Baby bottles, pacifiers and teething necklaces

Learn more about baby bottles, pacifiers and teething necklaces and how to use them safely.

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Baby bottles and bottle nipples

Holding your baby close during bottle feeding helps to build a strong bond and to keep your baby safe. Your baby can choke if left unattended to feed with a propped-up bottle. Canada banned infant self-feeding devices in 1977.

When bottle feeding your baby, remember to:

  • clean bottles and nipples before every use
  • inspect nipples before and after each use to check for signs of wear and tear
  • throw out nipples that do show any signs of wear and tear because your baby can choke on the broken pieces
  • replace nipples more often while your baby is teething because they tend to wear out faster

It is not safe to make the holes in bottle nipples bigger. This can tear the nipple and cause small pieces to break off and become a choking hazard for your baby.

Take breaks to burp your baby. This will help to get rid of extra gas that they have in their tummies and to help them feel comfortable during and after feeding.

Learn about safely preparing infant formula, and cleaning and sterilizing feeding products:


Deciding on whether to use a pacifier is a personal choice.

If you are breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is going well before you introduce a pacifier to your baby. The pacifier shouldn't interfere with your baby learning how to breastfeed.

Stop using the pacifier when your baby is 12 months old. This will reduce the risks of the pacifier creating dental problems for your baby during childhood.

Talk to your baby's health care provider for information on the pros and cons of using a pacifier.

If you do use a pacifier, follow these safety tips:

  • Don't tie or hang a pacifier around your baby's neck as this can strangle your baby.
  • If you use a pacifier clip, use one with a short ribbon:
    • A ribbon longer than 22 centimetres (8 ½ inches) can wrap around your baby's neck and strangle them.
    • Attach the pacifier clip securely to your baby's clothing
    • The clip should be in good shape.
    • If the clip or string breaks, your baby can choke on the small broken pieces.
    • Pacifier clips with silicone balls on the string are particularly dangerous if they break.
  • Replace the pacifier with a teething ring if your baby starts to chew on it.

Make sure the pacifier is in good condition:

  • Clean it regularly.
  • Replace it every 2 months before it starts to wear out.
  • Check for tears, holes and changes in texture.
    • Age, heat, sunlight and certain foods or medications can cause damage.
  • Check that the nipple and any ring or handle are attached firmly to the pacifier.
  • Throw it out if it shows any signs of wear and tear.
    • Broken or loose pieces can choke your baby.

Pacifier use and safe sleep

If your baby uses their pacifier while sleeping, they should have one consistently for every sleep. Several studies suggest that using a pacifier consistently during the first year of life may decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), but only if used consistently.

If the pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth while they are sleeping, you don't need to put it back in their mouth. They can sleep without it for the rest of that sleep.

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Teething necklaces

When your baby is in pain from teething, you want to help ease that pain, but not every teething product is safe.

Products with strings, beads, ribbons and chains that tie around your baby's neck, are attached to a crib or clipped to clothing can cause serious injury or death. They can twist tightly around the neck, even when your baby is sleeping.

Your baby can also strangle if their necklace catches on a piece of furniture or a hook.

Teething necklaces and chewing beads can break, and your baby can choke on the small pieces.

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