What's the right answer?
Pacifier use– it’s a widely debated topic.
If you make an appointment for newborn portraits at our studio (or with most any other professional newborn photographer), you’re likely to receive information about pacifier use at your baby’s session.
However, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, non-nutritive sucking is a natural reflex in newborns. They show this by sucking the hands and fingers, or at least trying to. The pacifier has typically been used to fulfill this innate need. Historically, pacifiers were viewed as beneficial until the early 1900s, when an anti-pacifier movement spread concerns that their use led to poor hygiene and indulgent behavior. Most all nurses and lactation consultants will warn new, breastfeeding moms of nipple confusion and similar issues. Second and third time moms will say, do what works.
But what do studies show? Well, that depends which one you read! In December 2010, staff at Oregon Health and Sciences University conducted a study whereby they took binkies away from all breastfed babies and then actually noted a decrease in the breastfeeding success rate. This was merely an observational study and not scientific, but the real science we are relying on to withhold pacifiers hasn’t been formally studied in decades!
Also, did you know that pacifier use has been proven to reduce the risk of SIDS related deaths? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents consider offering pacifiers to infants one month and older at the onset of sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Pacifier use should not be actively discouraged and may be especially beneficial in the first six months of life. By offering your newborn a pacifier at nap and bed times (once breastfeeding has been established/approx 3-4 weeks, some studies say), you’ll greatly decrease their risk of a crib related death. The science is not entirely understood, but with multiple studies showing the same positive results, the benefits seem to outweigh any negative reasons you might have for not trying one.
But putting all that aside, there is no right or wrong answer. As most moms will tell you, do what works. But as for our studio, we love pacifiers during newborn sessions! And keep in mind, not all babies require them. For fussy babies though, we’d say about 75% do settle faster and gentler when using one.
Just for that reason, we carry the best brand pacifiers in our studio (they’re the number one choice in this article) and are happy to provide you one ((to keep, of course!!)) if you don’t have one but are open to us using one. We can promise you that NO MOMMA ever left our studio after 30-45 mins of use and has problems latching on. In fact, most consider using it more post-session if they have a fussy or restless newborn❤️❤️
So if you’re considering our studio for your newborn session, please consider what you’re comfortable with us using to soothe your baby. You are the parents and ultimately, the most important person to decide what’s right for you and for your baby. If you decline pacifier use, no problem!!! We can work with your baby and chances are, the session will go very smoothly as we have many other tricks up our sleeves 😉
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