Pacifiers’ Impact on Sleep

Pacifiers seem to be one of those tools that parents both love and hate at the same time.  They can be helpful to soothe babies when they are having a particularly rough time, both during the day and at night, and to keep them quieter during church or other events where parents want to minimize baby noises.

On the down side, though, they can be easy to pop out of babies mouths, and precipitate arousal from sleep.  If babies get so dependent on the pacifier for going back to sleep at night, it can become quite a challenge trying to wean them from the pacifier, as I experienced again recently.

We had weaned the babies (twins) from needing a feeding overnight, but one of the babies was waking more frequently than before, looking for the pacifier.  The pacifier problem seemed to be causing more wakings at night than before.  In one of my upcoming posts, I’ll share some about our solution to this challenge.

Overall, I encourage parents to limit the use of pacifiers to avoid a strong dependence on it, which tends to come with greater problems.  My preferred approach is to only offer it when babies are struggling and fussy as they try to go to sleep.  I generally don’t offer it routinely or when they are contented.