Credits: Min C. Chiu

Sucking on your kid’s pacifier, yes or no?

by | November 21, 2018

Have you ever looked on in horror when you see a parent pick up a kid’s pacifier off the ground, suck on it, and hand it back to their kid? Are you that parent who sucks on the binky, gives it a quick glance and pops it back in your baby’s mouth or do you go through all the motions of sterilizing it?


Having three kids myself I often joke that the first one never touches the ground and the last one practically raises itself. When my first would drop his binky I’d sterilize it in solution for an hour. By the time my third came around, I don’t know if I was more relaxed or just too exhausted to go to all that trouble, so I’d pop it in my mouth, suck on it and be done with it.

Is it wrong to suck on your kid’s pacifier?

A study conducted by Dr. Eliane Abou-Jaoude, an allergist with Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System, found that sucking a kid’s pacifier may prevent allergies.

The research found that babies who sucked on a pacifier with traces of their mom’s saliva actually had lower levels of IgE antibody, a common allergy-causing protein in the body, all thanks to the microbes in their mom’s spit.

“The idea is that the microbes you’re exposed to in infancy can affect your immune system’s development later on in life,” Abou-Jaoude told CNN.

The findings were based on 74 infants whose moms reported using pacifiers (no dads were studied).

The researchers tracked the babies for 18 months and noted that changes in some babies’ levels of IgE antibody started when they were around 10 months old.

Researchers didn’t track the babies  beyond 18 months,  so they don’t actually know if their antibody levels continue to be lower into early childhood and beyond. Of the 74 babies involved in the study, only nine of the moms actually sucked on their pacifiers, so the sample size is quite small. That’s why, despite some optimism about the research, CNN says Abou-Jaoude “isn’t recommending that parents start sucking on their children’s pacifiers just yet.”
Do you suck on your kid’s pacifier? Let us know in the comments below.

kid's pacifier

Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]



Leave a Comment