Can a Newborn Fall Asleep With a Pacifier?
Whether you call it a paci, a binkie or a bobo, some parents believe that pacifiers are a miracle tool in helping to soothe their baby and get them to sleep. But with most things baby-related, there are a million and two opinions on the matter! Sucking is an important reflex in your baby as it is also what helps them get their food whether you are breast or bottle feeding. This same sucking reflex occurs with a pacifier and it’s what helps soothe and calm your baby. A standout theory on pacifiers is that they may reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and for a lot of parents, that’s the only reason they need to pop that paci into their little bundle’s mouth for every sleep. Keep reading to learn some more about pacifiers, when to use them, and why. As with all things pertaining to your little one, consult with your pediatrician if you have questions or concerns.
Can a newborn baby sleep with a pacifier?
The truth is, some babies fall asleep faster when they use a pacifier. That goes for newborns, too. Sucking is a natural reflex that does have a soothing effect which tends to calm most babies and help them fall asleep. Not only is it ok for baby to sleep with pacifier, but some experts agree that pacifiers might help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when used for both naps and nighttime.
Should babies sleep with a pacifier?
Whether your baby should sleep with a pacifier is a personal decision that every family should make on their own. If you decide to use one, make sure it’s one piece with literally no strings attached. You don’t need the unnecessary risk of the string or attachment getting tangled around baby’s face. If your newborn sleeping with a pacifier helps, you may find yourself sleeping better, too.
Can I give my newborn a pacifier after feeding?
Some experts believe that pacifiers shouldn’t be introduced until your feeding routine is established, which usually happens at around 3-4 weeks. It’s also wise to note the difference between a hungry cry and a tired cry. You want to make sure to feed your baby and not offer up a pacifier when their tears are because they’re hungry. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of things! No one knows your baby, or recognizes her cries, the way you do. Once the feeding routine is in place, use the pacifier for all sleeps – naps and nighttime, as experts believe that the pacifier helps reduce the risks of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Can babies fall asleep with a pacifier?
It’s perfectly fine for your infant to sleep with a pacifier, in fact, the sucking helps to soothe them. If your baby falls asleep with the pacifier in their mouth, don’t worry. It will continue to soothe them while they sleep, or it may fall out on its own.
When should you give a newborn a pacifier?
If your newborn seems fussy, cranky, tired, or restless, it’s ok to give them a pacifier. If you’re having trouble with breastfeeding, however, it’s possible that there may be some nipple confusion. Some experts suggest waiting until your feeding routine is established (this usually happens between 3-4 weeks) before introducing a pacifier, but that’s something to discuss with your pediatrician.
Should I remove the pacifier once the baby is asleep?
A pacifier may fall out on its own once baby is sound asleep. If that’s the case, leave it out until baby wakes up again. If your little one is due for a middle of the night feeding, nurse or bottle feed them, and then if needed, give them the paci again to help them get back to sleep.
When should you take away the pacifier at night?
Some experts suggest that the minute you start sleep training, typically at around 4-6 months old, that you stop offering the pacifier at night. But using a pacifier is a personal choice and some parents feel that paci’s are essential in helping their baby sleep. If that’s the case, don’t worry.
If you feel that your baby is addicted to their paci and can’t go anywhere without it, consider weaning them off of it and use it just for sleep. The general rule is that every child should be off the paci completely by the time they’re 3 years old and there are several ways to go about this. Discuss with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist as there are different methods of weaning that you may find helpful.
Is it OK to use a pacifier while sleep training?
The idea is that once your baby is between 4-6 months old, they are likely ready to sleep train. This means that you’re giving your baby the tools to not just fall asleep, but also to fall back asleep on their own. They do this by learning how to self-soothe without any help from you.
There are a lot of sleep training methods out there and it’s important to find the one that will work best for your family. Depending on which method of sleep training you choose, you will continue to use it to help keep baby calm and rested. Otherwise, your baby will learn to sleep without the use of their pacifier.
Do you give a pacifier during cry it out?
If you’re “Ferberizing” your baby (aka the “cry it out” method of sleep training) the idea is to remove any tools that help soothe your baby so that they learn to self-soothe on their own – including their pacifier. Sound harsh? Well… some parents swear by this method of sleep training while others are adamantly opposed to this original “cry it out” method. The good news about sleep training is there are plenty of options out there, so find the one that will work best for your lifestyle and stick with it. Establishing sleep routines are essential in teaching your baby how to get the best sleep possible, so once you have one, stick with it. It will work well into toddlerhood.
Can a pacifier become a sleep crutch?
Getting good sleep for longer stretches of time is usually the goal of every parent, especially when it comes to their newborn. So if your baby tends to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer with a pacifier, it usually benefits everyone sleeping under the same roof. The good news is that most babies outgrow the pacifier on their own, usually by the time they’re 3 years old. So while it may seem like your child will never be able to fall asleep without their favorite soothing object, there are methods you can try to help wean them. Discuss with your pediatrician to determine what will work best for your family.
Can a newborn sleep with a pacifier in a crib/bassinet?
Newborns can sleep with pacifiers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Rest assured that it can even reduce the risk of SIDS. For breastfeeding mothers, it’s advised to wait about three weeks to allow your newborn to adjust to breastfeeding before introducing a pacifier. If your baby is sleeping with a pacifier, there are some safety guidelines to keep in mind:
- Do not clip the pacifier onto them. Clips or stuffed animals of any kind can present hazards.
- Avoid choking hazards, such as two-piece pacifiers. One-piece pacifiers are best for sleeping.
- Choose the best design for extended (and/or unsupervised) use. Pacifiers with air holes on the plastic portion that rests on the baby’s lips are preferred for sleeping.
- Check the size of the shield. The pacifier shield should be at least 1.5” for sleeping. The shield is known as the plastic part that rests against the baby’s lips.
- Replace the pacifier based on the manufacturer's recommendation or condition. Over time, pacifiers can degrade. Some manufacturers provide a recommendation, but not all do. If you notice signs of cracking or discolored rubber, it can signal that it’s time to replace the pacifier.
Are you supposed to give a newborn a pacifier?
Some babies love the pacifier, while others do not. You may hesitate to give your baby a pacifier as this means you’ll have to wean them off one day. Additionally, you may have safety concerns. Pacifiers are safe for newborns to use, but you should always check manufacturer recommendations. Babies that are bottle-fed may adapt to the pacifier more easily than breastfed babies. Breastfed babies should first adapt to breastfeeding, and then the pacifier can be introduced. This usually takes about 3-4 weeks for newborns. Some benefits of using a pacifier can include a happier baby and a reduced risk of SIDS.
What is the earliest age to use a pacifier?
Most pacifiers can be given from birth to any age. If you are breastfeeding, waiting 3-4 weeks before introducing the pacifier is recommended. This is to allow your baby to adapt to breastfeeding first. Alternatively, you can give older babies a pacifier, even if they did not use one as a newborn. Pacifiers can be a lifesaver for helping to calm babies down. It may be harder to get a breastfed baby to enjoy the pacifier as they are used to the real deal. Do your best to find the balance so your baby can maintain a stable mood whether the mother is around or not.
Can you give a newborn a pacifier if breastfeeding?
Newborns can use a pacifier if they are breastfeeding. As you may be aware, it can take some time for your baby to breastfeed seamlessly. You should give your baby time to learn to breastfeed like a professional before introducing a pacifier. If you want your baby to use a pacifier, consider pumping and feeding bottles, too. If the baby is only used to breastfeeding, they may be less likely to take a pacifier.
What is the difference between a pacifier and a soother?
Soothers and pacifiers can be classified under the same category as anything that provides a baby with something safe to suck on. This could be a pacifier, teething rings, silicone beads, etc. While a pacifier can be a soother, a pacifier is more specifically a rubber, plastic, or silicone device designed to substitute the beloved nipple. It was created to give babies and toddlers something to suck on in-between feedings to help keep them calm when they don’t need to eat. If your baby is not a lover of the pacifier, you may want to broaden your search and find a soother they do love. As your baby goes through change, their preferences can change, too. Just because they may not have loved the pacifier as a newborn does not mean they may not take to it later on. Before giving your baby something they will put in their mouth, check product specifics to ensure they are safe and up to your standards.
How can I soothe my baby without a pacifier?
Tricks to soothe a baby… we wish we had all the answers. The reality is that some babies are just fussier than others. Perhaps they have colic, or perhaps they are just ultra-sensitive. Over time, you should learn the tricks to soothe your baby, and eventually, they should self-soothe. Until then, a pacifier can help soothe your baby. If your baby does not like the pacifier or you don’t have one handy, try the following tricks to soothe your baby:
- Sound machine or music: Babies come from noisy wombs. While you may think noise will rile them up, it can actually help calm them down.
- Rock your baby: Whether you use a rocking chair or rock your baby in your arms, find the rocking position and rhythm your baby likes best and get rocking.
- Switch positions: Some babies prefer to be held while the holder stands or vice versa. While you may be tired (and tired of standing), you are handling a precious newborn. Do what helps them calm down the best and hold onto the hope that self-soothing days are around the corner.
- Use a weighted swaddle: Weighted swaddles can have an instant soothing effect. The gentle weight helps them feel safe and secure, and the tightness of the swaddle can mimic a hug. At Dreamland, our weighted swaddles feature CoverCalm® Technology that evenly distributes your baby’s weight from their shoulders to toes, working to reduce stress and calm your baby naturally. Our products were inspired by a fussy baby and a mom desperate for a good night’s sleep. We understand the exhaustion and chaos that stems from a fussy baby and are here to help parents and babies get the sleep they need and deserve.