Are Pacifiers Good for Babies?

You may know them as pacis, binkies, soothies, or a slew of other names we call that thing that we stick in our baby’s mouth to help them stop crying. In my house, pacifiers often work like magic. But are there actual benefits to using them? Today we’re going to dig into the science of pacifiers and address some of the most burning questions new parents have on this topic, as well as tips for addressing some of the more problematic paci woes.

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    Philips Avent is the #1 childcare brand recommended by moms worldwide. For more than 30 years, they have supported millions of parents. They calm their tears, enjoy more smiles, and raise healthy, happy babies.

Episode Transcript

Natalie Gross 0:10
You may know them as pacis, binkies, soothies or a slew of other names we call that thing that we stick in our baby’s mouth to help them stop crying. In my house, pacifiers often work like magic. But are there actual benefits to using them? Today we’re going to dig into the science of pacifiers and address some of the most burning questions new parents have on this topic, as well as tips for addressing some of the more problematic paci woes. This is Newbies!

Natalie Gross 1:09
Welcome to Newbies listeners! Newbies is your online on the go support group guiding new mothers through their baby's first year. I'm Natalie Gross mom to a three year old boy and a brand new baby girl. We've got a great show today talking about pacifiers. Now if you haven't already, be sure to visit our website at And subscribe to our weekly newsletter, which keeps you updated on all the episodes that we release each week. Another great way to stay updated is to hit that subscribe button and your podcast app wherever you're listening. And if you're looking for a way to get even more involved with our show, then you can check out our membership club. It's called Mighty Moms. That's where we chat more about the topics discussed here on our show. And it's also an easy way to learn about our recordings so that maybe you can join us live. So we have moms, Susan, Shelby, and Jenna joining us today. Welcome to the show everyone. And as we get started, tell us a little bit about you and your family. So Susan, do you want to kick us off?

Susan Lattuca 2:03
Sure. Hi, thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be on. My name is Susan Lattuca. I am a mom, I have two little girls one is seven and the other one is two and a half. And I've also saved consultants so we can touch on that a little bit later. So I have both personal and professional experience with the pacifier. And I'm just really happy to be here.

Natalie Gross 2:23
Yeah, interesting tidbit. Susan, and I actually met because she was giving away a package of pacifiers in our we're in the same Facebook Buy Nothing group. So I was like, Oh, you need to come on. Alright, Shelby, do you want to go ahead and introduce yourself?

Shelby Surgis 2:39
Yeah. Hi, guys. I'm Shelby Surgis. And we actually just moved to Virginia a couple months ago. For my husband's work. We have two little kids, a two and a three year old. So we are quite busy.

Natalie Gross 2:53
And is that them their two year old?

Shelby Surgis 2:55
She's not. Yeah, she's trying to figure out what this whole scenario is happening on the computer. But

Natalie Gross 3:01
yeah, it's fun. Awesome. Well, thanks, Shelby. Yeah, Jenna.

Jenna Mayfield 3:06
Hi. Yes. I'm Jenna Mayfield, I have two kids, a seven year old boy and a girl who is three, almost four.

Natalie Gross 3:16
Well, thank you all moms so much for being here. I'm excited for our conversation today. And first up, I just kind of want to know what your experiences have been with pacifiers. And I'm curious if that was something that you intentionally chose to use with your kids? Is it something you kind of fell into? Or just saw everyone else using? What are your experiences there?

Shelby Surgis 3:35
Like as a new mom, I feel like I just tried it because you just try it to see if it works. And you always hear like sometimes Oh yeah, my kid never took the pacifier. And that was it. Both of our kids took them pretty easily, like right off the bat. So we've kind of just been doing it the entire time. We're in the, the scenario right now. I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of them for both kids. So we're not really sure how to do that. And we definitely use them as like a little bit of a crutch through like a consistency for them through all of our like military moves and kind of different travel scenario. So now that we're a little bit settled are definitely about to dive into getting rid of them.

Natalie Gross 4:19
Yeah, that's something we'll definitely touch on later on in the show.

Susan Lattuca 4:22
Yeah, I'll touch base on my experience. This is Susan. So for me it was I hadn't really thought about it. Like as I was pregnant and getting ready for both microphones and just like when I wasn't really thinking about pacifier or not. And I don't know if anyone else echoes this, but as soon as the babies are born, the nurses are the ones who are like shoving the pacifiers in the baby's mouth. So it wasn't something that I really thought of, but the nurses were doing it so I figured, okay, sure. So that's kind of how it started. Neither of my girls relied on the pacifier. My first took the pacifier, but she could take it or leave it. She wasn't really totally in I stuck with it. And the, my second my turn right now two and a half year old, she was not interested in the pacifier at all whatsoever. So that was kind of, you know, we bought so many different kinds of pacifiers. But yeah, she the second one just did not take it to at all.

Jenna Mayfield 5:16
So we actually have experienced both ways, one with no pacifier, and one with a pacifier. My oldest when I was pregnant with him, everything we had read or heard, even our hospital actually, Susan mentioned their hospital, but our hospital was anti pacifier. Everybody was like, do not give a pacifier, you will cause nipple confusion and cause issues down the line. So we did not do a pacifier with our first and he was a horrible sleeper, like horrible. We had the hardest time getting him to sleep. And he would not stay asleep unless he was touching me. He was difficult. And we tried not to use a sleep Sound Machine either, because we had also gotten the advice that they would end up using that as a crutch. And it would be really difficult to get rid of. So we did not use any of that right at first we did end up introducing a sleep Sound Machine later with him and that helped a lot but he never had a pacifier. And with my daughter, she when when I was pregnant with her, I'm like I am trying pacifier, because there was no way that I could have her go through the same sleep issues that he went through. Because I had a three and a half year old at the time. And so with her we were like, Okay, we are for sure going to try the pacifier and she took it right away. Our hospital again was anti pacifier, but we used it anyways that time. And yeah, and it worked wonders with her. She she used it just for falling asleep. Once she was asleep, either it would pop out or we would take it out. She'd never like slept with it. And so she would use it for falling asleep. And then I want to say she was like one and a half and we were at the doctor. And I only had one pacifier and it fell on the floor. Obviously, I was not putting that back in her mouth. And after that she was completely weaned. Like, it was so easy to get rid of with her.

Natalie Gross 7:21
Oh, wow. That's amazing.

Shelby Surgis 7:24
That's nice. My kids are addicts, I think so I don't I really have to like, research how to do this. Like every other parenting thing. You're like, Okay, we're gonna do it this weekend. And I'm like, everybody in the house prepares for whatever is gonna happen. And it can be it can be such a big event. Yeah, I don't really they've been so adaptable to every other thing like potty training and moving houses. So it's like, I think, you know, they'll probably do better than we think they'll do.

Jenna Mayfield 7:56
But I don't know if it was her age at the time or what it was, but I hit expected her to have a hard time because she did rely on it heavily for falling asleep. And then all of a sudden, it was gone. And we worked on other things. And she was totally fine.

Natalie Gross 8:13
Yeah. Well, I know Susan talked about, you know, trying different kinds of pacifiers, Jenna and Shelby, was it a lot of trial and error for you to figure out which pacifier your baby liked best? Or did they just like the first one you tried? How did that go? I think

Shelby Surgis 8:29
I don't really, I think they each liked the initial one. They use like different ones, different brands, but they've kind of stuck with the same ones the entire time. We were like the parents that put like, 15 of them in their crib, when they were smaller. They woke up, they could just grab one. And they like still do that at night. Like I go in to check on them before we go to bed. And you know, I'm like watching her do like sleep trade out Benkei swaps, like with all of them in her hands? And I'm just like, Okay, I mean, at least they can figure it out by themselves. And they're not waking us up for that. But yeah, I don't know, they were pretty easy on the first one we gave them

Jenna Mayfield 9:07
with us. Like I said, we didn't do it with my first. So with my daughter, we just used I can't even remember the brand of it. But the like the cheap one, like the basic one that's just all the like flexible plastic or whatever. So we used that one for a while. And then we ended up getting where they have like the animal on the end. We got that one for her for a while. But once she started getting teeth, our dentist with my son, he or she had mentioned that we should probably get rid of that as soon as possible because the weight of that causes their teeth to come in funny, I guess. So. Yeah. So we just use the like, basic simple ones. I think the ones that the hospitals give out.

Natalie Gross 9:54
Yeah, well thank you so much moms for sharing your experiences. And when we come back, we'll be meeting our expert Dr. Natasha Burgert, a Phillips Avent partner in pediatrician who's going to tell us pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about pacifiers and answer some of the questions we've already brought up in this discussion. So stay with us!

Natalie Gross 10:16
Today on Newbies, we're talking about pacifiers, the pros, the cons and everything in between. Our expert guest today is Dr. Natasha Berger, a pediatrician and nationally recognized speaker based in Kansas. She's a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, a contributor to US News and World Report and NBC Learns parents toolkit, and she also serves on Missouri's Advisory Committee for childhood immunizations. Dr. Natasha, welcome to Newbies. Thanks so much for joining us.

Natasha Burgert 10:43
Oh, it's so fun to be here. And I love to hear your conversation that's so relatable to so many parents with all of these questions about pacifiers!

Natalie Gross 10:51
Yeah, absolutely. Well, let's start with the very basics When and why did they come about what's kind of their intended purpose?

Natasha Burgert 10:59
Pacifiers are simply a tool. So there are tool to support babies sucking reflex. So what's the second reflex? Babies and primates really are born with a primitive reflex to practice the drink, swallow breathe rhythm or pacing the baby needs those babies really as required to eat. So the second reflex works with the rooting reflex and together that's how the human race has survived. So the second reflex begins really 30 weeks gestation, I've got lots of babies that pop out and come to my office with sacking blisters on their hands or second blisters on their mouth, because they're doing this for many, many weeks even before we meet them. And it lasts all the way till 12 months of age. And this is the practice that babies need to feed and grow. The second reflex also releases brain chemicals in the brain that help to call they help kids sleep as Jenna experienced without using one right. And on the breast. When babies suck, it releases chemicals in mom and baby to support breast milk release and production. So it does a lot. The second reflex reflex is super important. And so that's why babies suck all the time. And so a pacifier is used to help babies do this very primitive, innate, required action that they must do all the time that their brainstem is telling them to do pass you support this need to suck when babies don't need to eat.

Natalie Gross 12:28
That is so interesting. I'm I've never heard that before the science behind it. So things were explaining. Now I know there's also research showing that pacifiers can actually help decrease the risk of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. Can you explain why that is and what the research has shown?

Natasha Burgert 12:44
This was really interesting. In the early 2000s, the Academy of Pediatrics released their safety or sleep guidelines and introduced the concept of pacifiers reducing the risk of SIDS. And I think it was really eye opening for a lot of parents because of the conflict that they had heard about pacifiers like this was really kind of eye opening that this is a clear benefit here. So what the researchers have found through numerous case controlled studies, and actually to really large meta analyses is that when babies use pacifiers to go to sleep, it can reduce the incidence of SIDS as much as 90%. And that's really significant. Now, since of course, it's complicated. It's not just a pacifier that's involved in this this tragic consequence that kids still experience today. It's a complex relationship between genetics and environments and various other things. So we're not but the the significance of this reduction was so great that the academy now Felice really supports with their Saperstein guidelines. To use that pacifier as a tool. We honestly don't know why this helps them. We don't know why this is protective. There's been many theories whether or not it's helping autonomic control of arousal during sleep, or it's keeping the airway open during sleep, or it's encouraging a safer sleep position for babies, we're really not quite sure. However, when the academy revised and re released its safer sleep guidelines just a few months ago, just this past summer, this was still significant enough that they kept this recommendation in their current guidelines to use that pacifier to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Natalie Gross 14:30
Now, does that or is that only effective if they're using it the whole night to sleep? So if it falls out, do you need to go pop it back in or is it just to help them fall asleep?

Natasha Burgert 14:38
aIt is just to help them fall asleep, which is really breaking down some of our theories about airway and positioning because even if babies fell asleep with it, and it falls out, as most of the time it does, using that pacifier during sleep initiation still is protective.

Natalie Gross 14:57
Okay, interesting. So what are some other Bennett fits to using pacifiers. I mean, I know you, you kind of already mentioned kids coming in your office with like having suck their thumb raw. So any other benefits, you know, maybe avoiding that.

Natasha Burgert 15:10
Sure. So obviously soothing, it keeps other things that babies like to suck on, again, a primitive reflex, they're going to find something to snack on, which usually fingers thumb or some other object. And a lot of parents just don't want their kids to snack on their hands. So it gives them a replacement for that. We use it an awful lot for pain management, use it in the hospitals a lot for pain management, we know it helps for sleep. And I think kind of a super secret about the pacifier that we don't think about very much is it does really help babies on their oral motor work, it helps them strengthen that coordination that they need between their tongue and their jaw and their cheeks. In order to get that drink, swallow rhythm going that pacing going, and it's actually used by physical therapists in our hospital, in order to promote that for kids who have a challenging time that are more challenging time to eat. Keep in mind, the second reflex, like I said, I mean, it goes until 12 months of life, these kids are doing this for a really, really long time. And the pacifiers during that time to continue to see these benefits kind of change over time. So for newborns, for example, like I recommend the Philips Advent soothie, because that is a hospital grade silicone pacifier that can you can put your finger in to really support and put pressure on the tongue and palate and support. That coordination, that strengthening of that coordination. And it's also a good soothing tool, as Bibi is adjusting their sleep schedules too. But as kids grow, they need pacifiers that grow with them. So for example, the Philips added to the snuggle is a great toy has a plush toy where the suit is attached to kind of keep that pacifier in place while kids are learning how to use it. But then that same plush toy can be interchanged with different pacifiers as baby grows to allow some versatility and flexibility. So, during that whole first 12 months of life, we're thinking about the sucking reflex, we're thinking about these different benefits, and we're getting a tool appropriate for their age and size in order to accomplish those.

Natalie Gross 17:13
What are pacifiers made up? What exactly are we, you know, giving our babies to put in their mouths?

Natasha Burgert 17:19
Sure, so pacifier history, I mean, we've been trying to sue their babies with pacifiers for millennia, right? So pacifiers have been made up all sorts of things they've been made of metal, they've been made of bone, they've been made of coral, they've been made of like cloth sacks that moms used to dip in sugar or put a sugar cube in like in order to in order to pacify their babies. So fortunately, today, and the most contemporary pacifiers have, we're not using metal, we're not using metal anymore, we're not using bones, which is which is awesome. We have a little bit more research and development around these devices, and they have much safer construction. So typically, a contemporary pacifier is going to be made from either Rob rubber or silicone or latex then has a traditional nipple to it a flange and then usually a safety device to make sure it doesn't the biggest choke on it. And it has different forms of construction. So Philip savate uses 100% medical grade silicone and it's BPA free, it's tasteless, it's odorless, and it's strong. Which import which is important for durability for using these pacifiers for a while.

Natalie Gross 18:24
Yeah. Why want to get into, you know, kind of some of the concerns as we already heard, I think it was Jenna, who said that her advice she had heard was that it could cause nipple confusion that pacifiers can cause nipple confusion with breastfeeding babies. And this is something that I do hear a lot. Is this true? And if so, should parents wait to introduce the pacifier? What's kind of your recommendation there?

Natasha Burgert 18:46
I love this question because Jen's experience is not unique. You know, we have kind of this experience in the hospital where it was so difficult to get a pacifier, but Susan, who got the pacifier in the in the hospitals kind of where things are trending. Because I don't think that we have great evidence for nipple confusion. And I know certain lactation consultants may disagree with me. But as a pediatrician who sees hundreds of babies like nipple confusion is just something that practically I don't see with my with my with my breastfeeding babies, we have to remember that breastfeeding is a complicated interaction between mom and baby. And a simple piece of plastic is not going to derail this whole system that has been around for human survival. So we know that it's best practice to begin using any sort of synthetic nipple, whether it's bottle or pacifier. When mom has sufficient supply of milk, there's a consistent and comfortable latch and certainly babies starting to have weight gain. So we know there's good milk transfer. For those babies. That's typically less than two weeks of life. If you're not breastfeeding, you can use a pacifier like immediately. But, you know, at the end of the day, I will support whatever parents want to do if Parents are really worried about nipple confusion. And that's something that's that's top of mind, then of course, then delay that delay that initiation of use until baby's a couple of weeks old. If that's something that you're not particularly worried about, and you have a baby that really has a super strong reflex, second reflex that needs to suck all the time and is already starting to go after their hands and you really want to discourage that. I certainly have moms that start using pacifiers day one of life and are very successful breastfeed errs as well.

Natalie Gross 20:33
Well, there are so many pacifiers on the market, and I know you're here representing Philips Abbott. But are they all equally good? Or What should parents be, you know, looking for when they're purchasing pacifiers? Is it just babies preference or like what are specific things that you can be looking for?

Natasha Burgert 20:49
It's a bit of babies preference, like Susan's experience to you try and kind of a whole bunch to kind of see what fits a little bit like Goldilocks. But when I talk about any sort of baby product, pacifier or otherwise, I always think of just three things, it's got to be safe, it's got to be easy to clean, and it has to be practical. So I think about safety stuff, you want to make sure that it's made out of a strong material, it's one piece construction, I prefer BPA free. That's why I recommend full of seven pacifiers, and make sure that it's the correct size for your baby so that you can support that oral motor work that pacifiers can help with. I like ones that are easy to clean. I mean, we need especially with all of the illnesses that are going around right now, like we can't, we need to make sure that we can sterilize them easily in boiling water, throw them in the dishwasher, throw them in sterilizers. And they have to be strong enough to be able to do that. And there has to be a practical piece to like I don't want to buy a whole bunch of stuff, I don't want to have to buy a million different things in order to support this natural reflex that the baby has. So I like things that will grow with kids like the Philips haven't Sudhi snuggle, of course, that can grow and change as babies as babies get bigger. And that have some variability in their pacifier line. So they can kind of stick with one brand, because that's generally going to be the same nipple shape for whatever your baby likes.

Natalie Gross 22:11
Okay, great. Well, we are going to take another quick break. And when we come back, we're going to keep hearing from Dr. Natasha and our moms.

Natalie Gross 22:25
Welcome back, we are continuing our discussion with Dr. Natasha Burgert and our moms today. So moms, I want to give the floor back to you. Any thoughts on what we've just heard from Dr. Natasha about pacifiers and kind of the research behind them?

Shelby Surgis 22:38
Yeah, I guess I totally agree and have heard that before with the first 12 months. And now I'm just curious of after the 12 months it does it just become a habitual thing. And it's not really effective and helping your kids sleep, as well as it did the first 12 months, you know, like now I'm thinking like, Okay, we've done this for a really long time. And our kids are they're just like, their bankies are strictly bed, bedtime things in bed things so they're not, you know, using it at all times of the day. It's just a bed thing that they, you know, are comforted by now. So I'm wondering like, does it have any pros after like, the 12 month or is it just something that they love? And it's I have it?

Natalie Gross 23:23
That's a great question shall be Dr. Natasha, do you have any thoughts on that?

Natasha Burgert 23:27
Yeah, we I think you've already nailed that nailed it on the head shall be when you said that. It's a tool that's consistent. That's a consistency and lots of transition. Right. So there is a psychological dependence that starts to happen. These kids have had these devices that have provided them soothing and comfort, as long as they remember being alive. And so it allows that consistency allows that routine. It's part of the bedtime routine. It's part of the car routine. It's part of comfort as part of pain management, whatever it may be. So absolutely, there's still benefits after the first year. I think that Jenna's experience where it was easy to wean, like right around 18 months does have some validity because as kids age and that cycle, psychological dependence grows stronger than it does get harder to break. So every kid does kind of have the sweet spot where they've used it and they're ready to transition off. Jenner just got lucky to hit right at the 18 month mark. Some kids are closer to two, but most people are going to recommend both pediatricians and dentists are going to recommend that that between our by the age of three is really when we want to wean away the pacifier to prevent the dental complications that can sometimes come from using it too long.

Shelby Surgis 24:42
Have you found like a method that you've seen parents like works best? I mean, I think every mom's probably Googled every way of getting rid of a pacifier. You know, cutting it down like smaller so that eventually there's nothing or just cold turkey and I don't know if you The other Mama's Jenna's had a better experience. I guess hers was more natural than what ours is probably going to be.

Natalie Gross 25:07
Yeah, everyone jump in here. If you if you've weaned your kid from the past see, like, what's, what are your secrets? Yeah,

Susan Lattuca 25:13
This is Susan- just chiming in here. From a sleep consultant perspective, I do have two methods that I can coach the coach parents through. And it really is age specific, as Dr. Natasha was saying, you know, there is more of an attachment after kids reach a certain point. And so you know, when I'm working with families who were weaning from the pacifier, usually, if they are under 18 months, it's pretty much just easier to go cold turkey, just remove it and toss them in a bag, toss them in the trash, remove it. So there's no possible reliance on like, grabbing it in a situation where you need it, it's just done. But after 18 months, between the 18th of three years, you can get kind of whimsical and fun with it, if that's in your wheelhouse. And I coach people through inviting the pacifier fairy to the house, and you can have your kids, there's plenty of books that you can buy about the pacifier fairy. And it's basically just like, you know, kind of you gather all the pacifiers, you put them in a little bag, and you can either hang them on the door, or just like the to theory, put them under the pillow, and then the pacifier fairy will come and pick them. And there's no more pacifiers that can be pretty successful with kids who are a little bit more cognition, who are able to understand that concept a little bit more. And it can be kind of fun. Having said that, you know, especially when the kids are older, there's likely to be pushed back, no matter how you do it, especially if that attachment is pretty firm, perhaps you're using it not just at nighttime, but other times as well. So kind of picking up through like, either, you know, either a sleep training method, if it's a sleep issue, or just, you know, general choices and parenting of how to get through those times when your child is wanting to pacifier and the password is gone. So, you know, I usually tell parents to the power of distraction can be pretty amazing there.

Natalie Gross 27:09
Yeah, with my son, we weaned him when he was to about 27 months when we were switching him to a big boy bed, the toddler bed. And we just kind of told him like, hey, you know, big boys don't really use passes. And so once we moved to your big boy bed, and so we started like a week out, and then we're not really going to use pacifiers anymore, and we would talk about it every day. And honestly, like he did fine. And we didn't know if that was going to be a good method, because like, we didn't know if he would need help falling asleep in his new bed, relying on that pacifier, but it went great. So I don't know if that works for anyone else. But that's how we did it.

Jenna Mayfield 27:42
Um, yeah, so obviously, we lucked out, I was so scared that there would be some kind of pushback. But she did so well, that we just quit cold turkey. Something I have seen recently that I thought was really interesting that I would probably try if we had another one. And we had issues. I've seen where parents have taken their kids to like build a bear or something, and then had them put the pacifier inside the bear. So they still have that. And it's a new item that can help soothe them. But they're not actually sucking on the pacifier anymore. I thought that was a really creative way to do that.

Natalie Gross 28:22
Yeah, that's cute. I like that.

Susan Lattuca 28:24
So I was at pre kindergarten and kindergarten teacher for 14 years prior to sleep consulting. And I think one of the difference that can, as I mentioned before, that can be a big difference maker is whether or not how reliant your child is on the pacifier. So if they're relying on it to soothe themselves during the day, that's not asleep, situation, that it might be harder in that case to set to wean them because there's other you know, it's just not asleep time. It's other things, you know, they're crying because they want this right, and here's your pacifier. So, you know, in my experience with working with young children in the classroom setting, that is something that has popped up like the the pacifier was a way to get them to calm down or sue them during just conflict, whether they weren't getting what they wanted, or there was a social conflict versus just a flat out sleep issue. So I think could you know, as as parents kind of think about how they're using the pacifier, are they using it for sleep as really intended or is it more of a soother generally and that can be an indication of how difficult it might be to, to get rid of it.

Natalie Gross 29:33
Yeah, one of the other, you know, struggles with pacifiers, besides weaning, at least for my house has been what I call the paci dance, right. So baby falls asleep with it in it falls out. And then, right now with our girl, she's awake, wanting it back in her mouth, and then you're kind of doing the paci dance for hours at night. So Susan or Natasha, you know, do you have any, any tips for parents also going through that?

Natasha Burgert 29:57
The pacifier does become associatian with sleep initiation, it's it's something that the baby's going to have in their mouth to, to change those chemicals in the brain to help them calm and soothe. And so when it does fall out, then they have some alertness, I'm awake, and then they need that pacifier to begin that sequence again. So what they're doing is natural, what they're doing is, is using that as a tool to to accomplish what they want, which is to go to sleep. And so when that when you start doing the paci dance, and if it does get, really, to have a really codependent relationship, you you have a, you have a couple of situations where you are the mom that has 27 pacifiers in the bed, so the kids can pick up one and and replace it in their mouth independently. But before the kids are able to do that, that is a time when a lot of my parents do choose to wean the pacifier. And I don't know if this is Susan's experience as well, that when that pacifier becomes a hindrance to sleep duration, that might be a trigger or a clue that that's something that they are, it's going to be more of a hindrance than a help, and it's time it's time to let it go.

Natalie Gross 31:12
Yeah, that's exactly what I see. And a lot of, that's exactly when people start reaching out to me, because they're going into their child's bedroom, you know, 1516 times a night because their baby just can't fall asleep without the pacifier, it falls out and the whole process starts over. So, you know, again, I do think that it's, you know, always a parental decision on how long to keep the pacifier or you know, when to start weaning it. But when there is a reliance on it, you have the decision of, you know, what do you want to do? Do you want to keep on doing the pacifier dance? Or are you ready to take it and learn how to teach your child how to put themselves to sleep on their own without a pacifier?

Natalie Gross 31:52
Okay, great. Well, that's what I have in store then. Any last thoughts as we wrap up here? I mean, in your minds, would you say the benefits of pacifiers outweigh the cons? Like What's everyone's kind of final thoughts on this on this discussion?

Jenna Mayfield 32:06
I definitely want to chime back in about the nipple confusion, too. So what we found was that it did not cause nipple confusion, we started her with day one, and we breastfed, and like she was a champ latch or like from day one, which my son was not. So obviously, every kid is different. So we could have had issues with him. But with her, we had no nipple confusion. And I feel like in our experience, we ended up with a really good pacifier experience with our second, and I wish we had tried with her first and seeing how that would have helped.

Shelby Surgis 32:51
I think, for our, our family life and our scenario, I even though we haven't tried to get rid of them yet. So I guess I can let you know when we follow up. I think just with, like, my husband being in the military and traveling so much, and us moving like it, like I said earlier, it was just always like the consistent thing that I am glad that they had, as we, you know, moved beds and houses and all this stuff. So I think right now, it's a positive thing for them. And I feel a little bit better about tackling the getting rid of it after listening to everybody today. So I would do the same thing again, for sure. Looking back on our on our situation.

Susan Lattuca 33:36
This is Susan again. Um, I think in my experience, in my work with parents, oftentimes, it's the parents that have more of an attachment to the pacifier. And then the actual kid doesn't it's, as you were just saying that, you know, you'd like having the security of it with you through all the moves and all the trouble. So sometimes it's it's more of a parent issue. But I think the other thing that, you know, I certainly felt and continue to feel is that most things, especially the pacifier are reversible, right. So if your child does have to turns out that your child does have a reliance on the pacifier, so that's something that can be changed, it can be changed now, it can be changed later, it's not necessarily something that they're going to continue with, they're certainly not going to be 10 years old with a pacifier. So you know, it's just a good reminder of like, you know, there's, there's a season and that season, you know, whether you choose it or whether it just happens naturally will come to an end. And there's always ways to act, just continue marching forward. Right. So just something to remember that you're not going to be stuck, whether for better or worse, you're not going to be stuck in a certain position. Yeah, for the long term. That's good.

Natalie Gross 34:44
All right. Dr. Natasha, any last thoughts as we wrap up here?

Natasha Burgert 34:48
Yeah, so I agree with Susan your your kids are not going to go off to college with pacifiers. I guarantee. I want parents to remember that pacifiers are off offering a physiologic benefit to They're kids, they are offering an emotional benefit to their kids and possibly increasing safety with SIDS reduction. So, I know there's controversy on there and you'll you'll find a lot of different opinions. But most pediatricians are going to stand in support abusing pacifiers if parents want to. And we'll be here to coach you through that process and give you good developmental cues of what time it's what time it is to get rid of it, and support that part of your kid's journey.

Natalie Gross 35:29
Awesome. Well, thank you so much to you, Dr. Natasha! And to you mom, Susan, Shelby, and Jenna. Thanks so much for joining us with this discussion today. And for this episode, so listeners, be sure to check out where we have all of our podcast episodes, plus videos and more!

Natalie Gross 35:57
That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Newbies. Don't forget to check out our sister shows Preggie Pals for expecting parents, Parents Savers for moms and dads with toddlers, The Boob Group for moms who get breast milk to their babies and Twin Talks for parents of multiples. Thanks for listening to Newbies your go to source for new moms and new babies!

Disclaimer 36:22
This is the New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes early statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate. It is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care should not be used for diagnosing or treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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