One of the first big questions new parents have to consider is: When can baby have a pacifier? 

This is a question to which there is no precise answer. All babies have different needs and conditions that affect whether they want or need a soother at all.

Get the answer to when baby can have a soother below. 

When can baby use a pacifier?

In the past, people did not hesitate to offer the baby a soother as soon as the baby had let go of the mother's breast. Today, however, it has been found that a newborn baby needs time to learn how to suck, and therefore needs to learn the correct sucking technique in order to get milk from the breast. Therefore sucking confusion if the baby is learning to use a pacifier at the same time. Sucking on a pacifier or on the breast are two different techniques.

For breastfeeding reasons, it is recommended that the baby should not be offered a soother before he or she is 14 days old.

But as always - there are exceptions to the rule. If your baby is premature, cries a lot, or just has a very high need for a soother, some babies can actually benefit from their soother within hours or days of birth. However, care should be taken to use a soother for newborns so that the baby's mouth does not mould to the large soother.

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What to do if baby won't use a pacifier?

Many parents face the frustrating situation that their baby won't use a pacifier. Instead, they want to suck on the breast all the time, or perhaps the baby has difficulty settling down or sleeping without sucking.

In this situation, the first thing to try is to offer a few different kinds of soothers. Some babies prefer round soothers, while others like the flat ones best. Here you have to try things out.

If this is unsuccessful, try introducing a soother or a teddy bear. You could put some breast milk on it to make it smell nice and safe for baby.

Ultimately, you have to accept that the child does not want to use a soother. However, this also has the great advantage that you don't have to wean the baby again. This leads us on to the next section!

When is it time to stop the pacifier?

Many children are very fond of their soother and don't want to get rid of it.

When your baby is around 3 years old, it's time to say goodbye to the pacifier.

There are several reasons for this:

Pacifier and language development

When the pacifier is in your mouth, it's obviously hard to talk cleanly. Around 2 - 3 years of age, the child's language is developing rapidly, so it is a good idea to limit the use of soothers during this period and work towards getting rid of them completely.

Sucking and teething: sucking bites

Most parents fear that their child will get a so-called teat bite if they don't want to get rid of their soother. A teat bite is when the teeth simply mould to the teat. This is particularly noticeable on the front teeth, which can become set at an angle and point out. This is where you need to consult your dentist and find out if there is cause for concern. The good thing is that children's teeth can very quickly straighten back to normal when they are no longer using a soother.

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The pacifier passivates the child

When the baby sucks on its soother, it relaxes and perhaps closes in on itself for a while. This is not so appropriate in situations where the child needs to play and develop. For example, in nursery. It also helps to keep the child in a kind of "baby role" - also from the point of view of other peers. It is therefore a good idea to pay close attention to sucking when the child is 2.5 - 3 years old.

How to get rid of the pacifier?

Some parents choose to dispose of the pacifier in a ceremonial way. It may be easier for the child to cope with no longer using the soother if they know where it is, or they may have been given something else instead. Here are ideas for getting rid of the pacifier in a good way:

  • Hang the pacifier on a tree. There are trees all over the country in parks and similar places.
  • Give the pacifier to a clerk in a toy store, in exchange for a gift
  • Sending the pacifiers to Santa Claus
  • Drop off the soothers at a recycling shop