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15 Best Pacifiers for Breastfed Newborns

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baby asking for a pacifier

A pacifier is a device designed for infants and young children to suck on for comfort and soothing. It mimics the soothing effect babies get from sucking, whether during breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. In this article, we will first introduce the essentials you want to know about pacifiers and then recommend the 15 best pacifiers for breastfed newborns.

What a Pacifier Is:

  1. Soothing Device: It's primarily used to comfort and calm a fussy or crying baby.

  2. Safe for Babies: When used appropriately and kept clean, pacifiers are safe for babies. They are made from materials free from harmful chemicals and designed to be durable and resistant to breaking apart.

  3. Temporary Tool: It's meant to be a temporary solution and is generally recommended to be discontinued when a child is 2-4 years old to prevent dental or speech issues.

  4. Available in Different Sizes: Pacifiers come in various sizes suitable for different age groups, from newborns to toddlers.

  5. Designed for Oral Use: It's specifically designed to be placed in a baby's mouth. The shield prevents the baby from taking the pacifier too far into their mouth, and the handle allows for easy removal.

What a Pacifier Is Not:

  1. Not a Nipple Replacement: While it might resemble a nipple, it's not a replacement for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. It doesn't provide nutrition.

  2. Not a Long-term Solution: Prolonged use can lead to dental problems, dependency, and potential speech issues.

  3. Not a Toy: While some pacifiers might come in fun shapes or colors, they are not toys and should be used under supervision.

  4. Not Universal: Not all babies like or need pacifiers. Some might prefer other soothing methods, like thumb-sucking or cuddling.

  5. Not a Cure-all: While pacifiers can be effective in soothing a fussy baby, they aren't a solution for all problems. If a baby is hungry, sick, or has another specific need, a pacifier won't address the root cause.

  6. Not to be Shared: Pacifiers should not be shared between babies to prevent the spread of germs.

When considering the use of a pacifier, it's essential for parents and caregivers to be informed about its proper use, potential benefits, and drawbacks. It's also crucial to consult with pediatricians or child health experts for guidance.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Also known as soothers or dummies, pacifiers are primarily used for infants and young children for several reasons:

  1. Soothing and Comfort: The primary reason pacifiers are used is to soothe and comfort a fussy baby. Sucking is a natural reflex for babies, and it can calm them down, especially during times of distress.

  2. Sleep Aid: Some babies sleep better with a pacifier. It can help them settle down faster and can provide a source of comfort during naps or nighttime.

  3. Pain Relief: Sucking on a pacifier can help alleviate the pain during events like teething or minor procedures like getting a shot.

  4. Reduced SIDS Risk: Some studies suggest that using a pacifier during sleep can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However, the exact reason for this correlation is not entirely clear.

  5. Distraction: Pacifiers can serve as a distraction during situations that might be stressful for the baby, such as doctor's visits.

  6. Short-term Use in Medical Settings: In hospitals, pacifiers might be given to premature babies to help strengthen their sucking reflex. They can also be used during certain medical tests or procedures to help soothe the baby.

  7. Weaning from Thumb-sucking: For some children, it's easier to break the habit of using a pacifier than thumb-sucking. If a child is a persistent thumb-sucker, introducing a pacifier might be a strategy to eventually make weaning easier.

However, it's essential to note that while pacifiers can be beneficial, they are not without potential drawbacks:

  • Dental Issues: Prolonged pacifier use can lead to dental problems, especially if the child continues to use a pacifier past the toddler years.

  • Dependency: Some children can become very attached to their pacifiers, making it challenging to wean them off.

  • Ear Infections: Some studies suggest a correlation between pacifier use and an increased risk of middle ear infections.

  • Interference with Breastfeeding: A pacifier might interfere with breastfeeding if introduced too early. Establishing a good breastfeeding routine before introducing a pacifier is usually recommended.

Parents and caregivers should weigh the pros and cons and consult with pediatricians or child health experts when deciding whether to use a pacifier and for how long.

When Do You Need A Pacifier?

The decision to use a pacifier and when to introduce it varies based on individual preferences and circumstances. However, there are specific times and situations where pacifiers might be considered beneficial:

  1. Newborn Stage: Some parents introduce a pacifier within the first few weeks after birth to help soothe a fussy baby. However, if breastfeeding, it's generally recommended to wait until breastfeeding is well-established (usually around 3-4 weeks) to avoid nipple confusion.

  2. Sleep Time: Pacifiers can be introduced during naptime or bedtime to help soothe a baby to sleep. Some studies suggest that using a pacifier during sleep might reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

  3. Teething: When babies start teething, they often have a strong urge to suck or chew on things. A pacifier can provide relief from teething discomfort.

  4. Travel: A pacifier can be especially helpful during air travel to help equalize pressure in a baby's ears during takeoff and landing.

  5. Medical Procedures: In hospitals or during doctor's visits, a pacifier can be used to distract or comfort a baby during vaccinations or other minor procedures.

  6. Transition Times: A pacifier might provide additional comfort if a baby is going through a significant change, such as a move or the introduction of a new sibling.

  7. Weaning from Breastfeeding: Some parents use a pacifier as a transitional tool when weaning a baby from breastfeeding.

  8. To Deter Thumb-sucking: If a baby has a strong urge to suck their thumb, a pacifier can be a temporary alternative, as it might be easier to wean a child off a pacifier than thumb-sucking later on.

While these are common times when pacifiers might be considered, it's essential to remember that not all babies will want or need a pacifier. Some babies might never take to a pacifier, while others rely heavily on it for comfort. Parents and caregivers should be attentive to the baby's cues and consult with pediatricians or child health experts when deciding about pacifier use.

What to Look for When Shopping for the Best Pacifiers for Your Breastfed Newborn

When shopping for pacifiers for breastfed newborns, it's essential to consider several factors to ensure the pacifier complements breastfeeding and meets the baby's needs. Here's what to look for:

Design & Comfort

  • Shape and Design

    • Orthodontic (Flatter) or Natural Shape (Rounded): Some pacifiers are designed to be rounded to mimic the shape of the mother's nipple during breastfeeding, which can help reduce nipple confusion. Others are orthodontic or flatter in shape, designed to support the natural development of a baby's palate, teeth, and gums. The orthodontic design ensures that the pacifier sits comfortably in the baby's mouth and exerts minimal pressure on developing teeth and jaw structures. This can be especially beneficial as the baby grows and begins teething.

    • One-Piece vs. Multiple Pieces: One-piece pacifiers are often recommended for newborns because they don't have small parts that could become choking hazards. On the other hand, multiple-piece pacifiers appeal to older babies by offering more ergonomic designs. They often have easy-gripping features like handles or rings and are often available in a wider variety of styles, colors, and themes.

  • Size

    • Ensure the pacifier is appropriate for the baby's age. Using a too big or small pacifier can be uncomfortable or even a choking hazard.

  • Shield Shape and Size

    • A curved shield can be more comfortable for the baby and fit better against their face. Ensure the shield has holes for ventilation and is big enough to prevent swallowing.

Material & Safety

  • Material

    • Silicone: Durable, easy to clean, and doesn't retain odors.

    • Natural Rubber Latex: Softer and more flexible than silicone but can degrade over time and may cause allergic reactions in some babies. Should be replaced more frequently.

  • BPA-Free

    • Ensure the pacifier is free from harmful chemicals like BPA.

  • Safety Standards

    • Ensure the pacifier meets safety standards and doesn't have any recalls.

Functionality & Convenience

  • Ventilation Holes

    • These allow air to circulate, which can help prevent moisture buildup and reduce the risk of skin irritation around the baby's mouth.

  • Handle or Ring

    • A handle or ring allows parents to hold the pacifier easily and attach it to a clip if needed.

  • Ease of Cleaning

    • Consider pacifiers that are dishwasher-safe or come with their sterilizing case.

  • Glow-in-the-Dark Features

    • Useful for nighttime use, making it easier to find the pacifier in the dark.

Breastfeeding Compatibility

  • Avoidance of Nipple Confusion

    • For breastfed babies, it's essential to choose a pacifier that reduces the risk of nipple confusion. This can help ensure the baby continues to latch correctly during breastfeeding.

Durability & Availability

  • Durability

    • Check if the pacifier can withstand frequent sterilization and daily use.

  • Ease of Replacement

    • Babies often lose pacifiers, so consider brands that are readily available and easy to replace.

Feedback & Reputation

  • Reviews and Recommendations:

    • Read reviews from other parents and consider recommendations from pediatricians or lactation consultants.

  • Price and Brand Reputation:

    • While price is a consideration, choosing a reputable brand known for quality and safety is also essential.

Remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Finding the perfect pacifier for a breastfed newborn might require some trial and error. Always monitor the baby while using a pacifier, especially during sleep, and regularly inspect pacifiers for signs of wear or damage.

15 Best Pacifiers for Breastfed Newborns

Best Overall Pacifiers

1. MAM Start Newborn Pacifiers

  • Unique Feature: Orthodontic nipple design.

  • Benefits: Promotes proper oral development.

  • Cons: Some users received the wrong color or different items than pictured.

  • Additional: Air holes for better ventilation, reducing skin irritation.

2. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: One-piece construction. Used by medical professionals to calm newborns in hospitals nationwide.

  • Benefits: Fewer parts mean less chance for bacteria to hide, making it safer.

  • Cons: Being one-piece, it can be harder for older babies to grip. Some babies might outgrow the shape quickly.

  • Additional: Made of hospital-grade silicone.

3. Nanobebe Pacifiers

  • Unique Feature: Nipple designed to mimic breastfeeding.

  • Benefits: Ideal for breastfed babies to avoid nipple confusion.

  • Cons: Some users mentioned that the nipple size is small, and a few reported that their babies bit holes in the pacifiers.

Best Lightweight Pacifiers

4. Evenflo Feeding Balance Cylindrical Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Cylindrical shape.

  • Benefits: Small and lightweight; reduces fatigue and pressure on a baby's developing palate.

  • Cons: The clear color makes it very hard to find when dropped. The unique cylindrical shape might not be preferred by all babies.

5. Tommee Tippee Ultra-Light Silicone Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Symmetrical silicone nipple and with no ‘wrong’ side up.

  • Benefits: Ultra lightweight; many parents say this is the only pacifier their newborns would keep in.

  • Cons: Some parents have raised concerns about the durability of these pacifiers, noting that their babies can easily chew or bite off parts, which poses a potential choking hazard.

Best for Nighttime

6. MAM Night Orthodontic Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Glow-in-the-dark.

  • Benefits: Easy to find during nighttime wake-ups.

  • Cons: The glow-in-the-dark feature might fade over time with frequent washings.

7. Tommee Tippee Night Time Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Glow-in-the-dark design.

  • Benefits: Simplifies nighttime soothing.

  • Cons: Some babies might find the shape or material less comforting compared to other brands.

Best Natural Pacifiers

8. Natursutten Natural Rubber Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Made from 100% natural rubber.

  • Benefits: Free from harmful chemicals, offering a natural soothing experience.

  • Cons: Natural rubber can degrade faster than silicone, requiring more frequent replacements.

9. HEVEA Coloured Natural Rubber Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Biodegradable.

  • Benefits: Environmentally friendly and free from artificial colors.

  • Cons: The color might fade over time, and some parents might be concerned about the dye used.

Best for Sensitive Skin

10. Dr. Brown's HappyPaci 100% Silicone Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Contoured shield design. Mimicks Dr. Brown’s bottle nipple.

  • Benefits: Maximizes comfort and reduces the chance of skin irritation.

  • Cons: The design might not be as orthodontically accurate as other brands. Some parents complain these are too big for their newborns.

11. Chicco PhysioForma Light Day & Night Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Designed to position the tongue forward.

  • Benefits: Helps maintain an open airway, promoting healthy oral development.

  • Cons: Some parents say they appear to be cheaply made, small, and less durable, and waters get in the nipple.

Best Orthodontic Pacifiers

12. NUK Comfy Orthodontic Pacifiers

  • Unique Feature: Unique nipple shape.

  • Benefits: Fits baby's palate and gums, promoting better oral development.

  • Cons: The unique shape might not be preferred by all babies, leading to rejection. Parents complain about it being sticky and collecting hair and lint.

13. Chicco PhysioForma Orthodontic Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Clinically developed and tested.

  • Benefits: Ensures safety and effectiveness in promoting healthy oral development.

  • Cons: Some babies may find it too bulky. Attracts hair and lint easily.

Most Stylish

14. Itzy Ritzy Sweetie Soother Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Modern designs on the handle.

  • Benefits: Stylish while also being functional with a durable, one-piece construction.

  • Cons: Some parents say it may be bit too bulky for newborns. Some complain nipple is thin and easy to bite off for babies with teeth.

15. Ryan & Rose Cutie PAT Pacifier

  • Unique Feature: Dual functionality of pacifier and teether.

  • Benefits: Acts as both a pacifier and teething toy, offering more value.

  • Cons: The dual functionality might make it bulkier, and some babies might prefer a simpler design.

Each pacifier has its unique features and benefits, catering to different needs and preferences. The choice would depend on the features or benefits most important to the parent and baby.

Bottom Line

Pacifiers have been a staple in baby care for generations, offering comfort and solace to countless infants. Their design and functionality have evolved over the years, with brands striving to cater to the diverse needs of babies and their caregivers. While the benefits of pacifiers, such as soothing, sleep aid, and pain relief, are undeniable, it's imperative for parents to be discerning in their selection. Factors like design, material, safety, and breastfeeding compatibility should be top considerations. Moreover, it's essential to remember that while pacifiers can be a valuable tool, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some babies may never take to them, while others might find them indispensable. As with all parenting decisions, it's crucial to be informed, consult with professionals, and ultimately choose what feels right for your child.


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