For many parents pacifiers – also called dummies, soothers, or binky, are essential parenting tools. And quite frankly – lifesavers.
Sucking on a pacifier helps soothe a crying baby, brings comfort and helps settle him to sleep.
But. There is one significant complication of using pacifiers.
They tend to fall out of the little one’s mouth.
Which obviously causes all sorts of distress to the baby – until the parent pops the dummy back in.
So, what can I do to keep the dummy in my baby’s mouth?
Here’s what you should know.
How to keep the pacifier in my baby’s mouth?
There are a few possibilities you may try to keep the pacifier in place. You can use the pacifier clips to attach the dummy to your baby’s clothing. Or you can buy a paci with a permanently attached plush animal that your little one can easily grasp. However, both methods are not recommended for bedtime for safety reasons. To prevent the dummy from falling out, you should work with your baby on her sucking skills. For an older baby, you can leave a few dummies in her bed to increase the chance of finding one of them blindly at night.
1. Why Is The Dummy Falling Out Of My Baby’s Mouth?
Before we talk about different strategies for preventing dummies from popping out of the mouth, let’s take a look at what causes them to fall out. Because it may not be a random thing, but very much your baby’s conscious choice!
1.1 Dummy simply Isn’t for your Baby!
Not all babies love dummies.
Some of them will simply not take it. They will spit it out the moment you put it in their mouth.
This might occur because they are offered the pacifier for the wrong reasons.
Perhaps, the baby is uncomfortable, bored, needs changing, or is hungry. And pacifiers won’t solve these issues!
So, if you want your little one to suck on a binky, find the right moment to introduce it and encourage her to take it.
For example, when the baby is calm, remove the breast or bottle from her mouth and quickly insert the pacifier. Her content suckling will hopefully continue without much notice!
1.2 Your Baby Is Hungry
If your little tot is hungry – the binky won’t settle her down! She needs food, not a dummy!
Furthermore, you should never use a pacifier if you see an obvious hunger cue.
It may help only for a moment. But eventually, it will result in upsetting her even more since it doesn’t address the hunger issue!
So, feed your little one at the earliest opportunity. And then pop the dummy in (only if necessary).
1.3 Your Baby Prefers a Different Model!
So, it may come as a surprise, but there are many different types of pacifiers.
Therefore, you may need to try a few – before hitting the jackpot.
Pacifiers come in literally all shapes, sizes, materials, and textures.
They can be round or flat in shape.
They can be made of soft silicone, natural rubber, or slightly firmer plastic.
And the size of a dummy must match the baby’s age group.
There are also dummies designed for specific needs, such as pacifiers for colic, breastfeeding babies, reflux, premature babies, etc.
Whichever one you chose, just make sure it is a certified product of high quality.
If your baby is breastfed, you may need to look for a breast-like pacifier. Also, be aware of nipple confusion if you introduce the binky too early, or before your baby is an established feeder.
If you are bottle-feeding, you may want to find the matching pacifier shape and material to the bottle teat.
1.4 Weak Sucking Reflex
The sucking reflex develops between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. This reflex, paired with the rooting reflex, is essential for effective feeding.
So, it is possible that if your little one was born prematurely, she may have an underdeveloped sucking reflex – hence the pacifier keeps falling out.
You can test your baby’s sucking reflex to check if that’s an issue.
Just touch the roof of your little one’s mouth with your clean finger. This should immediately activate the sucking reflex (provided the reflex is well developed).
Newborn Sucking Reflex in Infant | Pediatric Nursing Assessment Exam Skill
2. How to Keep The Pacifier In Your Baby’s Mouth?
Now, coming to the main point…
If you ruled out the above reasons and the binky is still falling out of your little one’s mouth – here are a few solutions for you to try.
2.1 Use the Pacifier clips (but not for sleep)
Ok, so the pacifier clip/leash/strap attached to the baby’s clothes is a great gadget to keep the dummy close. And prevent it from falling on the ground or getting lost, especially when you are out and about.
But, there is one significant limitation of using a pacifier clip.
Pacifier clips can pose a choking or strangulation hazard.
Therefore, you should pay attention to their appropriate length, so they cannot go around the baby’s neck.
According to the safety standard, it must not be longer than 7-8 inches (17 -22 cm).
Furthermore, the clip should not have any removable elements (such as beads) to prevent choking.
Because of these two hazards, pacifier clips aren’t recommended during sleep. Or in any other situation when your tot is unsupervised.
2.2 Use the model with a soft toy attached to it
Have you heard about the pacifier with a permanently attached stuffed, plush animal?
So the job of the soft animal (except for being cute and cuddly) is to help the baby grasp it and adjust the position of the pacifier.
Furthermore, it helps keep the pacifier close to the baby’s mouth without the need for clips. How clever is that?
So, it is indeed a combination of soothing paci and snuggly lovey to instantly comfort the baby.
However, this model of pacifiers is not recommended for a baby to sleep with. And it should only be used under supervision during the daytime and during supervised naps.
Related post =========>How To Introduce A Lovey To Your Baby?
2.3 Teach your baby how to keep it in
So, the first two solutions don’t really help us with the overnight sleep, do they?
And that’s when we want the most to keep the paci in our baby’s mouth. To avoid them getting upset and forcing us to go across their room to find the binky!
So, there is no other choice but to train your tot to hold on to it.
You can begin the practice when she actively sucks on the binky by simply pulling it away – but only slightly.
Her natural response would be to suck it back in before it falls out of the mouth!
This training will also help your baby improve the strength of the suck. Ultimately, your little one will learn how to keep it in her mouth when she moves around.
Practice makes perfect, so be patient and support your baby along the way!
2.4 Leave a few pacifiers in the cot for bedtime
Another effective solution – specifically for bedtime, is to scatter 2 or 3 dummies around your baby’s cot.
So, when your tot wakes up because of a lost dummy, the chances are she will be able to find one of them before the issue escalates!
A good invention is a glow-at-night paci model that will help babies find and put it back in the dark.
Final Few Lines
There is a whole science behind the safe use of pacifiers, and use it wisely to its full potential!
But once you master the basics, a pacifier can become a true friend of yours and your baby 🙂
So, if the binky keeps falling out of your little one’s mouth:
- Perhaps she doesn’t want it. Not all babies love their dummies.
- Or, you offered a dummy instead of the feed! Your tot will keep spitting it out until hunger needs are satisfied.
- It is worth trying a different model of the binky. When it comes to pacifiers – one size fits all doesn’t apply!
- Or, if your baby is a preemie, her sucking reflex may be very weak. Hence the paci keeps falling out.
You can help your baby hold on to her binky by:
- Attaching it with the strap only during waking hours under your supervision.
- Use the pacifier with a soft animal attached to it. This helps your baby grab it and hold it in place.
- You should train your one to keep it in the mouth without losing it accidentally.
- For nighttime, put a few pacifiers in your baby’s bed so she can find one of those blindly in the dark.