One Mom’s Favorite Pacifiers To Soothe Her Baby
One of any mother’s primal goals is for her baby to be kept happy and content – especially when the baby needs to soothed, is not feeling well, or is teething. One of the best ways to get your baby in a peaceful mood is to use a pacifier. But there are so many different types and brands, it’s hard to know which one will do the job. We’ve rounded up the best baby pacifiers to help you find the right binky for your bundle of joy.
Are Pacifiers Good for Babies?
Pacifiers are one of the most-used baby products, and most doctors recommend their use. They help to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and ease discomfort during plane flights. But pacifier use has its drawbacks. Prolonged use can potentially cause teeth to become misaligned. If you’re trying to get your baby to stay asleep through the night, a pacifier might wake baby up when it falls out of their mouths. But before you start using a pacifier, fully familiarize yourself with all their pros and cons.
When to Use a Pacifier
Pacifier use can be started with newborns, but make sure you inform yourself regarding how to properly use and clean pacifiers. Try offering a pacifier when a baby is fussy, to see if it will calm them down.
Babies are born with a natural sucking reflex to soothe themselves, and sometimes you’re not sure if your baby is hungry or just needs to suckle; a pacifier can be used to comfort them.
However, keep in mind that you don’t want to overuse the binky. Give baby breaks as needed, so they don’t form an unhealthy dependency on the pacifier.
If you’re not sure if the baby will take a pacifier, then try other ways to soothe them. This might include swaddling them, rocking them, or singing to them. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding on whether or not baby should have an occasional binky break. Ultimately, you know your baby best.
Will Pacifiers Cause Nipple Confusion?
Nipple confusion is when a baby becomes confused between the breast and a baby pacifier. Baby may not take in as much milk during breastfeeding, because they’d rather suck on a pacifier.
With all three of my children, I used a pacifier from the first few days after childbirth and had no issues with nipple confusion. You may, however, want to consider waiting until your baby is a few weeks old and you’ve established a nursing routine before introducing a baby pacifier. This will help avoid nipple confusion.
Models and Designs of Pacifier
Pacifiers come in multiple- and one-piece models. The most common is the multiple-piece pacifier, where the nipple, guard and handle are each created individually and then combined to make the pacifier. The advantage of a multiple-piece pacifier is you can swap parts between pacifiers.
The one-piece pacifiers are constructed of a single molded piece of latex, plastic or silicone (or sometimes any combination of the three). The advantage to one-piece pacifiers is they cannot come apart during use, which minimizes the risk of baby choking on a pacifier part.
Pacifiers now come in a wide variety of funny novelty designs, including ones with stuffed animals, vampire teeth, lips and mustaches. There are even glow-in-the-dark pacifiers and pacifiers with attachments that allow babies to feed on foods like fruit while they suck.
How Do You Know if a Pacifier is Safe?
While the FDA does not regulate pacifiers, pacifiers must comply with standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also set guidelines for pacifier safety, with these notes being the most important to remember:
- The shield between the nipple and the ring should be at least 1-1⁄2 inches across, so your baby can’t fit the entire pacifier into his or her mouth. The shield should be made of firm plastic with ventilation holes.
- Avoid any pacifier that attaches to your baby’s neck or hands or ties to their crib, since these can harm your baby.
What Type Of Nipple Material Should I Choose?
The best type of pacifier material for your baby is going to depend on their sensitivity level.
Latex baby pacifiers tend to be more durable and less likely to tear.
Silicone baby pacifiers are often softer, which may make them easier for some babies to use. Some claim that silicone offers the most benefits but you need to be very careful because not all silicone pacifier brands are equally good. Silicone should contain no BPA, (a chemical found in plastics) and must also be safe for dishwashers, so that washing does not cause cracks in the pacifier.
Which pacifier Nipple Size and shape to Look For
Size: The size of the nipple mostly depends on baby’s age. As baby gets bigger and older, the nipple also needs to get larger.
Shape: Pacifier nipples vary in shape. The two most common shapes are rounded (often called “cherry”) and orthodontic, but the nipples also come in cylindrical, flat, butterfly and other shapes. Many babies will express a preference for a particular shape.
Babies who breastfeed will probably need a rounded or cylindrical nipple, to promote tongue placement that mimics breastfeeding.
Once your baby starts getting teeth (usually at the six-month mark) an orthodontic pacifier might be the best bet.
What is an Orthodontic Pacifier?
Orthodontic baby pacifiers are designed to help your baby’s teeth develop properly. The orthodontic nipple is angled. This way babies can use the side of the tongue and back of their bottom lip for correct sucking. With a normal nipple, a baby generally just uses the tip or front of the mouth. An orthodontic pacifier may help prevent dental issues such as a crossbite, overbites, underbites, open bites and other malocclusions in children born with crowded baby teeth.
My Favorite Baby Pacifiers
As there are many pacifiers on the market today, you’ll want to look closely to find the best one for your baby. Here are ten of my favorite pacifiers.
1. Mam Perfect
The orthodontic Mam Perfect is my personal favorite. The nipple is shaped to the baby’s mouth, so baby won’t take in air while sucking and perfectly mimics mom’s nipple. This baby pacifier’s shield has a unique design, which prevents the baby from covering their nose with the tip of the nipple. This allows baby to breathe easier.
2. Philips Avent Soothie
The Philips Avent Soothie is designed to imitate the shape of mom’s breasts. It has an air-cushioned rounded nipple made of medical-grade silicone (the same material as in baby bottles) for sensitive skin. It also features a flared base, so the nipple does not slip out of baby’s mouth. The pacifier’s shaped shield protects baby’s teeth from biting down too hard on the nipple. The Soothie also comes in orthodontic models.
3. Ryan & Rose Cutie PAT
The Cutie PAT pacifiers are made with a medical grade silicone that is free of latex. The Cutie comes in a variety of nipple shapes, including rounded, flat and orthodontic, and feature a number of different pastel colors. The pacifiers also double as a teether once a baby’s teeth come in. Simply turn the pacifier around and baby can gnaw on the backside handle.
4. Dr. Brown’s Happypaci One-Piece Silicone Pacifier
The Dr. Brown’s Happypaci is made of lightweight silicone, and features a rounded nipple. The pacifier’s contoured butterfly-shaped shield curves away from the face, giving baby more comfort. The Happypaci’s extra ventilation holes allow plenty of room to breathe.
5. NUK Newborn Orthodontic Pacifiers
NUK Newborn Orthodontic Pacifiers are made of 100% silicone, and feature a base that gently contours to the baby’s face. The pacifier’s heart-shaped shield fits under the baby’s nose to permit freer breathing. The uniquely shaped asymmetrical nipple provides a natural fit to the baby’s palate. This allows space for natural sucking movement, lessens pressure on teeth and jaws, and helps prevent teeth misalignment.
6. Nanobebe Flexy Pacifier
The Nanobebe pacifier has a slight curve of the base that perfectly conforms to your baby’s face. Rounding out underneath the nose and over the chin, it won’t fall out. The small holes provide air circulation to reduce irritation from saliva. The nipple is soft and rounded, imitating a breast’s nipple. This pacifier is particularly good for newborns.
7. Natursutten Orthodontic Pacifier
The Natursutten Pacifier gently touches baby’s nose to provide an experience similar to breastfeeding for baby. It is also designed to be free of crevices or joints where bacteria can grow. Made of soft rubber, this pacifier won’t leave any suction marks on baby’s face, and it’s fully sustainable and biodegradable.
8. Chicco PhysioForma Soft Silicone Pacifier
The Chicco pacifier contains small ridges on the nipple for sensory stimulation to baby’s mouth and tongue. There is a lateral curve on the nipple which evenly distributes pressure against the palate. The pacifier is made of silicone, and features a small handle that makes it easy to hold. The holes provide ventilation and air flow to reduce probability of irritation.
9. Tommee Tippee Ultra-Light Silicone Pacifier
The Tommee Tippee Ultra-Light Silicone Soother has a lightweight design featuring a 100% medical-grade soft, silicone, orthodontic nipple which provides natural development of your baby’s teeth and mouth. The nipple is smooth and flexible, fitting in their mouth naturally. It has a curved shield with space between baby’s nose and chin. The shield also contains large air holes for proper air flow to reduce any irritation the pacifier could make on the skin.
10. Itzy Ritzy Sweetie Soother Pacifier
The Itzy Ritzy Sweetie Soother Pacifier is a one-piece pacifier made of durable, latex-free silicone. The handle has a cute design and these pacifiers come in colors, so you can match them to your baby’s outfits. The handle is made of the same silicone as the pacifier tip, so it can also be gnawed or chewed on for teething purposes.
We hope this has provided you some great tips on how to choose the best pacifier for your infant. As you shop for baby registry essentials – from diaper caddies to baby carriers – you’ll want to get a few different kinds of pacifiers to find out what works best. If your baby is not feeling well or having teething problems, give them an extra cuddle, and be sure their binkies are nearby!