A pacifier can truly save your sanity as a parent. It can be the difference between a crying and fussy baby in the supermarket, to a peaceful shopping trip. However, choosing the right one in a market of literally tens of thousands of pacifiers, how can you be sure you’ve found the right one?
To add some ease to your decision, we’ve compiled a list of the best pacifiers you can purchase today complete with a buyer’s guide on what to look for when shopping for the perfect pacifier for your baby.
A Buyer’s Guide for the Right Pacifier
There are so many pacifiers on the market for new parents to choose from. But how do you know which pacifier will be right for your baby? Before we dive into our top picks for the best pacifiers out there, let’s talk a little bit about how to choose the best pacifier for your baby.
Types of Pacifiers
The Multiple Piece Pacifier
The multiple piece pacifier is typically what comes to mind when you think about a pacifier. It comes with the nipple, a guard for the nipple, and a handle. All three pieces are manufactured together and come as a single piece upon purchase.
Single Piece Pacifier
Exactly as the name implies, this pacifier is made from a single piece of plastic or silicone. Parents like the single piece pacifier because it doesn’t fall apart with repeated use, which minimizes the risk of your baby choking on a piece of plastic.
There’s more than just two different types of pacifiers you can choose for your baby. Aside from the basic pacifier, there are also several other styles to choose from to best fit your baby’s needs.
The Stuffed Animal Pacifier
Plush animal pacifiers are becoming wildly popular among parents. These pacifiers have only been in stores the past couple of years, but are gaining popularity quick. If you’re looking for something that will have more appeal and comfort for your baby, a stuffed animal pacifier is a great choice.
The Novelty Pacifier
While it might not be the most popular choice for everyday use, novelty pacifiers are a great way to dress up your baby and get some laughs. Styles range from mustaches and kissing lips, to duck beaks and pig snouts. These pacifiers are great for Halloween and costume parties.
The Feeding Pacifier
Did you know your baby can suck on their pacifier and get a snack at the same time? With a feeding pacifier, you can place pieces of frozen fruit in the pacifier to give your baby a sweet treat. Moms with fussy babies especially enjoy the feeding pacifier, and it distracts you baby, so they’ll end up crying less. These pacifiers are also great for babies making the transition from soft to solid food.
Things to Keep in Mind
Once you’ve decided the type and style you’re looking for in a pacifier, there are a few other things to keep an eye out for when deciding which pacifier to buy. Keep in mind these things when you’re going to buy a pacifier for your baby.
Pacifiers generally come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. Depending on the brand, these sizes can vary. Size is very important in pacifiers, one that is too big can cause your baby to choke, while one that is too small will be spit out by your baby.
When selecting the size of your baby’s pacifier, use age as a general rule of thumb. For babies less than six months old, a small is a perfect fit. Babies six to eighteen months will use a size medium, and babies older than eighteen months require a large.
Some pacifiers and brands are only suitable for a specific age group. Before purchasing a pacifier, make sure you’re reading the box to look for age specifications.
The Material of the Nipple
The most common material pacifiers are made with are silicone, latex, and plastic, with silicone being the most common and plastic being the least common.
Silicone pacifiers are very easy to clean and are less likely to retain unwanted odors. Silicon pacifiers are the most common type of pacifiers on the market today and for a good reason. The material is sturdy enough to be cleaned in a dishwasher and is very durable over time.
Latex pacifiers are the next most common type of pacifier on the market. The feeling of latex in a baby’s mouth is smoother and more satisfying than a more tough silicone or plastic nipple. The downside to this is that the soft material can be worn down quicker, making you have to replace the pacifier more frequently than you would one made with a different material.
Lastly, plastic pacifiers are the least common pacifier on the market. While the sturdy material is long lasting, the hard surface is often rejected by babies. More so, over time the plastic can become jagged and damage the inside of your baby’s mouth. When purchasing a pacifier, silicone and latex are the best way to go for comfort and durability.
The Type of Guard
The guard is what will prevent your baby from choking on the pacifier during use. Make sure the guard on your baby’s pacifier is at least 1 ½ inches long. Sometimes, guards are curved which can further prevent your baby from choking.
Make sure the guard on the pacifier you purchase has ventilation holes. This will decrease the chance of a rash forming from the pacifier clinging to your baby’s skin. The ventilation allows airflow and reduces moisture, so the chance of rash decreases.
When purchasing a pacifier, give every piece of the frame a strong tug. If you can pull it apart, your baby will also be able to. Detachable pieces pose a huge choking hazard to your baby. If this is a huge concern of yours, always go for a single piece pacifier, which is considered the safest kind of pacifier.
How We Choose Our Rankings
We’ve analyzed the top pacifier brands and models out there to make sure you’re getting the best pacifier for your money. We’ve looked at pacifiers for newborns, up to two years old, breastfed babies, and babies eating solid food. We’ve analyzed the success of all types of pacifiers to make sure you’re getting the best fit for your little one.
Out Top Picks
Listed below is our list of the best pacifiers for your little one. Keep in mind; not every pacifier will be suitable for your baby. Before purchasing, take a look at the specifications to make sure your baby’s size, age, and needs are taken into account with the pacifier that you purchase.
Without further ado, here is our list of the best pacifiers for your baby.
NUK Newborn 100% Silicone Orthodontic Pacifier
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Best for: This pacifier is great for babies who are easily distracted. This pacifier comes in sizes that are suitable for babies 0-18 months of age.
Why We Loved it: This silicone pacifier is perfectly made to fit the shape of your baby’s tiny mouth. The nipple has an unusual shape that won’t stain. The nipple is durable and keeps shape well over time but is also comfortable enough to be enjoyed by your baby. This pacifier doesn’t have a handle, so there are fewer distractions for your baby. The result is an infinity-shaped guard that reduces skin irritation.
Things to Consider: While it might be a perk for some parents, it can be a drawback for others that this pacifier doesn’t have a handle.
Overall Feeling: This pacifier is made with great quality materials and has a super safe design for your baby. It’s easy to clean and stain-resistant.
Philips Avent Green Soothie
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Best for: This pacifier is best suited for newborns and babies up to 3 months in age.
Why We Loved it: This pacifier is trusted in hospitals across the nation. Two thousand hospitals even distribute it themselves to newborns. The pacifier is designed to calm and soothe newborns with a simple, single piece pacifier. It’s made with medical grade silicone and designed to fit the mouth of a newborn baby without teeth, relying on their mother to breastfeed. It’s also dishwasher safe so you can clean it in a breeze.
Things to Consider: Without a handle or other pieces to go along with it, it can be hard for your baby to hold, or for you to keep track of.
Overall Feeling: This is the ideal pacifier for newborn babies. It’s made with the safest materials on the market and completely imitates the feeling of a mother’s nipple. It’s cheap and durable, making it an all-around excellent choice for a first pacifier.
RaZbaby Raz-Berry Silicone Teething Pacifier
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Best for: The design of this pacifier is best suited for teething babies. It’s a bit large but fits babies over the age of 6 months well.
Why We Loved it: This teething pacifier is great for your fussy, teething baby. The raspberry-like design of the nipple has a bumpy texture which gives your baby something to chew on and ease their sore gums. Many moms stick this pacifier in the freezer to give more soothing comfort to their little one. This pacifier is made from 100% BPA free medical-grade silicone so it can safely stimulate your baby’s gums.
Things to Consider: While the nipple on this pacifier is shaped like a regular nipple, it’s not intended to be sucked on which can confuse some babies. Some babies can have a hard time taking to a pacifier that’s meant to be chewed rather than sucked.
Overall Feeling: This is one of the best pacifiers for teething babies. The unique design allows your baby to smooth their gum pain while doing other activities.
NUK Orthodontic Pacifier Value Pack
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Best for: This pacifier is best for older babies as they come a fit larger than other pacifiers. Ideally, this pacifier fits babies aged 6 months and older.
Why We Loved it: This pacifier is great for the growth of your baby’s teeth and mouth with it’s carefully designed orthodontic shape. These pacifiers are made with soft silicone that is durable, yet soft enough for your baby to enjoy the comfort. Because the pacifier is designed for older babies, its design features a tongue groove so it can accommodate stronger suckers without falling apart. Aside from the orthodontic features, these pacifiers also come in tons of great designs and colors.
Things to Consider: Although this pacifier is deemed as dishwasher safe, it sometimes gets water stuck underneath the nipple when going through the dishwasher. To avoid this, you may need to wash this pacifier by hand.
Overall Feeling: This pacifier has amazing dental benefits for older babies which is what makes it one of the best pacifiers for children over six months. It also comes at an extremely reasonable price for a pack of three.
Philips Wee Thumbie
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Best for: This pacifier is best for preterm babies, most specifically, those born before 30 weeks.
Why We Loved it: This pacifier is ultra lightweight and small, which makes it ideal for the tiny mouth of a premature baby. The pacifier was designed to imitate the shape of a preemie’s thumb which encourages important sucking behaviors the baby learns inside of the mother which a premature baby might miss out on.
Things to Consider: Keep in mind that this pacifier is extremely small. Babies who were born slightly premature probably will still be too big for this pacifier.
Overall Feeling: This pacifier does exactly what it is intended to do which is soothe premature babies. For parents who are struggling to find a pacifier that fits their tiny baby’s needs, this is a great pacifier to purchase.
Playtex Binky Silicone Pacifier
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Best for: This pacifier is best for a fussy baby. It’s designed for all babies, those young than six months and can be used up into the terrible twos.
Why We Loved it: This is a great pacifier that isn’t specific to one type or size of baby. The pacifier is shaped like a nipple which works great for babies who are breastfed but is also comforting to those babies who aren’t. The nipple is shorter than most which are ideal for babies who tend to gag on longer nipples of other pacifiers. The pacifier is also equipped with a vent that keeps your baby’s skin safe from a moisture rash.
Things to Consider: This pacifier is a bit pricier than other pacifiers on the market. It also has a smaller nipple than other pacifiers of its size, so it might not be taken well by babies who are used to larger nipples.
Overall Feeling: Although this pacifier is made for all ages, we found it works best for babies under six months who are usually fussier than older babies. Because the design allows it to sit to so well in the baby’s mouth, it makes a great soothing pacifier for all babies.
The Bottom Line
When looking for the best pacifier for your little one, try not to get overwhelmed at all the options on the market. Keep an eye out for the basics: size, fit, and material. Surprisingly, babies can be extremely picky about which pacifier they like best, so if the first one doesn’t work, don’t feel discouraged. You will eventually find one that they love and fits your baby’s unique needs.
Featured image by Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash.