My wife is obsessed with making sure our baby is as healthy as possible, mentally and physically. This being perfectly normal, she insists on limiting his pacifier usage to only when he does not need to be fed or changed and not when he is going to sleep. (note that he is only about a month old). My feeling is that he has this need to suck on something, and the pacifier is a good thing for that purpose, so I think him using it to go to sleep is ok. Could be wrong, though.

So, in short, how often should we let our son use his pacifier?

asked 13 Nov '09, 15:35

Matthew%20Jones's gravatar image

Matthew Jones
accept rate: 18%

edited 13 Nov '09, 15:58

How is your baby fed?

The general advice for breastfed babies is generally to avoid pacifiers until breastfeeding is well established, as it's a different mouth action, and can prevent them from being fed when they're hungry by confusing the baby into think it's getting a feed when it isn't. In fact, if you asked a lactation consultant they would probably advise against any pacifier use for at least 6-8 weeks.

If the baby is artificially fed then the FSID advice is that a settling a baby to sleep with a dummy (British English for pacifier) reduces the risk of cot death.


answered 13 Nov '09, 17:59

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

edited 13 Nov '09, 22:51

Although it is a slightly different question, the answers for the question "Age to start using a pacifier" can provide you with insight regarding how much other parents have used the pacifier.

Additionally these answers to the question, "Pacifier dilema" can show you how other parents solved the problem of taking the pacifier away.

From my own point of view, your wife is doing the right thing by limiting the usage of the pacifier at this early stage before he becomes too accustomed to the sensation of the pacifier. I would give him the pacifier just before going to sleep and remove it from his mouth just before he falls asleep, so that he doesn't associate sleeping with a pacifier in his mouth.

Having said that, I really don't think that parents who do encourage their babies to use a pacifier are doing the wrong thing. I strongly feel that each parent, whether they seek opinions of others or not, will know what is best for their child, and no matter what the choice is, it will ultimately be the right choice for them and their baby.


answered 13 Nov '09, 16:12

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 13 Nov '09, 16:38

Many of my friends have the same view as your wife. I think they are worried about the baby relying too much on the pacifier and not being able to put themselves to sleep and not being soothed with a pacifier when they acutally really need to be fed or need a diaper change. Which are all healthy ideas.

As for my experience.

We use a pacifier for the purpose of putting our son to sleep. He wanted to nurse to sleep and I didn't want to do that and felt a pacifier was a better option that myself as his pacifier.

I found that it is really nice for me to use the pacifire to put him to sleep because as soon as he has it in his mouth his whole body relaxes and he goes to sleep quite easily. We only use it for putting him to bed. He's currently 15 months and he will go to bed without one (like if I've misplaced it), but then he will usually cry, but not for too long and then sleeps well. He doesn't sleep with it the entire night. As soon as he falls asleep he spits it out.


answered 13 Nov '09, 19:44

Sabrina's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

I would definitely agree with this and this is exactly what my son does as well! I do think that you need to limit the use to just bedtime!

(13 Nov '09, 22:56) Melissa 1

I was told to use a dummy (by health visitor) while they are asleep as it reduces sids.


answered 13 Nov '09, 17:09

Phil%20Seller's gravatar image

Phil Seller
accept rate: 9%

We were nervous about letting our son become addicted to his pacifier. So, we just took it away, cold turkey, when he was 8 months old. He made the "mouthing" signals for it, but forgot about it and we were able to go on car rides without worrying about it falling out and him crying. Same with naps and bedtime. Having it there was a bigger problem than it was a solution! BUT, that's only my experience. I know quite a few 3 and 4 (and even one 5) year olds who were still on the passy for naps. It worked for them and for their parents. I don't like to judge because you have to do what works for you and your family. That being said, I still need to answer your question. I'd say, from personal experience alone, let him use the pacifier for naps and bedtime and occassionally during the day. You don't want that to become your "go to" for comforting your baby. Also, babies can learn to self-soothe. They cannot self-soothe if their pacifiers keep falling out and then they can become more distraught than anything! Good luck and congratulations on the new baby!


answered 20 Dec '10, 02:52

Jo's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

My girls are now 9 months old and they still use their pacifiers for sleep (bedtime and naps), and only for sleep. They sleep for 11.5 hours at night and do not cry for their pacifiers when they fall out. We did a little CIO to get to this point, they used to cry for their pacis once in a while before we did sleep training. I don't intend to wean them off it until they're about a year old.


answered 11 Jan '11, 19:48

Aris's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

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Asked: 13 Nov '09, 15:35

Seen: 24,373 times

Last updated: 11 Jan '11, 19:48