Pacifiers. You probably have dozens lying around. Or perhaps your twins have their favorites that they simply cannot be parted from. In either case, there’s quite a debate around the pro’s and cons with pacifiers, and then there’s the elusive question – when do you have your twins stop?
It’s a tough call. A recent article at Twiniversity encourages parents to “Ditch the Pacifier Tonight!“, but are your twins ready for that kind of separation? Parents over at Twiniversity explain their stories of weaning little ones off the pacifier with many tricks – some replace the binkie with a ‘cuddle toy’ or other special toy, some allow only pacifiers at nap or sleep time, and others throw them all away at once.
But this begs the question, are pacifiers even right for our twins? The Mayo Clinic lists some of the pros and cons on their website:
For some babies, pacifiers are the key to contentment between feedings. Consider the advantages:
- A pacifier might soothe a fussy baby. Some babies are happiest when they’re sucking on something.
- A pacifier offers temporary distraction. A pacifier might come in handy during shots, blood tests or other procedures.
- A pacifier might help your baby fall asleep. If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier might do the trick.
- A pacifier might ease discomfort during flights. Babies can’t intentionally “pop” their ears by swallowing or yawning to relieve ear pain caused by air pressure changes. Sucking on a pacifier might help.
- Pacifiers might help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Researchers have found an association between pacifier use during sleep and a reduced risk of SIDS.
- Pacifiers are disposable. When it’s time to stop using pacifiers, you can throw them away. If your child prefers to suck on his or her thumb or fingers, it might be more difficult to break the habit.
Of course, pacifiers have pitfalls as well. Consider the drawbacks:
- Early pacifier use might interfere with breast-feeding. Sucking on a breast is different from sucking on a pacifier or bottle, and some babies are sensitive to those differences. Research suggests that early use of artificial nipples is associated with decreased exclusive breast-feeding and duration of breast-feeding — although it’s not clear if artificial nipples cause breast-feeding problems or serve as a solution to an existing problem.
- Your baby might become dependent on the pacifier. If your baby uses a pacifier to sleep, you might face frequent middle-of-the-night crying spells when the pacifier falls out of your baby’s mouth.
- Pacifier use might increase the risk of middle ear infections.However, rates of middle ear infections are generally lowest from birth to age 6 months — when the risk of SIDS is the highest and your baby might be most interested in a pacifier.
- Prolonged pacifier use might lead to dental problems. Normal pacifier use during the first few years of life doesn’t cause long-term dental problems. However, prolonged pacifier use might cause a child’s top front teeth to slant outward or not come in properly.
Both sides of the case have legitimate arguments, so trust your instincts when letting your babies use pacifiers, and when you wean them off. The biggest issue is by far dental problems. After a few years, your toddler may need to stop using a pacifier – or even sucking their thumbs – in order to prevent dental problems later on.
Set little goals when weaning older children off of a thumb/pacifier habit, such as distracting activities, trading pacifiers or good behavior in for a toy, or try this effective tip of using the dentist. From a long-time thumb-sucker, it was the dentist that snapped me out of my habit!!!
Your child’s dentist might also be able to help your child stop using the pacifier by explaining the potential impact of prolonged pacifier use on his or her teeth.
BUT, if your twinnies are still quite little, there is no reason to prevent them from using a pacifier if they are yearning for one. So we decided to check out some of our favorite teethers and pacies for your little ones (many available for purchase at Magic Beans, local toy and baby store located in Boston!)
We like this product a lot. It’s simple and to the point, Description from Magic Beans: For any parent who has ever watched in horrified agony as their baby dropped the only pacifier on hand directly into a pile of playground dirt, this product is for you.The Keep It Kleen Pacifier® has a locking shield for traveling and on-the-go days. It can be stored in your purse or diaper bag, dropped on the ground, or kicked around the floor of your car and the stay clean shield will protect the nipple and keep it hygienic. The orthodontic nipple is made of 100% food grade silicone, insuring that it is BPA- and phthalate-free, and certified safe
2. Wubbanubs (available in many different animal choices) by Treco
These happen to be one of our *top* picks for pacifiers. They combine a cute toy, which makes these pacifiers easy to find and less easy to lose and drop! The animals are super cute, and allow your child to play with them and hold on to them while they use their pacifier.
The Magic Beans description includes lots of Features and Benefits:
Unique pacifier and plush combo – Keeps pacifiers from being dropped
Soft plush animal – Easy to grasp for little hands, offers comfort and security
Vibrant colors are stimulating and captivating
Helps in the development of hand-eye coordination
Latex-free medical grade silicone pacifier
Soft comforting and soothing plush toy
No pacifier cords or clips
BPA & phthalate free
From the brand that brings you the ever-recognizable Sophie the Giraffe comes this new pacifier. It’s cleverly designed, here’s the Magic Beans description:
The SoPure Sophie the Giraffe Natural Soother fromVulli/Callison is another natural, gentle, and irresistible variation on the famous rubber giraffe: shaped like Sophie’s head, this all-natural rubber teether is specifically designed to relieve your child’s teething pain. The inward curve on the SoPure Sophie Soother perfectly compliments the shape of a baby’s palate; ridges on one side are placed to soothe baby’s gums as her first teeth come in, and rounded bumps on the other side gently massage her gums as she chews her teether. The hole in the center of the giraffe head makes the SoPure Sophie the Giraffe teether easy for babies to grab and grip.
Like the original Vulli/Callison Sophie the Giraffe baby toy, the SoPure Sophie the Giraffe Natural Soother is made with 100% natural rubber from the Hevea rubber tree, and contains no phthalates or toxins. Suitable for any age
Check out the Sophie the Giraffe SoPure Teether as well.
From Magic Beans: It’s a smaller Sophie teether with two teething rings that act as easy handles for babies to grip. Each teething ring has a different texture; one has a ridged surface for erupting teeth, and the other ring has raised bumps for soothing sore gums.