A pacifier is a parent's best friend. If it is used incorrectly, a pacifier could pose safety hazards. Read on to find out about pacifier safety tips that every parent must know.
Pacifiers or soothers are one of the parent's best friends when it comes to soothing the babies.
Pacifiers can help in the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and they often come in handy during air-travel and doctor visits.
Like all other products that go into the baby’s mouth, parents have to be careful about pacifiers they buy and use. If you follow the tips given below, a pacifier would indeed become one of your best friends.
Babies tend to have a strong sucking reflex - a primitive reflex that compels them to suck anything that touches their lips or surrounding area. This reflex helps them to obtain nutrition, and in turn, satisfaction. Pacifiers offer a clean and safe sucking equipment to help soothe the baby.
A pacifier typically 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.
Here are some things you should look out for while choosing, using and maintaining a pacifier.
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 suitable for the age of the baby. Pacifiers with teats that are too big or too small will pose a choking hazard to the 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 innovate! Do not create a pacifier of your own or use another object as a substitute. It could be a risky affair as your baby may swallow and choke on the object.
To know more about the maintenance tips and safety checklist, read on.