Are you a new mother looking for something to comfort your baby properly? Well, maybe all you need to keep your beloved kid content and calm is just a pacifier. In general, it is a nipple on the handle which is designed to entertain and pacify your baby.
While some kids only suck when feeding, the others will prefer to suckle on a baby bottle or nipple even after the feeding time is over. In these situations, using this small unit will help to comfort an annoying baby.
But how do you know which pacifier is most suitable for your baby? In this guide, we will show you all necessary thing that you need to know.
2. When to use a pacifier for your baby
In general, we recommend you to wait until your milk supply is well-established, which would be from 6 to 8 weeks before using a pacifier or any types of artificial nipple, including baby bottle, to your breastfed baby. By doing this, you will not lose any necessary stimulation of nipple to the pacifier.
Your baby might also give you some clear clues to signal the right time to introduce a pacifier. Basically, you should give a pacifier if your baby:
- Sucks at the corner of toys or blankets.
- Sucks at his thumbs or fingers.
- Suckles at your breast, but doesn’t draw milk and is bad-tempered after bring pulled away.
- Happily sucks at a baby bottle, even though it is empty.
Unfortunately, not most of babies will provide hints that they need a pacifier, which means that you might not notice whether a pacifier would calm your baby till you try using it for him.
3. When to stop using a pacifier for your baby
In general, it is not recommended to extend the usage of a pacifier mainly because it can result in various problems with your baby. Many experts suggest stopping the pacifier usage when a child turns 2 years old.
Most babies would have no difficulty stopping their pacifier usage themselves, but some would need your help in achieving this. Here are a couple useful tips to make the weaning process much simpler in a child:
- Infants and young children could be supported in weaning off their pacifier with massage, soft music, singing, rocking or swaddling.
- Older infants and children would prefer activities or toys to distract them from a pacifier. You should also take into consideration some objects that they like such as specific toys or blankets.
4. Types of pacifier
In general, there are 2 main designs of pacifier for baby, including:
Multiple piece pacifier
When it comes to a pacifier, the image of this design would be the first one come to your mind as the multiple piece is probably the most common model in the market these days.
In this type of pacifier, all components, including handle, guard and nipple, are designed separately before being built in a single model.
Single piece or one piece pacifier
This pacifier is manufactured from a single molded piece of latex, silicone or plastic. Thus, it could not come apart and minimizes the risk of your child choking on the pacifier.
The above types of pacifier can come in different forms of creative designs and shapes. Several of the more popular models of baby pacifier include:
Stuffed animal pacifier
This type of pacifier has just been introduced on market for a couple years, but is rapidly becoming a popular choice amongst babies and parents thanks to its appealing and attracting design.
Once your child turns 6 months, you can feed him with pacifier as well, which is suitable for the warmer time. You just need to freeze fruit pieces before putting them into a feeding pacifier, and your child will get a fruity and refreshing flavor when he sucks.
Available in most forms of unique and funny designs from crooked teeth to moustaches, novelty pacifier is a perfect choice to calm your baby as well as entertain onlookers every day.
5. Some tips for pacifier usage
- Always keep the pacifier clean by washing and sterilizing it frequently, otherwise it will collect germs and bacteria quickly
- Allow your baby to decide how he uses the pacifier instead of forcing. For example, when a pacifier falls out of his mouth and he does not seem to take it back, just let it be.
- Wait until you establish the breastfeeding routine well to minimize the chances of interruption because of pacifier usage.
- Provide the pacifier when you are sure that your baby is not hungry. When he expects a nipple but just get a rubber one, he would be angry.
- Do not coat the pacifier with sugar or any sweet substances in an effort to make your baby use it as this can result in cavities.
- You should not tie the pacifier to the stroller, crib, or your baby because this is definitely a strangulation hazard.
6. How to choose the best pacifier
There are some important things to consider when you are choosing a pacifier for your baby.
Baby pacifiers are often categorized by group of baby age: small (under 6 months), medium (6 – 18 moths) and large (above 18 months)
A pacifier that is too small might be rejected by your child, while a big one can lead to a choking hazard.
Several pacifier models are especially used for a particular age group. Thus, you need to read to the suggested age bracket on every pacifier.
Most pacifier models are now made in a single piece, which could not fall apart. Thus, it is often considered to be the safest kind of pacifier. Otherwise, if your baby use a multiple piece pacifier, give a good tug to the nipple. If the nipple separates, your baby would eventually be able to detach it too.
The nipple of a pacifier could come in 3 different materials:
Silicone : This is most common material for a pacifier nipple as it is easy to wash and is less likely to retain smells.
Latex : This material is more flexible and softer than silicone. Many children prefer the pleasing feeling of a latex nipple to silicon. However, it can wear out quickly due to soft nature.
Hard plastic : Though it is easy to clean and long wearing, plastic is the least common material in pacifier nipple production as many children will reject it. In some worse situations, the plastic could lead to a jagged edge, which cuts the inside part of your child’s delicate mouth.
Kind of guard
The shield or guard needs to be at least 1.5 inches to keep your child from drawing a nipple into her mouth and then choking.
The guard of a pacifier often contains ventilation holes, which allow air to move around between the baby’s face and guard to help prevent moisture rash.
You should go for a pacifier with bright color and avoid clear tone so that it is easy to find when it rolls under a couch or bed.
While each child will have their own favorite pacifier model, there are a wide range of highly recommended designs on the market. Below we have made a list of the top pacifiers for you to consider.
NUK Juicy Puller Latex Pacifier ( Best multiple piece pacifier )
A favorite choice amongst many parents, the NUK pacifier is an orthodontic way to help your baby develop healthy oral ability. Thanks to a nipple with similar form in a real breast, this model brings a familiar as well as natural fit to your child.
NUK offers us 4 different sizes of pacifier. The main idea behind it is that when your baby grows, it is necessary to have a pacifier that suits each stage of development.
- Offer different sizes for each stage of development
- Orthodontic shape
- Cute patterns and vivid colors
- Well-designed nipple
- Difficult to clean inside nipple
Philips Avent BPA Free Soothie Pacifier ( Best single piece pacifier )
Philips is probably one of the most popular pacifier manufacturers in the market. You will find this model extremely easy to clean thanks to its construction from soft medical grade silicone without any odor or detectable taste (which also helps keep long-lasting comfort and durability). Thus, it helps to prevent germs and bacteria no matter how much your children try to gunk it up.
This pacifier is designed with a unique form, which would fit a newborn mouth comfortably without limiting normal development. In addition, the nipple is smooth and strong, and resists being misshapen, discolored or sticky.
- Easy to clean
- Provide long-lasting comfort
- Smooth and strong nipple
- Safe to use
- Hole in the nipple
- Few colors
WubbaNub Animal Pacifier ( Best stuffed animal pacifier )
WubbaNub offers children with a wide range of animal designs such as elephant, lion, penguin or giraffe, which will definitely become their first friend. With a stylish as well as functional one piece construction, this pacifier allow your baby to grasp and suck it easily.
A pacifier with stuffed animal would make it easier for you to notice when it falls to the ground. In spite of the added animals, it is really simple to clean by simply throwing in a mesh bag and placing in the washing machine with a gentle cycle.
- Many different designs
- Durable one piece construction
- Easy to spot
- Easy to clean
- Easy to grasp and suck
Mustachifier – The Gentleman Pacifier ( Best novelty pacifier )
The mustachifier can be applied for toddlers or infants of any age. Apart from a good pacifier to soothe your baby, it also has funny and cute design that will be the center of attention wherever you go.
- Provide ventilation holes
- Orthodontic nipple design
- Made of strong plastic and silicone
- Flexible and soft
- Smaller than usual pacifier
Baby food feeder silicone dummies Pacifier ( Best feeding pacifier )
This pacifier is often used for baby over 3 months and also a perfect choice when he is teething. What you just need to do is getting vegetable or fruit into chips with scissors, putting them into the pacifier. You baby will suck it to enjoy the food.
- Easy to use
- Let a baby feed himself
- Various colors
- Suitable for most types of food
- Can be carried on a trip
- Difficult to clean the handle