Pacifiers: I am often asked whether or not to give a baby a pacifier, and, if so, what type. In general, I feel if you can find a way to soothe your child without one, a pacifier is one less thing you'll have to wean them off of in the future. On the other hand, if a pacifier soothes your child, and it gets you a couple of extra hours of sleep or quiet time, then it is probably worthwhile. Although I would not introduce one for this purpose alone, pacifier use while sleeping may decrease the risk of SIDS because it keeps the baby in a more aroused state. So, if she is already using a pacifier, think of it as an added bonus, and don't worry: Just because your infant uses a pacifier doesn't mean she'll still need it when she's three. As for choosing a pacifier: don't waste your money on fancy ones. Your baby won't care if she's sucking on a freebie from the hospital or a hundred-dollar Swarovski crystal model. And when it comes to the touted orthodontic pacifiers, keep in mind that pacifier use does not affect permanent dentition or negatively affect the palate unless used after the age of three.
Common Sense Bottom Line If you can find a way to soothe your baby without a pacifier, you'll have one less thing to wean her off. If you do introduce one, inexpensive is just as good as fancy.
Bulb syringe: In general, newborns sound congested. On top of that, they are going to get a lot of colds in the first few years of life. Since there is no medication that has been proven to successfully relieve cold symptoms in children under the age of four, you may turn to saline drops and bulb suction. However, even if your child sounds like Darth Vader, try to resist the urge to use the suction too often.
Common Sense Bottom Line If you see something in your infant's nose and that something is bothering her, suck it out with a bulb syringe. Otherwise leave it alone. Every time you stick the syringe in her nose, it will irritate the inside lining, causing more swelling and congestion. If it is not bothering her, don't let it bother you.
Hand sanitizer: If you are going to be Type A about anything, then be neurotic about hand washing. Fever and illness will stop both you and your baby in your tracks, so it's not a bad idea to carry hand sanitizer in case there isn't a sink available to wash your hands. Keep anyone overtly sick or coughing and sneezing away from your baby. School-age children, especially toddlers, who are sticking their hands in their mouth or nose, are always brewing something. They don't need to be kissing your newborn.
___ Bottles (4 ounces)
___ Nipples (level one)
___ Breast pump
___ Freezer bags
___ Nursing pads
___ Nursing bra