There isn’t necessarily the best pacifier for any one child because all children are different. You’ll see a lot of other blogs promote specific pacifiers, and they are getting a commission.
Here, I want to show you what to look for in a high-quality pacifier to help you make the best choice for your little one.
Choosing the right pacifier is no easy task. There are lots of options on the market, and you may not want to try all of them.
If you are breastfeeding, you might have heard that there are concerns around giving breastfed babies pacifiers. This concern is an extra consideration to keep in mind.
For now, take a look at this article to find the information you need about pacifiers for breastfed babies.
Should You Give a Breastfed Baby a Pacifier?
As mentioned before, how you choose to raise your children is truly up to you. If you decide to give your breastfed or bottle-fed baby a pacifier, that is your choice.
There’s no right or wrong answer here because it depends on your baby.
I suggest keeping in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding pacifiers in breastfed babies until breastfeeding is established at 3-4 weeks old.
Several factors go into this too. Whether you give a breastfed baby a pacifier can depend on how often you give it, the baby’s temperament, and more.
There are pros and cons to every parenting choice you’re going to make. These are the pros and cons of giving a breastfed baby a pacifier.
As you look at these pros and cons, think about how they affect you and your baby. Some may be more important to you than others.
- Pacifiers promote relaxation and calm babies down. Babies get fussy and want to suck on something as a way to soothe themselves. The problem is that you are not always available to feed them, such as if you’re driving. The use of a pacifier may help your little one calm down and feel safe.
- Pacifiers reduce the risk of SIDS. You might consider giving your baby a pacifier only during nap time or bedtime.
- Pacifiers are not as challenging of a habit to break as thumb-sucking. Parents often worry about getting rid of their child’s pacifier. Getting rid of a pacifier is less challenging than getting your child to stop sucking their thumb. It’s much easier to limit pacifier use or take it away. However, your child always has access to their thumb.
- Pacifiers can cause issues with breastfeeding. If your baby is introduced to a pacifier too early, they may develop confusion between the pacifier and nipple. Latch issues may then develop.
- Pacifiers may have a link to ear infections. If your child uses a pacifier for too long, they may have a three times greater risk for developing an ear infection.
- Pacifiers can cause dental issues. Using pacifiers after the age of two will likely affect the shape of your child’s mouth and tooth alignment.
Which Pacifiers Work Best for Breastfed Babies?
Breastfed babies are not necessarily used to the feel of a silicone nipple like bottle-fed babies are. Bottle-fed babies have experience with bottle nipples and often take a pacifier easier than breastfed babies.
Below are some of the pacifiers to consider if you are breastfeeding your baby. The right pacifier for your baby might be on this list! Note that these are not in any particular order, as every baby is unique.
Nuk Newborn 100% Silicone Pacifier
This pacifier is excellent for newborn babies because it is designed specifically for the littlest ones. It promotes oral development and helps teeth align properly.
There is plenty of space around the baby’s nose to help limit irritation as well! The pacifier is made in one single piece and is easy to clean.
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Soother
This pacifier is made from BPA-free plastic and is an excellent option for orthodontic pacifiers. As its name suggests, the shape is similar to a nipple, making it easy for breastfed babies to use. It’s closer to the natural feel of a mother’s breast as well.
The Wubbanub pacifier is attached to a stuffed animal, making it an excellent choice for younger and older babies. They may find extra comfort with the stuffed animal, especially for those long car rides.
There are a variety of animals to select as well! This pacifier is latex-free, BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free.
MAM Night Pacifier
This pacifier is designed for breastfed babies. What parents love most about it is that it glows in the dark. It’s easy to find in the middle of the night when you’re awake with your little one. This pacifier also comes with a sterilizing case so you can keep it nice and clean.
Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier
When you leave the hospital, you will likely be sent home with a Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier. Because of its shape, there is little to no nipple confusion.
It’s made from medical-grade silicone and is a favorite among parents and babies. The shape also allows your baby’s teeth to develop correctly.
The design of the Nanobebe Pacifier is specific for breastfed babies. It helps your baby latch correctly and prevents nipple confusion.
Being made of one single piece of silicone and BPA- and phthalate-free material helps to keep your baby safe. The silicone is extra soft as well, which is a bonus.
Experiment with a Few Brands Before Throwing in the Towel
There are many pacifiers available, which can make this a challenging decision. If you’re at a loss for where to begin, start with the options listed above and then try others if needed.
You might need to experiment to find the right pacifier for your baby. Just remember, some babies don’t care for pacifiers, and that’s okay too.
How and When to Introduce a Breastfed Baby to a Pacifier
As mentioned in the pros and cons, there is an ideal time to offer your baby a pacifier. Try to introduce a pacifier once your milk has come in. At around four weeks old, your baby will likely be on a consistent feeding schedule. Four weeks is an excellent time to introduce a pacifier. At this point, your baby shouldn’t confuse the pacifier with a nipple.
To start, you should give the baby a pacifier when they aren’t hungry. Any time you offer your baby a pacifier, try to do it when you can tell they aren’t hungry. I would suggest offering your baby a pacifier after eating, at nap-time or bedtime, and when they are fussy.
Also, try to be patient with your little one. If your baby doesn’t want to take the pacifier, you can always try again later on. Don’t feel like you need to rush it.
You might also need to try a different type of pacifier. There are lots of pacifiers available, and your baby might take to one better than others. It can be expensive to try a lot of different pacifiers, so take a look at the list below to help you decide which ones might work best!
How to Clean a Pacifier
It’s essential to know how to clean a pacifier properly. Some pacifiers are dishwasher safe, which can save you a lot of time. If you would rather clean it yourself, simply wash it with soap and warm water. You can also sterilize the pacifier by boiling it for five minutes.
Because the pacifier goes in your baby’s mouth, you need to make sure it’s clean. Otherwise, they can be exposed to all kinds of germs and may end up sick.
Using a pacifier clip is an excellent way to keep a pacifier clean and off the ground. It’s less likely to fall on the floor if it’s attached to your baby’s clothing. Check out these adorable pacifier clips on Amazon!
How Many Pacifiers Does Your Baby Need?
At first, it’s best only to buy a few pacifiers to try out. Then, once you know which one your baby will use, you can purchase multiples of the same one.
How many you buy depends on how often your baby uses a pacifier. When your baby uses a pacifier while you run errands, you will likely need extras for when the pacifier ends up on the floor.
If your baby only uses a pacifier in their crib, you will only need a few. Keep in mind that pacifiers do get lost easily.
When Should You Wean a Baby from the Pacifier?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you wean a baby from their pacifier between six and twelve months. Doing so will help reduce their risk of developing ear infections and help with teeth development.
Weaning around six to twelve months will also help your little one learn to self-soothe over time. Try to wean gradually, so that it’s easier on you and your baby.
You can also talk to your child’s pediatrician for more information on pacifiers. They can offer further advice and recommendations to fit your child’s needs. Good luck!