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The Great Pacifier Debate

Among all of the hormonal ups and downs associated with having a baby there are a few ongoing, emotionally charged hot topics. After the always sensitive debate over bottle versus breast, one of the next in line for heated discussions is whether or not to give your baby a pacifier. Those tiny binkys look innocent enough, but have actually started quite a battle.
In this corner: Weighing in at…well, let’s not discuss weight right now…is emotionally raw new mom who wants more than anything to soothe her baby in any way she can. Having a new baby in the house can be a trying experience, even for people who are normally quite calm. The anxiety can be especially high when you have a baby who cries a lot and cannot be settled by rocking, swaddling or snuggling. An article on the BabyCenter site points out that some babies have a higher need to soothe themselves through sucking, even when they are not hungry. If you feel that you have a child who is comforted by sucking you may want to try a pacifier for times when nothing else will calm him/her. In addition, some studies have shown that there is a possibility that the use of a pacifier contributes to a lower incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
In this corner: We have preemptive new mom who looks into the future and does not want to deal with issues of attachment to devices such as pacifiers. She wants her child to learn to soothe him/herself without props. In addition to the concern about becoming too dependent on a gadget, new parents must also consider that breastfeeding babies may be confused if a pacifier is introduced too early. Sucking on a pacifier and latching onto the breast involve different motions, so pacifier use can throw off breastfeeding in some cases. Also important to note is the increased rate of middle ear infections among babies who use pacifiers.

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