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Newborn Basics

Q&A: Pacifier Safety?

My baby loves her pacifier. Are there any safety issues I should be thinking about?

Congratulations — you've got a self-soother on your hands! Keep in mind these tips about the beloved binky.

[  ] Only use the one-piece, dishwasher-safe variety.

[  ] Always have extras on hand, and make sure a few are identical to her favorite.

[  ] Clean the binky 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 binky falls out of baby's mouth while she's sleeping, don’t put it back in.

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

By Paula Kashtan