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.
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profile picture of Paula Kashtan
Updated May 3, 2017
Close-up of father embracing toddler who is using a pacifier.
Image: Regina Casagrande / Getty Images
  • 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!

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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