Pacifier Pros and Cons
When mothers cannot breastfeed their babies directly, especially for a working mother, using a milk bottle or pacifier is the first choice so that the mothers can still provide nutrition for their babies either to give breast milk or formula milk. The use of pacifiers and pacifiers is actually not recommended, especially if it continues to be done until the age of 2 years or even more. Breast milk is produced based on the principle of “supply and demand”, adding formula milk can calm baby’s hunger but reduce the demand for breast milk, later this, in turn, will reduce the mother’s breastmilk naturally supply.
According to experts, giving milk to babies with pacifiers is not a recommended thing to do, because it can make the baby confused with nipples, and instead will get used to pacifiers later. The long-term effects can damage the breastfeeding process, even the milk can not release out, because the child does not want to suckle on the mother’s breast. The use of pacifiers spoils breastfeeding since finally, the baby is comfortable with the bottle, rather than the mother. It is recommended that the pacifier media be replaced with other media such as glass, pipette, or spoon. For unworking mothers, it is recommended to just breastfeed without doing milk or giving formula milk, while doing other activities at home.
Using pacifier can be dangerous. For the long term, it can hurt a child’s development such as:
- Make the baby experiencing “nipple confusion”. This phenomenon can happen when the baby has learned how to suck with a dummy or bottle, and then the baby struggles to adapt to sucking from a breast.
- Reorganization of the muscles can cause children to breathe food and vomit through the nose.
- Babies who drink formula milk tend to often sleep for long periods, however, this also causes the baby experiencing respiratory problems during sleep.
- The use of pacifiers can increase breathing habits with the mouth which can lead to respiratory infections and the decreased on hearing.
- Increased risk of cavities. Sugar or sweet substances contained in formula milk stick to the teeth, especially when the baby falls asleep after suckling from the pacifier.
- Because it doesn’t develop masticatory muscles properly, problems with fonoarticulacion languages can arise. This allows them to experience delayed speech development.
- Having a higher risk of choking (than giving with a glass or spoon).
- Children who are already familiar with pacifiers will also be difficult to wean from pacifiers. This will affect their psychological side if they are not successfully separated from the pacifier at the age of 2 years, especially if they exceed the 3-year limitation. So, it will affect the independence and decision making of the child in the future.
However, there are also several benefits of using baby pacifiers:
- Reducing the risk of sudden infant death or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, this fact still needs an examination more deeply.
- Helps babies sleep more easily. Pacifiers can also calm fussy babies.
- Can be a distraction. For example, when you have to undergo certain procedures, such as immunization and blood tests.
- Reduces discomfort when traveling by plane. If adults can eat snacks to reduce ear pain due to changes in air pressure, then the babies’ pacifier will be more helpful tools.
Tips for Using Baby Pacifiers
If the mother decides to give a pacifier to your child, pay attention to the following things:
- It is better not too early, at least you need to consider taking it as the baby 1-month-old. If the baby is breastfed, you should wait until the baby has mastered how to suckle properly before using the baby pacifier.
- Make sure the baby uses the right pacifiers according to the age of the baby.
- Choose a baby pacifier that has a hole in the edge to maintain air circulation. Mothers need to make sure choosing pacifiers with free of bisphenol-A (BPA), to avoid any health risks.
- Do not use a baby pacifier with a strap around his neck, because it will be at risk of suffocation.
- Keep baby pacifiers clean by washing them with warm water and soap regularly.
- Don’t share the teats with other children.
- Avoid the habit of giving sweetener ingredients to the pacifier, to reduce the risk of damaged teeth.
- It is recommended not to give pacifiers to babies who experience weight gain disorders.
Nearly, 99% of women can breastfeed and produce enough milk to support the growth for their babies. With encouragement, support, and assistance, almost all women want to directly breastfeed but 90% of women give up in the first 6 weeks, they say that they really want to continue but don’t get the support and positive response from surrounding people including families. Long-term breastfeeding rates can be increased if there is continuous support, and agreement in the family and the wider community about breastfeeding directly.
In brief, what is needed here is social support. The pros and cons between breast milk and formula milk show that there is a combination of various factors; health, socio-economic, cultural and political even aesthetic value. These are all believed to reduce self-confidence. Often they get the emphasis that giving formula milk is a lifestyle and a modern woman’s body cannot produce enough milk for her child.
Breastfeeding is a natural negotiation process between mother and baby. If this process is interrupted by risk, please bear it by yourself. Breastfeeding rates begin to decline as a result of changing circumstances with many women leaving their children to enter the workforce as a manifestation of emancipation. This form of emancipation has pushed mothers away from their babies and started their own lives. This actually creates a condition where women intellectual and modern women do not realize how important breastfeeding is for them and their babies. Of course, all of these things happen and go hand in hand with the timeline where technology is growing towards formula milk.
So, does the baby still need to be given a pacifier?
The use of pacifiers in infants is still the pros and cons. On the one hand, pacifiers can provide comfort to babies, but on the other hand, pacifiers can also have adverse effects on the baby’s health. However, natural breastfeeding is still much better than using pacifiers.
To avoid these problems, mothers who give their babies pacifiers should not make it a habit because it can make them dependent through the years. Although this risk does not occur in all children, the possibility can increase if the use of pacifiers for a long time. The decision to use a pacifier must be considered the needs of the baby. Consider the possible benefits and disadvantages. If necessary, consult first with a trusted pediatrician.