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Paula Kashtan

7 Tips To Keep Pacifiers Safe And Sterile

Congratulations—you've got a self-soother on your hands! Keep these safety tips in mind before handing over that pacifier.
  • Only use the one-piece, dishwasher-safe variety.

  • Always have extras on hand, and make sure a few are identical to his or her favorite.

  • Clean the pacifier early and often. Wash it before the first use, soak it in equal parts white vinegar and water for a few minutes every day (or at least a few times a week), and don’t rinse the pacifier in your own mouth, mom. (That's germy and, well, gross.)

  • Replace pacifiers frequently—worn-out nipples can break off and become a choking hazard.

  • Don't use pacifier clips that are attached to strings or straps long enough to wrap around baby's neck.

  • Don't be a pacifier-popper. If the pacifier falls out of baby's mouth while he or she's sleeping, don’t put it back in.

  • Know when to say when. Most kids lose interest between ages 2 and 4—if yours doesn't, talk to your pediatrician. Beware, though—your child (and you) may have to go cold turkey!