For babies to suck is a natural reflex. Sucking is how babies eat and feel safe. When a baby is not eating, a pacifier is better to use than a finger or thumb.
A pacifier will not harm your baby’s teeth. It is easier for a baby to be weaned from sucking a pacifier than being weaned from sucking a finger or thumb1. Children may suck their thumb until they are about 3 to 5 years of age. Try to get your baby to use a pacifier instead of his/her thumb.

Safe Pacifier Tips

  • If you see your child sucking his or her fingers or thumb during the first 3 months of life, try giving your child a pacifier instead.
  • Buy a pacifier with a nipple made of soft rubber to reduce gum soreness.
  • Do not use the pacifier all the time.
  • Do not dip baby’s pacifier in honey or syrup.
  • Look at the pacifier every day to be sure it is not worn or torn. A damaged pacifier can be harmful to your baby. A torn pacifier may cause the baby to choke.
  • Do not hang the pacifier around your baby’s neck with a string. The string could choke your baby.
  • •If you have questions, talk to your dentist or doctor.
11995-1999 American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.