The habit of squeezing in babies: to be continued or to be abandoned?

The habit of squeezing in babies: to be continued or to be abandoned?

written by : MAKUKU - 27 Aug 2021

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The use of a pacifier or commonly called a pacifier cannot be separated from the baby's growth. This tool is often relied on by Moms and Dads to calm your little one when he is fussy. Even so, the use of the pacifier itself is still a matter of debate.

Some opinions say the use of a pacifier is recommended as part of the growth phase. Some opinions say that pacifiers can have a negative impact on the development of the baby.

Hospital Pediatrician. Carolus dr. Ria Yoanita Sp.A, the use of pacifiers for children can have positive and negative impacts. According to him, Moms must know the advantages and disadvantages.

Keep in mind, babies will use their lips to suck something naturally. Usually, the baby will suck the finger or the mother's nipple. Uniquely, this habit has been carried out by babies since in the womb, you know Moms.

"AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends that giving a pacifier wait until the baby can suckle properly, which is about four weeks," said dr. Ria in a short dialogue with the MAKUKU team.

The age of 4 weeks is considered the right time because it can minimize the risk of nipple confusion in babies. Nipple confusion is common in babies who are used to drinking breast milk from a bottle or using a pacifier too early. The impact is of course the absorption of nutrients in the baby has not been maximized and also the risk of blisters on the mother's nipples.

Positive Impact of Using Pacifiers

As mentioned above, the pacifier habit has a positive impact. In addition to helping promote restful sleep, pacifiers are also useful for:

1. Reduces the Risk of Sudden Death

Infants under one year of age are vulnerable to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or sudden death without any symptoms. SIDS cases generally occur when the baby is asleep due to lack of oxygen intake. Some of the factors that cause this to happen are sleeping position, baby's physical condition, and certain stages of development. According to dr. Ria, when a baby sleeps with a pacifier, it makes it difficult to change the sleeping position to prone. "If a baby uses a pacifier, it will be difficult for him to sleep on his stomach due to a pacifier block," explained dr. Ria.

2. Creates peace in Baby

The baby's attachment to the pacifier can provide a sense of comfort as well as get a satisfying sucking effect that stimulates the growth of the baby's jaw and mouth muscles. "You can calm yourself down, it's like sucking your mother's nipples and you can reduce fussiness when your mother or father is at work," added dr. Ria.

Negative Impacts of Using Pacifiers

It should be noted Moms and Dads, that the use of pacifiers can also have a negative effect on your little one such as:

1. Irregular Breastfeeding Pattern

If a pacifier is given at the wrong time, it can have a negative effect on your little one. One of them is an irregular feeding pattern due to the baby experiencing nipple confusion. He advised Moms and Dads not to be too hasty in giving the baby a pacifier.
"The downside is that if you give a pacifier at a crucial period at the time of birth, for example, it will risk nipple confusion and cause the breastfeeding pattern to be incorrect, as a result your little one loses the bonding benefits that are obtained when breastfeeding directly to the mother," added dr. Ria

2. Risk of infection

Infection can result from dirty or unsterilized pacifiers. Not infrequently, many parents neglect to store pacifiers so they put them in any place. Dr. Ria gave an example, parents often immediately gave a pacifier that fell on the floor because they were in a hurry to hear their baby cry. In fact, the cleanliness of the pacifier must be maintained before being used by the baby.
"Using a pacifier is more risky for your little one to experience infections such as respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal tract, ear, and others because bacteria can easily enter," added Dr. Ria.

3. Inhibits expressive language skills

If the baby uses a pacifier too often, then the development of language skills will be disrupted. Moreover, if the habit of ngempeng continues at the age of one year, it makes children lazy to learn to speak.
"In babies who use pacifiers, they will think more about pacifiers continuously, thereby inhibiting expressive speech. Pacifiers can also cause dental problems, for example, teething position is not good, can also be allergic to the pacifier material, besides that pacifiers can be addictive, and you can imagine if children who have grown up, for example at elementary school age, still use pacifiers," added dr. Ria.

Tips for Using a Pacifier for Your Little One

For Moms and Dads whose children are still sucking, the following notes are mandatory to pay attention to:

  • Make sure the pacifier is given at the right time as described above or according to the doctor's advice.
  • Pay attention to the hygiene of the pacifier because it can be a medium for the entry of germs or bacteria that interfere with the child's health. Moms can wash the pacifier with clean water, soap or with boiling water.
  • Choose a pacifier made of silicone and has been categorized BPA (bisphenol-A) to ensure the best quality for your little one.
  • Do not give a pacifier too often so that this habit does not continue in the next age. According to various health articles, the habit of sucking is not recommended for babies over 12 months old. The use of pacifiers is feared to interfere with the speech development of children who are entering the most rapid phase.
  • Moms can switch to other activities or consult a doctor and psychologist if the habit of sucking is difficult to stop.

"If the habit of sucking is difficult to stop, give understanding slowly and switch it to other activities, such as singing, playing, reading fairy tales or playing a song with a calm rhythm when the baby is going to sleep, etc. If it still can't, maybe you need help from a psychologist or psychiatrist, "closed Dr. Ria.

So, do Moms and Dads still want to give the baby a pacifier?

Hope this is useful for you moms.. 

Reviewed by:

dr. Ria Yoanita, SpA

RS Carolus Jakarta

dr. Ria is a specialist in Pediatrics. After completing his general medical education at the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Brawijaya Malang, he continued his specialization in Pediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia.









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