Pacifiers comfort and soothe a baby, and provide exercise to strengthen
the muscles in a baby's mouth for good oral development.
More than 46% of mothers receive pacifiers in the hospital upon
their child's birth. Most babies will use pacifiers up to the ages of
seven to 12 months.
Types of Pacifiers
There are several types of pacifiers available including the traditional
tip and the smaller orthodontic tip. Tips are made from either latex
rubber or soft, clear silicone. Orthodontic tips are designed to be
shaped more like a mother's nipple during breastfeeding. Shields are
usually made from rubber or plastic, with or without handles.
Pacifiers for newborns have smaller tips and are naturally shaped
to fit in the baby's mouth. In most cases, the slightly larger nipple
found on standard size pacifiers will better suit the older infant.
All pacifiers must pass strict guidelines established by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission. Pacifiers will wear out over time because
of baby's saliva, heat, and/or sunlight. It is important for parents
to inspect pacifiers before each use for signs of swelling, cracking
or peeling, particularly when the child develops teeth. Any pacifier
displaying these signs should be immediately replaced to prevent possible
Pacifier Safety Tips
As pacifiers wear out, to prevent a possible choking hazard, inspect
your baby's pacifier before each use by pulling on the bulb portion
of the nipple. Any tear to the nipple can lead to a piece of the latex
or silicone breaking off, presenting a possible choking hazard. When
babies develops teeth, it is especially important to test pacifiers.
Discontinue use if any tear or crack appears.
To ensure the safety of the baby, do not tie a pacifier around a child's
neck, as it presents danger of strangulation.
Clip-on pacifier holders are available for securing the pacifier to
the baby's clothing.
Also, a bottle nipple should never be substituted for a pacifier.