OBJECTIVES. Our aim was to review the evidence for a reduction in the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) with pacifier (“dummy” or “soother”) use, to discuss possible mechanisms for the reduction in SIDS risk, and to review other possible health effects of pacifiers.
RESULTS. There is a remarkably consistent reduction of SIDS with pacifier use. The mechanism by which pacifiers might reduce the risk of SIDS is unknown, but several mechanisms have been postulated. Pacifiers might reduce breastfeeding duration, but the studies are conflicting.
CONCLUSIONS. It seems appropriate to stop discouraging the use of pacifiers. Whether it is appropriate to recommend pacifier use in infants is open to debate.