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Pacifier Use

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about pacifiers?

Babies have a natural instinct to suck. The act of sucking can help to calm and comfort a baby. Some babies may calm themselves by sucking on their fingers. Some parents use a pacifier to calm and soothe the baby. Learn about the benefits and risks of pacifiers to help you decide if you want to offer a pacifier to your baby.

What are the benefits of using a pacifier?

Pacifiers given at nap or bedtime may decrease your baby's risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). A pacifier may help calm a baby during stressful moments. This may include illness or minor procedures such as heel sticks or immunizations. A pacifier may help premature babies transition to regular feedings sooner.

What are the risks of using a pacifier?

A pacifier may increase your baby's risk of ear infections. To help decrease this risk, stop giving a pacifier or use the pacifier less often after the age of 6 months. Pacifier use after the age of 2 years may increase your baby's risk of dental problems. Pacifiers can affect the shape of your baby's mouth and the way his or her teeth line up.

What else should I know about using a pacifier?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.