Our baby expert likes the glow-in-the-dark design, which stops you from having to fumble around in the dark.
Glow-in-the-dark makes it easy to find at night. Maintains a light glow even when not fully charged. Orthodontic nipple design promotes healthy development of palate, gums, and teeth. BPA-free. Comes in a pack of 3. For ages 16 months and up.
Some babies don't like the nipple shape.
A great beginning choice with soft silicone that babies love; our baby expert uses this in the NICU.
Easy to sterilize by steaming or boiling. One-piece design protects baby from potential choking hazard. Made of durable silicone. BPA-free. Comes in several sizes to grow with your baby. Comes in a pack of 4. For ages 0-3 months.
Some babies reject this type due to the shape.
Unique shape conforms to baby's face, leaving the nose clear at all times and earning it our expert's praise.
Soft, durable silicone doesn't have detectable odors or tastes for those hard-to-please babies. Safety of a one-piece design. Open nose area lets baby breathe freely. BPA-free. Available in different colors. Comes in a pack of 2. For ages 0-3 months.
Tougher silicone than other newborn designs, which some babies reject.
These super-light models have been specially designed to stay put in a baby’s mouth and come with our expert's approval.
Made from soft and flexible medical-grade silicone that is stain- and odor-resistant. Features a symmetrical nipple design that allows for a correct tongue resting position and helps support the development of mouth, teeth, and gums.
Some reports of toddlers with teeth finding it easy to chew through the silicone.
An affordable pack of soft, BPA-free newborn pacifiers designed to mimic nipple shape; earns our expert's approval.
Pack of 3 pink pacifiers with a loop for attaching clips. Made of 100% silicone. Area with skin contact is butterfly-shaped and has ventilation holes. Dishwasher- and sterilizer-safe. For ages newborn through 5 months.
Nipple may be too large for some babies.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Pacifiers are lifesavers for new parents seeking a little peace and quiet. Pop a pacifier in the mouth of a crying baby and watch her soothe herself to sleep. Babies are born with a strong sucking reflex and sucking on a pacifier calms many fussy babies. Sucking actually releases a calming hormone that helps babies relax, fall asleep faster, and even feel less pain. For most parents, pacifiers are right up there with baby essentials like diapers.
Picking a pacifier for your baby is no simple task, however. You need to select an age-appropriate pacifier because a pacifier sized for a newborn won’t fit your six-month-old baby. There are one-piece and multiple-piece models, not to mention a few different types of materials to consider. There are also specialized models, like pacifiers that target teething babes, and popular orthodontic models that don’t interfere with teeth and jaw development.
Round-tip pacifiers are classic pacifiers that mimic the shape of a nipple. They are also called “cherry nipples.” The tip is ball-shaped and has no right way up.
Orthodontic pacifiers are designed to keep your baby’s top and bottom jaw in a position that doesn’t interfere with jaw development and growth. Some models have an angled nipple and only have one right way up. Other models are flattened at the bottom and round at the top and also only have one right way up.
Silicone is the most common material used for pacifier nipples. Silicone is a clear, firm material that’s easy to clean. It typically lasts longer than other nipple materials used for pacifiers.
Latex is softer and more flexible than silicone. It’s not as durable as silicone and babies with teeth may be able to chew through it, creating a choking hazard. Also, some babies are allergic to latex. Latex nipples may be yellow, orange, or a milky white.
Rubber is a plastic-free alternative that’s derived from a 100% natural material. Rubber nipples are softer than silicone and generally free of chemical softeners and other chemicals. Sourced from the rubber tree, these pacifiers are considered eco-friendly and biodegradable. Be aware that rubber contains latex.
One-piece pacifiers are constructed out of a single piece of material. Because they can’t break apart into component pieces, one-piece pacifiers reduce the risk of a choking hazard.
Multiple-piece pacifiers have component parts – typically a nipple, shield, and ring – that are manufactured separately and combined together in one unit. Be aware that these pacifiers are a choking risk if they break because of the multiple parts.
Pick a pacifier size appropriate to the age of your baby. Depending on the brand, pacifiers are available in these common sizes: newborn (0 to 6 months, 0 to 3 months, or 0 to 2 months), 3+ months, 6+ months, 12+ months, 16+ months, or 18+ months.
The majority of pacifiers, both one-piece and multiple-piece, have a shield or guard attached to the nipple to keep the pacifier in the baby’s mouth. Shields range widely in shape, design, and color. This is generally the most decorative part of the pacifier. Aesthetics aside, all shields should have ventilation holes so that your baby can safely breathe.
A ring handle is a closed loop attached to the pacifier’s shield that makes it easier to retrieve the pacifier when it pops out of your baby’s mouth. A button handle is circular and flat, located at the center of the shield, and is easier for your baby to hold.
Pacifiers with plush toy attachments make it easier for older babies to locate their pacifiers when they’ve fallen out of the mouth. Toy attachments also make it easier for parents to spot pacifiers when rifling through a diaper bag.
If possible, opt for pacifiers that don’t contain the chemical bisphenol A anywhere in the components (plastic shields are the most likely to contain this potentially harmful chemical). Some brands also manufacture their pacifiers without PVC and phthalates.
Some pacifiers are designed for teething babies or for introducing solids to your baby. Some models even combine both these functions in a two-in-one design.
Some pacifiers come with a carrying case to keep the nipple clean when not in use.
Glow-in-the-dark shields and handles make middle-of-the-night pacifier locating a whole lot easier.
Pacifiers are sold individually or in packs of two to four.
Expect to pay between $2.50 and $4.50 for a silicone or latex pacifier. These may have round-tip or orthodontic nipples.
Expect to pay between $7.50 and $12 for a natural rubber pacifier, with either a rounded or orthodontic tip. Specialty feeder pacifiers fall into this range as well.
The most expensive pacifiers feature toy attachments and range in price from $9 to $15.
A. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until breastfeeding has been established and is going well. It’s best to wait until your baby is three to four weeks old before introducing a pacifier so that the pacifier does not take the place of breastfeeding.
A. Unfortunately, this is possible. Some babies just don’t like pacifiers and may prefer their thumb instead. It’s always best to try a few different types before ruling out pacifiers altogether. If your baby just isn’t interested, don’t force it.
A. It’s important to thoroughly clean a pacifier before you introduce it to your baby and also periodically throughout its use. Until your baby is six months old, boil the pacifier or run it through the dishwasher (if the model is dishwasher-safe) to sanitize it while your baby’s immune system is still developing. After that, frequent washing with hot water and soap should do the trick.
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