The definition of a pacifier according to Webster’s Dictionary is “1) one that pacifies” and “2) a nipple-shaped device for babies to suck or bite on”. The definition of the word pacify is “1) to allay the anger or agitation of: soothe”.

My friend primarily uses a pacifier when her baby cries to keep her baby from crying and to put off feedings. She has a rigid schedule of when to feed her baby. If her baby is hungry before time, she uses a pacifier to delay feedings. If she forgets her pacifier at home, she literally turns around to retrieve it. Furthermore, her baby needs a pacifier to fall asleep.

I have chosen not to use a pacifier at all. I feed my baby whenever she is hungry and I let her fall asleep while I am nursing her. This resulted in the first 8 weeks of her little life with me spending the majority of my time breastfeeding. I hardly went anywhere and could hardly do anything. But I understood the need to comfort my baby. On the other hand, my friend fed her baby every two hours and that was it. If her baby became hungry before time, she used a pacifier.

For some reason, it has become taboo in society to hear a baby cry. Parents feel almost an obligation to cease the noise that may be “bothering others.” Before I become a parent, I felt crying babies were a nuisance as well. Now, I know that babies just cry. It is their only means of communication. In a society that encourages communication between men and women, how is it there is a need to quell the most fundamental form?

I believe that parents misuse pacifiers. When I see a child who is two years old still sucking a pacifier, it irritates me. Parents should be the ones to comfort their children, not an inanimate object. Moreover, I believe prolonged use of pacifiers do cause problems with the baby’s teeth come in, which can correlate to adult problems in the long run.

When I compare my friend’s baby with mine, there is a noticeable difference. My baby is always smiling, happy and laughing; whereas, hers does not do this nearly as much. Research has shown that pacifiers interfere with language development and expressions.

I do believe that there is a proper way to use a pacifier. Most experts agree that a pacifier should be used to satisfy a baby’s innate need to suck, which could be in-between feedings or to aid in falling asleep.

Both my friend and I believe we hold the moral high ground on this issue. She pokes fun at me and I make fun of her. In the end, only time shall tell who is right. It’s a personal choice that needs to be an informed one. Don’t use a pacifier just because your best friend used one. Parents should research the proper uses and consult a doctor if in doubt. The use of a pacifier is a little thing that can make a big difference in your baby’s life.

Author's Bio: 

By: Jennifer Dionne. Her website is, a comprehensive view of pregnancy and parenting. She is a stay-at-home mom who is passionate about helping other moms through the challenges of motherhood. She is the author of “How to Have a Baby Your Way”, which is available through her website.