When should you introduce a pacifier?

Trying to calm a fussy newborn is one of a new parent's greatest challenges. You may feed your baby, burp her, change her diaper and cuddle her -- and find that she still won't stop crying. When nothing else works, offering a pacifier can help calm a distressed baby. If you want to use a pacifier to soothe your newborn, following a few tips can help you choose the right time to introduce it.

If nursing is going along smoothly, there should be no reason to use artificial nipples in the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Nursing frequently and using the breast as a pacifier are what builds a good milk supply and helps you and your baby develop a special closeness during the period immediately after your baby’s birth.

Breastfeeding and Pacifiers

If you breastfeed, you should wait at least one month to introduce a pacifier, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics. This provides enough time to ensure breastfeeding is well-established. In your baby's first days, he needs to nurse frequently to build up your milk supply. If he spends a lot of time sucking on a pacifier, he won't spend that time stimulating your breasts. Pacifier use also can create nipple confusion in babies who are learning how to breastfeed.

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