One of the “mommy questions” I get asked most often is if we use a pacifier or not. If you had asked me before I had a baby if we’d use one, the answer would have been totally different, so I thought I’d share my thoughts for other new mamas trying to figure it all out.
When we first had Amalia, I was totally against using pacifiers to soothe her because I was worried that she would become overly dependent on them. I have a few friends who have kids that can’t sleep or calm down without one and it is a huge problem for them. If it falls out, game over. And that happens multiple times a day! Like most things in motherhood, I learned a thing or two very quickly and changed my tune.
There were times when she was tiny when she wouldn’t go to sleep no matter what we did. You know how it is in those early days… At one point in that first week, I was napping and Anel was putting her down. He gave her a pacifier and she magically stopped crying and went right to sleep. It was like magic!
When she woke up and I went to feed her, she couldn’t latch and I completely freaked out, blaming the binky. We swaddled her up, took a deep breath, and finally got her to latch. After that one incident, we never had a problem again. We were able to use the pacifier and she could breast feed with no issues. It became a lifesaver on those days when she just couldn’t fall asleep.
After that, the question came up of when and how often to use it. When our baby nurse started (read more about her here), she had the philosophy that it was ok to use one, as long as they don’t get dependent on it which matched my thoughts exactly. I love this quick read from a pediatric dentist who also agrees. She taught us how to do that.
Basically, if Amalia was very fussy and wouldn’t go down at night, we’d give her a binky. We used it only when she really needed it, and no other times.
I love these Smilo ones because they lightly glow in the dark which makes them easier to find if the lights are very dim. Usually when we’d give it to her, it would fall out as soon as she fell asleep and we would leave it as is. We never forced it on her and we got lucky that she liked it but didn’t love it.
After last week’s flight to Bermuda, I’m so glad that we had the binky in our back pocket. When we took off, I nursed her, but on the landing she wasn’t hungry. Her ears were feeling the pressure and sucking helps babies with this. I was able to give her a pacifier and help that problem which was so nice.
We used this one from Smilo in stage 1 so it’s the perfect size for her little mouth, and has a handle so I wasn’t worried about dropping it on the dirty plane. I love Smilo products because they’re actually created by parents who double as pediatricians and engineers. They just get it.
What are your philosophies on pacifiers? How do you use them with your baby?
Thank you to Smilo for sponsoring this post. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own. Photos by Carter Fish.