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Baby Sleeping and the Pacifier

Aug 18, 2007
If you are having trouble getting your baby to sleep through the night, you might want to consider a pacifier. When your baby is first born, that is what they do; they suck to eat amd to soothe themselves in their new environment. Some babies are even sucking their fingers in the womb. When they are born, they don't always know how to suck right away, but with persistence and practice, they will be sucking in no time.

My son was sent home from the hospital with a one piece pacifier. At first I was reluctant to use it, but when he wasn't giving me any rest, I realized the value of it. Even after I fed him, and I knew he was full, he still wanted to suck. I put the pacifier in his mouth, and immediately he settled down. I could see the soft spot on the top of his head going up and down with each suck. It was amazing to see.

Then one day while nursing and watching PBS on TV, I saw how important sucking is to a baby. Did you know that sucking can increase your baby's brain development? It helps all the neurons in the brain connect. These connections produce pathways and networks in the brain. These pathways and networks enable your baby to think, see, hear and learn.

There have also been studies which show that Pacifiers (or your baby's finger) can aid in the reduction of Acid Reflux. If your baby spits up or vomits after feeding, don't worry, that is normal, and doesn't always need medical attention. However if it is very frequent, and your baby is not gaining any weight, you probably should see your pediatrician. A new study shows that infants who suck on pacifiers have fewer and shorter episodes of reflux, because the pacifier increases the production of saliva. When the baby swallows, the saliva pushes the acid back into the stomach.

There are some pros and cons when it comes to pacifiers that you should be aware of.

Pros
1. They help soothe baby to sleep.
2. They help stop a gluttonous baby from over eating. (sometimes they just need to suck)
3. They help soothe a fussy baby.
4. They also become a form of security to baby.
5. There is research that says pacifiers may decrease the possibility of Sudden Infant Syndrome. (SIDS)
6. When baby is 2 years old, you can throw the pacifier away. (with their help of course)

CONS
1. They may become too attached to the pacifier. (below I explain how I got mine off the pacifier)
2. They could cause middle ear infections from fluid build up.
3. Some moms may have trouble breast feeding if a pacifier is used. (I didn't have any problems)

What ever you decide, at least consider using a pacifier. Your baby may not want to take it at first. If he figures out how to soothe himself, then you don't need one. But if you do use one, always make sure it is the one piece pacifier. Fluid builds up in the two piece pacifiers, and if not washed regularly, can be harmful to the baby. If you put a two piece pacifier in the dishwasher, water can get trapped inside the pacifier, and they will drink that dirty water when they use it.

I recommend the Soothie pacifier. We bought 10 of them. When we were down to the last 3 we told our son there were only 3 left. He understood that. At 2 years old, out dentist said it was time to stop, because it was changing his pallet. So one night, when we were down to 1, my husband snipped the tip of the pacifier. When my son grabbed it in the middle of the night, and realized it didn't work, he brought it to us. We told him to throw it away, and there were no more pacifiers. He understood that too. We let him sleep in our bed that night. The next morning he went to see it in the trash can, and realized he no longer had a pacifier. It was easier then we thought.
About the Author
Robin loves to help new moms with their babies. For more information on how to help your baby sleep through the night, visit her website http://www.babysleeptonight.com. There is also a link to the Soothie pacifier, and great tips to get your baby to sleep through the night in a weekend.
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