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Sometimes the only thing that will keep a 2 month old baby happy is a pacifier, but at that age, baby is too young to retrieve the pacifier after it falls out.

It helps to tuck the pacifier under babies' swaddle blanket, but this is not a perfect solution.

I can imagine a device similar to those used to keep a retainer in, but I am not sure that this would be safe, and I don't want it to be a muzzle.

Are there any safe and respectful ways to help the pacifier stay in babies' mouth?

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There are plenty of solutions to this matter but first of all you want to find the right pacifier for your baby. There are many different shapes and sizes you need to evaluate why it is falling out first and make sure you can tell what type of issue your baby is having. It is probably hungry if the pacifier doesn't stay in it's mouth. –  user4251 Apr 27 '13 at 16:33
    
Keep in mind that if a pacifier is constantly falling out, the baby could be pushing it out because it wants your attention. –  Mike Partridge Jul 24 '13 at 18:49
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7 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Seems unsafe to even try anything like that. I recall our hospital had a whole bunch of things they said not to do with pacifiers that pretty much all revolved around the notion of "don't do like your grandmother did." (if you look at old pacifiers, you'll see they have 4 holes, two on each side... those were for tying ribbon behind the baby's head to keep the pacifier in place.)

Two thoughts though:

  1. try one with a different shape. We found that one shape always stayed in longer than the others. Different kids seem to want different shapes.

  2. get a pacifier tether or clip to keep it handy when it does fall out. They're just a short length of ribbon with either a velcro closure, or a loop that you can thread it through on one end and a clip of some sort on the other. These were an amazing help at keeping pacifiers clean and close at hand to pop back in. And as torbengb points out in the comments, make sure it's not long enough to be a safety hazard, either from choking or strangulation.

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If I'm thinking of the same holes that you indicate then those holes are not meant for tying string but rather to provide air to the skin around baby's mouth. Tying it with string indeed sounds like gross negligence to me. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Apr 15 '11 at 8:01
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ad 2), make sure the tether is less than 20cm because otherwise it would be long enough to wind itself around the neck and be a strangling danger. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Apr 15 '11 at 8:02
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@torbengb the only time we ever use a tether is when we are carrying them (baby bjorn) or a situation where it may drop on the ground. –  Jacob Apr 15 '11 at 13:34
    
@torbengb, on modern pacifiers, yes; they even tell you not to block them. The really old ones they were showing had the holes way too far out and on upraised parts that wouldn't even have been on the skin. And great point about the tether length, seems like you can't even buy them much longer than 14cm or so here, but I didn't think about folks making their own, editing to add that. –  cabbey Apr 15 '11 at 17:13
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I think you'll just have to put it back in once he or she complains. It shouldn't be that hard since you're never far from a 2 mo. old anyway, right?

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When my infant was 2 months old putting her pacifier back in when she complained (which she did at increasingly shorter intervals as sleep associations developed around 3.5 months) required walking to her room from mine in the dead of night. I realize that some parents bedshare, co-sleep, or room share to minimize this kind of walking, but my daughter was so noisy that room sharing woke us up when she was sleeping normally. –  justkt Jun 11 '13 at 19:46
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We had similar problems. This pacifier worked for us:

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The hospitals my kids were born at provided these (given permission from the parents). I've always liked this kind, but they still fall out. –  Firefeather Apr 15 '11 at 15:39
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We also use this kind, and they're very unusual in Austria (European brands are much more common). From what the nurses told me, this model is actually designed to fall out by itself when the child stops sucking. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Apr 15 '11 at 19:10
    
My daughter used that kind as a newborn and continued to use it. Trust me when I say that it falls out very easily. –  justkt Jun 11 '13 at 19:48
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For some brands of pacifiers, you can find a stuffed animal which attaches to the pacifier. For example, for the Soothie pacifier, you can check out the Wannanub product line (see monkey version below), available on Amazon. Even young babies can learn that they can hang on to the toy and get access to the pacifier.

Wannanub monkey

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I have heard great things about this type of solution as well. This brand allows you to attach many other brands of pacifier if your little one does not take to the Soothie. –  amjohi Apr 19 '11 at 12:21
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question asker has a 2 month old baby. soft toys should not be in the cot. –  DanBeale Aug 10 '11 at 17:14
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You should never secure a pacifier to a child's mouth. Doing so could obstruct a child's breathing, prevent stomach contents from clearing the mouth or airway if refluxed or regurgitated, and decrease oral sensory awareness if the child's senses perceive the device as offensive.

It is important that you consider why the pacifier is falling out. Questions that need to be answered include:

  • Is the child hungry and needs milk?

  • Is the child's suck weak? This is sometimes the case for many reasons including prematurity, inexperience, and low muscle tone.

  • Does the pacifier match the child's oral motor skills? If a pacifier is too short or long, too wide or narrow or too stiff or soft it will contribute to fatigue, poor suction, gagging, or difficulty
    breathing.

  • Is the problem related to poor hand and motor skills? A child may suck vigorously on the pacifier with good firm pressure, but the pacifier falls out when they rest. The only problem here is the inability to coordinate movements to return the device to the mouth. This will resolve with age and motor development.

Matching a pacifier or nipple of bottle to a baby should consider many factors and may require many trials. You may want to explore a variety of devices to see if one is a better match for you baby.

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Our little one always pushed out her pacifier. Eventually we realised that she just didn't want it, and so we've never used one. She's 14 months old now, and we won't have to wean her of it, though comforting her requires a breast.

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The Avent Soothie Pacifiers are most effective for my son too. They seem to stay in better than the Mam or Nuk options until he's actually asleep and done sucking.

To get yours better at keeping them in, you can try tugging on it gently while s/he's sucking. S/he should suck it right back in. Do that a few times just after you give him/her the pacifier, and s/he should get pretty good at keeping it from falling out in the first place. This trained my son to hang on to it, and he's less than a month old. I got the tip from The Happiest Baby on the Block (p. 177 in my paperback version). If that doesn't work, I'd guess Baby is hungry or needs something else.

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+1 for mentioning Karp's solution. However even that solution will not prevent a baby from dropping the pacifier while in deep sleep, and when the baby hits light sleep again missing the pacifier (once sleep associations are formed). It does help the initial descent into deep sleep, though. –  justkt Jun 11 '13 at 19:49
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