Sugar tit is a folk name for a baby pacifier, or dummy, that was once commonly made and used in North America and Britain. It was made by placing a spoonful of sugar, or honey, in a small patch of clean cloth, then gathering the cloth around the sugar and twisting it to form a bulb. The bulb was then secured by twine or a rubber band. The baby's saliva would slowly dissolve the sugar in the bulb.

In use the exposed outfolded fabric could give the appearance of a flower in the baby's mouth. David Ransel quotes a Russian study by Dr. N. E. Kushev while discussing a similar home-made cloth-and-food pacifier called a soska (со́ска); there, the term "flower", as used colloquially by mothers, refers to a bloom of mold in the child's mouth caused by decay of the contents. [1]

As early as 1802 a German physician, Christian Struve, described the sugar tit as "one of the most revolting customs".[2]


  1. ^ David Ransel "Village Mothers: three generations of change in Russia and Tataria", 28-29
  2. ^ Gale, Catharine R.; Martyn, Christopher N. (1995). "Dummies and the Health of Hertfordshire Infants, 1911–1930". Social History of Medicine. 8 (2): 231–255. doi:10.1093/shm/8.2.231. PMID 11639807.