Tips for Baby Pacifiers

Published: 20th February 2009
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By now you have noticed that your baby sucks his fingers and hands a lot. Sucking brings pleasure to a baby. This is a strong need in babies this age. Being able to suck his own fingers and hands means he can make himself feel good all by himself. Sucking helps him feel happy and calm. Sometimes sucking fingers is a sign of hunger.

A baby often sucks his fingers or pacifier while he watches and learns about his world. As something grabs his attention, he may stop sucking for a moment to watch. He will then start to suck again.

Many parents buy pacifiers for their babies. You may have heard that paci-fiers can harm a baby's mouth. You may have heard that pacifiers will keep a baby from developing correctly. A pacifier isn't necessary. But it's OK if your baby uses one.

Never tie or pin a pacifier to your baby's clothes. The ribbon or string could get wrapped around his neck. This could choke him. A pin in your baby's clothes can stick him.

Be sure to buy the kind of pacifier that cannot come apart. Be sure it can be washed in a dishwasher. Clean the pacifier often. You can clean it by boiling it in water or putting it in the dishwasher.

Never dip a pacifier in sweet liquids, honey or syrups to make it tasty. Germs in honey and syrups can make your baby sick. Sweets may cause tooth decay when your baby is older.

Pacifiers are useful to soothe or distract infants. The constant sucking and biting on it helps to keep them busy. These devices come in all sizes and colors and involve choices which can be quite confusing to a parent. Here are some points to keep in mind while buying pacifiers:

• Size matters. Any pacifier that can completely enter the baby's mouth is dangerous.

• Some pacifiers have holes for ventilation. These are necessary to prevent rashes due to constant exposure to moisture.

• Not all babies like pacifiers. Some may prefer to suck their thumbs.

• Don't buy too many pacifiers unless you are sure what type your baby likes.

• Some parents use silicon nipples because they are easier to clean.

• Latex may be a good alternative because of its softness, though you may need to buy more of them often, since they wear out faster. Also, some babies are allergic to latex.

• Do not use homemade pacifiers or any object found at home such as bottle caps.

• Avoid pacifiers filled with liquids and gels, as the baby may bite or chew into the nipple, causing the liquid to spill.

• Tying the pacifier to the baby is not advisable, as it may lead to strangulation.

Do you think that your baby is too young for you to enjoy interacting with him? Think again. There is a lot you can do, using baby sign language, that will be fun for both of you.

Paul Banas is a founder of He writes articles on pregnancy care, baby names, toilet training, parenting tips and many more topics related to dads.

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