is it ok to leave pacifier while baby sleeps

Sleep Soundly: Effective Strategies to Keep Your Baby’s Pacifier Secure During Sleep

1. At what age is it safe to introduce a pacifier to a baby’s sleep routine?

Introducing a Pacifier

It is generally safe to introduce a pacifier to a baby’s sleep routine from birth. Many experts recommend offering a pacifier as soon as breastfeeding is well-established, usually around 3-4 weeks of age. However, every baby is different, so it’s important to follow your baby’s cues and consult with your pediatrician.

The Benefits of Using a Pacifier

Using a pacifier can have several benefits for babies during sleep. It can help soothe them, promote self-soothing skills, and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Pacifiers provide babies with non-nutritive sucking, which can be comforting and help them fall asleep faster.


  • Offer the pacifier after feeding or when your baby shows signs of tiredness.
  • Choose an orthodontic or symmetrical pacifier shape to minimize any potential impact on dental development.
  • Avoid using pacifiers with strings or cords attached as they pose a choking hazard.

Things to Consider:

  • If you are breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is well-established before introducing a pacifier to avoid nipple confusion.
  • Monitor your baby while using the pacifier during sleep to ensure it stays in place and doesn’t become a safety hazard.

2. Tips for choosing the right size and shape of pacifier for a baby

Consider the age and developmental stage of your baby

When choosing a pacifier, it is important to consider the age and developmental stage of your baby. Newborns have different needs compared to older babies, so selecting the appropriate size and shape is crucial. For newborns, it is recommended to choose a smaller pacifier that fits comfortably in their mouth without causing any discomfort or obstruction. As your baby grows, you can gradually switch to larger sizes that accommodate their changing oral development.

Look for orthodontic designs

An orthodontic pacifier is designed to support the natural development of your baby’s mouth and teeth. These pacifiers have a symmetrical shape that allows for proper tongue placement and jaw alignment. They help prevent dental issues such as misalignment or malocclusion in the future. It is advisable to opt for orthodontic pacifiers over traditional ones, especially if you plan on using them for an extended period.


Consider your baby’s preferences

Every baby has unique preferences when it comes to pacifiers. Some may prefer softer materials while others may like firmer ones. It is essential to observe your baby’s reactions and comfort level with different types of pacifiers. Additionally, some babies may have specific nipple preferences, such as those resembling a mother’s breast or those with textured surfaces. By paying attention to your baby’s cues, you can choose a pacifier that they are more likely to accept and enjoy.

3. How to encourage your baby to accept and keep the pacifier in their mouth while sleeping

Create positive associations with the pacifier

To encourage your baby to accept the pacifier, it is important to create positive associations with it. You can do this by offering the pacifier during calm and soothing moments, such as before naptime or bedtime. By associating the pacifier with relaxation and comfort, your baby is more likely to accept it willingly.

Try different soothing techniques

If your baby initially resists the pacifier, you can try combining it with other soothing techniques. For example, gently rocking or swaying your baby while offering the pacifier may help them relax and accept it more easily. Additionally, using white noise machines or playing soft lullabies in the background can create a calming environment that encourages your baby to keep the pacifier in their mouth while sleeping.

Be patient and persistent

It may take some time for your baby to become accustomed to using a pacifier while sleeping. It is important to be patient and persistent in introducing and encouraging its use. Offer the pacifier consistently during sleep times and provide gentle reassurance if your baby spits it out. With time, most babies will learn to accept and keep the pacifier in their mouth while sleeping.

4. Techniques and positions to help keep the pacifier in place during sleep

Use a pacifier clip or holder

A pacifier clip or holder can be a useful tool in keeping the pacifier securely attached to your baby’s clothing during sleep. This prevents the pacifier from falling out of reach or getting lost in bedding. Ensure that the clip or holder is safe and does not pose any choking hazards.

Positioning techniques

The way you position your baby while they sleep can also help keep the pacifier in place. Placing your baby on their back with their head slightly elevated can reduce the likelihood of the pacifier slipping out. You can use a small pillow or rolled-up blanket under the mattress to achieve this position safely. Additionally, gently holding the pacifier in place for a few moments after your baby falls asleep can help establish a stronger suction and prevent it from being easily dislodged.

Choose pacifiers with textured surfaces

Pacifiers with textured surfaces provide additional grip and can help keep them in place during sleep. The texture creates friction against your baby’s tongue and palate, making it less likely for the pacifier to slip out unintentionally. Consider trying different pacifiers with varying textures to find one that works best for your baby.

5. Common reasons why babies may spit out their pacifiers while sleeping and how to address them

Reasons for spitting out pacifiers during sleep:

1. Incorrect pacifier size: Babies may spit out their pacifiers if they are too small or too big for their mouths. It is important to choose a pacifier that is appropriate for your baby’s age and size.

2. Discomfort or irritation: If the pacifier is causing discomfort or irritation to the baby’s gums, they may naturally spit it out during sleep. This can happen if the pacifier material is not suitable for your baby’s sensitive skin.

3. Sleep position: Sometimes, the position in which a baby sleeps can cause the pacifier to fall out of their mouth. For example, if they are lying on their side or stomach, gravity can cause the pacifier to slip out.

Tips for addressing these issues:

To ensure that your baby keeps their pacifier in their mouth while sleeping, consider the following:

  1. Choose the right size: Check that you are using a pacifier that is appropriate for your baby’s age and size. Consult with your pediatrician if you are unsure.
  2. Select a suitable material: Opt for a pacifier made from hypoallergenic and soft materials that won’t irritate your baby’s gums.
  3. Experiment with different positions: Try placing your baby in different sleep positions to see if it helps them keep the pacifier in their mouth. Some babies may find it easier to keep the pacifier in when lying on their back.
  4. Consider alternative soothing methods: If your baby consistently spits out their pacifier during sleep, you may want to explore other soothing techniques such as swaddling, gentle rocking, or white noise machines.

6. Alternative methods or products to soothe a baby without relying on a pacifier during sleep

While pacifiers can be effective in soothing babies during sleep, there are alternative methods and products that can provide comfort without relying on a pacifier:


Swaddling involves wrapping your baby snugly in a blanket, mimicking the feeling of being in the womb. This can help calm and soothe them, promoting better sleep.

Gentle rocking or motion:

Babies often find gentle rocking or motion soothing. You can try using a baby swing, rocking chair, or even going for a walk with your baby in a stroller to help them relax and fall asleep.

White noise machines:

White noise machines produce constant ambient sounds that can drown out background noises and create a calming environment for your baby. The repetitive sound can help lull them into a peaceful sleep.

Nightlights or soft music:

Sometimes, the presence of dim lighting or soft music can provide comfort to babies while they sleep. Consider using nightlights with adjustable brightness levels or playing gentle lullabies to create a soothing atmosphere.

(Note: It is important to consult with your pediatrician before introducing any new methods or products to ensure they are safe for your baby.)

7. How often should you check on your sleeping baby to ensure the pacifier is still in their mouth?

The frequency of checking on your sleeping baby’s pacifier depends on various factors such as their age, development stage, and personal preferences. Here are some general guidelines:

Newborns (0-3 months):

During the first few months, newborns have a strong sucking reflex and may rely heavily on pacifiers for soothing. It is recommended to check on them every 10-15 minutes to ensure the pacifier is still in their mouth and hasn’t fallen out.

Infants (4-12 months):

As babies grow older, they may become more proficient at keeping the pacifier in their mouth. Checking on them every 20-30 minutes should be sufficient unless you notice any signs of discomfort or restlessness.

Toddlers (1 year and above):

By this stage, most toddlers have developed better motor skills and can independently manage their pacifiers during sleep. However, it is still advisable to occasionally peek in on them to ensure everything is fine.

Remember that these are general guidelines, and every baby is different. Trust your instincts as a parent and adjust the frequency of checking based on your baby’s individual needs.

8. Safety considerations of using pacifiers with attached clips or holders during sleep

Pacifiers with attached clips or holders can be convenient for keeping the pacifier within reach and preventing it from falling onto the floor during sleep. However, it is important to consider safety precautions when using these accessories:

Choose a safe clip or holder:

Ensure that the clip or holder you use is specifically designed for pacifiers and meets safety standards. Avoid using makeshift clips or ones with small parts that could pose a choking hazard.

Avoid attaching the clip too tightly:

The clip should be securely fastened but not too tight around your baby’s clothing. Make sure there is enough slack to prevent any discomfort or restriction of movement.

Regularly inspect the clip or holder:

Check the clip or holder for any signs of wear and tear, such as loose parts or frayed edges. Replace it immediately if it appears damaged to avoid any potential hazards.

Never leave your baby unattended with a pacifier clip:

Always supervise your baby while they are using a pacifier with an attached clip or holder. Remove the clip or holder when your baby is unsupervised, such as during naps or bedtime, to reduce the risk of accidents.

By following these safety considerations, you can use pacifiers with attached clips or holders responsibly during sleep.

9. Potential risks or concerns associated with using a pacifier while a baby is asleep

While pacifiers can provide comfort and help babies self-soothe during sleep, there are some potential risks and concerns to be aware of:

Dental issues:

Prolonged and excessive pacifier use can affect the development of a baby’s teeth and jaw alignment. It is important to gradually wean them off pacifiers as they grow older to minimize the risk of dental problems.

Increased dependency:

If babies become too reliant on pacifiers for sleep, they may struggle to fall asleep without one. This can lead to disrupted sleep patterns and difficulties in self-soothing without external aids.

Infection risk:

If pacifiers are not properly cleaned and maintained, they can harbor bacteria that may cause infections in babies. Regularly sterilize pacifiers and replace them if they show signs of wear or damage.

To mitigate these risks, it is recommended to follow proper hygiene practices, limit pacifier use to sleep times, and gradually transition away from pacifiers as your baby grows.

10. Gradually weaning off using a pacifier during sleep without disrupting your baby’s routine

Weaning your baby off pacifiers during sleep can be done gradually to minimize disruption to their routine. Here are some steps you can take:

Introduce other soothing techniques:

Start incorporating alternative soothing methods, such as gentle rocking, swaddling, or soft music, alongside the pacifier. This allows your baby to associate comfort with multiple sources rather than solely relying on the pacifier.

Limit pacifier use:

Gradually reduce the amount of time your baby uses the pacifier during sleep. For example, if they typically fall asleep with it in their mouth, remove it once they are asleep and monitor their response.

Offer comfort and reassurance:

If your baby becomes fussy or upset during the weaning process, provide extra comfort and reassurance through cuddling, gentle patting, or singing lullabies. This helps them feel secure even without the pacifier.

Praise and reward:

When your baby successfully sleeps without relying on a pacifier, praise their efforts and offer small rewards such as stickers or extra bedtime stories. Positive reinforcement can motivate them to continue adapting to new sleep routines.

Remember that every baby is different, so be patient and flexible throughout the weaning process. It may take time for your baby to adjust, but with consistency and support, they will eventually learn to sleep peacefully without relying on a pacifier.

In conclusion, implementing simple techniques such as swaddling, using pacifier clips, and establishing consistent bedtime routines can effectively help keep a pacifier in a baby’s mouth while sleeping.

How do I stop my baby from spitting out the pacifier at night?

If your baby is frequently spitting out the pacifier, you can gently tug on it after they have taken it into their mouth, as if you’re going to remove it. This may cause the baby to resist and encourage them to suck on it to keep it in their mouth.

Is it normal for babies to spit out pacifiers while sleeping?

As previously stated, it is normal and common for a baby’s pacifier to fall out of their mouth after they have fallen asleep. This occurs naturally as babies may shift or move while sleeping, just like adults do.

How do you put a baby to sleep with a pacifier?

When putting your baby to sleep or for a nap, give them their preferred pacifier. It is fine if the pacifier falls out while they are asleep. If they wake up or become upset, you can try giving them the pacifier again.

Is it safe to use a pacifier clip at night?

Ensuring safety is paramount, it is important to avoid letting your baby sleep with a pacifier clip. While pacifier clips can be useful in keeping the pacifier accessible during the day, they can pose a risk at night. When using a pacifier during sleep, it is crucial to ensure that there are no stuffed animals or clothing pacifier clips near your baby.

Does Wubbanub help keep pacifier in mouth?

They were unfamiliar with the Wubbanub and were eager to have more so they could provide them to other babies who were critically ill. This product is incredibly helpful, especially in the early stages of a newborn’s life, as it keeps the pacifier secure and prevents the need for searching for lost pacifiers.

When should baby be able to keep pacifier in mouth?

It is recommended to offer your baby a pacifier when they are going to sleep, both during naptime and bedtime. Always make sure to lay your baby down on their back. If the pacifier falls out, there is no need to put it back in. Typically, by the time babies reach around 7 months old, they are able to find and retrieve the pacifier themselves.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *