Today I thought I would blog a little about the pacifier after reading articles such as this one and this one discussing the pros and cons to using a pacifier. The article suggests that what works for one child may not work for another as each child has his/her individual needs. One of my grandsons was a pacifier advocate while the other could care less if he had it or not and would spit it out soon after it was placed in his mouth. Tips are also given in the articles as to how to make the best use of one so I plan to print a copy of the article and include it with each pacifier I send to the Rez as an education tool for the moms.
The kind of pacifier to buy for the baby is determined in part by the babies. Some babies prefer certain shapes and textures of nipples and may refuse other types of nipples. The nipples are made of silicone or rubber with silicone being a sturdier material than the rubber over time. Best to buy a few good quality pacifiers and make sure that the pacifier is checked regularly to avoid a piece of a deteriorating one lodging in a child’s throat and becoming a suffocation object.
So on the pacifier theme I decided to make a small pouch to house them. Some pacifiers come with covers and are usually the more expensive variety. Since cost is a factor on the Rez I thought that if a mom needed to replace a pacifier she would at least have a place to store the pacifier in a clean environment and in addition make them easier to retrieve in the diaper bag. The bag is simple to make, can be made any size or shape, can be lined or not and requires sewing a few seams and attaching a closure-snaps or velcro. See examples of ones to make at the links here and here .
I then made a strap to clip the pacifier to a bib, an outfit or to the diaper bag. It prevents one having to continually search for the pacifier in the bag, or retrieve the pacifier from the floor thus keeping it cleaner. Also kids at a certain age can put it back in their mouth if they can reach it on the attached item. That being said the pacifier should never be attached to any cord while the baby is sleeping, nor should the cord be attached to an object if the baby can not be supervised. Look at the links on how they can be made-here, here and here. The ribbon attached to the pacifier should not be longer than 8 inches at its finished length to avoid any risk of strangulation. I used snaps for my attachment but you can just as easily use velcro. And for attaching the pacifier to an object I found a clip for 5 cents at the I.D.E.A. store that worked well for the project but other suggestions are offered in the links. You can also find the pacifier clips here. I also made a strap from a material scrap I had , cutting it 12 “x 2” folding it in half lengthwise, then folding each side in half again and sewing the sides together. It took very little time and was a way to use up those scraps. My husband hates the scraps but I have found them to come in handy such as in making the crinkly toy ,strap and pouch for this project .
And finally I made a crinkly toy that you can attach a pacifier to so that the child can have something to manipulate and entertain while sucking.
These are easy projects to make for the babies and each takes no more than 30 minutes at most. And for some moms on the Rez who are young, uneducated and stressed due to lack of resources and skills, the use of a pacifier at appropriate times might help quiet a baby who is crying inconsolably and hopefully prevent a mom who is at her wits end from abusing or neglecting the child. Also with the incidence of SIDS on the Rez three times that of the national average it just might be one more way in addition to other measures to prevent another case of SIDs from occurring.