As new parents, you must make countless decisions for your little one. Whether to let your newborn sleep with a pacifier is likely one of the decisions that may be weighing heavily on your mind. On the one hand, a pacifier can be a lifesaver when calming a fussy baby and helping them drift off to sleep. On the other hand, potential drawbacks to relying on a pacifier exist that are worth considering. We’ll weigh the pros and cons of letting a newborn sleep with a pacifier to help you make the best decision for your baby.
Let’s delve into the positive aspects of newborns using pacifiers while sleeping. Understanding these benefits can be crucial when making an informed decision for your baby’s comfort and well-being.
Comfort and Calming
Pacifiers provide a calming presence for your child due to their familiar, smooth texture. Suckling has a rhythmic, relaxing impact on infants, simulating breastfeeding. In their new environment, the soft, silicone binky becomes a beacon of tranquility, giving a sensory experience that calms their psyche and offers support in times of stress or anxiety.
Balancing the demands of a newborn who struggles to sleep can be exhausting for parents. The endless cycle of late-night feedings, diaper changes, and soothing a restless infant seep into the scarce hours reserved for rest, leaving a profound toll.
The bad news is that your newborn is also feeling this burden. There’s nothing wrong with using a pacifier if giving them a pacifier buys you extra time for shut-eye and extends their sleeping patterns a few more minutes.
Reduced Chance of SIDS
Pacifiers have an unexpected benefit: they might significantly lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the use of a pacifier during sleep could reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 90%.
While pacifiers can offer comfort and even safety benefits, they have drawbacks. Introducing a pacifier has potentially negative implications that you shouldn’t overlook, adding another layer of complexity to the parenting journey.
Weaning a newborn off a pacifier can be an emotionally challenging process. The abrupt loss of their beloved soother can cause the newborn distress and agitation. Simultaneously, the parents may experience guilt and helplessness, witnessing their child’s struggle to adapt to the absence of their pacifier, turning this necessary transition into a traumatic episode.
Lacking a pacifier could lead to a cry for help if newborns depend on it to fall asleep. Those cries for help lead to sleepless nights and increased fatigue all around when the morning comes.
Long-term pacifier use can lead to dental problems in children. According to the American Dental Association, persistent use can cause changes in the shape of the mouth and alignment of the teeth, such as open bite, crossbite, or changes in jaw alignment. These issues could necessitate orthodontic treatment in the future.
You’ll hear ten different reasons why parents are for or against pacifier use at bedtime if you ask ten people what they think about giving a newborn a pacifier. Ultimately, weighing the pros and cons of letting a newborn sleep with a pacifier requires an assessment of their and your needs.
Should your family decide to give pacifiers a try, a pacifier buddy from Bunnies by the Bay will help you keep your pacifiers in one convenient location. A pacifier buddy is a godsend when your baby wakes in the middle of the night—no more rummaging around in the dark! Browse our cuddly collection to find the right buddy for your baby!