Pacifier Safety Tips Every Mom Should Know
Pacifiers do a great job of soothing babies, not only that, they help in the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and what will parents do without pacifiers during air-travel and doctor visits? Pacifiers are therefore parent's best friends, but parents have to be careful about the pacifiers they buy or use. Follow the tips given below and you'll have no problem with pacifiers.
Babies have a need to suck on anything that touches their lips or around their mouth, and pacifiers are clean and safe equipment to help soothe the baby.
A pacifier usually has three parts: a shield with holes for ventilation, a nipple or teat made of a soft elastic material, and a ring for holding the pacifier.
Safety tips for choosing the right pacifier
There are a lot of types of pacifiers to choose from, from plain ones to fancy ones. Choose the right pacifier for your little one by following these tips:
- Age appropriate: Choose a pacifier that's suitable for the age of your baby.Choosing a pacifier with teats that are too big or too small will pose the threat of choking to your child.
- Design: Avoid pacifiers that have parts that get detached easily as they may become a choking hazard.
- Ventilation: The ventilation holes in the shield should cover a minimum surface area of 20 sq. mm with at least two holes of 4 mm each. To be on the safe side, the area of the holes should be comparable to the nail of your small finger. Make sure that the holes are not obstructed.
- Do not invent one! Do not make a pacifier of your own or use another object as a substitute. This is risky as your baby might choke on it or even swallow it.
When to replace a pacifier
This depends on how often your child sucks on it, pacifier nipples do wear down with age and use, so check the binky thoroughly before placing it in your baby's mouth.
Also, when you notice that it's discoloured, has holes, tears or weak spots that could cause the nipple to come off when your child suck on it, do not put it in your child's mouth again it's time to change it. Also, some nipples also become sticky with age.
Care of a pacifier
- To prevent fungus, soak the pacifier in equal parts white vinegar and water for a few minutes once a day. Rinse well and air-dry completely.
- And if your baby drops her pacifier on the floor, it's fine to simply rinse it off in hot water and return it to her. (Don't "rinse" it in your mouth.) If it falls on the road, it's best to clean it in hot, soapy water. Carry an extra one when going out.