Most parents have done this on the sly, but now you can do it openly, go ahead and suck that baby pacifier that fell to the ground before popping back into your baby’s mouth. Most feel guilty for not boiling the pacifer or trashing it. However, that parental instinct to just use your own spit is really the best thing you can do for your baby . A new study tells us that this practice will actually help reduce your baby’s chance of allergies later on.
“It’s really an interesting study, because it supports the theory of the hygiene hypothesis,” said Dr. Samuel Friedlander, an allergy specialist at University Hospital in Cleveland. “It’s a theory that state that our world is too clean. The immune system is like an army, and if the army doesn’t have anything to fight – like germs – it fights allergens.”
The study showed that toddlers were less likely to develop eczema and asthma if their parents were shared by their parent as the saliva on pacifiers appeared to help promote a bacterial diversity and stimulate the child’s immune system. In the same way, babies delivered vaginally benefitted from increased exposure to bacteria in the birth canal as newborns.
Of course there are times when this practice can be detrimental to a child’s health, such as when a parent is sick, has a virus or cold sores. However for the healthy parent it appears sharing a little saliva on a pacifier or utensil may be helpful to your child’s immune system.