Whether you’re a fan or not, the pacifier has been around for centuries, and countless parents swear by them to help soothe and calm their babies. Not only that, but pacifiers have been found to help protect babies against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and many sleep experts recommend their use for particularly fractious or unsettled babies too. And now that we have the Pacif-i smart thermometer, the humble pacifier has taken a new step into the world of connected parenting. But have you ever wondered exactly how many pacifiers parents go through each year? Or even how they became so popular? We’ve done a little digging, and the results might surprise you!
A brief history
The pacifier has been dated back as far as 1473, when a German physician, Bartholomaus Metlinger wrote about them in his Guidebook to Young Children. In the UK, babies were given a teething toy made from coral, ivory or bone and mounted on a silver handle and this was thought to be an early pacifier. The bone used in this particular model was thought to give the baby animal strength to cope with the awful pain of teething. Thank goodness things have moved on since then!
Early pacifiers of the 20th century were originally made with rubber containing- of all things- lead! These days though, pacifiers are made with safer materials, and all are required to pass rigorous safety testing. Phew!
How many pacifiers does the average baby use?
The answer to this question can vary hugely, depending on a number of factors. For example, some babies will use a pacifier for just three months, some for three years. Some parents will take measures to ensure that their baby’s pacifier is kept safe and secure at all times, and others will find that no matter what they do that pacifier just keeps on disappearing! So finding out how many pacifiers a baby uses isn’t as easy as it seems!
Most parenting experts will agree that it’s helpful to have a pacifier on standby ready for your baby after birth, and some parents will even take one or two to the hospital. Some parents will prefer to wait until breastfeeding is established before they introduce a pacifier, and while there is some research that suggests this is at around six weeks of age, others have found baby has no issue switching from breast to teat. At the end of the day, personal opinion plays a strong part in it all, so if you want your baby to have a pacifier early on there’s no reason why you should wait.
So for a baby who is given a pacifier from birth, parents are likely to need around 4- 6 to begin with. As your baby’s mouth changes size, there are different types to choose from too. And don’t forget that the odd one will get lost now and then. So if you’re looking at around 6 for the first three months, then another six every three months after that, a baby who uses a pacifier up to the age of three will go through around 72 pacifiers in total!
Do you really need that many pacifiers?
You can buy clips to hold your pacifier in place to minimise the risk of losing it when you’re out and about. You can buy glow in the dark pacifiers to help you locate them in the dark bedroom when your little one has dropped it. You can be very specific about when and where your baby uses their pacifier. All of these precautions will help make sure you need to buy fewer pacifiers in total, but its important to remember that regular checks for damage and wear need to be performed too. Damaged pacifiers are not safe to use so most parents like to have a few spare just in case.
And don’t forget that you may want to try lots of different types of pacifiers too.
Why go for a Pacif-i ?
Obviously, we believe that the Pacif-i is the only pacifier you need for your baby- and this is why. It is the only pacifier that will connect to your smart phone via Bluetooth, to bring you up to date and accurate information about your baby. It will tell you when medication is next due; it will monitor baby’s temperature, and guess what? It will help you to locate the pacifier if you misplace it. So no need to keep a spare!
The Pacif-i has been designed to grow with your baby, so its suitable from birth up to three years of age, and it’s perfectly safe to use too. So again, no need to re-invest time and again. Once you have a Pacif-i you don't need another pacifier as back up. It’s been ergonomically designed to be as comfortable as possible for your baby and that means you’re less likely to go through many different types until you find a ‘favourite’. It’s a convenient and easy way to not only soothe and comfort your baby, but to monitor their temperature during illness too. And rest assured, you won’t lose it- we’re in the later stages of developing a very handy pacifier clip to double your chances of keeping hold of this one!