Monday, February 13, 2012

Pass on the Pacifier!

NOTE: I'm not a medical professional nor claim to be. Here at Judgey Moms we interpret and judge information and trends and share our opinions. I suggest you interpret and judge all information you receive for yourselves as well. I am not responsible for your child's health, nor is any organization, you are, so..... Damn it! Use some judgment!

Sorry... but this is stupid!
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians now are recommending pacifier usage.
They recommend it for use as a pain reliever during minor procedures, and for reduction of SIDS.

In the minor procedures they list circumcision. I find this ignorant and irresponsible.
AAP, Put a binkie in your own mouth and cut your genitals and let me know if it helped. Thanks.

SIDS reduction might be related to the pacifier keeping the baby in a lighter stage of sleep. My son would wake up if the pacifier left his mouth during the short time we used it. If they are sucking, they might not be in REM sleep cycle as we are temporarily paralyzed during this dream sequence of sleep to prevent us from enacting our dreams. If this recommendation has any clout, it is probably for highly unsophisticated reasons.

They say to reduce or stop use after 6 months to decrease risk of fluid in the middle ear, ie the EAR INFECTION EPIDEMIC in children. Avoid use  after 10 months, because after two years old, the child will probably have some dental damage. They suggest you to actively discourage pacifier use after the age of 4.

I do see the purpose in a pacifier, in bottle fed babies that need the extra sucking to soothe. My nephew used one for a week, and my son had his for a couple of months. I pumped breast milk, but he did need the extra sucking, as this is a need of babies. Yes, babies not toddlers. If your child has a name for their pacifier, I think that is a problem that needs to be addressed because there is various health and psychological concerns regarding anxiety and attachments.

If  you must pacify your baby, I recommend trying a natural rubber binkie, I really thought this was a great product in place of cheap, plastics and silicones. I also recommend not offering it when unnecessary, and discontinuing use as soon as possible or as often as possible. Don't let their physical needs for sucking become an emotional attachment to a plasticy knob in their mouth.

I have some qualms with pacifiers.
1) They are unnatural.
Yes, they replace the boo-boos. A pacifier is also called a "dummy". As in a an imitation of a real or original object, intended to be used as a practical substitute I personally don't see them useful for a stay at home breastfeeding mother.

2)They are addictive.
AAFP: physicians should be mindful that after six months of age, pacifiers transform from a means of nonnutritive sucking to objects of affection that give the child a sense of security. Removing the pacifier can be a great source of anxiety for children and parents.
3)They are unhealthy.
Ear infection and dental damage, they commonly have bacterial or fungal infections like Candida (yeast)  and even staph. (especially latex)
I think its irresponsible to recommend something as beneficial that ends up being addictive and problem causing. I think their recommendations should have been more cautionary.

Also, let's note that SIDS is very hard to study, and is really a name for "We don't know what happened." Ever since I learned that spontaneous combustion didn't exist, I decided that SIDS doesn't either. SIDS is an inconclusive death, and should be called as such. Crib death is a more accurate term.
When was the last time a kid SIDS-ed while at play or being held by it's parent? Why does SIDS only come out at night, like the boogie man? Why are the risk factors a mother who already had a baby pass away, multiple children close together, under the age of 20, and certain ethnicities? SIDS is just a similarity in the inconclusive causes and manner that infants die.
SIDS isn't a definitive but it's victims are and my heart aches for any families that lose a child in any manner. We need to do everything we can to ensure the safety of children, and there are better ways to prevent SIDS than administering a binkie.

There are more important steps mother's SHOULD take.

-Exclusive and Extended breastfeeding cuts the SIDS risk in half. I will assume this is about nutrition as well as establishing attachment and thriving overall.
-Sleep in the same room as your baby. The AAP doesn't recommend bed sharing, I admit it is not for everyone and must be done safely, like any baby sleeping arrangement. I am a proud co-sleeper. There are proven benefits, but I agree with the recommendation because I don't think it's for everybody or if the whole population is capable of deciding if they are appropriate candidates. First of all if you are obese, co-sleeping is a no-no... this would require people to admit that they are obese and putting a child's life at risk. In  my experience people are unable to look at themselves and admit flaw. Plus if you take certain  perscription drugs or drink, no-no bed sharing. We can start to rule out large parts of the population unsuitable for bed sharing, so I understand the AAP recommendation, although I support safe co-sleeping for its benefits and healthy lifestyle)
-Keep your baby away from cigarette smoke. It it toxic and detrimental to health. This includes clothing and skin that has been exposed to smoke toxins. Protect your little one's lungs from all harmful toxins, smoke and chemical vapors. It is common knowledge that lungs are late to develop. I would speculate that asphyxiation in the most common cause of SIDS, healthy lungs are very important in preventing cot death. 

Be sure to read up on all the SIDS information to make your crib or sleeping environment and habits as safe and healthy as possible.

I think that some of the SIDS information is just ridiculous.

If your baby falls asleep in a car safety seat, stroller, swing, infant carrier, or infant sling he should be moved to a firm sleep surface as soon as possible.

I've never heard of a baby "SIDS"ing in a baby sling. 14 have suffocated in the last 20 years including low birth weight twin baby, premature and that had breathing issues such as a cold, but I feel that if you have your baby on your chest, it's safer than if its in the other room. 

Do not use products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.
I'll be sure to avoid SIDS reducing product. This kind of thing should be better regulated, if SIDS reducing positioners are causing SIDS then make it illegal for a product to claim this. 

SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 12 months of age.
This makes no sense. SIDS isn't a cause of death, it actually means that there isn't an apparent cause.

This pacifier recommendation is no exception.

Why the AAP and AAFP are recommending binkies for breastfed babies after one month of age baffles me. A breast fed baby should suckle itself to sleep. It doesn't make sense to supplement something natural, healthy and readily available, with something plastic, silicon and manufactured, some even to be recalled.

Thanks again for the recommendation AAP.
Yours truly,
The Judgey Moms


  1. Even the obese thing is BS. Yea, I qualify as "obese". Hell, GW Bush qualifies as "obese"--the way this is measured is so meaningless as to be ludicrous! And, of course, saying that anyone who qualifies as "obese" by current totally arbitrary BMI categories does a nice job of ruling most women out of bedsharing.
    I would say not to bedshare if you are in any sort of an altered mental state. I would also worry about it if you are a person who moves around more in your sleep than when you're awake. Personally, I frequently wake in the morning in the same position in which I fell asleep the night before. If I move, it was probably to roll with the baby to the other side because he or she insisted upon wanting a change. Otherwise, the baby and I sleep positioned so that he can latch on without either of us waking up--basically with his head in my armpit. And my b.o. isn't that deadly! This has worked well with 3 babies so far--I can count the nights each baby has kept me up on one hand, and the culprit is generally a stuck fart. :-)

    Each of my kids has had a pacifier a few times...but they generally quickly make it clear that they want the real thing NOW and there is no breastmilk in pacifiers!

  2. Often doctor-type breastfeeding recommendations discourage letting babies suckle themselves to sleep, because it is somehow "wrong" to let them comfort suck your breast, but okay to have them suck a piece of rubber for comfort. Hello?!

    There are times when one wonders if experts don't purposely make recommendations to make parenting as difficult as possible and as needful of special equipment as possible--the pricier, the better!

    Think about this one: There are various ways to make drop-side cribs. 20 years ago, and for a long time before that, they were made one way--which was safe. Sometime in the past 20 years, the crib manufacturers changed to the recently-banned, unsafe, construction method. Did the gov't just tell the crib makers to go back to the old way? No, they banned the drop-side cribs altogether, including doing anything with used ones but throwing them out. Makes life more difficult and expensive for parents, but it's a hell of a handout to crib makers! (I'm thinking a kit to immobilize the drop sides could have been distributed freely to the parents without costing the companies much, and would have dealt with the safety issue)