What About Pacifiers?
Should you offer your baby a pacifier at bedtime?
Sure! Why not? This is an area of debate among many parents and really, it's no one else's business but your own whether or not you'd like to offer your baby a pacifier! It's your baby, your choice!
One argument for the use of pacifiers is that they are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics in helping prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However, not all parents wish to offer a pacifier, and not all babies enjoy a pacifier.
This being said, when it comes to sleep training, we are not opposed to keeping the pacifier with your baby if it is something that they enjoy.
HOWEVER, pacifiers become an issue in sleep training if mom or dad is constantly going into the bedroom to replace the pacifier after it has fallen out or after your baby has tossed it out of their crib. We've heard
of parents going into a room 10+ times a night to pop the paci back in!
When we are working on teaching your child self-soothing skills and they do enjoy the pacifier, we do not continue to pop that pacifier back in or play "fetch-the-sousie" with your baby. If baby loses it or tosses it, that's it for the night (yes, we teach you what to do in these cases - especially when baby is calling for you to come to their aid).
Some recommendations for babies over 12 months of age may include a short alligator clip attached to your baby's sleep sack or pyjamas; or sprinkle several pacifiers around the crib for them to find on their own.
If you are returning to your baby's room multiple times a night to replace the pacifier, then it is time for your baby to learn new skills in settling themselves to sleep, as this indicates a sleep association and lack of self-soothing skills that will only prevent your child from having UNINTERRUPTED and UNDISTURBED sleep.