best pacifier for breastfed babies

Top 10 Pacifiers for Breastfed Babies (& Mistakes to Avoid)

When you’re a new parent, it can be hard to find the best pacifier for breastfed babies.

We all know that babies love their soothers and parents love having something they can use as a tool to help calm their fussy little one. The wrong pacifier can cause nipple confusion and lead to a difficult weaning process.

Here are some tips on how to choose the best pacifier for breastfed babies and what mistakes you should avoid when introducing a binky.

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Pacifiers Are Great For:

There are many types of pacifiers, but one thing that’s for sure is that they can be beneficial when used the right way.

Pacifiers can calm your fussy baby or help them to fall asleep.

They are also great for babies that are separated from their mothers for an extended period of time. Newborn babies need to suck and it is best if it is at the mom’s breast to tell your body it’s time to make breast milk for your baby. But if you need to calm your baby while you take a shower or your baby is in the NICU, pacifiers can be a life saver. Here are some benefits of using a pacifier.

  • When premature babies or new babies are in the NICU and are separated from their mothers and need comfort.
  • Babies learning to use a bottle from assisted tube feeding.
  • Helping you get a few hours of sleep for those rougher nights.
  • For babies with feeding sucking issues.
  • Soothing a baby during a painful procedure.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics says it reduces the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
  • Calming a baby in the car. A pacifier can be a great way to soothe them when you aren’t able to breastfeed while in the car.

Do All Babies Take a Pacifier?

Not all babies take a pacifier. Some babies are not interested in one at all. Others might only take a pacifier for a little while until they find something else to soothe them. Some babies love their pacifiers and will want it the second you pull the car seat out of the car or once they are brought home from the hospital.

Sometimes, if your baby is not really interested in taking a pacifier, the best option is to wait and let them explore it on their own. Introducing a pacifier too early can sometimes cause nipple confusion and make breastfeeding more difficult. It’s important to remember that every baby is different and will take to a binky at their own pace, if ever.

Is it Bad to Give a Baby a Pacifier While Breastfeeding?

It could be if the breastfeeding relationship hasn’t been established. In the early days of breastfeeding, you are both learning and it’s important for your baby to have the proper latch. Another thing is it can affect your milk supply if you are missing hunger cues from your baby when they are using a pacifier.

Here are a few things to avoid when introducing a pacifier.

Introducing a Pacifier Too Early Can Interfere With Breastfeeding

Introducing the pacifier too early can prevent you from seeing hunger cues from your baby which will prevent the stimulation needed to produce a sufficient amount of milk and can impact your milk supply in the long term.

It’s very important to establish breastfeeding with your baby first before relying on a pacifier to soothe your baby when crying.

There are special circumstances when to introduce the pacifier before breastfeeding is established for example having a premature baby or when your baby is in the NICU.

Pacifiers Can Affect Your Baby’s Latch

The shape and feel of a pacifier are very different from a breast. This can cause the baby to prefer one over the other. It is also easier to latch on to a pacifier without having to worry about the correct latch and that could also affect breastfeeding.

Nipple Confusion

If your baby is sucking on a pacifier too early, it can cause nipple confusion. This doesn’t mean that you will automatically have breastfeeding issues, but it can make things more difficult if introduced too soon.

Not all babies are affected the same way by nipple confusion. Some have no problem with learning to breastfeed and taking a pacifier at the same time, while others have a hard time.

Nipple confusion can cause latching issues because babies may not know how to properly latch on to a nipple as opposed to a binky which has a different shape and feel.

How Long Should I Wait to Introduce a Pacifier?

You really want to wait until breastfeeding is well established. Once you two feel comfortable with breastfeeding and your baby is gaining weight consistently, feel free to introduce a pacifier.

It has been recommended to introduce a pacifier (if desired) anywhere from 6 weeks up to 3 months of age.

You can always ask your pediatrician or lactation consultant for more specific advice, but it is safest to wait until 3 months when breastfeeding has been established.

If you want to introduce a pacifier before breastfeeding is established make sure there are no feeding issues like tongue/lip ties which can cause latching problems.

It’s important to remember that some babies aren’t interested in a pacifier at all while others love it. It’s up to you when you chose to introduce one, but here are some things to look for when buying the best pacifier for breastfed babies if you choose to do so.

What to Look for in a Pacifier

1. Look for Pacifiers That Mimic Mom

A pacifier should mimic the shape of the mom’s nipple. Look for a round rubber or silicon end that accommodates the baby’s nose without covering their entire nose with the shield. The shield should be wide enough to not interfere with breastfeeding but small enough to fit comfortably in your baby’s mouth. Also, the nipple itself shouldn’t be too hard or soft.

2. Look for Pacifiers that are BPA Free

Babies go through a lot of pacifiers. If you have the option to purchase a pack with several, it’s best to get ones that are BPA-free. If your baby becomes attached to just one pacifier then look at the materials and check to see if they contain BPA.

3. Look for Pacifiers that are Dishwasher Safe or Easily Sterilized

If you want to use the same pacifier over and over again it’s best to purchase ones that are dishwasher safe or can be sterilized easily in boiling water. If you plan on sharing with other babies make sure the design makes it easy to clean

4. Look for Pacifiers that have a Shield Design with a Small Hole in the Middle

Pacifiers with a small hole in the middle decrease the risk of nipple confusion and choking issues. Look for ones that also have a shield or guard around them which helps protect your baby’s skin from getting chaffed.

What Not To Do

1. Don’t Buy a Pacifier with Multiple Parts

You want to make sure the nipple doesn’t have multiple pieces. This can be a choking hazard if it happens to break apart.

2. Don’t Buy a Brand that is Harder to Clean or Sterilize

Some pacifiers are very difficult to clean and it can get moisture trapped which can cause mold. You will want to buy ones that are dishwasher safe or easy to sterilize.

3. Don’t Buy a Brand that is Too Big or Wide

It’s important that your baby fit comfortably in their mouth while it still provides protection for the baby’s nose and face.

4. Don’t Buy a Brand that is Too Small or Thin

Be sure to look at the nipple area when buying a pacifier. If it’s too small your baby may cause an improper latch or they might not have any interest in it. It’s also important to make sure it doesn’t interfere with their nose or face.

5. Don’t Buy a Brand that is Too Expensive

If you are buying in bulk, look for cheaper but high-quality brands because chances are you will lose them anyway! Because pacifiers tend to be pretty inexpensive, don’t waste money on something that’s only going to be lost or replaced every few months anyway.

Things to Consider Before Introducing a Pacifier

Here are some things that you might want to consider before you introduce a pacifier to your baby.

  • Some studies show a connection between pacifier use and an increased amount of ear infections.
  • Babies release sleepy hormones from sucking, whether they’re breastfeeding or using a pacifier, so pushing off a feeding by using a pacifier can alter feeding rhythms, decreasing the number of feedings per day.
  • Pacifier use can cause the baby to not breastfeed as often or get a sufficient amount of milk.
  • Pacifier use can affect oral development and prolonged pacifier use (past 2 years old) can cause a child’s teeth to be misaligned, or your child may develop speech problems.

Why Won’t My Breastfed Baby Take a Pacifier?

Some babies won’t take a pacifier because they prefer the mom’s nipple over the hard pacifier. It is a foreign object in their mouth that they haven’t gotten used to yet. It can be as simple as them having a texture preference.

Another reason is that the pacifier could be too larger for your baby’s mouth. The shape or the length could be causing your baby to gag and refuse the pacifier.

Related article: Why Will Your Baby Fall Asleep While Breastfeeding? 8 Tips to Help

Tips for Using a Pacifier While Breastfeeding

Don’t be afraid to use a pacifier if you feel it’s necessary. Everyone is different and every situation varies so don’t let anyone else try to convince you otherwise. Breastfeeding is the best for your baby, but sometimes it can get frustrating and using a pacifier can help your baby to not get too frustrated. Here are some tips when using a pacifier:

  • Choose silicone pacifiers over latex because of possible allergies.
  • Use pacifiers only in-between feedings and never use them to replace or lengthen time in-between feeding at the breast.
  • Use a straight pacifier, not a curved one.
  • Breastfeed first to rule out hunger before using a pacifier.
  • Own a few of the baby’s favorite pacifiers to have as a backup if one is lost or left at home/ in the car.
  • Phase-out using a pacifier after they are a year old.
  • Choose a one-piece construction pacifier. Pacifiers with multiple parts can be a choking hazard if they break.
  • Never force a pacifier on your baby if they aren’t interested.
  • Wash the pacifiers often with boiling water or in the dishwasher at least until they are 6 months old when their immune system matures a bit more.
  • Replace your pacifiers often to avoid choking hazards once they start to break down.
  • Use the correct size for your baby.
  • Pacifier clips should always be used with adult supervision and make sure the strap is short enough so it cannot get caught around their neck.
  • Try many brands to find the best pacifier for breastfed babies to find which they prefer

When to Stop Using a Pacifier

Here are some reasons to stop using a pacifier for your baby:

  • If pacifier use reduces your baby’s frequency or duration of feeds (newborns should breastfeed at least 8-12 times per day).
  • If your baby has difficulty breastfeeding or you develop sore nipples, a break from the pacifier may be helpful. If the pacifier causes nipple confusion, please limit its use to exclusive breastfeeding time.
  • If the baby is having weight gain problems or you are experiencing a low milk supply.
  • If your baby starts refusing to breastfeed.
  • If you and/or your baby have thrush.

Related article: 9 Best Breastfeeding Tips on Producing More Milk

Top Pacifiers for Breastfed Babies

There are many types of pacifiers that come in different sizes but you may need to experiment with a few to find the right pacifier for your baby.

Parents must think about the shape of a baby’s mouth when purchasing a pacifier. Your nipple changes shape as your child’s tongue wraps around it. Baby should have an opportunity to develop experiences that are similar to trying to suckle your breast, so consider choosing a pacifier with a cylindrical design. Here are some of the best pacifiers for breastfed babies.

Evenflo Feeding Balance Plus

This is a great stage 1 pacifier for your newborn. Designed to promote a natural tongue position, the cylindrical shape of this binky allows your baby to mimic the tongue shape they make while breastfeeding. The Balance Plus Cylindrical Pacifier helps babies 0-6 months old self-soothe while supporting healthy sucking skills (improved because it helps infants suck longer).

Made from 100% soft silicone, this binky is ultra-lightweight and flexible, making it easier for your baby to suck on. Integrated vent holes help keep your baby’s skin dry while the easy-grip handles are convenient for both you and your child. 100% free of phthalates, PVCs, and polycarbonates, these pacifiers are also made of food-grade silicone. The Evenflo Feeding Balance Plus Cylindrical Pacifier is a great option for your newborn.

PROS:

  • Designed to promote a natural tongue position for breastfeeding
  • Made of soft silicone to prevent fatigue
  • Easy-grip handle
  • Holes to keep baby’s skin dry and ventilated
  • Babies that didn’t accept a pacifier liked this one

CONS:

  • Some Find it too large for an infant’s mouth
  • Hard to find at night with the clear design

Buy it on Amazon

Ryan & Rose Cutie Pacifier

This is one of the best pacifiers for breastfed babies because of its soft nipple that closely mimics breastfeeding. Babies can’t suck too hard on this pacifier because the nipple collapses and it won’t overstimulate their gums. This is a great first-stage pacifier to try if you’re having trouble finding the right type of pacifier for your infant. An added bonus: this product can also turn into a teether! The nipple can be pushed in to give them another way to chew and play with their pacifier.

PROS:

  • One-piece design is very easy to clean,
  • collapses to become a teether
  • nipple mimics breastfeeding
  • Great for a new baby

CONS:

  • It may be too soft for some infants

Buy it on Amazon

Tommee Tippee Woodland Wonders

This is another great option for your baby. It helps babies feel more comfortable with the pacifier’s natural design and will easily accept it. It also helps reduce nipple confusion when breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. The pacifier curves away from your baby’s face to help prevent skin irritation.

PROS

  • Breast-like design
  • Easy to transition to pacifiers or bottle
  • Soft silicone
  • Curved to prevent rash
  • Great for oral development

CONS

  • Recommended to replace them every 4 weeks
  • Some babies were able to get their fingers stuck in the holes

Buy it on Amazon

Doodle & Co. Pop & Go Pacifier

This pacifier has a very cool design as well as the perfect shape to protect your baby’s latch for breastfeeding. It is made with a build-it case to keep it clean for when you are on the go. This pacifier is made for older babies that are 3 months or older. It is made with a firm silicone so it is very durable and great for a teething baby.

Moms love that it’s easy for their babies to hold the pacifier for themselves as well.

PROS:

  • Built-in case
  • Easy for baby to hole
  • Durable

CONS:

  • May not fit well with newborns due to short nipple length

Buy it on Amazon

Ritzy Sweetie Soother Pacifier

This is a great pacifier for your newborn. It is made from a soft, food-grade silicone. They come with a very cute design on the handle that is also easy for your baby to hold. Moms love that they are affordable and look and feel like the Ryan & Rose brand.

 

PROS:

Made of soft food-grade silicone

Cute design

Affordable

CONS:

Not as durable

Buy it on Amazon

Sweet Child Baby Soother

This pacifier is a great choice for newborns. It’s made of medical-grade soft silicone. Moms love the affordable price and how easy you can attach a paci clip onto it.

This is the perfect choice for those seeking a pacifier that offers great quality, design, and safety. It’s designed to comfort babies as much as possible without jeopardizing their health at a very affordable price.

These pacifiers come in many different colors. They offer great value for money.

PROS:

Easy to clean

Medical grade silicone

Affordable

Many cute colors

CONS:

Not as durable

Buy it on Amazon

Philips Notched Newborn Soothie

Philips make great pacifiers that are trusted by many moms. This orthodontic nipple has a similar shape to the one given to you at the hospital but it has a notch to give room for your baby’s nose. It is also made with a softer silicone to mimic mom.

PROS:

Soft silicone

Room for baby’s nose

Trusted by hospitals

CONS:

Nowhere to attach a pacifier clip

Buy it on Amazon

Nanobebe Baby Pacifiers

Nanobebe is a great pacifier that has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. It’s shaped perfectly for your baby’s face. The orthodontic shape promotes healthy oral development and prevents nipple confusion. It comes in a selection of cute colors. Moms love the curved shape so they can see more of their baby’s cute face.

 

PROS

  • Breast-like design
  • Made of silicone
  • Small design for newborns
  • Curved for nose and chin

CONS

  • Harder silicone
  • Some find the small design is too short

Buy it on Amazon

 

Dr. Brown’s HappyPaci

Dr. Brown’s HappyPaci is made from soft silicone that has a nipple shape design to help prevent nipple confusion. The handle is great for adding a pacifier clip and easy for the baby to hold. Moms love the affordable price and how easy it is to clean.

 

PROS

  • Breast-like design
  • Soft silicone
  • Curved for nose and chin
  • Easy to hold the handle

CONS

  • Longer nipple design for newborns
  • Hair sticks to it easily

Buy it on Amazon

Philips Avent Soothie

This is an orthodontic pacifier that is given by most hospitals. The orthodontic silicone nipple helps protect your baby’s latch. They are made with ventilation to avoid irritation. Some moms like to add a wubbanub so it is easy to find. It is easy to clean and very durable.

 

PROS

  • Trusted by doctors
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • Too large for some newborns
  • Hard to stay in some newborn’s mouth

Buy it on Amazon

You know your baby best so it’s up to you when you choose to introduce a pacifier. Just remember that if you want to use one, buy ones that are dishwasher safe or easy to sterilize and have the right size nipple area for your baby. If they are attached to just one pacifier then take special precautions to make sure it’s BPA free and still fits comfortably in their mouth.

If you decide not to use a pacifier at all, that is your choice as well. Just be aware that some babies can become very fussy without one. Even if you don’t plan on using one now, keep them around in case your baby becomes fussy and you need to offer one. You may find that your baby is happier and fussier without a pacifier, but other babies really do rely on them.

Here are the best pacifiers for breastfed babies, when to use them, and when to stop using them. The best thing is they are so affordable and are great for soothing your baby.

Breastfeeding a newborn can be challenging at times so be sure to read more about the best nipple creams to heal or even prevent dry cracked nipples.