The best pacifier for a baby depends on the child's age and stage in growth and development. Pacifiers help to calm babies by stimulating their sucking reflex. Safe pacifiers that are sturdy, easy to clean and made with baby-friendly materials are plentiful, ensuring that parents will find the best pacifier for their baby.
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Types of Pacifiers
The wide variety of available pacifiers also come in a vast price range. Designer pacifiers may be more expensive than a less popular brand, although they may not be any more effective than a less expensive brand. Basic pacifiers are advertised as being the closest thing to the baby's mother and feature a round tip. Orthodontic pacifiers feature an angled wide tip that is advertised to keep a baby's jaw aligned correctly when he uses it, according to Consumer Reports. Most pacifiers are labeled to indicate the age of child for which they are most appropriate. The best pacifier for a child is the one he most enjoys using, provided it is safe.
According to Consumer Reports, parents should always choose silicone pacifiers instead of latex. The use of latex can cause small children to develop allergies, and latex deteriorates when it is heated. The nipple of a silicone pacifier is dishwasher safe for easy cleansing. Some decorated pacifiers may look fancy, but decorations or small pieces can fall off, creating a choking hazard for babies. Clip-on ribbons should be avoided for safety purposes.
Pacifiers come in a variety of sizes and colors and boast an assortment of features meant to aid parents and babies. The back of the pacifier may be equipped with a button or ring for easy grabbing. Caps that snap on can keep the pacifier clean when the family is on the go. Some models feature an illuminating light that helps parents locate a pacifier in the dark of the baby's room. A self-closing model which snaps closed when it is dropped is also available. Carrying cases can be handy for pacifier storage, and can be carried in a diaper bag or stroller for easy access, according to Consumer Reports.
Pacifiers can encourage the healthy development of an infant's jaw muscles and may reduce the risk of SIDS, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The choice of a pacifier for a child is an important one for concerned parents. Pacifiers that are created from a single piece of plastic are safest and not likely to break apart, according to an AAP website, HealthyChildren.org. Pacifiers should never be pinned or attached to a baby's shirt, as this can pose a strangulation hazard. Checking the base of the pacifier for ventilation holes can ensure that a baby can breathe while enjoying the pacifier's soothing effects. Boiling a brand-new pacifier for five minutes will remove any potentially harmful chemical residue. Pacifiers should be inspected regularly for wear and tear, and disposed of should they appear discolored or torn.