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5 Big Decisions To Make for Your Baby

Decision: Pacifier vs. No Pacifier

Your baby may make this decision for you: Some tykes just never enjoy a Binky. But if your newborn takes to a paci à la Maggie Simpson, we kinda think it's a win-win situation. Not only are infants soothed by the act of sucking, says Harvey Karp, M.D.,  author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, but pacifiers have been shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when used during naps and at bedtime. And contrary to popular belief, pacis do not cause nipple confusion and probably won't lead to orthodontia woes (unless your "baby" uses them past the age of 6 or so).

The catch? Giving a baby a paci means that, eventually, you'll have to wean her off it. If you take the Binky away around 6 months, as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, your baby will likely forget about it in a day or so. But show us a mom who willingly gives up this convenient, safe comfort crutch at exactly 6 months and we'll show you a pig with wings. Once you've got a paci  addict on your hands, you're probably not going to wean until 1 year or (much) later, at which point it can be more difficult. To make it easier, put limits on when she can use the plug - only in the crib or the car, for example, or only at night.

Bottom line: Binkies can be a mom's best friend and may help protect your child against SIDS.