best pacifiers for breastfed babies

[Pacifiers Save Lives] 4 Best Pacifiers for Breastfed Babies

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The benefits of pacifiers for newborn babies often get obscured by the difficulty of weaning children off pacifiers later. However, binkies, dummies, soothers – or whatever you call pacifiers in your home – serve a very important purpose for babies.

According to neonatal experts, sucking on a pacifier can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) during a child’s first twelve months. That’s right – the humble pacifier is responsible for saving babies lives!

With that in mind, our guide to the best pacifiers for breastfed newborns highlights some standout products and answers some common questions about the relationship between pacifiers and breastfeeding.

For instance, will giving a newborn a pacifier affect their ability to latch and feed? Are there specially designed pacifiers for breastfed babies? How long should your baby be allowed to use a pacifier?

We’ll cover these topics and more, and also take you through a review of the best pacifiers for breastfed babies of 2021.

Some Benefits of Pacifiers for Newborn Babies

A common misunderstanding about the disadvantages of pacifiers is that they apply to very young babies. Issues with dependency and dental health are only relevant for children who continue to use a pacifier far beyond babyhood.

Newborn babies can benefit from the use of a pacifier in several surprising ways:

  • Great for comforting preemies and NICU babies who need to be separated from their mothers for medical reasons
  • Reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) during a newborn’s first years of sleeping alone
  • Provides a safe way to soothe babies in busy, loud, or unfamiliar environments (on car journeys, at the doctor’s office, etc).
  • Enhances oral motor function in newborn babies with feeding issues and can aid breastfeeding if supplied at the right time (6 weeks postpartum)

See also: Best Bottle Warmers for Formula and Frozen Breast Milk [2021 Reviews]

Tips for Healthy Pacifier Use

Typically, problems with pacifiers will only occur if a child is still dependent on the pacifier past two years of age.

While there’s some evidence to suggest a higher risk of ear infections is related to pacifier use, it should also be noted the risk of ear infections in babies is lowest before six months of age. As this timeframe is when the risk of SIDS is highest, pediatricians do recommend the use of pacifiers at nighttime.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a pacifier for your breastfed newborn:

  • If possible, use only silicone pacifiers because increasing numbers of babies are developing allergies to latex. Silicone pacifiers are latex-free.
  • Do not offer a pacifier in place of a feed or use one to extend the amount of time between a newborn’s feeds. Your baby may become confused and develop breastfeeding dysfunctions such as nipple confusion. Use a pacifier at night time or during naps but never as a nipple replacement.
  • Use a straight pacifier (an ‘orthodontic pacifier’) as opposed to a curved one to safeguard emerging teeth after a baby reaches six months of age.
  • Try to differentiate between hunger and comfort sucking before giving a pacifier to a baby. Where possible, offer them the breast first to avoid any issues with weight gain.
  • One-piece pacifiers without any extra parts or features are always the safest choice because they pose no choking hazards.
  • Until a baby is six months old, parents are advised to regularly sterilize pacifiers in boiling water or a dishwasher. Once their immune system has strengthened, this will stop being necessary.
  • Avoid the use of pacifier strings and clips especially when a baby is unattended at night time. They are a strangulation risk.

See also:  Best Mini Fridge for Breast Milk Storage [2021 Reviews]

The Best Pacifier for Breastfed Babies

1 – The First Years Gumdrop Newborn Pacifier

First Years Gumdrop Newborn Pacifier
best pacifier for breastfed baby


  • This specific pacifier is a common choice in neonatal units and maternity departments across the country
  • Perfectly designed for newborns under three months of age
  • Super safe one-piece design made from medical grade silicone
  • A heart-shaped shield gives your baby’s nasal passages plenty of room and space to breathe comfortably
  • Sold in packs of two or five (great value for money)
  • Disadvantages
  • Limited use. This pacifier is only recommended for babies under three months and needs to be replaced after that point.
  • Very small chance the baby may stick their fingers through the holes on the pacifier’s shield

2 – Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier

Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier
best pacifier for breastfed baby


  • Perfectly designed for newborns under three months of age
  • Super wide base to eliminate any risk of choking
  • Another commonly distributed pacifier for newborns in American hospitals
  • Available in a range of bright, attractive colors
  • Highly affordable (one of the least expensive on the market)
  • BPA and latex-free, made from hospital grade silicone
  • One-piece construction to eliminate choking/swallowing hazards


  • Limited use. This pacifier is only recommended for babies under three months and needs to be replaced after that point.
  • The teat is fairly rigid which is good for orthodontic health but some babies may reject it in favor of a softer, more flexible one.
  • Very small chance the baby may stick their fingers through the holes on the pacifier’s shield

3 – Ryan and Rose Cutie PAT Pacifier

Ryan and Rose Cutie PAT Pacifier
best pacifier for breastfed baby


  • Clever 2-in-1 design means the teat can be tucked away and the pacifier is used as a teething ring as well.
  • Can be used for longer than the First Years Gumdrop and Philips Avent Soothie as it’s suitable for infants until they develop teeth (around six months)
  • Made from 100% medical-grade silicone in a safe one-piece construction
  • Available in a variety of bright, attractive colors
  • Pacifier’s shield has holes for easier, more comfortable breathing


  • Some very picky babies might reject this pacifier because they don’t like the feel of the writing on the shield
  • Some reviews say the pacifier’s teat is too soft and doesn’t provide enough resistance for sucking
  • Only comes with one pacifier (some rival products are sold in multipacks)

4 – Chicco PhysioForma Soft Silicone Pacifier

Chicco PhysioForma Soft Silicone Pacifier
best pacifier for breastfed baby


  • Unique nipple shaped design positions the baby’s tongue in a forward position to increase safety and security while they sleep
  • A vented shield prevents spitty buildup without blocking the infant’s airways
  • Comes with a microwavable sterilization case for quick, easy cleaning
  • Sold in packs of two (good value for money)
  • Made from 100% medical-grade silicone without BPAs or latex


  • The teat is a little thinner than on some rival pacifiers (older children might bite through it if it’s used for teething)
  • Very lightweight (easy to spit out/babies with poor mouth control may struggle to retain)
  • Limited range of colors available

See also: The 5 Best Baby Floor Seats of 2021 [Review and Guide]

Frequently Asked Questions

Q – Is it always necessary to buy a pacifier for a breastfeeding baby?

A – Absolutely not. The decision is the parents’ to make and, even then, it’s quite common for newborns to reject pacifiers outright.

Some babies prefer to go without and will spit up any soother that they’re given. If this is the case, the infant shouldn’t be forced to take a pacifier.

In light of their positive impact on SIDS risks, it’s worth attempting to give a breastfeeding newborn a pacifier to suck on while they sleep.

If they repeatedly reject a particular type of pacifier, try one with a different shape or design but always respond to the infant’s needs. Pacifiers aren’t right for every baby.

Q – When is it the right time to buy a pacifier for a breastfed baby?

A – Pediatricians recommend waiting six weeks after birth before giving a pacifier to a newborn baby.

This isn’t because pacifiers present any particular danger to neonatal infants. It just reduces the risk of breastfeeding dysfunctions.

The younger the newborn, the harder it is for them to distinguish between the teat on a pacifier and their mother’s nipple. For a few weeks postpartum, they may confuse the two and any missed opportunity to eat is a serious event for an infant so small.

Holding pacifiers back until the baby has developed a breastfeeding routine is a simple way to avoid failed feedings and missed weight goals.

Q – What is the best breastfeeding pacifier for protecting my child’s mouth and teeth?

A – The term ‘orthodontic pacifier’ is used a lot these days and refers to any product that’s shaped in a way that protects a child’s developing jaw. Orthodontic pacifiers hold an infant’s top and bottom jaw in the healthiest possible positions so that sucking doesn’t interfere with growth.

Orthodontic pacifiers are recommended for breastfeeding newborns but they shouldn’t be used as a substitute for properly sized pacifiers as the child grows.

Pay attention to the age specifications on any products you buy. You’ll likely need to upgrade your child’s pacifier once they reach three months of age and, again, at six months of age.

Q – Will giving my baby a pacifier cause nipple confusion?

A – There’s a lot of disagreement on the issue, but according to the National Library of Medicine, there is very little evidence that baby pacifiers can cause nipple confusion.

With that in mind, every baby is different, and we recommend trying to use the baby pacifier in moderation, like all good things.

See also: The 5 Best Baby Bouncers & Baby Swings of 2021


Older children mustn’t continue to soothe with pacifiers beyond the age of two years. As they grow and their jawbones and teeth develop, there’s a risk of dental irregularities because the teat pushes against vulnerable areas.

With that being said, pacifiers have several benefits for breastfeeding newborns including a reduction in the risk of SIDS while nighttime sleeping. We hope this guide has given you some valuable advice on where to start and what to look for in a pacifier for your child.

See also: What is the Best Baby Carrier? [Top 8 Baby Carriers of 2021]

We hope you learned something useful from this article, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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