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Pacifiers or Binkies Now Determined Not Good for Boys

abardwell, flickr

Whether you call it a Pacifier or a Binky, apparently, heavy use of it with cranky baby boys could stunt their emotional development.  This is not good news for parents of fussy baby boys who find comfort with a Binky.  This new study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that Pacifiers stunt the emotional development of baby boys, according to a trio of experiments performed.  It all boils down to Psychology.  According to researchers, people, regardless of age, take on both expressions and body language of others. “By reflecting what another person is doing, you create some part of the feeling yourself,” lead author and psychology professor Paula Niedenthal says. The thing is, when you have a binky in your mouth, it’s hard to use your face to express feelings or emotions. And, the researchers found, when boys who were heavy binky users were a bit older, like 6 or 7, they “were less likely to mimic the emotional expressions of faces peering out from a video.” Male college students who loved their pacifiers did worse on an empathy experiment and one that measured emotional intelligence, too. Niedenthal adds: “There’s no effect of pacifier use on these outcomes for girls, and there’s a detriment for boys with length of pacifier use.” Why is pacifier use different for girls? Possibly because, since they are expected to be more emotional than boys, their emotional growth is more stimulated in other ways.

So once again, the old adage “Everything in moderation” applies.  Parents can use the binky but be careful how long you rely on it to soothe your son.  When I had my two children, we did opt to use a pacifier but got rid of it before they were both a year old.  The earlier you do it, the easier it is.

If you are looking for an alternative to the binky to soothe your baby, you might want to try this…


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