Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How does a Pacifier help prevent SIDS?

Real question. Saw that in another post and I have no clue.


Asked by ochsamom at 3:15 PM on May. 27, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 22 (12,399 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • I've read the articles about pacifiers and sleeping less deeply. I've also read that it's position in the mouth helps keep airways open. Don't know if I trust that one as DD let's it fall out of her mouth slightly when really asleep. Looks funny tho.

    Answer by Kitkat61277 at 12:34 AM on May. 28, 2011

  • Scientists say the reason is unclear, except that babies with a pacifier tend to sleep less deep than those without but that may or may not be the reason why. It just does!

    Answer by missanc at 3:21 PM on May. 27, 2011

  • I have read that it helps similar to how unrestricted night nursing helps- because the sucking motion keeps the baby in a lighter level of sleep. SIDS tends to occur at deeper sleep levels. I can't give you a source though- I just remember reading it several years back.

    Answer by Freela at 4:49 PM on May. 27, 2011

  • i was told by NICU dr.s that a pacifier keeps the mouth partically open alittle and helps keep their face from going flat into the sheets cause the pacifier keeps their face to the side alittle so their nose and mouth isnt blocked for breathing its up to one side some , makes sence because something in your mouth you cant really lay head totally down into sheets

    Answer by letstalk747 at 4:56 PM on May. 27, 2011

  • When it was first promoted as having a connection/correlation (you could still find those articles online), the sucking was the specific thing mentioned. The idea is that it would help to mimic a more normal (biologically speaking) situation where a sleeping baby is close to the mother & nurses/sucks frequently. THAT's the circumstance (the pattern of activity & the sequence of sleep cycles) that is protective: shallower sleep with fairly frequent wakings (the biological norm.)

    There is nothing magical about a pacifier & it wouldn't make sense to substitute that (as if a paci is somehow necessary/important for protection.) It's that babies WITH pacifiers did better statistically than those without in the same situations of sleeping alone in cribs for long periods. The same benefits without the negatives of pacifier use come from nursing on demand thru the night, sharing sleep with baby, etc.-McKenna's sleep lab @ Notre Dame.

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:06 PM on May. 27, 2011

  • Good to know, ty

    Comment by ochsamom (original poster) at 3:23 PM on May. 27, 2011

  • I'm not sure but I think it has something to do with the suction motion?

    Answer by DJsMommy610 at 3:24 PM on May. 27, 2011

  • I doubt that it does. There are numerous theories I've heard of that make a lot more sense, though you won't find them in mainstream literature or research papers.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:38 PM on May. 27, 2011

  • Well, no one knows why SIDS exists, so knowing what to do about it is hard to say. I hope people continue to grasp at straws until we find the answers to both.

    Comment by ochsamom (original poster) at 3:51 PM on May. 27, 2011

  • From the Dept of Pediatrics, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA:

    Two major studies conducted in the 1970s showed: (1) muscle weakness in the upper half of the body in infants who subsequently died of SIDS, and (2) shoulder hypotonia in near-miss for SIDS infants. An infant sleeping face-down in the prone position could be jeopardized if he lacked the muscle strength to shift his position or turn his head to rescue himself from a life-threatening situation. In contrast, recent studies in neonates sleeping in the prone position report that normal infants can spontaneously arouse and turn their heads. Some data support the hypothesis that magnesium deficiency contributes to SIDS. Muscle strength is seriously impaired in the young magnesium deficient subject, while magnesium rapidly reverses muscle weakness. In rats, marginal deprivation in dietary magnesium reduces exercise capacity,

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:34 PM on May. 27, 2011

Next question in General Parenting
Got Twins????

Next question overall (Pets)
Whats your cats name?