04/30/2012 05:43 EDT | Updated 06/30/2012 05:12 EDT

Some tips for pacifier use

The Canadian Paediatric Society offers these tips to parents on pacifier use:

—Avoid using a pacifier until breastfeeding is established. However, premature or sick babies in the hospital may benefit from using one for comfort.

—Check if your baby is hungry, tired or bored before offering a soother.

—Sterilize pacifier by putting it in boiling water for five minutes before first use. Make sure it’s completely cooled before giving it to your baby. Keep clean by washing it with hot, soapy water after each use.

—Always check for cracks or tears before giving a pacifier to your baby. Don't give your baby a pacifier right after medicine or vitamins, as some may cause pacifier material to break down. Replace soother every two months.

—Never dip the pacifier in sugar or honey, which can harm your baby’s teeth. Honey also can lead to botulism in babies.

—Never tie a pacifier around your baby’s neck, as this can cause strangulation. Never make a pacifier from bottle nipples, caps or other materials; they could cause fatal choking.

—Use the pacifier only when your child needs comfort. Using it all day long can affect your child’s ability to learn to talk and cause problems with teeth.


Some tips to help wean your child off a pacifier:

—Limit the time you allow your child to use a pacifier. Use it only for sleep time and comfort until about 12 months old and then plan to give it up.

—Never use punishment or humiliation to force your child to give up a soother.

—Include your child by asking him or her to throw it away or leave it under the pillow for the “soother fairy.”

—Praise your child when he or she gives up the pacifier.

—If your child asks for the pacifier again, don't give in. Remind the child that the pacifier is gone and that he or she is grown up now.