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Submitted by on Feb 4, 2022

A pacifier is a nipple replacement made of rubberplastic, or silicone that is given to a newborn to suckle on between feedings to relieve discomfort by satisfying the desire to suck when the infant is not hungry. An extended teat, a mouth shield, and a handle are the three pieces of a pacifier. The mouth shield is large enough to prevent the infant from putting the pacifier in its mouth, eliminating the risk of the youngster swallowing it and choking.

Binky (American English), dummy (Australian English and British English), soother (Canadian English and Hiberno English), and Dodie are all informal names for pacifiers (Hiberno English).

In 1473, German physician Bartholomäus Metlinger described pacifiers for the first time in his book Kinderbüchlein, which was eventually renamed Regiment der jungen Kinder in later editions (“Caring For Young Children”).

A coral was a teething toy made of coral, ivory, or bone that was sometimes set in silver as the handle of a rattle in England during the 17th”19th century. According to a museum curator, these ingredients were utilized as “sympathetic magic,” with the animal bone symbolizing animal strength to aid the child’s pain management.

Pacifiers evolved from hard teething rings, but they also served as a replacement for the softer sugar tits, sugar-teats, or sugar-rags that were popular in nineteenth-century America. In 1873, a writer described a “sugar-teat” created from “a tiny piece of old linen” with a “spoonful of somewhat sandy sugar in the center” that was “gathered… up into a little ball” with a thread securely wrapped around it. In various regions of Northern Europe and worldwide, newborns were handed rags with delicacies knotted within. A lump of flesh or fat was knotted in fabric in certain regions, and the rag was occasionally wet with brandy. Lutschbeutel, a fabric wrapped around sweetened bread or poppy seeds, may be used in German-speaking communities.

Around 1900, Manhattan pharmacist Christian W. Meinecke patented the first teat, shield, and handle design as a “baby comforter” in the United States as a “baby comforter.” In the mid-nineteenth century, rubber was employed in flexible teethers advertised as “elastic gum rings” for British newborns, as well as feeding-bottle teats. A “new type rubber teething ring, featuring one firm and one soft nipple” was promoted by Sears, Roebuck & Co. in 1902. In 1909, “Auntie Pacifier” wrote to the New York Times, warning of the “menace to health” (she meant oral health) of “the persistent, and, among the poorer classes, the ubiquitous sucking of a rubber nipple offered as a ‘pacifier.’” Dummies were also connected with bad hygiene in England, where they were viewed as something used by the “poorer classes.” “If it falls on the floor, it is rubbed temporarily on the mother’s shirt or apron, lipped by the mother, and reinstalled in the baby’s mouth,” a London doctor remarked in 1914.

Initially, pacifiers were made of black, maroon, or white rubber, albeit white rubber at the time included a small amount of lead. Binky (with a y) is a trademarked brand name for pacifiers and other baby items made by the Binky Baby Products Company of New York in around 1935. Playtex Products, LLC owns the trademark for the brand name in the United States (and a number of other countries).

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