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Pacifiers and SIDS
The use of pacifiers has been shown to decrease the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

In 2005, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome published recommendations on pacifier use.

Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.

Although the mechanism is not known, the reduced risk of SIDS associated with pacifier use during sleep is compelling. The evidence that pacifier use interferes with breastfeeding or causes later dental complications is not as compelling.

Pacifier Recommendations
The task force recommends use of a pacifier throughout the first year of life, according to the following procedures:  

  • The pacifier should be used when placing the infant down for sleep and not be reinserted once the infant falls asleep 
  • Pacifiers should not be coated in any sweet solution 
  • Pacifiers should be cleaned often and replaced regularly
  • For breastfed infants, delay pacifier introduction until 1 month of age to ensure that breastfeeding is firmly established
  • Pacifiers should never be used to replace or delay meals and should be offered only when the caregiver is certain the child is not hungry
  • Pacifiers should have ventilation holes and a shield wider than the child’s mouth (at least 1¼ inches in diameter)
  • Pacifiers should be one piece and made of a durable material, replaced when worn, and never tied by a string to the crib or around a child’s neck or hand
Fast Facts
Pacifier use during sleep is associated with a decreased incidence of SIDS.
The AAP recommends that families offer a pacifier for all naps and at bedtime.
Pacifier introduction should be delayed in breastfed infants until breastfeeding is firmly established.

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