Sucking Your Baby’s Pacifier May Prevent Allergies

For the parents of pacifier-loving children, the dilemma of what to do after the pacifier hits the ground rings true for many. Rinse it under water? Sanitize it? How about simply sucking on it yourself? 

Sucking Your Baby’s Pacifier May Prevent Allergies

 While this is a routine procedure for some, for others it may sound pretty revolting. In fact, a new study suggests that a mother’s saliva, and the bacteria in it, may help prevent allergies in young children. Specifically, it may help lower a baby’s level of IgE antibody, a troublesome allergy-causing protein. 

Dr. Eliane Abou-Jaoude, an allergy fellow with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, recently presented her findings at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting. “We interviewed 128 mothers of infants multiple times over a period of 18 months and asked how they cleaned their child’s pacifier,” says Abou-Jaoude. “We found the children of mothers who sucked on the pacifier had lower IgE levels.”

Sucking Your Baby’s Pacifier May Prevent Allergies

 The research has not yet been peer-reviewed. Both Abou-Jaoude and her co-author Edward Zoratti note that further research is needed, but their findings support a growing body of evidence suggesting exposure to germs at a young age may lead to a healthier immune system.

Parental saliva isn’t the only microbe source suggested to help prevent allergies in kids. Past studies have shown that living near livestock, having pets, being born vaginally, feeding organic baby food, and not using a dishwasher are all factors that can lead to fewer allergies later in life.

Little Foodie Club