A pacifier is a relatively safe device for babies, but it should still be used properly to avoid potential problems.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these suggestions for pacifier use:
- Never offer your baby the nipple and top from a baby bottle in place of a pacifier, as it poses a choking hazard.
- Buy pacifiers that can't be separated or disassembled. Solid plastic pacifiers are especially safe choices.
- The widest part of the pacifier should be at least 1 1/2 inches wide so it can't fit in baby's mouth. It also should have ventilation holes.
- Don't tie your baby's pacifier to the baby or the infant's crib.
- Examine pacifiers regularly to see if the rubber is deteriorating, tearing or changing color. Replace when it shows signs of wear.
- Don't use a pacifier designed for a younger baby, who has a smaller mouth.