Although parents have long had a love-hate relationship with pacifiers, one thing cannot be denied: they do a very good job of pacifying babies, and for many parents, that is truly a huge argument for using it.
In recent years, pacifier lovers have also found a strong ally in the American Academy of Pediatricians, who now say a good pacifier could actually help prevent the dreaded Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.
So are you ready to shop for a pacifier for your baby? Here’s what to look for:
Material. Pacifiers should be made of sturdy and non-toxic materials. The most popular options are latex and silicone. Latex is softer than silicone; silicone, on the other hand, is more durable. In the end, it all boils down to the question of which one your baby prefers.
Design. Look for ventilation holes in the shield so that air can reach your baby’s skin. This helps prevent rashes from developing on baby’s cheeks.
Colors are a matter of preference, but consider that bright colors are more interesting to baby – and easier to find in a baby bag!
Some parents get orthodontic pacifiers in the hope of reducing bite problems later. However, it can be difficult to convince a baby to use an orthodontic pacifier if baby prefers the rounded type. The most foolproof way to reduce bite issues in later life is to minimize baby’s use of the pacifier.
Safety. The nipple should not be removable. If you can separate the nipple from the shield, your baby will be able to do so too, and once the nipple loses the shield, it becomes a choking hazard.
On the other hand, even with the shield, the pacifier can still be a choking hazard if the shield is small enough to go into baby’s mouth! Make sure the shield is too big for your baby to suck into his/her mouth.
Do not get pacifiers with gel or liquid inside the nipple. If the nipple gets broken, baby could end up sucking the liquid or gel.