Do you use a pacifier to help soothe and comfort your baby? Did you know that by using one you might be doing more than just helping her to settle? Research has found that there are many benefits to using a pacifier, so we thought we’d share some of them with you in today’s post. As a parent, natural instincts dictate that you want to do your absolute best to nurture and protect your precious babies; you’ll move heaven and earth to ensure that they are safe, happy and loved. Using a pacifier could turn out to be more than just a clever way to satisfy that sucking reflex! Read on to find out our top three reasons to use a pacifier.
Pacifier use could help to save your baby’s life
This week the Lullaby Trust are urging parents to join them in their Safer Sleep Week, a campaign which aims to educate and empower parents. Safe sleep is so vitally important, and since research into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) first began, the numbers of babies dying have been falling. This is great news, and the charity want to make sure that more and more parents are aware of the correct safety procedures they should be following for safe sleep. One study that the charity has been involved in has ‘consistently identified that dummy (pacifier) use is protective for the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’. It’s believed that sucking the pacifier increases baby’s blood pressure during sleep, which leads to an increased heart rate variability- which could lead to a protective state during sleep. Find more information here.
Further studies also suggest that pacifiers can also help to prevent SIDS simply by being in baby’s mouth. As parents are advised to always place baby on the back to sleep, a baby who does turn onto her tummy cannot bury her face into the bedding with a pacifier in her mouth- and according to a paper published in the British Medical Journal, pacifier use has benefits even without safe sleeping procedures being followed. Please note though, that safe sleeping methods are always recommended. Please speak to your health visitor or GP if you’re unsure, or visit the Lullaby Trust website for more information.
Pacifier use helps to promote oral-muscle function and muscle development
For premature babies especially, sucking a pacifier can help to promote oral-muscle function and muscle development. Studies have found that using a pacifier shortly after birth can help to improve weight gain, because the babies are using shallow sucking patterns- and this leads to fewer health complications. A baby born too early often has immature bodily functions (and some will simply not know how to suck), so using a pacifier can help to strengthen the muscles needed for feeding, meaning that the transition from tubes to bottle/ breast is a lot easier.
Using a pacifier satisfies baby’s sucking reflex
Babies are born with a series of reflexes which are all perfectly normal, and all serve their own purpose for baby’s survival. The sucking reflex basically ensures that baby does not starve, and if there is a nipple (synthetic or otherwise) to hand, baby will discover she can get food and nourishment simply by satisfying this reflex. For some babies, the sucking reflex is very strong, and one feed is just not enough! These babies will be soothed and comforted with a pacifier- and studies have found that allowing baby to suck greatly reduces stress levels too. And not just for baby!
Until around the age of six weeks, the amount of time that a baby spends crying gradually increases more and more, and using a pacifier can help to reduce the stress this inevitably brings. Of course, it should not be used to ‘silence’ your baby, as crying is her only means of communication. Sensible use of a pacifier however, will help your baby to relax, and satisfy her sucking reflex too.
Why use a smart pacifier?
Pacif-i, the smart pacifier is a little different to your usual pacifiers! Yes, it helps to protect against SIDS, it helps to promote oral-muscle development and yes it most definitely helps to soothe and calm your baby. But it does a lot more than that too! Recently Time magazine remarked that Pacif-i was about to change parenting for good, and we agree! Pacif-i is a connected device which means that when your baby is sucking it, you can monitor her temperature via your phone, using bluetooth technology. You can also monitor any medication doses that your baby may be due, and if you mislay your Pacif-i, you can use the locator to find it again.
So why use Pacif-i? Well, of course we believe that its the smart way to stay in control when your baby is poorly. And rather than potentially invasive or upsetting methods of taking baby’s temperature, instead you are using a method that your baby is already familiar with, and that comforts and soothes at a time when she really needs it. And since we know about the strong benefits of using a pacifier, it just makes sense to make it a smart one!
To find out more, please visit our home page, and do get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions at all. We’re also about to launch a giveaway to win a Pacif-i over on Facebook so make sure you follow us to find out how to enter!