Pacifiers: friend or foe? As a new parent, you’ve likely heard all the arguments. But fear not! Pacifiers can be a godsend for breastfed babies and may even reduce the risk of SIDS. However, finding the right one can be a challenge.
That’s why I’ve put together this post to help you navigate the world of the best pacifiers for breastfed babies. I’ll cover everything from the best ones for breastfed babies to how to introduce them and keep your little one safe.
By the end, you’ll be a pacifier pro and ready to make the right choice for your baby.
What is the best overall pacifier for a breastfed baby?
Short on time and just want to know which is the best overall? Well here it is!:
The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier
Want a bit more information? And a list of all 8? Keep reading!
The Best Pacifiers For Breastfed Babies
1. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier
The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier is a durable and safe option for newborns and breastfed babies, made from hospital-grade silicone. Its shield prevents the baby’s nose from being obstructed.
The Philips Avent range offers orthodontic soothers catering to different baby needs, including the Mini for newborns, Classic for daily use, and Freeflow and Ultra soft soothers for sensitive skin.
All soothers are BPA-free and promote the natural development of a baby’s teeth and gums. The Soothie features medical-grade silicone and a finger-like design for added comfort.
Sizes: 0-3 months, 3-18 months
What moms say:
“These dummies are perfect for breastfed babies. My little boy refused all other pacifiers but will happily take these. Highly recommend!”
“We bought these dummies for our newborn, as he has reflux and was comfort feeding constantly. The soothie dummy has been a game changer! He loves it and it’s been great for helping to calm him down and settle him, particularly after a feed. Overall, a great purchase!”
“Perfect for breastfed babies. My little one wouldn’t take any other dummy, but these he loves. They are soft and flexible and very easy to clean. They’re also great for little ones who like to hold onto something while they’re feeding!”
2. NUK Orthodontic Pacifier
NUK Soothers are a popular option for parents seeking to meet their baby’s natural desire to suckle. These soothers were developed in collaboration with experts 60 years ago and have been designed to mimic a mother’s nipple during breastfeeding.
The latest NUK Soothers feature thinner and narrower teat necks, flatter baglets, and smoother undersides, reducing pressure on jaws and teeth while allowing for natural sucking movements. Its unique heart-shaped shield prevents the nose from being obstructed.
Independent market research reveals that 100% of orthodontists confirmed they do not lead to crooked teeth or jaw misalignment.
Sizes: 0-6 months, 6-18 months
What moms say:
“Love these, my baby is fully breastfed and after trying several different brands, these are the only soothers she’ll take for her afternoon nap. Teat feels very soft and malleable like the nipple. Muted, understated colors, not garish colors or characters like most brands. Excellent.”
“Great product good quality.”
“Perfect for a newborn.”
3. MAM Silicone Pacifiers
MAM is a leading manufacturer of pacifiers for babies of all ages. Their pacifiers are designed in collaboration with pediatric dentists and orthodontists to promote healthy oral development while also providing comfort and preventing skin irritation.
MAM offers a variety of pacifiers for different age groups and needs, including newborn pacifiers and those suitable for older babies, those with sensitive skin, nighttime use, and to reduce the risk of misaligned teeth.
Sizes: 0+ months, 2-6 months, 6-18 months, 18-36 months
What moms say:
“These are great, the only dummy my breastfed newborn will take, the silicone frame is nice and gentle on the face and the teat is smaller and more round than the standard newborn MAM dummies which make my baby gag, whereas these don’t.”
“Amazing for premmie baby’s”
“Perfect for tiny mouths”
4. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Breast-like nighttime pacifier
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Breast-like nighttime pacifier is a pacifier that glows in the dark, is designed to feel like a mother’s breast, and helps with transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle feeding. The symmetrical design of the pacifier features a nipple that flexes and stretches like a mother’s breast.
The pacifier shield is also curved away from the baby’s face, offering superior ventilation to reduce moisture build-up and irritation. Additionally, the pacifier is easy to clean and always BPA and phthalate-free.
Sizes: 0-6 months, 6-18 months
What moms say:
“The best pacifier for breastfed babies! The only pacifier my breastfed baby would take! It’s designed to look and feel more like a nipple which is perfect for babies who haven’t experienced dummies early on or bottles.”
“Due to using other shaped pacifiers my baby was rejecting bottles and didn’t feed because he liked the shape of dummies. But now I can easily puzzle my baby between dummy and bottle and now he is feeding well.”
“All hail the plug of tranquility! This has been an absolute godsend and I cannot recommend it enough! Very much a shut up and take all my money sort of product.”
5. Ryan & Rose Cutie Pat 2-in-1 Pacifier and Teether
The Cutie PAT pacifier is a two-in-one pacifier and teether designed to soothe and provide teething relief to babies. It is made with 100% medical-grade silicone and features a large round shield for teething and large holes for safe breathing.
The teether handle provides comfort for sore gums and makes it easy for the baby to hold and place in their mouth. The Cutie PAT comes in two stages for babies with and without teeth, and the Stage 1 option is great for newborns to master the sucking technique.
Sizes: 0-6 months, 6+ months
What moms say:
“We had received one of these at our baby shower and once she arrived we used it for her and had to get more! I love how easy they are to clean, easy to hold! The starter kit is the way to go!”
“My baby has liked all the different styles. I definitely recommend these they are great .”
“Anyone buying for a new baby or to have on hand as a baby gift, Ryan & Rose is by far the best. I have ordered from them many times and everyone loves their products. Please consider giving them a try, all babies deserve them.”
6. Natursutten Pacifier
Natursutten pacifiers are an eco-friendly choice for parents who are looking for an alternative to mass-produced pacifiers. Made with all-natural rubber from sustainably harvested rubber trees, these pacifiers are free from harmful chemicals and artificial colors.
The one-piece design means that there are no joints or cracks where bacteria can accumulate, making them easy to clean.
Natursutten pacifiers come in two nipple and shield styles to suit your baby’s preferences. Crafted in Italy by a family-run business, each pacifier takes 7 weeks and 20 hand-held steps to create. While natural rubber is softer than silicone, it is also more biodegradable, making it a more eco-friendly option.
Sizes: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12+ months
What moms say:
“Love these natural pacifiers! They are so aesthetically pleasing & my babies love them!”
“I couldn’t be happier that she has something natural in her mouth that isn’t changing the shape of her palate.”
“Love it! We purchased this pacifier after our baby did not take well to another brand. Right away our baby took this pacifier with no issue. I love that it’s all one piece – no plastic or holes.”
7. Nanobebe Baby Flexy Pacifier
The award-winning Flexy Soother by nanobébé is an ideal solution for fussy and crying babies. Its one-piece silicone design fits snugly around the baby’s nose and chin, preventing it from falling out and offering ultimate comfort.
The extra-soft and breathable material comes with airflow vents to prevent irritation. The teat’s soft, rounded shape promotes healthy oral development and avoids teat confusion in breastfed babies and newborns.
The BPA-free and medical-grade silicone construction guarantees the safest materials. With five stylish colors to choose from, this silicone pacifier is a must-have for new moms.
Sizes: 0-3 months, 3-6 months
What moms say:
“This is the only dummy she’s taken so far. Really soft and gentle and I like how they look! So far so good.”
“Best dummies ever… this nanobebe is the only dummy my baby has ever accepted.”
“My breastfed baby loves these!!! The only time my breastfed baby has taken a pacifier – wish these were out with my others so easy to clean too and don’t go funny when cold-water sterilized.”
8. Pop & Go – 3m+ Doddle & Co
Introducing the pacifier with a built-in case! The Doddle & Co Pop Pacifier eliminates the need for a separate case by allowing you to simply pinch the nipple to tuck it away whenever you like.
The firm lock feature keeps the pacifier nipple in place, even when your baby plays with it or takes a break. Made with 100% silicone, this pacifier is safe for teething babies and free of lead, PVC, BPA, latex, and phthalates. It’s also dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
Sizes: 0-3 months, 3+ months
What moms say:
“We started our baby on other pacifiers but this one came out on top. The bright & fun colors make her eager to grab on.”
” … actually helped his breastfeeding latch too!”
“Every germaphobe’s dream! They’re easy to clean with warm water and soap.”
What is a pacifier and why should I have one for my breastfed baby?
Pacifiers have been a trusted tool for parents to soothe their babies for centuries. Composed of silicone, latex, and other materials, these nipple-shaped teats come in various sizes, shapes and designs.
Other names used for baby pacifiers include “soothers”, “binkies” or simply “dummies”. Many parents can agree that they are an integral part of parenting!
But what benefit do they serve to breastfed babies? Some babies have a strong sucking reflex and will want to suck even between breastfeeds when they are not hungry. Pacifiers can provide a way for babies to satisfy this urge without overfeeding. Pacifiers are also great for helping babies learn how to self-soothe when sleep training.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Pacifiers are believed to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the NIH pacifiers “may improve autonomic control of breathing, airway patency, or both.” Also they suspect that a pacifier may “prevent accidental rolling leading to less risk of SIDS”.
Features to look for when choosing a pacifier for a breastfed or newborn baby
There are various features to consider when selecting a pacifier brand that works well with breastfeeding:
Shape and size of the pacifier.
To select the appropriate and best pacifier, for your breastfed or newborn baby, you should consider its shape and size. For newborn babies, a lightweight and small pacifier is the best pacifier, while larger pacifiers can be used as your baby grows. It should mimic the shape and size of a mom’s nipple, and orthodontic pacifiers are recommended for breastfed babies to prevent nipple confusion whereas some newborns prefer a rounded nipple shape.
Material of the pacifier.
Pacifiers are made of different materials, including silicone and latex. It is important to choose a pacifier that is made of safe and non-toxic materials, such as a BPA-free latex-free silicone one.
Silicone vs. Latex pacifiers:
Durable and less likely to cause allergies or skin irritation than latex pacifiers.
Easy to clean and maintain, dishwasher safe, and resistant to heat.
Silicone nipples don’t contain allergens.
More expensive than latex pacifiers.
A silicone nipple is more prone to attracting dust and hair.
Softer and more flexible than silicone pacifiers.
Prone to wear and tear so may need to be replaced more frequently.
Not suitable for latex allergies.
The nipple design of a pacifier can also play a role in how well it works for a breastfed baby. Generally, orthodontic pacifier nipples are better for breastfed babies because they mimic the mother’s breast and naturally place your baby’s tongue in a breastfeeding position whereas rounded nipple pacifiers tend to be accepted easier. Remember though that all babies are different!
What concerns are associated with pacifier use?
In this next section, we will look at nipple confusion and hygiene plus how to choose a safe pacifier to reduce the risk of a choking hazard.
Are Pacifiers Safe for Breastfed Babies During Dental Development?
Can pacifiers affect breastfeeding?
Some studies have shown that pacifiers can interfere with breastfeeding and can cause nipple confusion. Let’s look at this issue in more depth.
What is nipple confusion?
Not all pacifiers are created equal, and some can interfere with breastfeeding or cause nipple confusion. Nipple confusion occurs when a baby is given a pacifier or a bottle before they have learned how to breastfeed properly. They may learn to prefer the shape of the pacifier teat over the breast nipple and therefore have difficulty latching onto the breast.
For more tips about successful breastfeeding find my post here.
Why is nipple confusion a concern for breastfeeding babies?
Nipple confusion can make it harder for babies to latch onto the breast correctly and can affect his/her ability to get enough milk. This can lead to poor weight gain, reduced milk supply, and early weaning.
Newborn babies may develop a preference for the nipple on a straight pacifier over the bottle and may have difficulty latching on to the breast.
How to avoid nipple confusion
Wait until breastfeeding is well-established before introducing a bottle or pacifier.
Use a pacifier that is specifically designed for breastfed babies, such as those with a breast-shaped nipple or orthodontic pacifiers.
Try to limit the use of pacifiers and only use them when necessary, such as when your baby is fussy or needs soothing.
Always breastfeed your baby first before offering a pacifier.
How to introduce a pacifier to a breastfed baby
Best time to introduce a pacifier
The best time to introduce a pacifier is when breastfeeding is well-established, usually around 3-4 weeks of age. This allows your baby to establish a good latch and milk supply before introducing a pacifier.
Steps to introduce a pacifier to a breastfed baby
Choose a pacifier – be prepared to try different designs before you find the perfect one (take a look at the list above for my recommendations).
Wait until your baby is calm and relaxed.
Hold the pacifier against your baby’s lips and wait for him/her to open their mouth.
Once your baby’s mouth is open, gently insert the pacifier.
If your baby rejects the pacifier, do not force it. Wait a few days and try again.
Remember – some breastfed babies refuse pacifiers initially and some simply won’t take a pacifier at all!
Pacifier safety tips for parents
It’s important to follow these safety guidelines when using a pacifier for your baby:
DO always supervise your baby when they’re using a pacifier.
DO clean the pacifier before putting it in your baby’s mouth – wash in warm, soapy water, put it in the dishwasher if it’s dishwasher safe, or use a sterilizing solution to ensure your baby’s mouth is free of germs and bacteria.
DON’T tie a pacifier around your baby’s face or neck or use pacifier clips to attach it to their clothing as it can be a choking hazard.
DO make sure the pacifier is the right size for your baby’s age.
DO check the pacifier regularly for signs of wear and tear, and replace it as needed.
DON’T dip the baby’s pacifier in any sweet or sugary substances, as it can lead to tooth decay.
DON’T force your fussy baby to use a pacifier if they don’t want to.
Have Questions? I Have Answers.
Choosing the right pacifier for your breastfed baby can be challenging, but it’s important to find one that is safe, comfortable, and promotes proper oral development.
The best pacifier for breastfed babies is one that mimics the shape of a mother’s nipple, is made from safe materials, and has a shield that prevents skin irritation.
Personally, I am a big fan of pacifiers! I breastfed both of my children for well over 12 months each and my first child loved her pacifier! It was an amazing tool for sleep training and I carried a spare one with me wherever I went.
My son on the other hand, due to poor health and personal choice I believe, did not take to a pacifier at all and to this day is harder to settle to sleep.
This list of the best pacifiers demonstrates that they are so safe these days and with so many designs to choose from there is bound to be a pacifier for every baby … if they want one!
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