It's good to suck your baby's dummy say health experts

Grant Boone
November 18, 2018

Just before giving your baby a pacifier, hold it in your mouth, say researchers from the American College of Allergy, asthma and immunology in Seattle. But the emerging theories about microbes and allergy prevention are enough to suggest that, at the very least, it's OK for parents to feel less guilty about our occasionally less-than-sterile habits or not encasing our children in sanitized plastic bubbles.

Of the 128 moms finishing various meetings, 58 percent announced current pacifier use by their child.

The Henry Ford study involved 128 mothers who were asked about how they cleaned their baby's pacifier: Sterilizing it in boiling water or dishwasher, cleaning it with soap and water and sucking on it.

It is unclear whether the lower IgE production observed among these children continues as the infants grow older.

It should be noted that the results are only a correlation, and do not prove that sucking your baby's pacifier lessens the risk of childhood allergy. The findings are compatible with those from a 2013 Swedish study, which reported an association between parents sucking on their baby's pacifier with a reduced risk of allergy development.

"We know that exposure to certain microorganisms early in life stimulates the development of the immune system and may protect against allergic diseases later", said the study's lead author Elaine Abou-Jaoude, MD.

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A new study found that babies whose mothers cleaned their pacifiers by sucking on them have low levels of IgE, an antibody that is increased in allergies and asthma.

"Our study indicates an association between parents who suck on their child's pacifier and children with lower IgE levels but does not necessarily mean that pacifier sucking causes lower IgE", Abou-Jaoude said.

"Based on these levels, you can't really tell what's going to happen to these kids in the future", Abou-Jaoude said, according to CNN.

Researchers compared the babies' IgE levels at birth, six months and 18 months for each cleaning method, and found a "significantly lower level IgE level for babies at 18 months" whose mothers sucked on the pacifier to clean it.

IgE is a type of antibody that is produced when the immune system overreacts to an allergen, which can then cause an allergic reaction.

Studies have shown that "kids introduced to peanuts in the first year of life have a much lower chance of developing a peanut allergy", he said, and the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees.

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