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Why The 'Lazy-Parent' Method of Pacifier Cleaning May Actually Be Best

Why The 'Lazy-Parent' Method of Pacifier Cleaning May Actually Be Best

Okay, so when baby accidentally drops the pacifier on the ground, are you supposed to A) Give it a good scrub down in the sink before handing it back to baby, B) Sanitize it in boiling water immediately, or C) Pick it up off the floor, suck off the germs yourself and quickly hand it back? If you answered C, you may be on to something. New research suggests the method of parents putting a pacifier in their mouth to “clean it off” actually reduces the risk of baby contracting allergies.

USA Today reports about the findings presented at American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in Seattle that suggest when moms suck on their babies' pacifiers they are protecting their child against high levels of IgE associated with allergies in children. Researchers looked at 3 types of mom-methods, those who cleaned pacifiers with soap and water made up 72%, those who sterilized were 41% and a mere 12% admitted to spit-cleaning those binkys. Interestingly, the babies who had their pacifiers spit-cleaned had lower levels of IgE than any other group, making them least likely to have allergies.

So, exactly what is happening between baby and mom here when we choose the laziest and seemingly dirtiest method to clean a pacifier? Co-author of the study Dr. Edward Zoratti explains, “We found that parental pacifier sucking was linked to suppressed IgE levels beginning around 10 months, and continued through 18 months. Further research is needed, but we believe the effect may be due to the transfer of health-promoting microbes from the parent’s mouth.”

What do you think of the new study that suggests this type of pacifier cleaning may be best for baby?

How do you clean your baby’s pacifier when it falls on the floor?

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