A 33-year-old member asked:
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is it better for my baby to suck his thumb or a pacifier?

4 doctor answers
Dr. Michael Pappas
22 years experience Pediatrics
No: What's the difference? Babies just want to be "pacified" or feel peaceful. If they use a pacifier or their thumb/fingers, they are achieving the same thing...Peace. Is it more dangerous to use a thumb or pacifier? No. It's not up to us anyway...It's up to them. Why fight it? We all need peace.
Answered on Feb 29, 2016
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Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett
37 years experience Pediatrics
Yes: Thumbs rarely detach and get lost and are much easier to clean. Regular cleaning of pacifiers and making sure they don't have cracks where yeast can settle is important if you use them. There is a lot of controversy re the benefit/risk of pacifier use and breastfeeding initiation, ear infections and sids risk. My preference is keep things simple and pacifier free.
Answered on Aug 4, 2015
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1 comment
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3 thanks
Dr. Johanna Fricke
49 years experience Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Not to mention that a pacifier becomes a sleep association by age 5-6 months. If he night wakes after 6 months, he can settle himself back to sleep so it won't become a habit EXCEPT if the parents go in to his room to retrieve a pacifier & give it to him. Then there are the moms who lick pacifiers & share cavity-causing germs. I haven't seen a mom lick her baby's thumb, then stick it in his mouth.
Nov 15, 2012
Dr. Charlene Sojico
40 years experience Pediatrics
To simply answer: Your question, pacifier is better if you are concerned about the effect of thumb sucking on your baby's teeth.
Answered on Sep 24, 2012
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1 comment
Dr. Carla Enriquez
49 years experience Pediatrics
Chronic pacifier use can impede language development and has similar effect on teeth protrusion.
Sep 24, 2012
Dr. Carla Enriquez
49 years experience Pediatrics
Thumb is natural. : Using a pacifier involves an adult to provide it. That makes it a controlling habit. Pacifier use can impede language development. Thumb sucking rarely does. Let nature rule!
Answered on Sep 28, 2016

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Comfort: These teens are often disabled, and thumb-sucking calms them down.

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