There is a lot of commentary out there on soothers and pacifiers. Should you use one, should you not? The reality is, soothers and pacifiers can be a great source of comfort between feeds for young babies. They help to get baby off to sleep, keep the dreaded public meltdowns at bay, and can also prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But when should you introduce one and how should you go about doing it? The general recommendation is to wait until your baby is one month old before offering them a pacifier. By this time you should have a feeding schedule established. But it really does depend on the baby – some might not understand what to do with a soother until two or three months of age. If you have decided to try introducing your baby to a soother, here are some tips to get you on your way: How To Introduce A Soother Or Pacifier Try Only When They Are Happy When you are first trying to get your baby to take the soother, offer it after a regular feed when they are relaxed and content. Popping it in their mouth when they are happy provides much less resistance than when they are already mid-meltdown. It is also useful to try when they are drowsy, or if they are sucking their fingers or making their suckle motion with their mouth. If they are hungry or overtired then they aren’t going to react well to foreign objects being put in their mouths! Bait And Switch It is normally suggested to introduce a pacifier or soother after a regular feeding routine is in place. This is mainly so that feeding routines aren’t interrupted before they are fully established, but it can also make introducing a soother easier. When baby is near the end of a feed – pop the pacifier in as soon as they let go of the bottle or nipple. This way, it is more likely they will happily accept it and drift off to sleep. Encourage Suckling Some babies don’t take to soothers straight away because they just aren’t sure what to do with it. It feels different to breast and bottle-feeding, so they need time to adjust to it. You can help your baby learn how to suckle on a pacifier by tapping, wiggling, or gently pulling it while it is sitting in their mouth. This movement can trigger their natural suckling instinct. Once they understand what to do with it, they will be using it regularly in no time. Add Flavour Dipping a new soother into breast milk or formula can also encourage baby to use it. The taste will help create a positive association with the soother. It is also a familiar and comfortable taste, which can ease some of the initial uncertainty. Patience! Like pretty much everything with a little baby, introducing soothers and pacifiers requires patience. Every baby is different – some might learn straight away, some might take a couple of months, and some might not be interested at all. Be prepared to spend some time on it and try different techniques to see what works for your baby. Choosing The Right Pacifier Are you looking for a great first pacifier for your baby? Check out our PATPat pacifiers – the perfect pacifier for babies who don’t have teeth yet! They are made from 100% medical grade silicone, are non-toxic and free of BPA, PVC, phthalates and latex. Don’t forget that you will want to grab something to keep that soother safe and easier for your little one to find in their cot. Check out our range of Gobstopperz too!