April 1, 2020

Pacifier or thumb: the pros and cons

The lollipop

Some parents and doctors accuse him of being unhygienic and curbing communication. For others, it soothes stress and pains in babies and allows suction that gives it a feeling of well-being and reassures. She ... it's the lollipop.
Nursing is indeed innate in babies. It is essential to respect this need but the baby should not keep the pacifier all day in the mouth as this behavior could create dental problems and delay the development of language and communication.

The benefits of the pacifier

- The pacifier is effective because it can relieve anger, painful colic or other pain.

- Parents can control the use of the pacifier, unlike the thumb.

- Teats have evolutionary shapes with the age of the child and are adapted to his palate.

The disadvantages of the pacifier

If it falls, it can carry all the impurities.

- Certainly the lollipop will calm the baby crying but the fact of losing it can wake him (especially at night) and make him cry.

- The addiction ... if baby claims it day and night.

A little advice from mum not to give it all the time and to imitate its use for big sorrows and falling asleep.

- Frequent sucking can delay - with time - pronunciation defects when learning language.

- Say no to "Grandmother's remedy". It should not be wrapped in sugar or honey. Think of the teeth of your little one.

Some tips :

- When the baby is calm, do not offer the pacifier.

- The use of the pacifier - if you have opted for the pacifier - is limited when the baby is very angry and falling asleep.

- The baby should not take the pacifier as long as breastfeeding - if you have chosen breastfeeding - is not fully established. Exceptions: premature infants, sick or hospitalized babies need the suction that comforts them.

- During the first use, the lollipop must be sterilized. How? By plunging it into boiling water for five minutes. And not putting it in your mouth because you could transmit your microbes. Do not be "disgusted" ladies, I've seen it done.

- It is therefore recommended to have several lollipops, clean and packaged on hand.

- After each use, the lollipop should be washed with soapy water.

- The lollipop ... it's not Ad vitam aeternam. It must be replaced every two months or when it is cracked or punctured.

- Never tie a lollipop around a baby's neck. Why ? Because he risks strangling himself. There are pacifier clips.

- If you opt for the pacifier, it must comply with the safety standard NF S 54 003.

- The support of the nipple or collar must have two holes to let the air.

The pacifier "bio" ... it exists but we must respect some instructions such as:

- Choose a teat made of natural latex or natural rubber,
- Ensure the absence of bisphenol A which is part of the toxic compounds
- Buy an ergonomic and hygienic organic pacifier

Say stop to the pacifier!

Deprivation must be done in progressive stages. It must be made clear to the child that he has grown up and that the use of the pacifier is limited for example to the ritual of falling asleep and must therefore remain in his room. When the baby claims the pacifier outside bedtime, it is necessary to divert his attention (games, readings ...). Some periods are not conducive to abandoning the nipple: back to school, the birth of a little brother or sister, a divorce, a move, a change of school ... Durant these times, the toddler needs to be comforted and supported. Be that as it may, the child has to give up the pacifier at the age of three.


A spontaneous gesture! The thumb or fingers will be sucked by the infant from birth.

The benefits of the thumb

- For the baby but also for parents, we always have an inch at hand. During his night, he will find it alone and will be able to go back to sleep.

The disadvantages of the thumb

- Sucking your thumb or fingers can cause dental problems.A possible deformation of the dentition due to thumb sucking may occur if the child still sucks his thumb beyond four or five years.

- As for the pacifier, the thumb is not hygienic especially when the child starts moving or touching everything.

To say stop to the thumb

Regarding the thumb, it will take longer to abandon it. Generally, the child himself says stop especially during the start of the preparatory course. A visit to the dentist can also allow the child to become aware of the real consequences on his teeth.

Do not forget that the arms of his mum who comforts him by speaking to him or cradling him can calm him down. Your turn now !

Pacifier vs.Thumb - Boys Town Pediatrics (April 2020)