Are Pacifiers Good/bad For Babies
Pacifiers offer moms a lot of good. Some of which is that it helps them to remain sane and to be calm when the baby is agitating. Pacifiers also help the baby to self soothe which is a good thing.
On the other hand, it has its side effects. One, your baby could get used to it, which isnt good. Two, as a mom, if you dont pay utmost attention, any little distress from your baby will result in giving them a pacifier, which might not be what they need.
Early Pacifier Use Might Interfere With Breastfeeding
If you introduce the pacifier too early it can mask important feeding cues and possibly reduce babys suckling at the breast. This may negatively impact your long term milk supply because youre losing much-needed breast stimulation to the pacifier.
So its important to establish breastfeeding first before introducing a pacifier unless baby is sick or premature or has special circumstances.
Jennifer Horne, an IBCLC at The Lactation Network said, “Its best to wait a few weeks until breastfeeding is going well before you introduce a pacifier to a baby.”
The 10 Best Pacifiers For Breastfed Babies Of 2022
Pacifiers can be a really helpful tool when you have a baby. Not only do they help soothe your baby, but they also have protective purposes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pacifiers while your baby sleeps to help reduce the risk of SIDS. They also provide an analgesic effect when your baby is uncomfortable or fussy.
In this post, well go over the ten best pacifiers for breastfed babies, why theyre so well loved, and how to choose the right one for your baby! As well as address all the common misconceptions about nipple confusion.
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What Is A Pacifier
These days, you can find a pacifier in nearly any size, shape, color, or material you could want. But theyre still designed with the same use in mind: to help mimic the sucking babies do and to calm them between their normal feedings or when theyre upset.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Pacifiers
Babies have a strong sucking reflex. Often the sensation of having something to suck on is soothing for babies. So one of the most common reasons parents choose to use pacifiers to soothe and comfort baby. Additionally, studies show that pacifiers can help to reduce the risk of SIDS when used at bedtime.
Another benefit to pacifiers is that they are remove-able. Babies have and strong desire to suck to soothe themselves. If not given a pacifier, they may elect to suck on their fingers or thumb, which can be a harder habit to break in the long term.
When Should You Introduce A Pacifier
The timing with which you introduce a pacifier can make a difference in not only how quickly your child will take to it, but also in how it might affect nursing habits.
For mothers who desire to breastfeed, its generally recommended to wait until after 3 to 4 weeks of age, when breastfeeding is well-established, says Gritchen. However, it is also recommended to introduce early so right at 3 to 4 weeks for breastfeeders to decrease the risk of SIDS.
When Can My Newborn Start Using A Pacifier
Theres no right or wrong answer about how soon you should give your newborn a pacifier. But if youre breastfeeding, the American Academy of Pediatrics generally recommends waiting until you and your baby have a nursing routine down pat. This may mean waiting up to four weeks for your baby to avoid nipple confusion.
What on earth is nipple confusion, and why didnt they tell you about this in the hospital? Well, sucking on a nipple is different clearly from your side of things, but also for baby than sucking on a pacifier.
Some newborns may find it easier to suck on the pacifier. This can make it more difficult for them to latch on for breastfeeding. Or, they may use their energy to suck on the pacifier and then fall asleep or be less interested in breastfeeding when feeding time comes.
Breastfeeding can be even more difficult for preterm babies. This is because they may have smaller sucking muscles. Your nurse or doctor may recommend waiting to use a pacifier. However, every baby is different.
A 2013 AAP study suggested that offering pacifiers may help babies breastfeed only. The research followed babies in a newborn unit who were breastfed with and without also being offered pacifiers:
- Almost 79 percent of babies with pacifiers available were breastfed only without being given any formula feedings.
If you baby is exclusively bottle-feeding from the start, you should be able to give a soothing pacifier right away.
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What Are The Advantages Of Using A Pacifier
- You can control the use of a pacifier but its harder to control thumb sucking. When its time to stop using a pacifier, you can throw it away. You cant throw away a thumb!
- Several studies suggest that using a pacifier during the first year of life decreases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome .
Why The Shape Of Your Pacifier Matters
Classic thumb-sucking has taught generations of parents to be wary of allowing babies and infants to self-soothe. But pacifiers offer tremendous benefits and are a go-to choice for parents to help with soothing and sleep routines.
Certain pacifiers are recommended over others for their orthodontic shapes so that babies can continue to enjoy pacifiers with less concern for proper oral development. Orthodontic pacifiers are designed to work with your babys natural oral development and protect the palate.
Another important factor in choosing your little ones pacifier is if you are breastfeeding. Pacifiers can help encourage a routine after feeding to soothe babies if they become fussy. On the other hand, nipple confusion is a common problem where the baby does not take as well to the mothers breast if a bottle or other sucking tool has been introduced too early. Introducing the right pacifier around a month into breastfeeding can help to avoid nipple confusion so that breastfeeding is established first.
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Best Pacifier For A Tongue
Being tongue-tied can impair babys ability to suck effectively, which can make it difficult for him to keep a pacifier in his mouth. The WubbaNub is basically just a standard Philips Avent Soothie pacifier attached to a cute and cuddly stuffed animal. The rounded nipple of the Soothie can be helpful in teaching babies how to suck after their tongue-tie has been repaired, and the adorable animals are sized just right to help little hands grab the pacifier.
Buy it: WubbaNub, $14, BuyBuyBaby.com
Best In Innovative Technology
Designed by pediatric dentists and developmental psychologists, the MAM Pacifier is made of a trademarked Skin Soft silicone. Symmetrical in shape, the super-soft silicone pacifier takes the guesswork out of inserting it in your babyâs mouth the correct way.
Like other orthodontic pacifiers, the MAM has a flat-shaped nipple that supports oral development. It also decreases the chance of nipple confusion.
Thanks to clever medically engineered technology, the pacifier nipple has a built-in air channel that mimics a human nipple. It flattens and extends when babies suck upon it. The nipple, being symmetrical in shape, fits in the mouth at any angle.
Yet another perk is that the pacifier comes with a storage case in which you can sterilize it. When stored in the closed case after sterilization, the pacifier remains clean for up to 48 hours.
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The 4 Best Pacifiers For Breastfed Babies
Pacifier preference is individual to each baby. You may need to try a few to see what works best!
The BEST pacifiers for breastfed babies are ones that have a cylindrical shape. Your nipple changes shape when your babys tongue wraps around it. A cylindrical pacifier allows this same experience with your babys tongue.
Best Pacifiers For Newborns
For a new arrival, parents may want to consider the WubbaNub, Velikova says. Its loved for its one-piece, easy-to-grasp, medical-grade silicone construction thats free of BPA, phthalates, PVC and latex. Its also distributed in hospitals, NICUs and well-baby units nationwide.
WubbaNub for the win! Nadima Z., a mom of one from New Lenox, Illinois, says.
Where to buy: WubbaNub Infant Pacifier
Velikova also likes the Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier. Thanks to its rounded nipple shape, the Soothie is considered one of the best for breastfeeding babies under 6 months.
Its also a hit with parents.
My daughter loved the Soothie pacifier, Brianna D., a mom of one from West Long Branch, New Jersey, says. We didnt intend to have her use one, but the hospital had given her one during the extra night she had stayed over. We fondly called it the mute button until one day, eight weeks later or so, when she decided she was done with it and any and all pacifiers. Of course, that was the day after I decided to invest in many more Soothies!
Misha B., a dad of one from Pasadena, California, agrees the Soothie was best when his daughter was a newborn and offers a benefit for mom and dad, too.
Its the most comfortable for the parents when youre holding the binky in the babys mouth, he says.
Where to buy: Philips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier
Meanwhile, moms who are bottle-feeding their new arrivals are fans of Dr. Browns HappyPaci 100% Silicone Pacifier.
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What Our Experts Say
“If you are breastfeeding or planning on breastfeeding, its best to avoid giving a newborn a pacifier in the early days. Brand new babies want to suck a lot, which helps establish milk supply. Frequent feeding also helps minimize newborn weight loss. It is best to wait a few weeks until breastfeeding is going well before you introduce a pacifier to a baby.”Jennifer Horne, IBCLC, a consultant relations manager and lactation consultant at The Lactation Network
How To Choose The Best Pacifiers For Baby
The truth of the matter is baby will ultimately have the final say on which pacifier she prefers. Purchase a few different options, and try them all until you find one that baby likes. Consider factors like your childs age and whether or not shes breastfed, and choose a pacifier thats most appropriate. If youre nursing, you can also enlist the help of your lactation consultant for suggestions on the best pacifiers. Once youve narrowed it down, stock up on babys top pick, because pacifiers have a tendency to disappearand theres nothing worse than not having one handy when its desperately needed!
Of course, sometimes, no matter how many different types and sizes of baby pacifiers you try, baby just isnt interested. The good news: Hell eventually find an alternate way to self-soothe, and youll be saved from having to deal with pacifier weaning when hes older.
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Silicone Vs Natural Rubber Pacifiers: Which Is More Safe
A lot of pacifiers on the market are made from food-grade silicone, which is generally considered to be a safe material.
Silicone pacifiers are sturdier than latex pacifiers, and last longer. They’re also not as soft as latex pacifiers.
Because silicone is made with synthetic materials, we strongly recommend natural rubber pacifiers over silicone.
Natural rubber .
The safer choice when it comes to avoiding toxic chemicals. Natural rubber comes from the Hevea Brasiliensi tree, and is a great non-toxic material.
Natural rubber, made by a good company, has no added chemicals or preservatives. For the eco-conscious, it’s also biodegradablealthough it takes a long time.
There are some downsides to natural latex pacifiers, however:
- It breaks down quicker. Since they don’t contain any chemical preservatives or chemical softeners, they often break down quicker than their less-safe counterparts. Since they need to be replaced more often, this means more waste and more money out of your pocket.
- Some children have a latex allergy. These allergies are real, and there’s no real way of knowing if your child has one until you try giving them a latex product.
The Pros Of Giving A Breastfed Baby A Binky
If youre wondering whether or not its a good idea to give your baby a
Helps Your Baby Self-Soothe
Lets be honest we cannot hold our babies 24/7, even if they want you to do so. Using a pacifier helps your baby self-soothe and relax without you, or if your baby hates driving in the car, a pacifier stops some of the cryings.
One of the biggest benefits of using pacifiers is that it helps to reduce the risk of SIDS. Studies show that babies who use pacifiers are less likely to die from SIDS.
Thats a significant benefit of using binkies!
Babies Love Suckling
Suckling is a natural instinct for babies, but comfort nursing isnt always possible. Busy moms cannot spend all day nursing, so a binky gives your baby a way to suckle without needing you.
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Best Pacifier For Nighttime
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Night Pacifier glows in the dark so youll never again find yourself searching for a lost binky in the middle of the night. The symmetrical orthodontic nipple design is similar to that of a bottle nipple, which may help encourage babys acceptance of the pacifier. Its also available in three different sizes: 0-6 months, 6-18 months and 18-26 months.
Buy it: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Night Pacifier, $5 for two,
Best Design: Boon Jewl Pacifier
Not only are these pacifiers super cute, but theyre also well made . The stage one is safe for newborns and up, is all one piece, and made from 100% silicone. What makes it stand out from other pacifiers is its unique gem-shaped nipple thats designed for a more comfortable fit and to encourage proper tongue placement.
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Best For Colic: Bibs Assorted Try
A lot of babies require some pacifier trial and error before they find the one thats right for them, but parents of colicky babies will especially benefit from this try-it pack because it will allow them to quickly switch styles up as needed .
It comes with four pacifiers with different designs, all of which are safe for newborns, including round, symmetric, and anatomical-shaped nipples. The Colour and Couture pacifiers are made from natural rubber latex, while the De Luxe and Supreme are made from silicone. While this try-it four-pack is exclusively sold at Nordstrom, you can purchase the different pacifiers individually at a variety of retailers.