Best Pacifiers For Breastfed Babies In 2018

If there’s anything that’s going to stop you from going crazy as a newborn’s mother and stop the entire world from seemingly crumbling around you because of everything your baby puts you through, it’s going to be a pacifier.

4 month old baby sleeping with pacifier after being breastfed

Seriously, without them we’d all go insane as parents. It’s the difference between a baby that goes on to cry forever, and makes you want to cry too because you just can’t take it anymore, and a baby that calms down right away.

This is especially true if you’re just starting to wean your baby off of breastfeeding, and they’re in that transitional phase where there’s a lot of change going on (and a lot of crying too).

Best Pacifiers For Breastfed Babies – A Quick Look At Our Top 5 Recommendations

For Babies Between 0-3 Months: Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier

For Babies Between 0-6 Months: WubbaNub Infant Pacifier

For Babies Between 6-18 Months: NUK 3 Piece Orthodontic Pacifiers

For Babies Between 18-36 Months: Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Night Pacifier

*Note: Upon clicking on any of the links in this section, you will be redirected to the respective product listings on Amazon.com where you can learn about the product’s price, customer rating & customer reviews.

Best Pacifiers For Breastfed Babies – A More Detailed Look Into Our Top 5 Recommendations

For Babies Between 0-3 Months: Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier

When it’s distributed among more than 2000 hospitals across the USA and given to mothers right after delivery, you know for a fact that Philips Avent have done something right with this pacifier to have earned this level of trust from the medical field.

Usage of this pacifier is best for babies that fall within the range of 0 (i.e newborns) to 3 months of age.

The Soothie pacifier has stood the test of time and has proven to be an effective choice for even the pickiest of babies who seemingly rejected any other pacifier they were given.

The only downside we could see to this one is that it’s a bit easy to fall out of a baby’s mouth – but then again, this is an issue you’re almost always going to run into with any 0-3 month old baby as they adjust and get used to everything they’re being exposed to, from nipple to paci.

Also, most babies seem to really like and be drawn to the vanilla scent these pacifiers have, even though you will come across the odd case of a baby hating vanilla to the extent that they spit the pacifier out and decide they just won’t have it.

For Babies Between 0-6 Months: WubbaNub Infant Pacifier

If it seems that your baby’s pacifier is always falling from their mouth and you endlessly have to pick it up, clean it and put in back in – only to have it fall out again, you’ll love this WabbaNub pacifier.

Because of its intelligent design, your baby will notice when the binky starts to fall out of their mouth, but will still have time to react to prevent that from happening.

This pacifier will still be within reach of your baby’s mouth, unlike other binkies that fall of in a split second.

Plus, the little bit of extra weight this unit has also helps to keep it in your baby’s mouth and prevent it from falling off excessively. Don’t worry, though, it’s not nearly heavy enough to put your baby at any safety risks whatsoever. It’s only heavy enough to ensure it stays in place more than many pacifiers on the market today ever will.

For Babies Between 6-18 Months: NUK 3 Piece Orthodontic Pacifiers 

This pack of 3 orthodontic pacifiers has each paci come in a different designs and color schemes (with all 3 designs being very cute, might we add). This means less chances of your picky baby (if you happen to be the lucky parent of one) making a fuss because they get bored of the same old, same old.

One downside to this pacifier you have to be aware of, though, is that some water (which is essentially your baby’s spit) will eventually get inside the nipple with time and frequent use. This won’t put your baby at any safety risks, but the pacifier will start making noise with each suck, and a white coat will form inside the silicon because of the dry water that’s been there for a long time. So, you may need to get new replacements more often than you would have liked to.

With that being said, many mothers report that giving the pacifier a nice little shake from time to time will get rid of most, if not all, the water that gets trapped inside. There’s enough space inside the pacifier for the water to usually make its way outside, and for you to properly sanitize.

For Babies Between 18-36 Months: Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Night Pacifier

These pacifiers do their job perfectly fine for babies between the 18 month and 36 month of age range, but just be aware of the problem with colors before you go ahead and place an order.

A significant number of mothers have reported that they ordered a unit (or few units) of certain colors, but received ones of different colors when their shipment arrived. Some ordered the blue version but received the purple version, others ordered the pink but received the green, etc ..

If that’s a big deal for you, then make extra sure that the seller is very clear on your color choices before they send the product your way. That way, whoever you’re buying it from gets it right the first time around.

If all of this is not a big deal for you, however, then you’re good to go with this pacifier for your 18-36 month old fella/gal.

What Criteria Should I Look For In These Pacifiers?

Proper Size: The first thing you should look for in any pacifier you get for your nursing baby is one that’s properly sized to meet their needs.

Since breastfeeding your baby starts from the moment they’re born and lasts up until they’re around 2 years of age, this means that there’s a lot of growth your baby is going to go through during this phase, and proper pacifier size will vary at different stages throughout.

So, take a look at the package details (or product listing details if you’re shopping online) and see what ages the manufacturer states that this pacifier is suitable for.

You don’t want to get your baby a pacifier that’s too big for their face nor one that’s too small for their face either, you’ll want one that fits in just right.

Nipple Similarity: The more similar a pacifier’s nipple is to the baby’s mother’s nipple, the better, and vice versa.

When the pacifier’s nipple feels very different to the baby from that of its mother, the baby gets confused, gets used to sucking on the pacifier nipple more because they spend more time doing it, and breastfeeding difficulties arise because of this confusion.

So, even though a pacifier is a nipple that’s only meant for the baby to suck on to get comfort, it should still be as similar to their mother’s nipple they withdraw breast milk from.

Easy To Wash: Pacifiers will always get dirty, with microbes and bacteria easily forming because of how they’re used, which is why they should regularly be washed clean.

Just think of all the places your baby’s pacifier falls onto and everything it comes in direct contact with, be that inside your house, or even worse off outside the house – germ city!

Ideally, any pacifier you get for your breastfeeding baby should be dishwasher friendly, which is why you should always pay attention to what material the pacifier is made of and whether the manufacturer states that it’s dishwasher compatible.

This is by far the easiest way to keep a baby’s pacifier clean on a regular basis.

You can also feel free to go the extra mile by sterilizing your baby’s pacifiers whenever you feel there’s a need to, by boiling water to a certain degree and doing it that way.

That’s up to you, but being able to easily wash them is the absolute minimum standard you should look for in any pacifier.

Safety Features: A baby this young cannot tell right from wrong and safe from dangerous, which is your responsibility as a parent.

Any pacifier should be designed to completely prevent a baby from sucking it in their mouth in its entirety, and very possibly choking on it as a result.

This is also why it’s extra important you choose a pacifier that’s just the right size for you baby’s age bracket, as they will be able to swallow and choke on a pacifier that’s way too small for their mouth no matter what built in safety features it has.

Allergies: Because different pacifier manufacturers use different materials when manufacturing their products, it’s always a good idea to make sure what the pacifier you’re getting is made from.

Some babies are allergic to certain materials that go into manufacturing pacifiers, so double check beforehand just in case.

Harmful Substances: Besides material your baby could be allergic to, you have to make extra sure no toxic substances were used in the making of any pacifier your baby will be putting in their mouth.

You would think this is standard practice among all pacifier manufacturing companies, but that’s unfortunately not the case.

For example, if you were to go out and collect a sample of 100 different pacifiers being sold on the market today, you’ll surprisingly find out that not all of them are BPA-free.

Durability: Ideally speaking, you’ll want your baby’s pacifiers to last you as long as possible before you’ll have to get replacements.

After all, it’s safe to say that all of us parents are trying our best to minimize our costs and expenditures, not ramp them up.

You’ll be best off looking for pacifiers made from silicone, as this material can handle your baby’s bites and constant falling on the floor for a pretty long time.

If you’re a hygiene freak like I am and always prefer to sterilize your baby’s pacifiers instead of just popping them in the dishwasher, then make sure that any pacifier you get is made from material that can withstand the very high temperatures that sterilization requires without melting.

Pacis made from silicone are also much more popular than ones made from latex because many babies tend to have an allergy to latex.

Texture: The texture most babies prefer with their pacifiers is one that’s soft.

When an artificial nipple is too hard, it’s just too difficult for your baby to get the oral stimulation they need from it, and it feels nothing like the real thing they’re used to when being breastfed.

So, when trying to keep everything as close to the real mother’s nipple as possible, opt for soft instead of stiff.

Orthodontic: If you can find a pacifier that meets all of the criteria mentioned in this list so far and is also orthodontic, that would be ideal.

During this young stage of their lives, it’s very important to make sure that a baby’s body parts are all developing properly and nothing is being held back.

When giving a baby your average day to day pacifier, one problem that comes to mind is impeded jaw development, since many (if not most) pacifiers on the market don’t take this critical development phase into consideration.

So, try to look for a pacifier that’s labeled as “orthodontic”, since these are designed to keep your baby’s jaws in proper position whenever the pacifier is in their mouth – helping with proper jaw development during this crucial phase in a baby’s life.

Why Should I Give My Breastfeeding Baby A Pacifier?

Satisfies An Urge: Babies like to suckle by nature, it’s an innate mechanism that soothes them and calms them down during times of stress, and this is exactly what pacifiers are designed to take advantage of.

Preventing Other Bad Habits: Because of this innate urge babies have, if you don’t satisfy this urge with something like a pacifier, your baby’s going to take matters into their own hands instead (literally) and satisfy this urge by sucking on their thumbs.

If you ever thought weaning your baby off a pacifier is hard, you haven’t tried stopping them from sucking their thumb! And trust me when I say this, you don’t want to try it either.

Keeps Them Occupied: If you’re following a consistent feeding schedule with your baby, a pacifier will do wonders in between these feeding sessions.

Your baby remains occupied, keeps calm and doesn’t cry as much, and sleeps much better in between their feeding sessions because of the ease a pacifier puts them at.

At What Age Should I Start Giving My Newborn A Pacifier?

Experts recommend that you do not start giving your newborn a pacifier to suck on immediately after birth. Newborn babies should be given pacifiers at the age of 4 weeks old as an absolute minimum.

Obviously, the longer you’re able to wait until you introduce your baby to pacifiers and the more they age, the better. But, trying to stay within the realms of reality here, stick to 4 weeks of age as the absolute minimum.

Before your baby is at least 4 weeks of age, the breastfeeding routine will not be properly established yet.

You certainly don’t want to give your baby a pacifier right after birth while still in the hospital room like some mothers do. These mothers have learned this the hard way after it was too late to correct the mistake, which hopefully won’t be the same with you if you’re learning about this early on.

If you start to give your newborn a pacifier before they’re at least 4 weeks of age, this will greatly increase the chances of breastfeeding difficulties, namely problems establishing a proper latch.

No matter how close to an actual mother’s nipple a pacifier is designed after, sucking on pacifiers will just never involve the exact same mechanism a baby uses to suck on a mother’s nipple during a breastfeeding session.

So, the more you expose an infant that’s not 4 weeks old yet to a pacifier, the more they get used to the mechanism needed to suck on that, and the more they’ll use this same mechanism so suck on their mother’s nipple during breastfeeding. What happens then? An inability to properly latch.

It’s been found that babies introduced to pacifiers at an appropriate age (more than 4 weeks old) have longer breastfeeding sessions than those introduced to pacifiers at an inappropriate age (less than 4 weeks old).

The latter group of babies experience shorter breastfeeding sessions and, as a result, don’t benefit as much from a nutritional standpoint.

This is also true not just for pacifiers, but anything that involves a manufactured nipple babies get exposed to. It’s also why experts recommend that you directly breastfeed your baby during this delicate stage of their life instead of feeding them from a bottle.

At What Age Should This Be Stopped?

Generally speaking, babies should not be using pacifiers after they become 2 years of age.

Continuing to give your baby a pacifier when they’re more than 2 years of age will put them at a great risk of developing dental problems as they grow up, which means more bills you will have to pay for from your own pocket- yikes!

The longer a baby continues to use a pacifier beyond the age of 2 years old, the more they are at risk of having tooth misalignment as they grow up and having palate underdevelopment.

If you do plan on still giving your 2+ year old baby a pacifier to use, you should keep them under close monitoring from their dentist so that as soon as any dental problems start to appear from the prolonged use of pacifiers, they can treat these problems right away and before they turn into anything more difficult to handle.

Some studies have also found a correlation between prolonged pacifier use and speech problems in babies, a problem which you’ll have to spend a significant amount of money on a speech therapist for later on in your child’s life.

With that being said, you have to know beforehand that in a lot of cases where parents begin to move their babies away from pacifiers, it’s often easier said than done.

With many kids it’s a very simple and straightforward transition that’s barely noticeable, but with many other kids it’s exactly the opposite of that.

You’d expect being able to just not give it to them anymore and everything else remaining the same, but this is not always the case.

At this point, your baby has gotten very used to their pacifiers, to the point that it’s become a habit to them that’s going to take a significant amount of time and consistency to break.

This means a lot of crying, tantrums, pleading and sad eyes that melt your heart and tempt you to give in just for once, but you can’t.

Every parent passes through this phase, and with the right amount of consistency, firmness and taking the baby’s attention away from the pacifier and onto something else, the habit will soon be broken.

An Important Note About Excessive Sucking

Excessive Sucking: During breastfeeding, some mothers notice that even after the baby has withdrawn all the milk they need from the mother’s breast during a feeding session, they continue to suck on the breast just for the sake of it and without drawing any further breast milk.

Other mothers who prefer to feed their baby through a bottle, be that formula milk or breast milk pumped in a bottle, often notice that even after their baby draws all the milk from their bottle and consumes it, they still suck on the bottle just for the sake of it.

Just them latching on to a nipple (be that an artificial one or the real one of their mother) gives babies a soothing and calming feeling, which is why they do it even when not drawing any milk anymore.

If you notice that your baby has excessive sucking tendencies like these two examples, then it might be a good idea to give them a pacifier.

Before you do that though, make sure that your baby is being properly fed and is gaining weight the way they should be, as these excessive sucking tendencies are sometimes a result of babies being under-fed.

When Should I Not Give My Baby A Pacifier?

Assuming your baby is above the age of 4 weeks old by now, the following list describes when you should still not give a 4+ week old breastfed baby pacifiers.

Low Weight: If your infant is having a hard time properly gaining weight the way they should be and are below average for their age, you should probably not introduce them to the world of pacifiers just yet.

This is especially true for babies being breastfed, because underweight breastfed babies are ones that aren’t properly breastfeeding anyways, so giving them pacifiers will only make their feeding technique even worse.

Insufficient Feeding: Stop giving your baby pacifiers if you notice their breastfeeding sessions are lasting significantly less than they used to, or the frequency of their feeding sessions has significantly gone down.

Get to the bottom of this problem and solve it before you resume giving your baby a pacifier.

Latching Problems: If your baby is unable to latch on to your breast the correct way and nurse properly.

Unnecessary Use: If there’s no real reason or benefit for your baby to be sucking on a pacifier at any given time, don’t give them one just for the sake of it.

There’s enough scientific data out there that shows health risks associated with excessive pacifier use in babies, most notable of which being a great increase in the risks of developing ear infections.

So, preserve the pacifier for when your baby needs it most, and don’t let them make a habit of having it in their mouth all day long.

Also, it’s been shown that excessive pacifier usage for prolonged periods of time at once leads to the slanting of a baby’s first teeth – yikes!

Ear Infections: As mentioned in the point above, studies have shown that there’s a correlation between the use of pacifiers in babies and the development of ear infections.

So, if your baby already has a past record of developing ear infections, it would be best if you talk to your doctor first to see whether it’s a good idea or not to give your baby a pacifier.

The risk of babies developing ear infections is highest during the 6 month to 2 years age mark, which is also the age bracket where babies make use of pacifiers the most, this issue is not to be taken for granted.

Covering For Something Else: Unfortunately, many parents choose to abuse pacifiers and use them for irresponsible purposes.

Sometimes, babies may cry because they want to be fed, they want their diaper changed or they just want a little bit of attention.

It’s perfectly normal for a parent to make use of a pacifier for a few minutes until they’re done with something important they already have going on, or if you’re in a public place where you can’t cater to your kid’s needs until you get some privacy.

We’ve all done this, as we can’t be everywhere taking care of everything all at once. What’s very unacceptable, though, is parents who are perfectly able to attend to their kid’s needs at the time but choose not to just because they don’t feel like doing it at the time.

They decide to make use of a pacifier just to buy them some time till they feel like catering to their child’s needs, which is nothing short of terrible and irresponsible parenting.

Same Pacifier – Multiple Babies: Having the same exact pacifier used by different babies is a mistake many parents out there are guilty of making, unfortunately.

Not only is this a terrible idea from a hygiene standpoint (germs, anyone?!), it can also easily lead to all the other babies you have getting sick if just one of them is.

So, keep your baby’s best interest in mind and absolutely never ever have them share pacifiers (or anything else that might be put in their mouths, for that matter).

Each and every baby of yours should have their own set of pacifiers that only they are allowed to use.

Be sure to properly label different pacifiers so you can differentiate which ones belong to which baby, or dedicate a specific color (or design) to each baby so you could keep track of things that way.

Getting Replacements – When It’s Time And What You Need To Know

When having your baby use pacifiers, you should be very well aware of when they’re no longer good (and safe) for baby to use, and when you should get new replacements.

Always keep an eye on the condition of your baby’s pacifiers, and ask yourself the following questions that will help you decide whether it’s time to get replacements or not.

  • Are any parts of the pacifier starting to fall off? This is your biggest cue to ditch the one you have and get baby a new one, as it’s no longer safe for them to be putting it in their mouth.
  • Is the pacifier’s nipple still in the same condition it was when you first bought it? If yes, then you’re good to go. If not, then you’ll have to throw it in the trash and get a new one.

These things happen, so don’t think that there’s something wrong with your baby or how they’re using their pacifier.

It’s just a normal result of frequent use and, in some cases, the baby doing more than just sucking on their pacifier, such as when they’re teething and begin to chew on their pacifiers for pain relief.

So, when it’s time to get a replacement pacifier for your baby, keep the following in mind.

Stick With What Works: If you’ve tried to give your baby a bunch of pacifiers over time that had different colors and were designed differently, and they clearly showed preference to one color, design and style over the others, then it doesn’t really make sense to change what works, does it?

It may not mean anything to you as a parent, but it’s obviously something your baby has shown preference to and grown a liking to, so you don’t want to mess with what works.

Many parents try to experiment with new pacifiers that are designed differently when buying new replacements, but their babies want nothing to do with these new units because they’ve grown used to the ones they used to have for such a long time.

So, when you see your baby has taken a liking to a specific pacifier, plan ahead in advance and buy replacements early on so that when the time comes, you already have an identical new spare to give them.

Buying five of the same pacifiers that your baby has shown they like and keeping them stored for possible future use is definitely a good idea.

After all, it’s not like these things are expensive.

On the contrary, they’re incredibly cheap when you look at the magic they do and all the effort they save you as a parent.

The last thing you’ll want happening is for the pacifier to break and you left with no replacement to give your little one, or having a different pacifier ready as a replacement, but one that your baby wants nothing to do with because they just don’t like it.

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