When babies are born, they instinctively start to suck and can often latch on to take milk from their mother’s breasts. That is when pacifiers come in to make things easy.
It is an instinct that is born from the ability to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural impulse and evolutionary feat. To be able to nourish your baby from your body is an act that mothers cherish and honor universally.
For many mothers, breastfeeding is very tiring and painful.
They cannot always breastfeed and soothe their child. That is where pacifiers are an amazing all-powerful baby tool. The sucking motion helps calm and soothe babies, even when they’re not breastfeeding.
Pacifiers are an incredible resource, they can quickly and softly soothe your crying or unhappy baby. But some mothers fear it can affect the breastfeeding relationship with their child, and it’s true.
Using the wrong type of pacifier may jeopardize that beautiful and important bond with your baby. That is why we’ve researched the seven best baby pacifiers that are crucial if you have a breastfeeding baby.
When can my baby start using pacifiers?
Though pacifiers are handed out at hospitals when babies are born, it is generally recommended to wait until they are at least 3-4 weeks old.
This is especially important if you are planning to breastfeed your child and applies to any type of artificial nipple, like baby bottles.
Things to consider
It is the mother’s decision whether or not to use a pacifier. However, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of introducing pacifiers to your child.
1. Type of pacifier
When choosing a baby pacifier, they should all generally be free of latex, PBA, and Phthalates.
This applies to breastfed and bottle-fed babies as well, as they are the safest options. If you choose a safe product, you lower any risks of pacifier use.
It is important to check the pacifiers for damage. This is especially important once your baby starts to teeth, as more damage can be made to the nipple. At any sign of damage, you should throw the pacifier away!
To sterilize, never put the pacifier in the dishwasher!
This can inundate the pacifier with unwanted germs and bacteria. You can sterilize pacifiers in boiling water for 5 minutes or by following the pacifiers’ instructions for sterilizing in a microwave.
You’ll see warning signs for this everywhere! Never tie the pacifier around or to the baby’s neck. This is a serious strangulation danger. If you’re worried about losing the pacifier, there are a few design options to avoid the loss that we will show you.
Advantages of Baby Pacifiers
Pacifiers can be an all-powerful magic tool for your baby. A crying baby can often easily be soothed the moment they start to suck on that pacifier.
This is because babies naturally want to suck — it is their way of finding comfort and food. Generally, breastfeeding is the easiest way to nourish and calm your child.
However, when mothers and parents cannot soothe their children by breastfeeding, pacifiers are a wonderful substitute.
Pacifiers also help prevent a child’s thumb-sucking habit. This habit is much harder to break than weaning off of pacifier use.
Thumb-sucking can have a much more profound effect on dental and jaw development than pacifiers and can become an expensive fix. Braces are expensive, pacifiers are not!
Lastly, the American Academy of Family Physicians has shown that sucking on a pacifier may help sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It’s suggested that this possible benefit outweighs any other risks.
Pacifiers have been known to cause some inner ear infections. However, this is generally associated with excessive use and sucking or improper care.
If you monitor your child’s pacifier use and sterilize regularly, the risk is greatly lowered.
Many mothers also fear about pacifier use affecting how the baby breastfeeds. Because the nipple of a pacifier is not the same as the nipple of a real breast, the baby can become used to the artificial nipple and forget how to suck from the mother’s nipple.
Overuse of pacifiers can also affect the baby’s mouth muscles used to latch, and the mother may find her nipples sorer and breastfeeding more painful. However, with proper pacifier choice, nipple design can help avoid such risks.
Also, it triggers milk production when babies suck on their mother’s breasts. Mothers who depend on pacifiers too frequently can inhibit their milk production and lead to early weaning.
7 Best Pacifiers For Breastfed Babies
If you are planning to breastfeed, then it is important to choose the proper pacifiers. Pacifiers are artificial nipples that can affect how babies develop their jaws, muscles, teeth, and gums.
Pacifiers suitable for breastfeeding babies should have symmetrical, soft nipples that will not interfere with natural development. These soft nipples also help ensure that their mouths and muscles don’t change to prevent proper breastfeeding.
Considering that in mind, all of the pacifiers we researched and have included in our review are latex, BPA, and Phthalate free. They are all also appropriate nipple designs for breastfeeding babies.
1. WubbaNub Animal Pacifier Collection
These are popular mostly for their adorable style and are suitable for newborns and babies up to 6 months.
The pacifier comes with various accompanying plush animals.
They offer a level of entertainment and comfort for your baby with which your plain-old pacifier just cannot compete.
The weight and design of this playful pacifier are specifically intended to stay easily close to the baby.
The pacifier and the animal make it easy for the baby to grab, maneuver, and hold on to as a suck for comfort and self-ease. Plus, it makes it a lot harder to lose! The animal is easily detachable and easy to wash.
The pacifier itself is a Soothie pacifier made from medical-grade silicone. The specific pacifier design is one piece, so germs can’t get caught in crevices or hidden layers.
2. MAM Air Orthodontic Pacifier
MAM’s line of Air Orthodontic Pacifiers is designed for the best. All of MAM’s Pacifier nipples are made of the same silicone nipple designed to feel extra silky and smooth — much like the skin of a real nipple.
The design of the nipple is symmetrical, like all great pacifiers for breastfed babies. MAM, however, worked closely with orthodontists to ensure no hindrance to the baby’s jaw development.
The shield is minimal and allows the skin around the mouth to breathe well and prevents the build-up of saliva. Surprisingly, many pacifier designs don’t consider this, so it’s nice that MAM integrated a solution into the design.
MAM provides two age options for their line of Air pacifiers: 0 to 6 months and 6 months and older.
The design of the pacifiers is really beautiful and straightforward. The colors and designs are cute but not too bright and overwhelming. The Mini-Air and regular Air pacifiers come in various colors based on age and gender.
3. Philips Avent Translucent Pacifier
The emphasis of the Philip Avent Orthodontic Pacifiers is all on proper jaw development.
The nipple is symmetrical but also slightly softer, so it collapses as the baby sucks on the nipple.
This helps to ensure it does not interfere with the baby’s natural teeth and gum development.
This pacifier is suitable for babies between 0 to 6 months, so if you’re baby is teething, this style is not recommended.
The design also helps to ensure that the mom can easily transition from pacifier to breastfeeding and vice-versa.
The design is simple and translucent, with the option of various colors for the center of the pacifier. The simple design has proven to be very popular with moms and parents.
4. Philips AVENT Soothie Bear Shape Pacifier
These are Soothie, medical-grade silicone pacifiers designed for newborns up until the age of 3 months.
The nipple is the same as the Soothie pacifiers hospitals hand out to newborns and are specifically sized for their delicate mouths.
You know you can trust this Soothie pacifier because it is the same type of nipple given to babies in the NICU.
You can ignore the bear shape if you prefer the more standard design.
Both, however, have the uniform, one-piece construction, which ensures cleanliness and makes it easy to sterilize.
The bears come in two different color themes, one for boys and one for girls.
5. MAM Newborn Start Orthodontic Pacifier
The same MAM ultra silky nipple is best for newborns, with a slightly different design. In their first days, weeks, and months, babies are extra sensitive to textures on their skin.
This pacifier has an ultralight design with a curved shield to ensure it sits comfortably around the mouth and cheeks.
Dentists and Orthodontists often recommended this pacifier. MAM developed this infant pacifier in cooperation with the International Children Medical Research Society.
Though it is designed for infants, you can safely use this pacifier as your baby grows. The nipple itself is suitable for an infant.
It comes with a handy little reusable storage case, making it perfect for avoiding losing yet another pacifier.
You can even use the case in the microwave to sterilize the pacifier.
6. MAM Glow in the Dark Night Pacifier
Last MAM pacifier, we swear. Like all the other MAM pacifiers, this Glow in the Dark pacifier has the same silky soft silicone nipple that sits comfortably in the baby’s mouth.
This style is about the night when your baby is crying because he or she doesn’t have their pacifier.
The Glow in the Dark style makes it easy to find quickly when the room is dark, and you don’t want to turn on the lights.
The shield is curved and has many little air holes to let the skin breathe and avoid saliva collection. It even comes with the same handy case you can use to sterilize the pacifier.
Luckily, the MAM Glow in the Dark Pacifier comes for 0 to 6 months and 6 months and older.
7. The Gentleman Pacifier
This last pacifier, suitable for 0 to 6 months, is the perfect novelty for a night on the town with your baby.
The nipple is orthodontically safe but not as advanced as the other pacifiers we reviewed so far.
Though the design is a bit heavier than normal pacifiers, it’s so great to have a fun but safe pacifier.
So even though I wouldn’t recommend this pacifier for constant use, it’s nice to have a fun pacifier option for the crowds without jeopardizing your baby’s breastfeeding latch.
It is BPA-free and has a silicon teat. Plus, the design is what makes me want it more for children.
The way that babies breastfeed and use pacifiers varies from child to child. Most parents, however, find that a good pacifier can greatly help ease the stresses of parenthood without compromising their breastfeeding relationship.
If you shop well, monitor pacifier use, and take proper care of the pacifiers, the true magic of pacifier use can make a baby happy and you, a happy parent.
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.