What’s the Best Pacifier for Breastfed Babies?
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You've decided to give your baby a pacifier, but you're also trying to breastfeed naturally. You need the best pacifier for breastfed babies.
Obviously, you're concerned. You've heard conflicting stories about whether pacifiers are good to use for breastfed babies, and the positives and negatives of pacifiers in general.
There's no need to worry. Now, doctors lean towards pacifiers being good for all babies, because of the relaxation, pain relief and lower chance of sudden infant death syndrome that comes with pacifier use. On top of that, any downsides can be dealt with, as long as you're smart and do the right things. And obviously you want to do the right things, otherwise you wouldn't be here, trying to learn more.
We'll get into the reviews later, but first, lets learn about pacifiers. How they are good for your baby, when and how to use them, and any possible issues that can arise.
Best Pacifier for Breastfed Babies: Quick Recommendation
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In case you don't have much time, these are our top 3 recommendations:
What Are the Advantages of Using a Pacifier?
Pacifiers can help calm your baby
It's all in the name. They are supposed to, well, pacify babies. Newborns and young children have an inbuilt sucking reflex, to the point that some babies even suck their thumbs when they're still in the womb.
Playing to this and giving your baby a pacifier to suck on triggers this response and can really make a difference to calming them down.
Pacifiers can also be useful to help your baby fall asleep, or in times where your baby is likely to be stressed like doctors visits, with blood tests, shots and that sort of thing.
Baby pacifiers are amazing if you have to fly
Whilst there aren't standard regulations about how old your baby has to be able to be to be able to fly, it's a certainty that your baby can't do anything that we would normally do like yawn to pop their ears as the pressure in the plane changes. Sucking on a pacifier can really help with this problem.
Stopping the thumb sucking reflex
All babies are born with a non-nutritive suckling reflex, which is why children instinctively know how to suckle as soon as they're born. It's this same reflex that leads to kids sucking on their thumbs.
Replacing a thumb with a pacifier can stop this problem in it's tracks, and then phasing the pacifier out prevents it from ever becoming an issue.
Reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
SIDS is something that plays on the mind of every new mother, because of the sheer suddenness and fact that there's no real reason for it to happen. Thankfully, studies show that pacifier use actually reduces the chance of sudden infant death syndrome from occurring. It's recommended that you should use pacifiers from around the age of one month because of this lower associated risk.
Are There Any Downsides of Pacifier Use?
Using one in the first few weeks after birth has been linked to decreased levels of breastfeeding, and less time spent breastfeeding in total.
It's recommended to introduce your baby to a pacifier only after 4 to 6 weeks have passed, to stop these problems from occurring.
Long term pacifier use can cause dental problems
If your baby continues to use pacifiers after their second or third birthday, it can lead to longer term dental problems, with the most often issue being dental malocclusion, or literally teeth not fitting together right.
It's the same as kids who regularly suck their thumbs. The front teeth tend to stick out and not meet correctly, because as your baby gets older and their jaw and teeth mature, they can sometimes grow to accommodate the space that the pacifier regularly rests in.
Otitis media, or ear infections
Pacifiers can sometimes cause inner ear infections, with a higher risk between the ages of 6 months and 2 years.
It's recommended that you start to wean your baby off after around six months, because any longer can increase the risk of these inner ear infections. Obviously, this is something you want to avoid, so as you approach this milestone, try and start reducing the length of time that your baby uses their pacifier.
Dependence and light sleeping
Some babies can get used to having it all the time, especially when it comes time to sleep. It's shown that babies who sleep with them actually sleep lighter than normal, and it could cause more night awakenings, when pacifiers slip out of tired mouths.
When Should Your Baby Start Using a Pacifier?
It's generally recommended to start at around the 4 week stage. Any earlier can interfere with breastfeeding, whether with your babies routine or your own milk supply and stimulation.
When Should We Think About Stopping Pacifier Use?
It's recommended to start weaning your baby off of their pacifier for breastfed babies at around 2 years old, if they haven't already abandoned it themselves.
Later than this is fine, but it's something to watch, as the longer you leave it, the more dependent your child might become and the harder it will be to get them out of the habit.
Tips and Tricks
- Remember that the pacifier is there to help calm and relax your baby. If they want it, give it to them, and if they don't, then don't overdo it. Your baby knows what they want!
- Remember to wait at least 4 weeks before you start introducing your baby to a pacifier, so it doesn't interfere with your normal breastfeeding routine.
- Try and give your baby a pacifier for breastfed babies when they've been fed. If your baby is hungry then giving them a substitute will only confuse and irritate them.
- Keep them clean. Pretty much all pacifiers are dishwasher safe, and if you want to be doubly sure you can just immerse them into boiling water to kill any germs that might have gathered on it.
- Don't tie your pacifier to anything or put string or ribbons on it. These are a massive choking hazard, and can cause real problems.
- If possible, have a spare pacifier! It's more than likely that your baby's pacifier will end up on the floor at some point, and having a replacement on hand is incredibly useful.
- Don't dip your pacifier in sugar or honey. This can cause problems with your babies tooth development.
How to Get a Breastfed Baby to Take a Pacifier
First, choose the best pacifier for breastfed babies. Look for a one piece because they're far easier to keep clean, as well as being far less of a choking hazard. I'd also recommend one with a wide base, with holes cut out of it to allow your child to breathe easily whilst using it. You can also buy pacifiers that are shaped to resemble a breast nipple, in case you're worried about possible breastfeeding effects.
When you first begin to introduce your baby to a pacifier, wait until they're in a good mood, and they've just been fed. When you start, gently touch the pacifier to your baby's cheek, which should cause her to turn to the pacifier and start suckling.
If your baby doesn't seem to want it the first time, then try dipping it into breast milk or formula. If your baby still won't take it, then don't worry. Some babies will never want one, and that's fine.
Top Pacifiers for Breastfed Newborns
The pacifier for breastfed babies recommended and used by medical professionals across the country. When your baby needs a pacifier in hospital, this is what is used. That by itself should calm any concerns you have, because if it's good enough for doctors, it's good enough for you, right?
The clean and sleek one piece design makes these very safe, and they're made of hospital grade silicone, and completely free of anything potentially harmful. They're also easy to sterilise, and hard wearing enough that you can use and reuse them, again and again. Plus, it feels natural, so they're less likely to get rejected.
When it gets to teething time, these are actually tough enough to take a chewing and come out of the other side. Plus the nipple is firm and solid, which helps, because these pacifiers are actually designed to adapt around your babies developing mouth to cause less tooth problems in the long run.
Finally, they're reasonably priced, and you get two in a pack, so you're always going to have a spare! If you're looking for the best pacifier for breastfed newborns, there's not much better than this!
The soft toys that come with these are adorable!
I have to say, I love the soft, huggable toys that come with these! Even the snake, and I hate snakes! Small, light and with a squeaky squeezy stomach, it's a toy that will capture the attention of any baby, whether they just want to hug it or they're old enough to play as well!
The pacifier for breastfed babies that comes with these is pretty good. Made from hospital quality materials and designed really well to sit with your babies growing mouth and teeth, plus a shaped shield that won't poke noses or leave lines in little faces. It's actually quite similar to our top choice.
Even if you don't like it though, the toys are compatible with pretty much every major pacifier on the market, so just switch it out with something else. Because these are so cute, they also make great gifts, and I know I'd definitely appreciate receiving one of these for my baby!
Tommee Tippee make great baby products, and their pacifiers come highly recommended. I can see why, because there's so much to love about these, and they've got some nice features that I'd like to see more often.
Obviously, it's made of high quality stuff, and it's simple to clean and safe. The nipple design is more like a bottle than a breast nipple, so it's great if you're also using a bottle, or trying to transition into bottle feeding.
One huge bonus for this pacifier, and the reason I think it's great for babies who spit out their pacifier a lot, is the fact that you can put this in upside down and it's still comfortable for your little one. That also means that they're going to be able to pull it out, put it back in and play around without any mishaps.
Plus, they're super cute, with a huge range of designs, so any mom can find exactly what she wants. A strong choice for the best pacifier for breastfed babies.
Trusted by hospitals
Another simple design that comes in bold, attractive colors, First Years pacifiers are strong and tough, and trusted by doctors all over the country. They're actually very similar to our top choice.
The simple design is light and easy to move, with a clear cut nose area that leaves loads of space to breathe. One piece construction makes them tough enough to withstand teething and really simple to sterilise, and they're compatible with pretty much every type of pacifier attacher out there.
The only real issue is the rubbery material that these are made of acts like a magnet for hair and dust, so make sure it's clean before you use it! Apart from that minor issue, these pacifiers are great.
Our second soft toy pacifier for breastfed babies in the list, Wubbanub comes with a Soothie grade pacifier, so you know it's great quality.
The teddie is cute, cuddly and well made, so it's not going to fall apart and leave your little kiddies with no new best friend. It can also be used with other types of pacifier, just in case your little one is fussy with what they want.
But the pacifier that comes with this is good anyway. It's actually the same as our top choice. So if you want our most highly recommended pacifier, with an added soft toy, then you need to buy this!
Specially designed for 0-3 month olds
Soft, safe and comfortable, these baby pacifiers are perfectly designed for even the tiniest and softest mouths.
Made of flexible silicone, with a heart shape that fits nicely around little noses, it's also really open, which makes it easy for your baby to breathe, even with this in their mouths.
The nipple itself is also smartly made, with a special cavity in the tip that's designed to encourage your baby's mouth and tongue to move, even with this in their mouths. This protects your baby's mouth as it grows and keeps everything healthy whilst it develops.
Because it's so soft, this isn't designed for teething babies, but for the key first few months, there's not much better than this.
Natursutten BPA Free Natural Rubber Pacifier
Completely natural design
Made in Europe by the same family that have been making pacifiers for the last 3 generations, Natursutten make quality baby products that are safe and 100% natural and healthy.
This is made entirely from natural harvested rubber, with a one piece design that's deceptively tough and solid, even though it's really flexible. The soft rubber is also nice because it moulds around your babies face, so it doesn't leave marks around their mouth or on their cheeks.
Because it's one piece and all rubber, it's simple to keep clean, and will last a really long time. The one real criticism I had is that the shield is quite large, so for smaller babies it can be quite unwieldy for the first few weeks. But apart from that, this is a beautifully made and completely natural pacifier for breastfed babies that's safe and perfect for your baby.
Glow in the dark makes it easy to check in on baby at night
The last in our list, but no means the least, this baby pacifier has all the same smart design choices that mean it's comfortable and safe for baby's growth and development.
Things like a heart shaped, textured shield that's soft on skin and easy to breathe with. An orthodontic nipple that works around the normal growth of your toddlers teeth and jaw, and material choices that mirror normal skin feel, which makes it less likely that your baby will refuse to take this.
But the thing that sets it apart is the glow in the dark button on the back of it. At first, this doesn't sound too impressive, but when you're poking your head into the nursery to check that everything's alright, it makes it so much simpler to see if the pacifier for breastfed babies is still in place and find out how they're lying. Plus, when baby drops it, they're going to be able to find it that much easier!
Bringing It Together
Do you have any tips on getting a new baby to take a pacifier? Or maybe you and your child have a brand that you'd always recommend as the best pacifier for breastfed babies. We'd love to hear all about it, so share your stories in the comments below.