Should I give my baby a pacifier?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,726
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Ann Kellams explains how a pacifier can be used to calm your baby.

    Host: Should I give my baby a pacifier?

    Dr. Ann Kellams: Pacifiers can be used to help calm and soothe the baby and some babies really respond to that. If you are breastfeeding, we recommend not introducing the pacifier until the baby is two to three weeks old. So if they really like to suck and that's not time to eat then we recommend using your pinky finger, just kind of upturned, inserted in the baby's mouth and often, they will get very excited about sucking on that. After the baby is a couple of weeks old and breastfeeding is well established or anytime if you are bottle feeding then you can use a pacifier. We would try to limit that to the times that the baby is really sleeping and resting and not just all the time. Every time they are awake they expect to have it in their mouth, but pacifiers in that one month to six month category have actually been shown to be protective against sudden infant death syndrome. So in that one to six month period it's probably acceptable maybe even recommended. Beyond six to nine months you are getting more into habit unless that they need it. So we would recommend stopping at that point.