Is there anything better for calming your breastfed baby than pacifiers?
Well, probably not. If you get the right one, your baby will absolutely love it!
Pacifiers will get rid of all the fussiness in an instant, as their name already suggests, they “pacify” fussy babies. Sucking gives babies a soothing effect, helps them fall asleep and eases any discomfort they may feel.
Also, a very important benefit of pacifiers is that they reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, although they are not sure why.
But, if it really is like that, who cares why?
Pacifiers are marketed as a new mom sanity saver. And, that is not the least bit exaggerated, trust me.
Our Best Pacifiers for Breastfed Babies Recommendations
Still, some moms find that their children don’t want pacifiers even close to them, especially if they are breastfed.
You may have already given up on them, but the key is in finding the one that suits your little one the best. If you do, he will never stop loving it!
If you are a mom, the best thing you can do for the baby as well as for yourself is to learn everything there is to learn about pacifiers and choose the right one.
It will save you from many unslept nights and be the solution to many of your problems. Sounds unbelievable, right?
But, you better believe it and read through this guide, to get everything in place.
First off, after introducing the best pacifiers there are, you still have much to learn.
You ought to know how to use them when to correctly use them and all of their benefits and precautions you should take.
So, let’s not wait anymore and get right into it.
Listed below are the topics we will introduce in this guide. Check them out!
- 1 Our Best Pacifiers for Breastfed Babies Recommendations
- 2 Best Pacifiers Out There
- 3 Philips Avent Soothie
- 4 The First Years GumDrop Newborn Pacifier
- 5 WubbaNub Infant Pacifier
- 6 The Ladies Man Mustachifier
- 7 NUK Newborn 100% Silicone Orthodontic Pacifier
- 8 When to and when not to give my baby a pacifier?
- 9 Are pacifiers good for my baby?
- 10 Managing your baby’s pacifier use
- 11 FAQ
Best Pacifiers Out There
What pacifier to get for your baby?
There are so many of them, I know. That is why we are here, to show you which pacifier characteristics matter and which one to choose.
You want to consider the quality, construction, and durability of pacifiers before buying it. All of these things surely matter, but sometimes, no matter what quality you get, your baby may just spit the pacifier out immediately.
That is why, among all the other things, the baby’s preference matters the most. You may have to try out several pacifiers, before finding the right one. Here are the best ones:
Philips Avent Soothie
Philips Avent Soothie is a pacifier that is commonly used in hospitals for newborn babies.
That is already an indication that they are good. It is designed to fit a newborn’s mouth perfectly and to aid healthy oral development.
It is orthodontic, thus respecting the natural development of baby’s teeth and gums.
Produced from highly durable silicone, it is very soft and it never gets sticky or smelly.
It is latex and BPA (an industrial chemical used to make certain plastics) free and thus considered very safe to use. Can be washed in a dishwasher and easily sterilized, by boiling or streaming.
Recommended by many parents, which guarantee its quality and say that it stays good even after longer use.
The soft and flexible nipple allow kids to hold it in their mouth easier, so there is a high chance that your little one will fall in love with this pacifier!
The First Years GumDrop Newborn Pacifier
The First Years GumDrop Newborn Pacifier was specially designed for newborns from 0 – 3 months of age.
It is trusted by hospitals worldwide, thus you can be sure of its quality.
Because of the innovative one-piece design, it fits perfectly in the baby’s mouth, leaving his or her nose free, so that they are able to breathe normally.
This way the baby will keep the pacifier in without getting the least bit fussy.
The pacifier is made out of BPA free, Latex free and Phthalate free silicone, which makes it very safe to use. It is connectable with most pacifier attachments and also pretty lightweight.
It is recommended by parents worldwide, who say that their babies accepted the pacifier easily and that it helped them calm down or fall asleep.
But, some parents have also reported that their babies can’t hold the pacifier in their mouth, as it is harder than other models.
WubbaNub Infant Pacifier
The WubbaNub Infant Pacifier comes attached with a cute animal plush toy. Isn’t that just adorable?
Same as the First Years GumDrop pacifier, it is a one-piece construction, thus preventing any germs between cracks. It is designed to be used without attaching it to any cords or clips.
But who needs that, when your baby just won’t stop cuddling it? The adorable plush toy isn’t there just be look attractive, but it also stimulates the baby’s sense of touch and functions as a positioning support.
The pacifier is distributed in hospitals nationwide and thus considered to be very safe. It is made of Soothie™ medical grade, latex-free silicone.
The pacifier is intended to be used by newborns less than six months of age or babies without teeth (not suggested for the stage of teething).
The Ladies Man Mustachifier
The Ladies Man Mustachifier pacifier will make your little one look classy and at the same time very funny. It may just be the cutest pacifier there is with its mustache attachment.
It is 100% BPA free, so you don’t have to worry about any safety violence.
It can be used by infants and toddlers of any age because its nipple is small enough to be used even by babies aged 0 – 6 months.
The mustache pacifier is soft, flexible teether material and it cannot be detached from the pacifier. It features orthodontic nipple design.
The pacifier shield is made of firm plastic and features ventilation holes for better air circulation.
Many parents hardly recommend this pacifier, as it is both cute and practical.
But, there are some that complain about the small nipple size, making it good only for younger babies.
NUK Newborn 100% Silicone Orthodontic Pacifier
The NUK Newborn Orthodontic Pacifier is specifically designed to aid a healthy oral development and correct teeth alignment with its asymmetrical shape.
The scoop nipple cavity allows maximum tongue movement, which exercises the baby’s tongue, palate, and jaw. It also helps your baby avoid thumb-sucking.
The pacifier is a 100% silicone one-piece construction, thus allowing for easy sterilization and cleaning. Its heart-shaped shield fits perfectly under a baby’s nose allowing it to breathe normally.
The 3 vent holes allow good air circulation, thus preventing skin irritation and infections.
Moms love this design as it is very easy to clean, with no places where water can get trapped in.
They also say that the asymmetrical heart shape of the shield fits the baby’s face perfectly and looks more comfortable than the normal round shaped one.
When to and when not to give my baby a pacifier?
The first thing you should be aware of is that pacifiers are not a substitute for feeding or nurturing. You should first feed, burp, cuddle, rock and play with your fussy baby, and if that doesn’t help, only then introduce a pacifier.
Keep in mind that what the baby needs the most are your care and love.
If you have decided to have a try with pacifiers, you ought to be careful when giving them to your kid. Sometimes they could interfere with breastfeeding and that is why timing is very important.
You should wait at least 3-4 weeks before even considering to give your baby any kind of artificial nipple, including a baby bottle and especially pacifiers.
Although, it is even better to wait a little longer until mom’s milk supply is well established.
That happens after around 6-8 weeks. Sucking on a pacifier and sucking on a breast is not the same thing, so the baby should first get used to sucking on a nipple before using a pacifier.
Still, every baby is different, so you can’t mindlessly follow a general guideline. If the baby is nursing well, gaining weight and has a routine feeding schedule you can introduce pacifiers even earlier. But, if it is the opposite, you may consider waiting a bit longer.
Sometimes, you should not give pacifiers to your little one at any time.
One reason for that is if your baby is having problems gaining weight, that is if it is having difficulty nursing (or the mom has difficulty maintaining her milk supply).
Another reason is repeated ear infections. Anyways, in some cases, even when having these problems pacifiers can help. So, the best thing you could do is to consult a doctor.
Pacifiers should not be overused and their extended usage is generally not recommended. It can lead to various problems that are not worth it.
In general, pacifiers should be taken away from the kid at around 2 years of age. Most kids won’t have trouble stopping the usage on their own, but if your little one is being super fussy about it, you can do some things to help him or her:
- If the child is still young or an infant, they can be aided in weaning off the pacifier by rocking, cuddling, singing or massaging.
- If the child is older, you can get them some toys or involve them in some extra activities to keep their minds off the pacifier. You may also consider giving them some things they may like, for example, blankets and specific toys.
Are pacifiers good for my baby?
Some babies can easily be soothed with cuddling and rocking and are happy to suck only during feeding time. Other seem to never get enough and want to suckle even when they are not hungry.
Pacifiers are made for the other kind of babies.
But, naturally, the question arises, are pacifiers good for your baby? What are their advantages? Can they cause any harm in any kind of way?
To answer those questions, let’s first start off with the benefits. Surely, many parents mostly care about the soothing effect a pacifier can provide for their children.
But, that’s not all there is to them. As already mentioned before, there is a strong link between pacifiers and the risk reduction of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Those two reasons may already convince you to immediately get one. But, let’s still list all the other good things regarding them.
Pacifiers may offer temporary distraction, for example during and after shots, blood tests, and other procedures. They also help babies fall asleep and don’t seem to have any impact on the sleep length or nighttime awakenings.
In the end, a pacifier habit is easier to get rid of than a thumb-sucking habit. After all, you can throw the pacifier away!
And now, let’s get into the disadvantages.
After all, pacifiers can’t be perfect, right? As already mentioned, early pacifier use may interfere with breastfeeding, but that is only a disadvantage if you make it one, that is if you act irresponsibly and endanger your baby.
Pacifiers may increase the risk of middle ear infections in babies. This risk is generally lower in young babies, so you only have to worry after the child’s half birthday. If ear infections occur often after that period, you may consider getting rid of the pacifier.
Another issue is that prolonged pacifier use may cause dental problems (like misaligned teeth), but again this issue can be prevented with correct use.
In the end, babies may become dependent on pacifiers and thus limit their use may become an issue.
Managing your baby’s pacifier use
There are many things you should be aware of when using pacifiers in order to make sure that your baby is perfectly safe.
Although it seems easy enough, just give the pacifier to the kid and everything will be fine, there are some precautions you have to keep in mind.
Here we will list the most important ones.
First off, never force your baby to take pacifiers. Let them guide you, not the other way around. If he or she immediately takes the pacifier away, fine.
That is good for the both of you. But, if the baby resists and just doesn’t want to take it, don’t force it.
Leave it be, you can try again sometime later. After all, the baby knows the best when they want a pacifier and when not.
Always keep the pacifier clean.
This is very important, as they collect germs and bacteria very rapidly. Wash and sterilize it regularly. This can be done by rinsing or even boiling it in hot water, or if it is dishwasher safe you can just throw it in the dishwasher.
It isn’t that hard, but very important if you want to keep your baby safe.
Also, if any cracks or other signs of wear appear, don’t hesitate to throw the pacifier away and get a new one.
As already mentioned before, you have to wait until the breastfeeding routine is well-established to prevent any issues due to pacifier use. It is generally best to wait about 4 – 6 weeks.
Don’t use the pacifier as a substitute for food, only give them to the baby when they are not hungry. How would you feel if you were hungry and expecting food, but you only get some artificial, uneatable stuff?
Try giving your baby a pacifier at naptime or bedtime to help them fall asleep easier. It can help a fussy baby calm down, but you should first try cuddling, rocking or singing to them.
Keep in mind, if the pacifier falls out of the baby’s mouth while sleeping, don’t try to put it back in.
Never try to clean a pacifier by putting it in your mouth.
The American Dental Association says that adult saliva is harmful to babies, as it contains some bacteria that can cause cavities in the baby’s teeth as soon as they begin to grow.
Also, it is not a good idea to dip the pacifier in sugar or juice because of the same reason.
You may think that you are doing your baby a favor by making the pacifier taste good, but you aren’t, trust me.
And the last thing never ties a pacifier around a crib or the baby’s neck or anything at all.
This makes a great strangulation hazard and is definitely not worth it. It is not a big deal if it falls on the floor or gets dirty, just sterilizes it.
The only safe method of attaching the pacifier to something is by attaching it to the baby’s clothes by a clip made especially for this purpose.
How to stop pacifier use in toddlers?
This can be a real struggle. Your baby got “addicted” to the pacifier and you just can’t seem to take it away. There are three basic methods for accomplishing this. You should try them out one by one until you finally succeed:
- Take it away early – to break the binky habit, it is best to take the pacifier away as soon as possible. Doctors recommend this as the most effective strategy.
It is easier when the baby is still too young to express his or her displeasure in words. That makes the transition simpler and less dramatic for the both of you.
- Go cold turkey – sometimes you just have to play the cold parent.
After all, you are the one in control and you should decide when is the time to get rid of the pacifier. If the child is older and can understand you, you should first talk to them and explain what is coming, then go cold turkey.
Don’t back down, eventually, the both of you will forget about the pacifier, although in the meantime things could get rough.
You can also try gradually limiting the pacifier use, for example only to use it during nighttime.
- Make it taste bad – if nothing else works, this method may just be the solution you are looking for.
You may have heard of the idea of stopping nail-biters by painting their nails with something that tastes awful. The same idea can be used with pacifiers.
Just make sure you consult with a doctor first, in order to use a safe substance that won’t harm your kid in any way.
Another interesting way to stop your baby from using pacifiers is to tell them stories and fairy tales about stopping soother use.
Can pacifiers cause nipple confusion?
This is a hard question to answer. There are mixed results in studies that have been conducted. There are some considered risk factors for speech and language issues as for example:
- Ear infections – prolonged pacifier use can cause repeated middle ear infections. This can increase the risk of hearing loss and even cause temporary conductive hearing loss.
- Dental problems – prolonged pacifier use can cause misaligned or mispositioned jaw/teeth. These differences in dental structures can lead to distortions during the articulation of speech sounds.
But as you may have noticed yourself, both issues appear when pacifiers are used longer than they are intended. So, with good care and awareness, all of these problems can be avoided.
How often should the pacifier be replaced?
You should always keep pacifiers clean and sterilized and also throw them away at any sign of damage, especially if the baby is teething.
But, even if the pacifier is still good looking after a long use period, you should still change it.
It is generally recommended to get the pacifier replaced every two months for hygienic purposes.