If, like some parents, you said "When I have children they will never have a pacifier, it’s ugly! "and as soon as you left the maternity ward you ran out and bought one to calm your baby’s cries, you are not without a certain feeling of guilt...

But is it justified? Is the pacifier so bad for the child?

The pacifier is not just a way to stop baby crying, in fact sucking is part of the vital needs of an infant in the same way as sleeping or eating. The fact of sucking makes it possible to reassure the child. When sucking, the baby secretes endomorphine, the well-being hormone that soothes the child’s stress. Sometimes the baby sucks his thumb, his fist, his cuddly toy, but sometimes he needs a pacifier. It is important to know that pacifiers have a positive effect on babies’ sleep by facilitating spontaneous re-sleeping during the night.

For those who fear a deformation of the palate or future teeth, you should know that the pacifier is much less harmful than the thumb. To avoid any problems, it is best to choose a very soft pacifier and only allow it to be used for sleeping as the child grows. The best thing is to give it up completely when your child is about 2-3 years old, which is often when he starts school. To avoid the risk of speech problems and so that the child can articulate properly when he starts to speak, get him into the habit of removing his pacifier before speaking.

The pacifier is often considered as a nest of microbes. Indeed, it is necessary to be particularly attentive as for the hygiene of the pacifier, it often drags on the ground, at the nursery or at the childminder’s, it passes from hands to hands (not always clean...). To limit the proliferation of bacteria, don’t hesitate to have several pacifiers in your bag and to clean them regularly, opt for a pacifier clip to prevent it from falling on the floor, and if you reserve it for naps and at night, there is less risk of it getting dirty...!

Finally, you should know that American researchers have revealed, through a study, that the pacifier could reduce the risk of sudden death, in particular by representing a mechanical obstacle to the fact of rolling on the stomach, but also because the pacifier keeps the tongue forward and frees the airways.

Don’t feel guilty about offering your child a pacifier, as long as you :

- Give him a clean soother

- Limit its use to times of rest (naptime and night-time)

- Wait until baby really needs it before offering it systematically

- Gradually reduce its use as soon as possible