Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The decision to use a pacifieror notis up to a babys parents. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses the pros and cons of pacifier use.

Dr. Hill:

Sucking is a natural instinct in babies. Some babies will suck their thumb or fingers, while other babies like to suck on a pacifier. In older children, pacifiers may be a form of security or comfort.

Pacifiers can be soothing for babies. If your baby is cranky or fussy, a pacifier may help him or her calm down. It may also relax your baby to help him or her fall asleep.

Babies who use a pacifier may be more likely to develop middle ear infections. Also, regular pacifier use after 2 years of age may cause problems with your child's teeth. These problems are more likely if your child uses a pacifier after he or she is 4 years of age.

Pacifiers should be cleaned and replaced often. Make sure to buy 1-piece pacifiers that are dishwasher-safe. Two-piece pacifiers can be a choking hazard.

When your baby is fussy or upset, try other soothing methods before offering a pacifier. These include changing positions, rocking him or her gently, or singing softly.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.