Healthy Baby – Suck a Dummy? 1

It has been suggested this week that picking up a dropped dummy and sucking it clean may help infants to be better germ fighters. The practice, it seems, not only protects babies from the nasty microbes on the floor, but passes on good bugs that can lower the risk of allergies, according to a new study from Swedish researchers published in Pediatrics.

Infants whose parents practice this were more likely to have different strains of bacteria in their gut, and with more helpful bacteria populating the intestines, the less likely the babies were to develop allergies and eczema.

When the 184 infants in the study were four months old, the scientists collected saliva samples to determine which types of bacteria resided in their guts. At six months old, parents reported whether their infants used pacifiers and how moms and dads cleaned them. The researchers checked back in with the parents when their babies were 18 and 36 months old to see if the infants had developed allergies and when the first symptoms appeared.

But the children whose parents sucked on their dummies to sanitize them were one-third less likely to have eczema, which is considered the earliest sign of allergies, at 18 months than kids whose parents relied on other techniques — such as rinsing in tap water or boiling. By the time the kids were 3 years old, those who had their dummies sucked clean were still considerably less likely to develop eczema than kids whose parents employed other cleaning strategies.

So while it might seem unsanitary, sucking on that pacifier may end up giving babies just the right kind of good germs to better equip them to battle the more dangerous ones….the study didn´t go into details about if the parents picked up any germs from sucking on a dummy that had dropped on the floor though…

Article taken in part from

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