Bottles, pacifiers and teething necklaces

Learn about safe ways to feed and soothe your baby.

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Baby bottles and bottle nipples

As baby bottles and nipples are used frequently, it is important to practice a number of safety measures. You should:

  • clean bottles and nipples before every use
  • inspect nipples before and after each use
  • throw out nipples that show any signs of wear and tear as a baby can choke on the broken pieces
  • replace nipples more often during the teething stage as they tend to wear out faster

Never make the holes in the nipples bigger. This can tear the nipple and cause small pieces to break off.

When bottle feeding your baby, you will need to take breaks to:

  • burp your baby to help get rid of tummy gas
  • address any issues your baby may have swallowing or breathing

For these reasons, you or a caregiver must never:

  • leave the baby unattended
  • use a self-feeding device (these have been banned in Canada since 1977)

Pacifiers

There are many ways to soothe a baby besides using a pacifier. If you do use a pacifier, be sure to follow these safety tips:

  • Never tie or hang a pacifier around your baby's neck as this can strangle the baby
  • Replace your child's pacifier every 2 months before it starts to wear out
  • Check your child's pacifier every day:
    • for changes in texture, tears or holes, which can be caused by:
      • age
      • heat
      • sunlight
      • certain foods
    • to make sure that the nipple and any ring or handle is firmly attached
  • Throw out pacifiers that show any signs of wear and tear as broken or loose pieces can choke your baby
  • If your baby starts to chew on the pacifier, replace it with a teething ring

Teething necklaces

Not every teething product is safe. Teething products that tie around a baby's neck can cause serious injury or death and should not be used.

Never tie necklaces, strings, ribbons or chains around a baby's neck or attach them to a crib. These items can become tightly twisted around the neck, even when your baby is sleeping. Strangulation can also occur if a necklace gets caught on a piece of furniture or hook.

Teething necklaces can also break and your baby can choke on the small pieces.

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