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Should you get a pacifier for your baby?

Babies, especially newborns have a strong sucking reflex and ultrasound scans sometimes even reveal babies their thumbs. Studies have shown that non-nutritive has a soothing and calming effect on babies and can even help alleviate pain.

Giving a pacifier to a fussy baby can help calm them down, or provide temporary distraction but most importantly – they may help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Why are pacifiers beneficial for babies? Pacifiers or soothers, as the term implies, plays a great job in relieving a crying infant. Giving babies a pacifier can help them cope with irritation, help soothe them to sleep and even calm tired and frazzled babies. It may even help with soothing pain – studies have shown that a pacifier was a much more effective analgesic than sucrose or glucose, when given to newborn infants.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends giving babies pacifiers when they are suffering from pain. Although it doesn’t reduce pain, it may help distract the baby from pain or to soothe their pain. Pacifiers also come in handy during immunizations, bouts of colic or other painful treatments at the doctors.

In another study, this time published in the medical journal Acta Paediatr, researchers discovered that non-nutritive with a pacifier accelerates weight gain in premature infants. Although an exact reason is still being determined, they theorized that on a pacifier made the babies calmer, allowing for reduction in activity and therefore conserving their energy for growth.

Two separate studies have also shown that on pacifiers releases anti-bacterial agents in the saliva, which can be beneficial to infants. In a paper delivered at the 15th Congress of the International Association of Paediatric Dentistry, use of a pacifier cause the protective agents fluoride, xyllitol and sorbitol to be discharged into the mouth. In an abstract published by the International Association for Dental Research, a 1997 study found that infants who used a pacifier have less bacteria in their mouths than in babies who use just a bottle (whether to feed or soothe).

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