Pacifiers: how bad can they be? Pacifiers: how bad can they be?

A lot has been said about the use of binkies, pacifiers, or dummies, as they are referred to in the UK.

There are those that recommend avoiding them at all costs, as an infant can easily be raised without them and their use has more cons than pros. Others defend them as a necessary tool for the women of today who, because of their many roles and active participation in the working world, cannot spend as much time with their little ones as they used to.

There are always two sides to every coin. While it has become a generalized ideal to not use pacifiers, the truth is that bottles have more drawbacks than pacifiers.

Pacifiers do not damage incoming teeth; in fact, they are preferred over thumb-sucking which does affect teeth formation. They also do not interfere in breast-feeding as they do not cause the infant to lose interest in the mother’s breast, which is the case with bottles. Additionally, the suction the infant makes with the pacifier during sleep has been associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome in the first year of life. According to a recent study by the Monash Institute of Medical Research, this is due to the fact that the pacifier improves the newborn’s heart control.

After the first 12 months of life, it is recommended to stop use of the pacifier to prevent the emotional dependency it can create on infants.

This last issue is the most serious problem related to the use of this type of product, as infants find comfort in using pacifiers, which can result in long-term attachment issues and emotional problems.