Best Baby Pacifiers For Instant Comfort (2020 Guide)
If you’re like me, you appreciate all the time and energy that it takes to breastfeed your newborn baby.
And when you’re finally ready to wean your baby off, you've probably been told that the best pacifiers will suffice.
While this sounds great in theory, though, it doesn’t always happen that way.
Why? Because babies get spoiled! They don’t want to suck on anything that is an imposter—your newborn baby wants the real thing!
When I had my son, he didn’t take to the pacifier right away—until I found the right one for him. Now, I can step out in public without fearing the worst. I have a perfectly content, quiet, and a calm baby thanks to the perfect pacifier.
If you feel like jumping from one section to another in this guide, use the table contents below:
If you're in a rush, though, you can skip ahead to my picks for the best pacifiers.
What Is a Pacifier And Why You Need One
Pacifiers are usually made of rubber or plastic, and were actually created to pacify your baby (hence the name).
You should consider introducing one to your baby because babies have sucking impulses, and when they latch on to a nipple (even if they aren’t getting any milk), the overall act calms them and quiets them.
After doing some research, I learned that the pacifier was invented all the way back in 1901 by a man named Christian Meinecke.
Basically, he was sick of babies sucking on items like knotted rags dipped in honey or water (seriously), and gum sticks made of bone and stone (yikes).
His patent and design was approved, and low and behold (thank goodness) you have the pacifier your little one uses today.
How Do I Know If My Baby Wants A Pacifier?
If your baby has never had a pacifier, they won’t know what they’re missing.
But, they may need one to hold them over in between feedings or act as a soothing mechanism during sleep training.
You can also look and listen for certain signs so you know if and when your child may want or need a pacifier.
1. Difficulty falling asleep. A pacifier can help your baby drift off to sleep, stay asleep, or fall back to sleep if awaken during the night.
2. Fussiness. If your baby is naturally fussy in public, in between feedings, or just in general, a pacifier may help change their mood.
3. Colicky. Baby colic can kick in the first month of your little one's life, and could continue well into their first year. A pacifier could help distract your colicky baby from any pain or discomfort they feel and could reduce their crying bouts.
4. Teething. Some babies have no problems when their teeth start to cut through, while others feel immense pain. This could be a great time to introduce a pacifier to your child: it soothes them and could even numb their mouth if you dip the pacifier into numbing gel.
5. Trying to establish a routine. A pacifier is a great way to get your baby into a routine. If you limit their paci usage, your child will start to make associations with receiving it throughout their day. Many parents offer it before a nap, after a feeding, or before going down for the night.
6. Oral fixation. If you notice your baby is constantly trying to suck their thumb or push their fist into the mouth (or even make sucking motions with their lips), they may need to utilize a pacifier because they feel the need to suck.
5 Things To Look For In A Good Pacifier
So if you go to the store, you’re bound to see nearly a dozen kinds of pacifiers. It actually can get kind of overwhelming when picking one out.
You have to read each label carefully to ensure you get the right paci for the right age and stage of your child, and you should also read each label carefully to ensure you know what the paci is made out of (no harmful substances).
Here are a few things that make a pacifier a great pacifier:
1. High Quality Materials. Look for something that is BPA free, made of a strong material like silicone, and that can withstand lots of biting, washing, and dropping!
2. Comfort.Think about it. Would you want to suck on something that is stiff and on the solid side? There are many pacifiers on the market that are totally soft and bendy-which is what most babies prefer.
3. Construction. Look for a pacifier that is easy for your child to hold and place in their own mouth when they reach that stage. Some pacifiers are slippery or don’t offer a place to grab the sides with ease. Construction definitely matters.
4. Durable. You don’t want to continuously be buying pacifiers. So, be sure to really get one that is durable and can withstand high temperatures for sterilization purposes, and also the occasional nibbles that occur when your toddler starts to teethe.
5. Washable. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you want something that can be tossed in the dishwasher or sterilized with ease.
When Should You Introduce Baby to a Pacifier?
Many babies use pacifiers immediately in the hospital.
I actually waited a few weeks longer to give my baby one in order to make sure that my little guy really had the hang of feeding and wouldn’t lose interest in my breasts and supply.
Pros & Cons Of Using A Pacifier
While some pediatricians are skeptical if the pros outweigh the cons of using one, pacifiers sure do the trick to help your little one sleep and calm down in between feedings.
Other additional pros of using a pacifier include a happier baby!
They calm a little one in public, especially in crowded places, and they help alleviate the need to suck and keep thumbs out of their mouth.
Parents who are trying to sleep train their child have lots of luck because of the use of a pacifier. When mom or dad isn’t around, babies turn to something soothing, like a pacifier in their crib, and fall asleep on their own.
It just provides that physical sense of security, much like a stuffed animal or blanket.
Some cons of using a pacifier include more frequent inner ear infections. In fact, children who regularly use pacifiers are twice as likely to develop infections.
Some dentists also believe that regular use of a paci can make baby’s first teeth slanted! Some children can also get so hooked on a paci, that it can make weaning them off one very difficult.
You should also be aware that if you are breastfeeding and you introduce a pacifier to your baby, you could have some difficulty and confusion with latching.
Read: Breastfeeding 101, a field guide for new moms.
If you feel that your baby needs one at the current developmental stage they are in, it’s your choice. Just be sure to try to wean them off of one before they start kindergarten (totally kidding).
In all seriousness, many doctors agree that you should wean your child off of a pacifier around the age of two!
5 Tips For Using A Pacifier
Regardless of the pacifier that you purchase, here are a few tips that have helped me!
1. Sanitize Regularly. Pacifiers can be a breeding ground for germs. It’s smart to sanitize your pacis weekly. You can do this by tossing it in the dishwasher, boiling a pot of hot water, or putting it in a sanitizing kit that fits easily in your microwave. If your baby uses one when sick, it’s sometimes best to toss it altogether (much like a tooth brush). And please, if it drops on the ground; be sure to rinse it off with hot water!
2. Pick the Right Size. Pacifiers are labeled for a reason. Certain pacis fit a baby’s face perfectly, while others may be too big or too small. If you offer your child the wrong size, they most likely will not take well to it (or at all).
3. Never Wean Your Child Off During a Life Change. When it comes to events in your baby’s life, take it slow. If your baby starts to teethe terribly, it probably isn’t the best time to take away their comfort object. Same with potty training—never take your child’s binky away during this huge transition time. Do so before starting the training or after they master toileting.
4. Don’t Allow Sharing. Hello, germ city! It may be hard to prevent pacifier sharing if you have a few small children running around, but by all means, try! Be sure to designate a certain color for each child to keep track of whose is whose.
5. Remove Any Kind of Attachment Piece Before Bed. To avoid a major health risk, always detach any kind of strings or cords that clip to your baby’s clothes if you are laying them down to sleep. Give only the binky in their crib!
The WubbaNub Infant Pacifier (click here to check the price on Amazon) is not only durable, soft, and safe, but it’s also super cute and fun. What baby wouldn’t love the plush toy attached to the paci?
The pacifier is latex-free and is passed out in many hospitals nationwide. The pacifier’s one piece construction means that it will stay germ free because nothing will get trapped in any areas.
While it’s super cute, this pacifier is not suggested for babies over six months of age.
I thought it was a bit on the pricey side, but I guess you do get a security toy attached to it as a bonus!
I first received the Philips Avent Soothie (click here to check the price on Amazon) as a baby shower gift, and I’m sure glad I did!
My mommy friends sure knew what they were doing by sending them my way. My son instantly took to the Philips design. It was perfectly shaped to fit his little mouth and it is very durable!
It’s composed of silicone (which is super strong), and it’s very soft. It never got sticky or discolored, or even misshapen. It’s BPA-free and never had any kind of taste or odor.
Many hospitals also send some of this brand home, so if it’s A-OK with the hospital, it’s A-OK with me!
It’s also very affordable and sold in a pack of two on Amazon, making it one of the best baby soothers you can buy.
I personally have never used the MAM Night Glow Pacifier (click here to check the price on Amazon) but learned that breastfeeding moms absolutely love it.
Some of my best friends gave their children this paci because it is not only BPA free and made out of silicone, it boasts a symmetrical nipple, which helps your baby’s jaw develop.
Its nipple is also ultra-soft and fits perfectly and stays securely in the baby’s mouth because it has an anti-slip texture (who knew binkies were so advanced?).
It even has a shield that allows air to circulate and allows the baby’s skin to breathe, preventing any kind of saliva rashes!
Plus, it glows in the dark (no more hunting for a paci in the middle of the night!), and is sold in a twin pack for a really great deal on Amazon.
I can’t say enough great things about The First Years GumDrop Pacifier (click here to check the price on Amazon).
My son used this religiously and I had no issues with nipple confusion. The First Years brand makes pacifiers for all developmental stages, and this is what my son currently uses (for bedtime only).
They are ultra-affordable, sold in bulk on Amazon, and have an awesome design (you can put your finger in the hole for your baby to suck on).
It’s free from anything hazardous, trusted by hospitals, and works with most pacifier attachments (a life saver, in my opinion).
Another popular brand, NUK has a great line of pacifiers for breastfeeding babies, including the NUK Newborn Orthodontic (click here to check the price on Amazon).
It has vent holes to prevent irritation and is 100% silicone.
It also is one piece and it has something called a scoop nipple cavity (say what?). This allows your baby’s tongue to move without being restricted, so your baby’s palate and jaw get lots of exercise and this helps their teeth come in properly.
It also helps avoid the dreaded thumb sucking! It’s BPA free and made in the good old USA.
#6. Philips Avent BPA-Free
The Phillips Avent BPA-Free Pacifier (click here to check the price on Amazon) will become your baby’s favorite bedtime (or anytime) item.
It’s super strong and tough, so it can withstand lots of sucking, biting, dropping, and washing. Designed for babies 3 months or older, it won’t disrupt the development of your baby’s teeth and gums.
Trusted and used by medical professionals, the special silicone is latex free and does an awesome job at calming any disgruntled baby. Pop it in the dishwasher or toss it in a sterilizer to clean regularly.
Its shape easily fits newborns’ mouths and its center hole allows for ease of placement.
#7. B.B. Mustache Pacifier
B.B. Mustache pacifiers (click here to check the price on Amazon) are for parents who have a great sense of humor, and for babies who need to satisfy their sucking urge.
Voted “Best Pacifiers for Baby Selfies,” the instant stash is a cute and comical look for any baby to sport around.
It’s BPA-free, PVC-free, and Phthalate-free, so moms don’t have to worry about anything harmful coming in contact with baby.
It also comes with a cover and a colorful attachment to ensure that the paci never hits the floor at home or out on an excursion, and is always in arm’s reach (which is also helpful for busy moms).
The Playtex Ortho pacifier (click here to check the price on Amazon) is designed especially for newborn babies.
It has a unique concave nipple, which provides room for a baby’s tongue as they grow. This helps minimize any pressure put on a baby’s teeth and gums, which is a relief for moms who are concerned with this issue.
It’s also ideal for babies who have sensitive skin and need something hypoallergenic to prevent redness or reaction if the pacifier is going to be used for extended period of time.
It’s BPA free as well, so it’s composed of materials that are totally safe and geared for a baby’s sensitive needs.
Ulubulu pacifiers (click here to check the price on Amazon) allow your little one to express themselves from the earliest of ages.
These bright and sunny citrus inspired designs will brighten your day, and make your baby happy as they suck away on them.
Made from high quality materials, the pacifiers comply with proper safety standards and do not contain BPA materials, lead, or phthalates.
Their shield is designed with a contour to fit your baby’s mouth perfectly. It also offers chin protection and prevents skin irritation, which can happen when your baby uses a pacifier for an extended amount of time.
It has a medical grade, soft silicone nipple; and special ventilation holes which make the paci breathable.
Nuby Soft flex pacifiers (click here to check the price on Amazon) have a unique, orthopedic design.
When your baby sucks on one, a natural flexing action takes place and imitates the motion of a nipple during feeding time.
It also has helpful teething numbs, which massage and stimulate your baby’s gums, alleviating any pain or discomfort they may be experiencing: especially overnight when teething symptoms persist.
Perfect for babies in the newborn to six month range, the soft paci also has a special air system design, which will reduce skin irritation if your child sucks on it for a long amount of time, like a nap or overnight.
Breastfeeding is awesome. But, when you are looking to go beyond the boob, a pacifier is the next best thing.
There are some high quality, safe, and durable, and ultimately the best pacifiers on the market today that are targeted specifically for breastfeeding babies. They eliminate and discourage nipple confusion, and are great at soothing an upset baby.
Hopefully, after reading some of my suggested products and my pacifier tips, you’ll be able to find “the one” with ease.
And, you’ll be able to ease discomfort and fussiness that overtakes every baby from time to time!