Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommends using pacifiers for infants up to six months of age to reduce the risk of SIDS or as pain relief for minor medical procedures? It’s true. But, how do you know which are the top pacifiers for your child or what type is considered to be good pacifiers?
Size of Pacifier
Make sure that the pacifier is the right size for the age of your baby. If the pacifier is marked for a newborn, you will need to replace it as the baby grows. If an older infant sucks on a pacifier that is too small, they could choke.
Usually, around 3 months of age, it’s time for an upgrade. Look at the packaging to determine the size. They are marked based on the child’s age in months.
Whatever pacifier you use needs to have a shield that is at least one and a half inches across. The shield should consist of firm plastic and offer ventilation holes or be molded from one solid piece of material with a soft nipple.
Shape of Pacifier
The shape of the pacifier is a matter of preference. Some infants prefer one shape over another. Try out several kinds to find the one your baby likes best.
If a pacifier is marked, “orthodontic” it means that it encourages your baby’s top and bottom jaw to be in the correct position when sucking so as not to interfere with mouth development.
Silicone, Latex, or Rubber?
Many parents prefer the natural rubber nipples since no chemical additives are used to manufacture them. However, silicone nipples do not break down and fall apart as rubber ones can. Latex pacifiers are eco-friendly but also tend to break down faster than silicone nipples. Additionally, some babies have an allergy to latex.
Additional Safety Considerations
To make sure the pacifier is completely safe:
- Never tie a pacifier around the baby’s neck, hands, or other extremities since it is a choking risk or could turn into a tourniquet cutting off circulation.
- Never use the nipple of a bottle as a pacifier since it could lodge in the baby’s throat and cause choking and is not sealed off, so the baby is sucking in air that can cause gas.
- Check the pacifier from time to time to make sure it’s not deteriorating, and replace it frequently.
- Find a pacifier that is dishwasher safe, and clean it frequently by boiling at first and then cleaning with soap and water as the child grows older.
Pacifiers help soothe an infant to sleep and comfort them when it’s not time for feeding. The AAP recommends using a pacifier during the first few months of a baby’s life. The trick is finding the best baby pacifiers for your infant.
As an expecting parent, you will want to offer your newborn child the most nutritious and healthy meals. You might be going back and forth about using breastfeeding or formula to feed your baby. These are some of the pluses and negatives of both types of feeding:
The Pros and Cons of Bottle Feeding
Bottle feeding may be much more convenient than breastfeeding. It allows parents to easily put the premixed formula into bottles and feed their baby. Therefore, it may be an excellent solution for mothers who have to go back and forth to work and don’t have time to sit and breastfeed.
The formula is premade with all the essential nutrients every baby needs. However, it’s harder for a newborn to digest than breast milk. Some babies have digestive issues when on the bottle, and they need a special formula that’s gentler on their system.
The Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is the number one choice for health and wellness. A mother’s breast milk contains special nutrients to strengthen the baby’s immune system. Many mothers choose to breastfeed their children for that reason alone. Breastfeeding also strengthens the bond between a mother and her child. Babies feel safe and protected when resting in their mother’s arms, eating the food that will help them grow.
That said, breastfeeding has a few drawbacks to it. For one, it’s time-consuming. You won’t be able to ask someone else to feed the baby for you unless you squeeze your breast milk into bottles early in the day. You also may not be able to breastfeed your baby in all public locations. You’ll have restrictions on what you can consume. Thus, you may not be able to take the medication you want to take because of the probability of it passing to the baby because of your milk.
Though feeding your baby breast milk has a few down points, it’s still the best choice when solely focusing on the health aspect.
Is It Better To Feed a Baby Breast Milk or Formula?
The style you choose depends on your health, scheduling, and goals for your baby. Natural breastfeeding is always the best choice for the baby’s health because of its benefits to the immune system. However, formula may be a better option if you’re suffering from any condition requiring taking medicine that may pass to your child. The formula may also be the best option if you have a vitamin D deficiency because it’s premade with the most vital nutrients.
Your lifestyle will determine whether you choose breast milk or formula as well. For example, buying premade formula may be the more favorable option if you work long hours and need a babysitter to care for your child. You could bottle your breast milk beforehand, but buying premade formula may be more convenient.
Now you can make a highly informed choice about which method to feed your baby. Take your time and choose the most beneficial method for both of you.