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Hazards of the Not-So-Innocent Pacifier

Pacifiers may be wonderful sanity-savers for parents, but they come with a host of issues!

A user on Reddit claims, "A pacifier is basically a cheat code to get babies to shut up." Sure, it helps soothe a baby. And, once you give in to the pacifier, it's hard to take it away. Don't worry, there's help for getting rid of the binky, too. But, before reaching for the pacifier, know the hidden hazards.

Baby drops his passy and it gets kicked around a bit. Sometimes little one's are quick to stuff it right back in, unclean. Not so fast, little one! Studies have found that while pacifiers may decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by keeping baby’s airways open, precious pacifiers aren't without hidden dangers.

Choking Hazards

Pacifiers have a life span. They can break down over time, posing a risk to Baby. Before you even notice it, a pacifier can break apart from the nipple and guard, which can result in Baby choking on the detached piece. Even pacifiers made a single piece can pose a threat. Babys can tug on the handle of a pacifier loosening it enough to pull it off.  As Baby grows, the pacifier shield becomes smaller to their growing mouth. In result, the entire pacifier could become lodged in his mouth.

Eventual Dental Problems

Pacifiers collect bacteria … excess of bacteria means tooth decay. When a pacifier falls to the ground and Baby pops it back in, he gets the bacteria, too. If Mom or Dad pops it in their mouth for a quick "clean," they take in the bacteria, too, then pass it on to Baby.  Clean those passies before passing them back to your baby. Pacifiers may also create dental bite issues if the child using them is an intense sucker and uses the pacifier for too long.

Pacifier Clips

Pacifiers get lost. One way parents try to keep them near are with pacifier clips. However, there's a time and place for those. Baby should not go to bed with a pacifier clip attached to clothing. During the night, Baby can inadvertently get it wrapped around his hand or even pulled tight against his throat.

Hidden Mold

In a study published in Pediatrics, researchers found that older babies who use pacifiers regularly have a third more ear infections than babies who stopped using them at 6 months. Also, pacifiers that are made with two pieces can store Baby's saliva. This, in turn, can cause mold or mildew to grow within. If it can get in, then you know it can come out.

Also, pacifiers without proper ventilation can cause minor rashes around Baby's mouth. When his saliva can't dry on it's own, it's stuck behind the shield.

In the end, read the label on the package. If it says to replace your Baby's pacifier within a certain amount of time, DO IT! If there's an age range for the one you use, get rid of it once your Baby surpasses the stage it's made for. Following these tips can ensure a happy Baby and pacifier relationship.

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