When I became a new mama, I questioned whether to let my baby use pacifiers or not. I was one of those mamas who was worried about the weaning off phase. Did I want to deal with that drama? I quickly learned that it was not solely my decision but my baby’s as well that would determine whether using a pacifier would be apart of our lives.

Babies are born wanting to suck. It is a natural behaviour that allows them to feed and its naturally comforting for them! My daughter took to pacifiers like it was nobody’s business. And if comfort for her is sucking on a pacifier then by golly I was going to get her a pacifier.

When you first begin searching for the right pacifier for your baby you may begin to feel overwhelmed by the dozens of options to choose from. Like pretty much all baby items, you can become bombarded by so many “this is the best” and no “this is the best”. In the end it just leaves you more confused on which pacifier to choose! Listen mama, there are no baby items deemed “perfect” or “the best”, otherwise there would only be one option for all mothers to choose from. All babies are perfectly different! I had to learn from my baby what was the perfect pacifier for her.

When starting the pacifier journey with my daughter I found there were two main factors to consider: the style of pacifier and the materials of the pacifier.

The Many Styles of Pacifiers

Just like any other baby product, you’ll discover there are a variety of different styles of pacifiers to choose from. It can be daunting when you find out just how many there are! You’ll hear terms such as teething pacifiers, soothie pacifiers, orthodontic pacifiers, closed or vented shield pacifiers, feeding pacifiers, collapsible pacifiers, etc. The list goes on and on. Overwhelming right! I’ve broke it down into 4 main categories that I found most appropriate when looking for the right pacifier:

  1. Newborn Pacifiers: Most mamas, including myself, use a soothie or one piece pacifier for their newborn. A soothie is a pacifier brand used by medical professionals and is distributed in hospitals nationwide! They are BPA and Latex free made with hospital grade silicone. Dishwasher safe and can easily be sterilized. What I love the most about soothies is that they do not affect the natural development of the babies teeth and gums! Soothies are also a one piece pacifier meaning exactly what the name states, one piece. One piece pacifiers are great because you do not have to worry about pieces falling apart becoming a potential choking hazard to your baby.
  2. Traditional Pacifiers: A traditional pacifier contains three basic parts: a handle, a shield for the mouth, and a nipple made of plastic, rubber, or silicone. Traditional pacifiers have a round or slightly elongated nipple.
  3. Orthodontic Pacifiers: Orthodontic pacifiers have a nipple with a flat bottom and a slightly rounded top. Orthodontic pacifiers are specially designed to help minimize misalignment and supports the developing jaw and palate.
  4. Breastfed Pacifiers: Breastfed babies may need a more specific style of pacifier since they are used to the feel of their mamas breast when feeding. Mamas who breastfeed report that their breastfed babies take more easily to pacifiers that are bulbed shaped or cherry shape since it resembles the natural nipple. Babies who breastfeed benefit from using a cylindrical shaped pacifier because it promotes tongue placement and movement similar to breastfeeding.

Pacifier Materials

When searching for the right pacifier its important to note that there are different materials used to make them which may be a deciding factor in your decision! I know right, another piece to the puzzle you have to solve. Never fear the answers are here!

The materials used to make pacifiers are rubber latex and silicone. Let’s break down the differences between the two.

Rubber Latex: Natural rubber, also called latex, is a natural material that comes from the rubber tree. (I was embarrassingly surprised I didn’t know this!) The trees juices are extracted and processed into what we call rubber. Note: You can easily identify pacifiers made with natural rubber by its yellowish brown color. Rubber latex pacifiers are softer than silicone ones providing a resembling texture to a mothers breast. What is pretty neat about latex pacifiers is that they are biodegradable and considered to be more environmentally friendly! However, due to its natural components, they are more prone to bacteria growth and aging. Yes, you heard me right, the pacifier ages! Natural influences such as air, saliva, heat, and UV light affect the aging process of the pacifier. Note: Be alert for any signs of latex allergy.

Silicone: Silicone is hypoallergenic and odorless material and is 100% free of harmful ingredients such as BPA, PVC, and phthalates. Silicone pacifiers do not age, can withstand high temperatures, and can hold its shape. Note: They are resistant to bacteria and germs so they are much easier to clean and sterilize! However, silicone pacifiers are much firmer than latex pacifiers meaning they do not feel natural like a mothers breast.

I hope this post helps to simplify your pacifier search mama! You may find one that works right away, or it may be a trial-and-error game. Ultimately, your baby’s preference will be the deciding factor on this pacifier hunt.

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