Q: Are newborns too young for a soother? I feel like other parents will judge us for giving our fourweek-old infant a pacifier, and I’ve seen message boards talking about “nipple confusion.”
A: There’s no minimum age; pacifiers are even used in NICUs for non-nutritive sucking and comfort. However, in the first few weeks at home, a soother may not be a great idea because this is a period of learning: Parents are getting to know cues indicating hunger, gas, pain, illness, a need for sleep, or a need to be changed. If you’re still trying to establish breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, offer a feed before the pacifier. You can use one as soon as you’ve seen a weight gain, as early as 10 days of age.