Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Pacifiers or Thumbsucking: Which Is Worse?

Month 5, Week 2

Babies suck to soothe themselves, which is why many infants depend on pacifiers or thumbs when they aren't nursing or taking a bottle. Some parents are anti-pacifier, worried that their children will need braces or that the habit is hard to break. If your child is used to a pacifier, try phasing the pacifiers out after six months.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Sucking a pacifier while sleeping may lower your baby's risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Neither are perfect: Pacifiers can increase the risk of ear infections, but thumb-sucking can add germs to your baby's mouth.
  • Thumbs are lower maintenance, because babies know how to find them in the dark. Some babies cry in the middle of the night when the pacifier falls out.
  • As long as your child gives up her habit before her permanent teeth come in, her smile should be fine.
  • Try to keep the pacifier in the crib and limit its use to nap and night time.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Your roly-poly little one may be about to master a new skill: rolling over. Many babies lying on their stomachs will roll onto their backs for the first time this month. Some roll over slightly later, and some flip from back to stomach first – both are perfectly normal.

Here's what else to expect from your little mover and shaker:

  • Once they roll in one direction, babies quickly learn to roll in both directions.
  • When your baby kicks her legs, "swims" with her arms, or rocks back and forth during tummy time, she's preparing herself to crawl.
  • Your baby can use her hands to bring objects to her mouth. She might even grab an ankle and taste her own toes!

Month 5, Week 2 Tips

  • Never place a pacifier on a cord or string around your baby's neck. That's a choking hazard.
  • If your baby uses a pacifier and has had several ear infections, phase it out to prevent additional ear problems.
  • When your baby begins eating solid food, he's more likely to get a diaper rash. Help prevent this by changing his diaper often.
  • Help your baby avoid scratches by cutting his nails weekly. If he resists, wait until he's asleep to trim those tiny fingernails and toenails.
  • To save money, accept friends' hand-me-down baby clothes, and tell people what items you need when they want to give a baby gift.
  • Test out the new-parent social life by dining in family-friendly restaurants, having baby playdates with friends, or trying dinner-and-a-movie night at home.
  • Your baby will be mobile soon! For safety's sake, drop the crib mattress to the lowest level. Child proof your home: have baby locks on all cabinets, remove dangling cords and plug outlets, and make sure you lock up all cleaning products.

WebMD Medical Reference

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow