Mute Button

                    The pros and cons of pacifiers have been debated for years.  On the pro side, pacifiers can be used as a temporary “mute button” by calming and quieting a crying baby.  Sucking on a pacifier soothes distressed babies and promotes psychological, as well as, physical comfort.  Also, the use of pacifiers combined with putting baby to sleep on his or her back has been shown to reduce risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Doing this prevents baby from going into too deep of a sleep.  It makes them easier to wake up and alters breathing.  However, there seem to be important cons to using pacifiers that should not be over looked.

                The use over use of pacifiers can create health problems for many babies.  According to some Dentistry experts, the prolonged use of a pacifier can cause damage to the alignments of teeth in a baby’s mouth.  Babies who use pacifiers are more likely to get ear infections.  Pacifiers can be a chocking hazard if it becomes lodged in a child’s throat.  If attached with a cord to the babies close they can become a strangulation risk.

                So when is it acceptable to use a pacifier?  Expert, Dr. Jane Soxman, says “the appropriate time for discontinuing use varies and it may be socially acceptable for children to use them into the preschool years. However, to avoid the potential damage to the baby’s teeth and mouth, 2 years may be the best time to stop pacifier use.” Soxman suggests parents reduce use of pacifiers gradually.  Parents can do this by, using a pacifier at night instead of during the day, putting a bad taste on pacifiers so babies will reject them, and poking and cutting holes in the tip so pacifiers are less enjoyable for the child. 

                If used properly pacifiers can be beneficial to baby.  Yet, over use can result in permanent damage and increased risk of accidents.  Parents need to be cautious about pushing that “mute button.”                      Mute Button


Katie Hasiak


~ by knhasiak on October 18, 2009.

3 Responses to “Mute Button”

  1. Interesting. You never really hear of pacifiers in this way.

    Whitney J Kerr

  2. I didn’t know that pacifiers could be bad for children. I guess it falls into the whole thumb sucking category.

    Lisa Tamburrino

  3. I never knew that pacifiers reduced the chances of SIDS.

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