Pete Gilbert">

Cleaning pacifiers- In the sink or with your own mouth?

I heard a crazy news story on NPR today. There was a small study done in Sweden with 184 babies and their parents. The study asked parents how they cleaned their babies’ pacifiers. Most of the parents washed them off with water, but some (way more than I expected) cleaned the pacifiers by sucking on them.

Our kids are thumb suckers and only had pacifiers for a short period of time before they could get to their thumbs, but never once did I consider cleaning a dirty paci by putting it in my mouth. In my opinion, that ranks right up there with parents that use their mouths to suck snot out of the nose of their kid. Or parents that chew up food then feed it from their mouth to their baby’s mouth like a bird. All too weird for me.

But here’s where the story get even stranger.

The study showed that babies whose parents cleaned the paci in the mouth of the adult were less likely to have eczema and asthma. I couldn’t believe it. It went on to talk about how the bacteria in the mouth of the parent could in some way be good for the baby. It also mentioned that kids today are likely “too clean,” meaning their immune systems have less to fight off, making them weaker.

So if you’re in the baby business, and he or she still has a paci, you may want to consider this option. I’m just glad it’s you, not me.

I’m considering taking this study to heart, and letting my kids get and stay dirty all the time. Maybe I’ll start feeding them from the floor of a Chuck E Cheese’s restaurant, that seems like a good dirty establishment. Maybe I’ll let them take baths in the water area at the Children’s Museum or at a local indoor water park. Maybe we will start spending all our time in bounce houses. The dirtier the better, I say.

Off we go, headed to the nearest ball pit.

-Pete

Here’s a link to the original story-

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/05/06/180817114/parents-saliva-on-pacifiers-could-ward-off-babys-allergies

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