Having a baby comes with a ton of responsibilities.
You’re basically in charge of bringing in new life in this world!
Without a doubt, parents feel overwhelmed in the beginning.
Today, we’re here to talk about one of the burning questions parents have: “How many pacifiers do I need?”. How many does your little one need?
What is a Pacifier?
Pacifiers are soothing objects for babies. It also does the following:
- Calms them down
- Reduces their anxiety
- Satisfies their need to suckle
When you take away your little one’s pacifiers, they’ll start crying as if their life depended on it.
There’s much discussion about whether babies of such a young age should be allowed to use pacifiers.
Some advocate for it, while others not so much. With such a debate going on, what would be the wise choice for your baby?
Some say that babies are at the risk of having EAR INFECTIONS if they aren’t weaned early enough. But despite this ongoing debate, there are still many advantages involved with using pacifiers.
Keeps Babies Asleep
Once the baby is awake, expect your home to be shaken to its core because of the loud wailing involved. They’ll start calling for you, and you’ll have to soothe them back to sleep.
Pacifiers can help your fussy baby sleep soundly!
And even if they wake up in the middle for their sleep, their pacifiers can help soothe them back.
Pain Relief for Teething
As babies start developing their teeth, they’ll start feeling some discomfort in their gums. You’ll start noticing a few of your baby’s teeth starting to grow.
When this is the case, it’s best to give your babies access to pacifiers to alleviate the discomfort that comes with teething.
Studies also show that pacifiers help increase gastric secretion, which improves the digestion of your little one.
Reduces the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is one of the #1 causes of infant death today. Studies show that using pacifiers contributes a great deal to reducing babies’ risk of losing their lives to SIDS.
Do Babies Really Need a Pacifier?
There’s a lot of debate on whether babies need pacifiers. Some babies can do away without it, while others can’t. How is this so?
Well, babies don’t need a pacifier.
The only reason why using a pacifier is recommended is to SATISFY the suckling reflex of a baby.
Babies have a strong suckling reflex, and they need something to suckle on. And to do so, babies would resort to suckling their hands, thumbs, bottles, everything they can get their hands on!
As a parent, you don’t want your baby to suckle on anything. Think about all the germs and bacteria they can get in their mouth. Yikes!
That being the case, pacifiers come pretty handily in satisfying the needs of a baby to suckle and more importantly, to keep germs away.
How Many Pacifiers Do I Need?
If you’re a mother who’s always on the go, then we’re sure you’re familiar with the essentials that need to be packed inside a diaper bag.
You’ve got your baby milk bottles, diapers, towels, pacifiers, and many more. The list can go on forever, depending on the needs of your baby.
But when it comes to pacifiers, we’re sure you always end up asking yourself, “How many pacifiers do I need to bring this time?”
That’s a tricky question.
How many pacifiers you need depends on you and your child. Is one enough? Or maybe you need to bring two or three more just in case?
While there’s no specific answer as to how many pacifiers you should bring, there are some recommendations regarding how many they should be.
Two to Three Should be Enough
On average, you need to bring an extra two to three more pacifiers with you.
If you’re always traveling, you can keep one or two inside the car in case of emergencies.
You might think the number is too excessive. Does your baby need that much in a day?
Honestly, ONE PACIFIER should be ENOUGH. But what if your baby keeps dropping and losing its pacifier?
When that happens, you’ll end up with a wailing baby looking for a pacifier to suckle on.
It’s that moment when you’ll finally realize that you need extra pacifiers in your diaper bag.
When Can a Baby Start Using Pacifiers?
When is the right time to let your baby suckle on pacifiers? While there’s no one right answer to this question, the American Academy of Pediatrics shares its ideas on the matter.
According to them, it’s vital for parents first to establish a nursing routine.
Whether you plan on breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby, you must get the routine down BEFORE introducing pacifiers.
Doing so prevents the likelihood of your child having nipple confusion.
Until When Should Your Baby Use a Pacifier?
There’s no exact age when your baby should stop using pacifiers.
Nevertheless, some baby community experts believe that parents should wean their baby from their pacifiers by their 6th month to 1 year of age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics shares the same thoughts on this matter, adding that it can help reduce your baby’s risk of ear infections.
That said, mark your calendars and watch out for the 6TH MONTH MARK.
By the time your child reaches 3 to 4 years of age, they should have already stopped using their pacifiers all together.
Now, this is all easier said than done. When pacifiers are taken away from babies, the tendency is they start to wail. They’d wake everyone in the neighborhood if they had to get their pacifier back.
To minimize the risk of your baby wailing, start the weaning process EARLY. This is one way to help them get used to the idea.
You can start limiting the number of times you let your baby use a pacifier. Eventually, your baby will get used to it and won’t be as upset when their pacifier is taken away from them.
Soon enough, your baby can sleep without using a pacifier. It’s a great way to help them and your family!
How to Choose the Right Pacifier?
Without a doubt, a first-time parent will feel overwhelmed with the number of choices out there. One kind is different than the other, some better while others aren’t!
To help narrow down their choice, there’s a couple of tips we want to share to help a parent find the best pacifier for their baby.
Tip 1: Age and Stage
New parents make a mistake in thinking that all pacifiers are the same.
Well, they’re not.
Unknown to some, there are different types of pacifiers for different baby stages and age levels. What’s the difference?
Pacifiers for babies in the nursery age tend to be a little smaller in size, owing to their tiny mouths. A silicone pacifier is preferred because it is soft and safe for a teething baby.
Whereas babies who are at the age of teeth development need a pacifier that’s harder to puncture with teeth.
Tip 2: One Piece Only
Some pacifiers come in one piece, while some come in two or more parts. Between the two, we recommend choosing a one-piece pacifier.
You don’t have to worry about your pacifier being a risk to your baby because it won’t be a choking hazard! Unlike pacifiers that can come apart and potentially choke your baby without you knowing.
Tip 3: Ventilation Holes
If you’d look at a pacifier closely, you’ll see there are three parts to it.
- Silicone pacifier – the part which your baby suckles on.
- Shield – separates the pacifier from the holder.
- Holder or pacifier clip – keeps the pacifier in place.
For this part, worth mentioning is the shield on your baby’s pacifier. As much as possible, the size should be LARGE ENOUGH so that your baby can’t stick the whole thing in its mouth.
Just imagine how chaos there will be if a baby can stick their whole binky in their mouth. Yikes!
Now, when it comes to the shield, there’s one important design element you need to look for. The shield must have ventilation holes.
This allows the baby to BREATHE through their pacifiers, considering how the shield can get in the way of your baby’s mouth and nose.
It minimizes the risk of your baby suffocating, among others.
Tip 4: Material
Pacifiers are made of different materials. The two most common and safest materials are silicone and natural rubber. You won’t regret buying any of those.
But between the two, we find silicone pacifiers to be a tad better than natural rubber pacifiers. Silicone can keep its shape, meaning it doesn’t expand or shrink.
And the benefit of this is that you won’t have to keep replacing the pacifier since it can retain its shape.
Natural rubber is also a good material, but UNFORTUNATELY, it expands. Once it does, you’ll need a replacement pacifier for your baby.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that natural rubber pacifiers may lead to allergic reactions for some babies. This is especially true if you have a family history of rubber allergy.
When this is the case, don’t risk using this material as a pacifier for your baby.
How Can I Keep My Baby’s Pacifiers Safe to Use?
If you decide to give your baby a pacifier, remember a few safety tips you need to know of. It can help keep your babies healthy and safe, even as they’re using a pacifier.
It is essential to know that you should always sterilize your baby’s pacifier. Even if it’s brand new and fresh out of the packaging, sterilize it.
We can’t emphasize enough how important this is for you and your baby.
Babies are more susceptible and at the risk of getting an infection from all sorts of things around them. Just imagine how many bacteria and germs they can get from an unsterile pacifier.
They can get sick, and you’ll have to rush them to the hospital. Worse, they could land in the NICU if things get worse.
Sterilizing your baby’s pacifier is easy. It’s hardly complicated and won’t take more than three steps at the most. Here’s what you have to do:
- Step 1: Boil hot water on the stove
- Step 2: Place the pacifier on the boiling water for a few minutes
- Step 3: Drain and Dry
Do Not Share
Watching babies interact with their friends is so soothing and relaxing. Babies mumble sounds in an attempt to talk to each other, exchange toys, and sometimes exchange pacifiers.
No matter how close your baby is to its friend, never share a pacifier. Don’t allow your baby to grab and suckle on the pacifier of another baby. The same is true even if your babies are siblings.
The reason behind this is very simple. You don’t want to pass any germs or bacteria from one baby to another. As much as possible, you want to be a responsible mother and reduce the risk of your loved ones getting sick.
The same goes for how you never share your baby’s milk bottle with another!
Before handing over the pacifier to your baby, take a second to look at it first. Ensure the pacifier is still in good condition and won’t be a risk to your baby.
Some pacifiers tend to lose their shape—some even crack or split, which can be a choking hazard for your baby.
It could also be possible that you’re handing a dirty pacifier to your baby. Yikes! And once they’ve started suckling on it, they’ve ingested germs and bacteria that could make them sick.
One glance at the pacifier makes a whole difference with the safety of your baby. Mothers need to be mindful of what they’re doing to ensure the safety of their children.
#1 Can My Baby Sleep with a Pacifier?
Yes, your baby will still be able to sleep with a pacifier on. It’s the same with how babies naturally fall asleep during breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
However, whenever you allow your baby to sleep with a pacifier on, MAKE SURE it has ventilation holes. It minimizes the risk of them suffocating and reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
#2 My Son is Breastfeeding. Can He Use a Pacifier?
If you’re breastfeeding your child, letting them use a pacifier won’t be a problem!
Although this topic is subject to a lot of debate, you can nevertheless allow your breastfeeding child to use a pacifier later.
Some believe that using a pacifier can cause nipple confusion in babies. But with the observance of the right practice steps, you can introduce the idea of letting your child use a pacifier in the future.
Don’t surprise your child by giving it a pacifier immediately. It’ll do the complete opposite of what you want.
As much as possible, allow your baby to get used to breastfeeding first. Once that’s established, you can start offering a pacifier to your baby when they’re done with breastfeeding.
#3 Can a Pacifier Help Suppress a Baby’s Hunger?
It does not.
A common misconception among parents is that suckling on pacifiers suppresses the appetite of their child. This isn’t true at all.
Babies have an instinct of knowing when they’re hungry or not. Once your baby starts feeling hungry, they’ll tell you.
They’ll start wailing, calling out to their mom to get fed.
#4 Do I Need a Pacifier Clip?
Pacifier clips (a.k.a pacifier holders) may appear to be just like most things. You ignore it that often, you leave it lying around, and you don’t think about it too often.
But wait until you’ve had kids. A pacifier clip is one of those things that can save your peace and sanity. You don’t have to worry about the pacifier getting lost in your living room or your car!
Pacifier clips, like their name, suggests, attach to the end of your baby’s pacifier. And on the other end is a clip that you can attach to your baby’s clothes or your diaper bag.
Today, pacifier clips come in different sizes and designs. Some you can easily clip on your baby’s clothes, so it doesn’t flail or fall!
You can also use it to clip on to the baby car seat to make sure your baby stays calm while on the go during the entire ride.
Do note that there’s a lot of thought and consideration involved when choosing a pacifier clip. The most critical factor is the LENGTH of the clip.
Pacifier clips/pacifier holders come in many lengths and can be as long as 12 inches. Length can be associated with how you can enjoy the use of the pacifier, as well as the risks involved.
In general, LONGER CLIPS allow you to use them and clip them on different parts of your baby’s clothes. However, too long of a hook can be a strangulation hazard.
If the clip is too long, it may wrap around the neck of your child and choke them.
Parents always want the best for their child, at all costs. Today, we discussed one of the essential questions many parents have in their minds: pacifiers.
How many pacifiers do I need? Do pacifiers work? These are just among the questions parents want answers to, which we gave today.
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to give it a like and share it with your fellow parents. They might just be looking for answers to their burning questions.
Plus, you might even save their baby’s life, one way or another!
For high-quality pacifier options, please read through our article on the Best Organic Pacifiers for Infants and Babies.
September 29, 2022 – minor content edits
July 23, 2021 – updated article links