To Pacify or Not to Pacify: Should Your Baby Use a Binky?

Many mothers I knew had hard and fast opinions on the use of pacifiers. Here are a few of them that I can remember off hand:

“I don’t want my child to have a piece of plastic in her mouth at all times. It’s not natural, it makes it difficult for her to speak, it could hurt her teeth, and I’m not confident that the materials used to make pacifiers are safe for the kind of use I’ve seen in small babies.”-Margaret.

“I waited three months so that we could really figure out breastfeeding and ensure that the binky wasn’t going to get in the way. After that, I had no problem using a pacifier, as long is it was BPA free.”-Kathleen

“From about two months of age, I trained my child to start putting her finger in her mouth. She learned it easily and was able to pacify herself the same way kids have been doing for hundreds of years, using her own body.”-Valerie

I didn’t want my child sucking her thumb, simply because you can’t take that away whereas you can wean a child from a pacifier. For that reason, I did use a pacifier early on to provide her with something that could soothe her but that I could remove as she got older. -Chao

If you read Monday’s post you know that I have used pacifiers with both our children, more out of desperation than conscious choice.  My daughter covets them and we search them out on daily basis, despite the fact that we have at least eight lurking somewhere in our home.  I’m looking forward to a binky-free future sometime in the next 1-2 years.  It does happen, right?


  1. We used a pacifier starting around 2-3 weeks (breastfeeding had already been well established), mostly because we swaddled our son and so he couldn’t reach his hands in order to sooth himself. We swaddled until about 10 months or so and then used a pacifier mostly just at naps and bedtime, although during teething it did come out a bit more. Once he hit about 14 months, we decided to just get rid of it. We stopped giving it to him, he cried for 10-15 minutes and then went to bed. Now we’re pacifier free.

  2. My son had high sucking needs and was unable to figure out non-nutritive sucking (possibly because I had a massive over-supply for a while there) so we did eventually give him one around 1 month or so. But at 7 months, we moved him to his crib and we ditched the pacis. I figured if he isn’t in the room with me, I don’t want to have to get up all night to go chase pacis. I don’t think he even noticed.

  3. I had tried at about 3 weeks to use one to help sooth my son during his colicky episodes, but he wanted nothing to do with it. Then he found a paci in his toy basket and at 7months old decided he liked it. I try to only let him have it at naps and bedtime which helps him sleep longer (we are still waking multiple times at night).

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