Call them binkies, teethers or soothers, the ubiquitous pacifier is the best replacement of your nipples for your baby. In fact, all of us mommies are guilty of putting this little plastic and silicone contrivance in our child’s mouth when we just can’t get them to stop crying! Am I right or am I right? Right.
Well, as harmless as these faux nipples maybe, they are not without their fair share of side effects and even possible major health risks for your infant. So you might want to check out the ones given below before you gladly give your baby their favorite binky the next time.
1. Infections In The Mouth
If you’re not in the habit of cleaning your baby’s pacifier as often as you should, the chances of your baby getting an oral infection are pretty high. Constant oral contact of the pacifier with the baby’s mouth creates a thriving environment for germs and pathogens such as Candida fungus and Staphylococcus bacteria to grow. To prevent this infection, use silicone pacifiers and clean them regularly.
2. Breastfeeding Issues
The regular and at times life-saving binky should be avoided at all costs during the first 6 months of your child’s life if you intend to breastfeed. Using a pacifier can not only bring about frequent disruptions during breastfeeding sessions but can also shorten the duration of a regular breastfeeding session.
3. Affected Bonding
Breastfeeding is a great way for both, the mother and child, to connect and foster a stronger bond. But since pacifiers can potentially reduce breastfeeding time for both mum and baby, it can also possibly lead to the development of a distant relationship between them. Hence, it is advised that you delay the use of a pacifier as much as possible.
4. Risk Of Choking
Continuing with the list of the harmful effects of the binky, choking is one that can be potentially life threatening for your baby, and can even cause death if you don’t prevent it in time. Strangulation is a common side effect that takes place if you leave the pacifier tied to the baby’s neck or even hand. In fact, babies can even choke on half-swallowed pacifiers so you should really keep them away most of the time.
5. Problems In Speech
As soon as your baby turns 3 to 4 years old, you should gradually start getting them off the pacifier. If you don’t do that, the chances of your baby developing speech problems increase by a lot. The reason behind this is that the extended use of a pacifier can interfere with the normal development of a child’s teeth and mouth. In fact, it gives rise to swallowing issues and problems in tongue position and structure of the mouth too.
6. Tooth Decay
As mentioned before, pacifiers are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria, which can not only cause oral infections but also tooth decay as well. In fact, you will be surprised to know sucking a pacifier is worse for your baby’s teeth than sucking on their own fingers. Tooth decay caused by pacifiers is especially common in children whose parents clean the pacifier with the help of their own saliva.
Lastly, if you use pacifiers made of latex, your baby can develop symptoms of allergy as a result. These symptoms include swollen eyes and mouth and nasal inflammation. Improper cleaning habits can also pose a threat of allergies.
As advantageous these little binkies might be, they do possess certain risks. However, you shouldn’t let these deter you from using one when you need it. Just make sure you use silicone ones, clean them properly and monitor your child’s use of them to the best extent possible.
So, before you give your baby a pacifier, take a second look at these side effect that it poses to your little bundle of joy. Don’t forget to leave us a comment below. Share if you care!