How to Clean Your Child’s Pacifier…Parents Saliva


When your child’s pacifier falls on the floor are you guilty of cleaning it by sucking on it yourself?

Well, no more guilt if this report in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics is correct.

A small study was done to see if sucking on your child’s pacifier may have benefits and the conclusions were somewhat positive.

Recently, it has been published that vaginal deliveries expose the newborn to certain beneficial bacteria that helps their immune system. Now this new evidence that exposure to parent’s saliva may actually be a positive thing should make “germophobes” pause and rethink their position on depriving their babies from developing a certain tolerance to trivial bacteria.

These findings are interesting ones …and the human immune system is truly complex.

I will probably be rethinking the need to boil pacifiers and simply recommend running  them through the dishwasher or washing them with dish soap and hot water. I might even suggest to parents that every once in awhile they should expose their baby to their germs by sucking on their infant’s pacifiers.

My personal approach to hygiene is to try to keep things relatively clean and not to expose my family to bacteria and microbes unnecessarily…I use Lysol and Purell but not to extremes. I know that Lysol is full of chemicals but I do not drink or inhale it so I think I am pretty safe.

Now the questions…what if your baby does not use a pacifier? ….and what if your baby sitter decides to suck on your baby’s pacifier?

Well, there is no evidence to show that pacifiers should be sucked by anyone except the parents to provide any positive benefits so I would keep “pacies” away from other well meaning people and or pets.

And just maybe I would recommend a pacifier for all babies.


RESULTS: Children whose parents “cleaned” their pacifier by sucking it (n = 65) were less likely to have asthma (odds ratio [OR] 0.12; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.01–0.99), eczema (OR 0.37; 95% CI 0.15–0.91), and sensitization (OR 0.37; 95% CI 0.10–1.27) at 18 months of age than children whose parents did not use this cleaning technique (n = 58). Protection against eczema remained at age 36 months (hazard ratio 0.51; P = .04). Vaginal delivery and parental pacifier sucking yielded independent and additive protective effects against eczema development. The salivary microbiota differed between children whose parents cleaned their pacifier by sucking it and children whose parents did not use this practice.

CONCLUSIONS: Parental sucking of their infant’s pacifier may reduce the risk of allergy development, possibly via immune stimulation by microbes transferred to the infant via the parent’s saliva.

via Pacifier Cleaning Practices and Risk of Allergy Development.

Sucking Your Child’s Pacifier Clean May Have Benefits –



“Binky Buzz” and Suri Cruise…

Lets here it for Hollywood again …Suri Cruise and her pacifier.

What is all the fuss?

Is five years old  too old for healthy pacifier use???

What we know…pacifiers soothe and comfort. Toddlers may use them as transitional objects to lower their stress levels.  So why not…since they cannot clearly express themselves and talk it out, let them soothe with sucking.


  • Analgesia
  • For pre-term infants it may shorten their hospital stays
  • SIDS- may reduce the risk of sudden infant death – the reason is not fully understood but it may help maintain the infant’s airway, may prevent them from rolling on to their stomachs, provide increased arousal, decreases gastro-intestinal reflux and sleep apnea


  • Breastfeeding- pacifiers may interfere with the establishment of early breastfeeding, however can be used for oral training in infants.
  • Dental health-dentists recommend that pacifiers not be used after 4 years of age and possibly earlier.
  • Infection- ear, dental, respiratory, and gastro-intestinal
  • Risks outweigh benefits generally after 10 months of age and risks increase after age 2..

RECOMMENDATIONS for pacifier use:

  • Analgesia
  • Decrease incidence of SIDS
  • Avoid until breastfeeding is well established

As parents we have to make many decisions pacifier use  is just one of them. You and your child will work it out.

If your child uses a “binky” there is always the dilemma of how to “get rid of them” .


(not necessarily what I would do)

  • Make it taste nasty
  • Give it away
  • Take it away gradually
  • Lose it
  • Read books about it
  • Let your child decide

One story struck me…a mom tied each of her child’s binky to a balloon and let her child release them into to the air to go to other babies in “heaven”. She took pictures of this milestone. ( I know, what about the environment and the balloons?) I am open to other suggestions.

Try to deal with these milestones with the least amount of stress and trauma…in the scheme of things it is no big thing!

Thanks  Suri…

How do you deal with pacifier problems??