Extended pacifier use by a 4 month old baby - is it safe?

Kathy - posted on 08/26/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 month old son who seems to only be able to sleep when he is given a pacifier/dummy. We can usually remove it once he falls asleep. Thankfully, even if he wakes up at night, he won't cry for his pacifier, and he can sooth himself back to sleep or with a little pat on his back.

My question is, do pacifiers cause crooked teeth and other dental problems? Sometimes, we just let him keep his pacifier throughout his naps (1 or 2 hours). I can see him sucking away even though he is asleep! Is it safe?

I tried removing his pacifier while he was sucking once and although he didn't cry, you can hear a loud suction noise when you pull it out so I'm worried about tearing his oral tissues. Does anybody have any experiences they can share?

Thanks for sharing!

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Gemma - posted on 08/29/2010

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My 5 month old only takes her dummy when shes tired. But once asleep she spits it out. Before she was born, I was really against them because id heard of them making kids teeth crooked. But then after doing a bit of research, and finding the right dummy, im happy to let her have one. I read that some doctors believe that a child sucking a dummy, while sleeping, can actually reduce the risk of cot death. I found a dummy that is aproved by orthadontics, and it seems to be the only shaped dummy that my daughter likes.

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Corinne - posted on 08/29/2010

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I wouldn't worry too much honey. Yes it's true that pacifiers can cause dental and speech problems, but so can thumb sucking. Once he has a few teeth and especially when he starts talking, start to reduce it's use to nap/bed times and don't for the love of God put anything sugary on it! My friend allowed her kids to have pacifiers for years and blamed them for the youngest ones speech problems as her teeth were stuck out all over. Turns out the poor little mite was partially deaf and required surgery. Now speaks perfectly. Go with your instincts, that's what they're there for!

Kathy - posted on 08/28/2010

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Thanks everyone! I got some comments from friends/other mothers that letting my baby use a pacifier can lead to rotten teeth and that it's unhygenic.

But it's the only way to get him to sleep!

:D

Nikki - posted on 08/28/2010

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I wish my son took a paci, then he wouldnt need to go to bed with a bottle... now thats no good. I dont think you need to worry at 4 months, maybe around 2-3 years old

Catherine - posted on 08/28/2010

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My son who's now going on 3 yr old used his all the time (including while sleeping) when he was smaller. Then one day he just forgot about it (before his first bday). He doesn't have crooked teeth or any unusual speech problems. So I wouldn't worry too much about it. But I wouldn't wait much longer than a year old to phase it out because after that it gets harder and harder to take it away w/o having a major melt down.

Brianna - posted on 08/26/2010

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Pacifiers are made for them to be sucking on even when sleeping so im not sure why your so worried and your not going to hurt them when you pull it out. my daughter sleeps with her pacifier all night unless she doesnt want it in which cause she spits it out on her own.

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In my research, I've seen that pacifiers are pretty okay. If you phase them out when your child is 2 or 3, at the latest, there shouldn't be any orthodontic issues. Thumbsucking can cause more problems because it can mess with the growth and development of the top of a child's mouth, which can cause not only dental issues, but speech problems.

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