Pacifier Safety Tips

With one camp opting for the artificial pacifier and the other camp choosing the natural thumb, the battle over pacifiers continues. The use of pacifiers although commonplace, a number of problems are associated with these baby soothing tools. To simplify this or help to come to a decision, read this article on ‘the pros and cons of a baby pacifier’. This outlines and gives details to parents which can help them get a better idea about this calming method. Apart from the pluses and minuses, you need to know how to safely use a pacifier.

This article outlines some safety tips and recommendations for when you use a pacifier.  

Let’s begin with the safety tips:

  • The pacifier can be given to the baby when they are in the crib. However, do not reinsert it when the baby is asleep.
  • It’s best to stay away from long cords or threads (more than 6 inches) for pacifiers; do not use them to hang around the neck, around the wrist, etc. It can be dangerous if the baby gets it around its neck. Shorter tethers or clips are a better option.
  • It’s best to buy pacifiers which are made of good quality and have passed all safety tests. Few pacifiers have extra parts which are solely for attractiveness (like moustaches, etc.). These extra parts, if they fall off can lead to unnecessary situations like the babies putting it in their mouth and eventually choking.
  • It’s required to clean and rinse the pacifier thoroughly with warm water and soap. Also, replacing it often is recommended. It is not sanitary to give it to someone else to use after your baby has used it.
  • Do not use a pacifier to delay or replace meals. So before inserting the pacifier into a baby’s mouth, make sure the child isn’t hungry.
  • Use a pacifier with holes for ventilation in the shield, as it permits the passage of air. This is a noteworthy point for a scenario where the pacifier gets accidentally stuck in the baby’s throat.
  • Another great tip is to find one pacifier which the baby likes and have a few around which are identical. Just in case, one gets lost or damaged, etc.
  • It’s important to replace pacifiers frequently – the broken nipple can cause a choking hazard.
  • It is no doubt that a pacifier does a good job of keeping a baby calm, which will make you want to use it often. However, this only makes it difficult to stop the use of a pacifier when you want. Additionally, the constant use of a pacifier can have a detrimental effect on the child’s teeth.
  • If the pacifier falls out of the baby’s mouth and on the floor; if you are at home or somewhere where soap and warm water is accessible then wash it and pop it right back in. If the needed resources aren’t available, maybe keeping a spare one handy will help.
  • Lastly, it’s best to have other ways to soothe your child like rocking, music, singing, walking, etc.  

Those families with particularly fussy babies can benefit from the use of pacifiers. But it’s always good to keep the use of pacifiers in check and mostly as an option and not a constant solution. Seek out the right balance and keep your infant calm.

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Last updated on 21 June, 2018.

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