How to Take Care of a Pacifier

Pacifier Care

Your baby’s pacifier should be cleaned daily either by boiling them or washing them in a dishwasher. After your child is six months old, the pacifier can be washed daily with warm, soapy water and rinsed with clean water. You can also teach your children to wash their own pacifiers. However, pacifiers should never be shared with playmates. They should also not be stored in plastic bags where dampness can encourage fungal growth and cause disease.

Pacifier nipples should be examined regularly to be sure that there is no deterioration. This includes tears, frayed edges, holes, or a change in color. Teeth that are emerging can tear pacifiers. Any worn or damaged pacifier should be replaced immediately. Since pacifiers are lost frequently, be sure to keep several around the house or on hand.

Pacifier Safety

Pacifiers are sometimes attached to a baby’s clothing with a clip and a short cord or ribbon to prevent them from becoming lost or dirty. The only downside to this is that a child can easily become entangled in even a short cord. Do not every put your child to bed with a pacifier that is attached to a cord. Any pacifier that is hung on a cord around the baby’s neck, tied to your baby’s hand, or attached his crib can cause strangulation. Pacifiers should never be sweetened with any kind of sugar substance, because sweetened pacifiers constitute a leading cause of tooth decay in babies under age three.

Pacifiers never should be used to replace a feeding, and your child should never be given a pacifier if he is hungry. A hungry baby can become very upset when there is no milk in the nipple and could develop feeding problems. Give your baby his pacifier only between or after feedings.

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