Why I am OK with a Pacifier

Wednesday, September 9, 2015
I can't believe I have been a mommy to two for almost 3 months now. Kameron will be 3 months old on the 11th. Time is flying and I can truly say I have loved every minute home with these two babies. When his tummy is happy, Kameron is a fabulous baby. He goes with the flow and is actually a great sleeper. He is starting to smile and hold toys. I am impatiently waiting for his first giggle!
I am in a Facebook group with a lot of other local moms. The subject of pacifiers comes up often and the "facts" thrown out are enough to make a new mom's head spin.

Don't ever give a pacifier to your baby. 
Pacifiers will cause feeding difficulties. 
A pacifier will help your baby sleep.
Only give a pacifier after the first week, never before. 
You can give a pacifier to your baby right away.
Pacifiers cause speech issues.  
Pacifiers cause dental issues.
Pacifiers can decrease your baby's risk of SIDS.
Babies who use pacifiers have more ear infections…

See what I mean? What it comes down to is that you have to do what is right for you and your baby. For both of my kids, I chose to let them use the pacifier early. Both of them had zero issues with breastfeeding so after the first day in the hospital, I asked the nurse for a pacifier. Truth is, the babies were using me as a human pacifier and I needed a break. Neither one ended up having feeding difficulties after introducing it. 
I've had a few people bring up the fact that I am a speech therapist. "How can you let your kids use a pacifier when they cause speech delays?" Guess what? They don't. Now don't get me wrong, they can. If your toddler is walking around the house with a pacifier in his/her mouth all day long, then yes, he/she could develop a speech delay. In fact, I could probably guarantee he/she will develop an articulation disorder from trying to talk with the paci in his/her mouth. So many children misarticulate sounds or demonstrate a lateral lisp from talking around that binky. Or, he/she may not talk at all with the pacifier in. They don't call it a plug for nothing! The key is moderation and only use it when your child needs it. 

Probably one of the biggest reasons why I am pro-paci is that it eliminates thumb sucking. This is coming from a person that sucked her thumb til second  grade, had constant sores on her thumb, spacers, braces, and retainers for years. I couldn't break the habit and I don't want that for my kids. When the time comes to give it up, you can take the pacifier away… you can't take away their thumb.

The key is limiting and monitoring when it is used. Use it in moderation and only use it when your child needs it. In our house, we only use it for naps and at night. It hardly ever leaves the bed. However, with that being said, every child is different. We should not be ones to judge other moms on their personal decisions. We all love our children and want to do what's best for them. Still undecided on your preference? Do the research… theres a lot of information out there. But the best research is your own personal experience, do what makes your babies happy! :)

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