Ask A Pediatrician: Pacifiers
Q: My baby does not want to take a pacifier. Is that normal?
A: Sucking is very soothing for most babies. In some cultures the baby is swaddled close to the mother and the baby can use the breast as a pacifier through the day. In our culture -that is more difficult. A pacifier can be an acceptable substitute. But babies are all different.
I would offer the pacifier if you sense that your baby is fussy and is not hungry. If it works to soothe the fussiness, then that is a win. If the baby does not want to keep the pacifier in his/her mouth, then don’t force it. You should try other means of soothing such and swaddling, gentle movement, rocking, or singing.
A fussy baby should be checked by a pediatrician if soothing techniques do not work.
DR. CATHERINE PHILLIPPI is a pediatrician at TrustCare Kids in Gluckstadt, MS. Visit trustcarekids.com to learn more.