Pacifier use in newborns: related to socioeconomic status but not to early feeding performance

Roberta Pineda, Anhthi Luong, Justin Ryckman, Joan Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aim: Mothers are often advised not to use pacifiers until breastfeeding has been well-established. This study determined the infant and social factors that were related to pacifier use during the first few days of life and whether it led to alterations in feeding performance. Methods: We enroled 51 full-term infants and their mothers at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in urban St. Louis, USA, in 2015. Before they were discharged the mothers completed a questionnaire, and infant feeding was assessed using a standardised assessment. Results: There were 24 (47%) infants who used a pacifier during the first few days of life and seven (29%) of these were exclusively breastfed. Pacifier use was less common among mothers who exclusively breastfed (p = 0.04). Pacifier use was more common among mothers whose income was less than 25 000 US dollars (p = 0.02), who were single (p = 0.002) and who did not have a college education (p = 0.03). No associations between pacifier use and feeding performance were observed. Conclusion: While lower socioeconomic status was related to pacifier use, feeding performance in the first few days of life was no different between those infants who did and did not use pacifiers after a full-term birth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-810
Number of pages5
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Breastfeeding
  • Full-term birth
  • Infant
  • Pacifier
  • Socioeconomic status


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