ACPA Family Services

December 2013


A Good Question: Is there a good pacifier for babies with clefts?

A Good Question is a series of posts inspired by common questions from patients and families.

Although there are no specialty pacifiers for babies affected by cleft lip and palate, a bit of education and a lot of improvisation may help parents satisfy baby’s intense need to suck.

Successful sucking relies on the creation of a vacuum, an impossible accomplishment for a baby with a cleft.  Have you ever tried to use a drinking straw that didn’t work? Only to discover that it had a hole in its side? That’s very similar to what happens when a baby with a cleft tries to suck: She’s always pulling air through with her suck making it impossible for her to create the vacuum-suction needed to hold the pacifier in her mouth.

For the youngest babies who seem to enjoy a pacifier, many parents and caregivers simply settle in for the duration, gently supporting the pacifier in baby’s mouth so baby may enjoy the satisfaction of sucking without depending on true suction to keep the pacifier in place.  Many parents tell us they have the best luck with the softest, silicone-based pacifiers they can find. The pacifier’s size and shape are other considerations and may vary depending on size and location of the cleft in the palate.


For older infants, perhaps six-plus months, who may have the motor-skill development to support their own pacifier, something like the WubbaNub* might be a good alternative.

*CPF does not endorse or recommend any particular product or brand.

What pacifier advice do you have to share?


Today is Giving Tuesday!

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. In the same way that retail stores and customers take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, nonprofit organizations and the community come together for Giving Tuesday.

Giving_Tuesday_logo_with_buttonHow can I give?

This Giving Tuesday we at the Cleft Palate Foundation are raising funds to print our feeding video in Spanish. As many of you know – and have experienced firsthand – learning to feed a baby with a cleft can be TRICKY. If the parents are not informed about proper feeding techniques, the baby might not receive enough nutrition and therefore not gain essential weight needed to survive. Your gift today will support new parents all over the world in feeding their babies and SAVE lives! [Click here or on the button above to make your secure online gift.]

What if I would like to give to another one of CPF’s programs?

That would be wonderful! To give to another one of our programs – including teddy bears, research, college scholarships, etc. – you can use this secure donation page.

What are other ways I can help?

Check out these links for more ideas on how you can spread awareness and support CPF!

Thank you for joining us this Giving Tuesday in the celebration of sharing and giving back!