One of the big challenges of parenting babies who aren’t yet old enough to fully use their hands: how to keep pacifiers from falling out of their mouths.
“If only we could duct tape it to his mouth.” That’s what my husband and I often found ourselves saying, as the pacifier repeatedly popped out of our infant son’s mouth during sleep time, causing him to cry and complain and requiring frequent reapplication by us.
In other words, we have been tucking just the edge of the pacifier into the edge of our 4-month-old son’s swaddle, sleep sack, shirt or bib*, whatever he’s wearing around his chest that can conveniently hold the pacifier in place while he’s laying on his back. You can see it in action in the images above and to the right, and we make sure to tuck the handle edge of the Philips Avent soothers pacifiers we use.
To be sure, one way to avoid this problem is simply to wean your baby off of the pacifier as soon as possible, or to not give your child a pacifier in the first place. And I’m not a safety expert, so I can’t vouch for the complete safety of my trick.
Still, among those of us who rely on the pacifier sleep crutch, the tuck is a tip worth knowing. Parents commenting over at BabyCenter, for instance, also swear by it.
Of course, the tuck doesn’t always work. It was much more reliable before our son could turn roll. Now, as he turns to his side, the pacifier often falls out from the sleep sack tuck. Though, the good news is our son is gaining more hand control.
So, when the tuck stops working, it’s not long before babies can put pacifiers into their mouths themselves, and parents can rely on other strategies, such as pacifiers with stuffed animals attached (like WubbaNubs) that are easy for babies to grab and sprinkling the crib with pacis. And while some parents do find that the stuffed animal-pacifier combinations are helpful earlier, my son just tugged on the animal, pulling the pacifier out of his mouth.
For more tips on how to keep binkys in babies’ mouths, check out this post from Lucie’s List, and be sure to share your pacifier tricks below. How do you keep pacifiers in little ones’ mouths?
*Additional hint: The pacifier tuck is just one of the reasons to have your baby wear bibs: Bibs also can catch spit-up, preventing numerous outfit changes.