A pacifier (American English), dummy (United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries and Ireland), binky or soother (Canadian English), and teether (Philippine English) is a , , or given to an to suck upon. In its standard appearance it has a , mouth shield, and handle. The mouth shield and/or the handle is large enough to avoid the danger of the child on it or it.
Pacifiers were cited for the first time in medical literature in 1473, being described by German physician in his book , retitled on later editions as ("A Guide on Young Children").
Pacifiers were a development of hard , but they were also a substitute for the softer , or which had been in use in 19th century America. A writer in 1873 described a "sugar-teat" made from "a small piece of old linen" with a "spoonful of rather sandy sugar in the center of it", "gathered ... up into a little ball" with a thread tied tightly around it. Rags with foodstuffs tied inside were also given to babies in many parts of Northern Europe and elsewhere. In some places a lump of meat or fat was tied in cloth, and sometimes the rag was moistened with brandy. German-speaking areas might use , cloth wrapped around sweetened bread or maybe poppy-seeds.
Pacifiers were settling into their modern form around 1900 when the first teat, shield and handle design was patented in the US as a "baby comforter" by pharmacist Christian W. Meinecke. Rubber had been used in flexible teethers sold as "elastic gum rings" for British babies in the mid-19th century, and also used for feeding-bottle teats. In 1902, advertised a "new style rubber teething ring, with one hard and one soft nipple". And in 1909 someone calling herself "Auntie Pacifier" wrote to the to warn of the "menace to health" (she meant dental health) of "the persistent, and, among poorer classes, the universal sucking of a rubber nipple sold as a 'pacifier'." In England too, dummies were seen as something the "poorer classes" would use, and associated with poor hygiene. In 1914 a doctor complained about "the dummy teat": "If it falls on the floor it is rubbed momentarily on the mother's blouse or apron, lipped by the mother and replaced in the baby's mouth."
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