Headline from Reuters yesterday: "Toddlers are less likely to have asthma and itchy rashes if their parents 'cleaned' their pacifiers by sucking on them when the kids were infants," Hmmmm interesting.
First reaction - EW!
Second reaction - Why? So, let's look into this...
The idea is that you are adding to the bacterial diversity in your baby's gut, helping them to grow stronger immune system. OK, sounds about right. Lots of people give probiotics to their kiddies and take 'em themselves for this reason. I've heard strong arguments that probiotics are especially important before/after vaccinations, and anytime an antibiotic is given. Another interesting tidbit from the article: babies born vaginally are exposed to tons of bacteria through that route and have fewer childhood allergies than c-section babies. Wow. and... EWWWW!
Anyway, the Swedish study showing less asthma and eczema in babies whose parents sucked their pacifiers was not exactly scientific. Groups weren't assigned. So it's not known if the effect is correlation (i.e. parents who suck their baby's pacifiers might also be doing something else that is the culprit of the difference in groups) or causation (i.e. it the actual sucking of the pacifier that makes the difference). My take on it is - if you want to, go for it. But probably better not to do it right after you have a peanut butter smoothie or an egg sandwich, in case your little one does have allergies to those.
And while we're discussing cleaning binkies...
Kenzo doesn't really take a pacifier. I mean, he'll take it, but pop it out of his mouth in all of 5 seconds. So we rarely use them. But did you know they make pacifier wipes? Many of my mommy friends are using these and I'm quite intrigued. They say "alcohol free, no harsh chemicals, food grade". But how safe are they reeeeaaaaalllllly?? My feeling is, if it's strong enough to clean something, how can it be safe for baby to pop right back in his or her mouth (Unless the cleanser is vinegar, but I don't think they baby would take a binky just doused in vinegar... hmmm... something to try with camera on the ready!!). I'm thinking they're meant to "clean" (i.e. take off surface dirt, not kill viruses and bacteria), or else they're probably not entirely safe for baby's mouth.
So I looked up the Munchkin Arm & Hammer Pacifier Wipes on Good Guide and it says this product "contains ingredients that raise a low level of health concern". One of the ingredients has been "restricted for use in cosmetics in Japan", and another ingredient is "suspected of causing skin or sense organ toxicity". Hmmm... Me thinks the safe bet here is to clip the pacifier onto your child and get one that has the cap that snaps over the nipple part when not being used, and have several clean backups with you at all times. And while you're at it, just go ahead and get a bubble to put your baby in. And a couple of portable air purifiers. And a virus sniffing dog. Hey, maybe he can suck on your baby's binky too, then he'll get LOADS of bacteria introduced to that gut of his ^_^
Get me out of this damn rabbit hole!!!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!