We’ve all done it. Been somewhere with our children, with no water faucet or sterilization methods in place, as the beloved pacifier is dropped , and then what did we do? We cleaned it with our own spit or saliva and put that sucker right back in the baby’s mouth (with a bit of guilt of course.)
We questioned ourselves, and weighed the options… a screaming baby? or our peace? We chose peace over health taboos. I mean honestly, if you are a mother- you do what you have to soothe your baby.
Turns out that now the guilt associated with taking the peaceful route, isn’t so bad. A recent study performed on the effects of saliva on a child’s pacifier could boast the health benefits of improving the child’s immune system, and preventing them from developing some allergies.
The study consisted of about 180 children in Sweden who had their saliva sampled. One group had parents that boiled and sterilized their baby’s pacifiers with the other being the one group which the parents used their own saliva and spit to clean the pacifier. The study which took more than 18 months- concluded that the groups whose parents licked their pacifiers had 1/3 less risk of allergies than the other group who had sterilized the pacifiers.
One would think that cleaning your baby’s pacifier with spit would be less hygeinic, the germs could actually result in illness, however this study proves different, indeed.
Instead, sometimes we are living in a world of germaphobia- however it has been clearly demonstrated that there are a certain amount of germs that people do need to be exposed to- in order to develop a resistance and immunity to them. This very point, is also true in babies as they need to be exposed to some things in order to build their immunity.
“Our emphasis to keep things exceedingly clean over the last few decades may actually be depriving a baby’s immune system of some of the organisms it needs to help it thrive, according to the study.” CNN states.
So this goes to show next time there are no options when the pacifier becomes dirty- do take the initiative to clean that right up with your own saliva- It may just help your baby.