7 Harmful Side Effects Of Using Baby Pacifiers

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The majority of the parents have relied on pacifiers for ages in order to calm crying infants. To know the real facts about them, it is required to look at the plusses and pitfalls.

Pacifier Pros

Some of the good things of pacifiers:

–           Lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

During the nighttime or naps, it can prevent SIDS, which according to the doctors might be lower by more than half.

–           Satisfy the suck reflex.

As babies have a natural need to suck, it can be met by the bottle or breast, but their desire can remain even after the belly is full. In such cases, a pacifier can be of great help.  The parents should be sure that it doesn’t replace mealtime.

–           Encourage baby to self-soothe.

With the pacifiers, babies can learn to control their feelings, relax them, and make them feel secure.

However, if a pacifier isn’t cleaned properly, it can cause contamination with fungi or bacteria and can lead to oral infections and tooth decay. Sometimes if they are made of latex they can cause allergic reactions, so it is recommended to use silicone pacifiers instead. The pacifier before six months may disrupt breastfeeding, and also should be used by age 3, as after can cause dental problems and speech issues.

There are many side effects caused by pacifiers and here the top of them:

  1. Oral Infections

Because of the constant oral contact, pacifiers like toothbrushes can make it easy for germs to grow if are not cleaned properly.

The most known pathogens on pacifiers are Candida fungus and Staphylococcus bacteria. As the contamination is more common on latex pacifiers it is recommended to use silicone ones to prevent the risk of oral infections.

So, cleaning the pacifier is something that reduces the risk of this side effect.

  1. Breastfeeding Problems

In the first six months, it is better to avoid pacifiers for those babies who are breastfeeding, as it can significantly disrupt breastfeeding, and it’s usually linked to a shorter duration of breastfeeding.

  1. Distant Relationship

Breastfeeding makes longer mother-baby bonding. But, when you use pacifiers they can shorten that duration, so the result will be less bonding and the bigger distance between the mother and child.

  1. Choking Risk

Possible baby pacifier side effects include the risk of choking, so avoid the tying the pacifier around a baby’s neck or hand.

  1. Speech Problems

As pacifiers can mess with normal development of the children’s mouth and teeth, it is better to stop using them for babies around 3 to 4-years-old. It can be also linked with the speech problems.

In addition, it can cause issues with swallowing, tongue position and mouth structure.

  1. Tooth Decay Risk

There’s a greater chance of tooth decay, as the pacifiers can be contaminated easier. This problem is more common in children aged 3 to 5 years, which is linked to the more frequent eating of solid foods. For this reason, stopping pacifier use earlier is better!

  1. Allergies

The pacifier made of latex increases the risk for allergies. The common symptoms of the allergies are inflammation of the nose, eyes, and mouth. It can also cause swelling up of a throat, which is leading to breathing problems.

This side effect can be solved by using silicone pacifiers.

According to the journal Pediatrics, one of the best ways of “cleaning” the pacifier is by sucking on it by the parents. Scientists believe that parent’s saliva, after all, has microbes that may stimulate the baby’s immune system, which decreases the risk of allergy development. However, that is something that you really have to check with your baby’s doctor first.

It is very important to not be discouraged because of pacifier side effects and stop using one. This knowledge about the pacifiers can really help you be more comfortable when you use them.

The key to successful use is to time it right:

–           Wait until your baby is six months old,

–           Always clean it well.

–           Stop as the child is nearing 3 years,


–           Comina, Elodie, Karine Marion, François NR Renaud, Jeanne Dore, Emmanuelle Bergeron, and Jean Freeney. “Pacifiers: a microbial reservoir.” Nursing & health sciences 8, no. 4 (2006): 216-223.

–           Buccini, Gabriela dos Santos, Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, and Sonia Isoyama Venancio. “Pacifier use and exclusive breastfeeding in Brazil.” Journal of Human Lactation 32, no. 3 (2016): NP52-NP60.

–           http://www.lebonheur.org/kids-health-wellness/practical-parenting/blog-entries/2014/02/pacifier-use-benefits-and-side-effects.dot

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