If your baby’s pacifier falls on the floor, experts say cleaning it with your mouth may be better than soap and water

If your baby’s pacifier falls on the floor, experts say cleaning it with your mouth may be better than soap and water

For as long as there have been crying babies, there have been parents who want to pacify them. But that presents a new dilemma: What to do when your baby's pacifier falls on the ground and there is no sink around? Since conventional wisdom has always held that washing and rinsing a pacifier under soapy water is the choice of conscientious parents, this left no choice but to tuck the pacifier away until a sink or a new pacifier presented itself.

But no more. Dr. Max Gomez of CBS asserts that soapy water may not be best for baby. Instead, pop that pacifier in your mouth to remove any offending germs, and then (yep) just put it right back in baby's mouth. Research has proven that babies need to have some challenges to their immune systems early in life so they can build their resistance. Being too vigilant can undermine the opportunity for babies to exercise their abilities to fight germs.

Dr. Elissa Rubin of Happy and Healthy Pediatrics says, " . . . The parent's saliva, which contains normal bacteria, can actually colonize our children with the good bacteria and that may have incredible health benefits." In fact, new research from the journal Pediatrics studied 184 kids and found that children whose parents sucked on their pacifiers to clean them had a lower risk of developing both eczema and asthma.

The doctors are careful to specify that if the pacifier falls into animal feces or a puddle of gas or oil, no one (not even the parents with the heartiest immune systems) should put that in his or her mouth. But on your average floor, parents could be doing their children a favor by sucking that pacifier first. So don't feel guilty that you're too lazy to find a sink—you're in fact being a good parent.



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