Pacifiers can be very useful tools and learning to use them safely is essential. According to recent research, pacifiers may decrease the risk of SIDS when used during sleep. The reasons for this are not yet fully understood. Because of these findings, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pacifiers at bedtime until the age of one. If you are breastfeeding, the AAP recommends waiting until breastfeeding is well established, usually about a month, before offering a pacifier or bottle
When using a pacifier, it is very important to know how to use it safely. Here are a few important tips to consider:
- One piece pacifiers are the safest. Two piece pacifiers can become disconnected posing a chocking hazard. They can also harbor harmful bacteria in between the creases, where the nipple joins the base. Soothie and GumDrop pacifiers are examples of one piece pacifiers and are most frequently used in hospitals.
- Do not put your baby’s pacifier on a string or ribbon to prevent accidental strangulation.
|One Piece Pacifiers|
- The safest pacifiers are those made of natural, unprocessed rubber or clear silicone. Avoid pacifiers made of latex or those made of PVC plastic (recycle label #3) and polycarbonate plastic (recycle label #7).
- Offer your baby a clean, dry pacifier.
- Do not force your baby to take the pacifier.
Pacifiers are very consoling to babies and meet their developmental drive to suck. Pacifiers can also be very helpful to parents...that is until it's time to take it away. Be prepared, this task can be very challenging!
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Author : Diba Tillery RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST