could potentially mess up their teeth and gums, it could interfere with their ability to breastfeed, and they have a higher risk of ear infections? Who knows about that last one!
So while there were pros and cons to using one (just like with everything else in life), we decided to go ahead and introduce her to one while we were still in the hospital, as she latched for breastfeeding right away and the lactation consultant gave us the go ahead.
And she hated it! That adorable, pink, butterfly shaped pacifier was useless.
The hospital ended up giving us a Soothie (that's the name of the brand) and she immediately took to that one. (Side Note: Register for a couple of different brands to see what your baby likes best!)
We continue to use a pacifier to this day, but we definitely use it with caution...maybe once every couple of days at most. Our pediatrician suggested using it to see if Ava is really hungry or just wants to suck. Because there are days like the past two days where all she wants to do is suck all day long, and that wouldn't be too fun for my boobs if she didn't have something else. So for us, we have used it as a helpful tool, rather than something that Ava feels she has to have and is constantly attached to each and every day of her life when she is not eating.
Do your research and again, decide what is best for you and your family. But either way, there are pros and cons of both and what is right for one family may not be right for another. And heck, what is right for your first child probably isn't right for your second either!