The 4 Best Pacifiers For Breastfed Babies
When you've decided to introduce a pacifier to your baby, choosing the right one can be a daunting task — especially when it comes to figuring out which one is the most compatible with your feeding style. In addition to being soothing, the best pacifiers for breastfed babies are made of safe, one-piece silicone or rubber and designed with the right shape to help your baby avoid "nipple confusion" as you establish your nursing relationship.
To help narrow down the many pacifier options, the first thing to consider is the type of material. Typically, silicone pacifiers work well for all infants, no matter which way they are fed. This is because silicone is regarded as more durable, bite-resistant, and safer for babies with allergies than latex. These styles are also guaranteed to be free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates. (Note: 100% natural rubber is a great alternative for babies who may be allergic to silicone, too.)
Next, you'll want to focus on nipple shape as this is the key part of the pacifier that the baby sucks on. Two of the most popular suitable for breastfed babies are:
- Orthodontic nipples: These get their name because they are considered the best shape to prevent future dental issues. They are flat on the bottom and round on the top, which helps reduce any pressure on the baby's gums and teeth. That flattened look is also meant to feel more like your breast, thus providing the most natural sucking action.
- Cylindrical nipples: Sometimes referred to as rounded pacifiers, these compel a baby's tongue to cup around it, in the same way that a tongue cups around a nipple during breastfeeding, so this shape may offer more familiarity to a breastfed baby.
Keep in mind that some babies may only enjoy sucking on a binky for a short period of time, and some may not like pacifiers at all, regardless of the shape or material.
With that said, take a look at the three best pacifiers for breastfed babies below. All of these are one-piece pacifiers, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, since two-piece construction can be a choking hazard.
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1. The Overall Best Orthodontic Pacifer
This Chicco PhysioForma one-piece pacifier is a great option for breastfed babies of all ages and comes in three sizes depending on the baby's age (0-6 months, 6-16 months, and 16+ months). There is also a choice of clear, pink, or teal color options. The pacifier boasts a soft silicone, orthodontic nipple with a unique curved design that pushes the tongue forward to keep baby’s airway open, as well as ventilation holes to keep air circulating.
Note: This pacifier is not dishwasher safe and is instead recommended to be cleaned via sterilization. However, it conveniently comes with its own sterilizing case that can be used in microwave.
Helpful review: “I tried literally every paci sold at our local big box retailer. The baby would not use them. Then I found these on Amazon and gave them a try. The baby loves them. He instantly accepted it. If you're struggling to find a paci your kid will use, try this one. My first two kids were easy; they liked the kind the hospital gives out. This kid was a tough nut to crack, but these pacifiers did the trick.”
2. The Overall Best Cylindrical Pacifier
If your baby prefers a cylindrical/rounded nipple shape, this clear-colored Evenflo feeding balance plus pacifier is a great starter pacifier for breastfed babies up to 6 months of age since it promotes a natural tongue position. It too is made of soft, BPA-free silicone and is easy to clean, thanks to its one-piece design. You can either wash in the top-rack of a dishwasher or pop it into a sterilizer bag or machine. It also boasts a handle on the outside to make it easier to place and remove it from a baby's mouth.
Helpful review: “These really are great pacifiers for breastfed babies. I was worried about trying a pacifier too early and causing nipple confusion, but my second baby really loves to suck for soothing. So at 3 weeks old we finally tried these and, at 5 weeks old, there are no signs of confusion."
3. The Best 100% Rubber Pacifier
If you're concerned your child may have an allergy to silicone, or you prefer a the most natural option possible, this BIBS paci offers a rounded nipple that's crafted from 100% rubber (that's also BPA-, PVC, and phthalate-free). They come in the most color combos than any other pick on this list (pictured above is chestnut/dark oak, but there are dozens more cute ones to choose from) and you can get them in two sizes (0-6 months or 6-18 months).
Note: You'll want to sterilize each pacifier before use as you normally would, but because this is a natural rubber material, the manufacturer also suggests squeezing the nipple to release any retained water and letting it dry for at least three hours.
Helpful review: "These are my sons favorite binky’s! He refuses to take anything else. They are really cute and go with almost any outfit!"
4. The Best Pacifier-Teether Combo
Although it's pricier than the other pacifiers on this list, this one-piece Ryan and Rose cutie PAT pacifier comes in a rainbow of color options and is made of BPA-free soft silicone that's top-rack dishwasher-safe. It also offers a big benefit that most other pacifiers do not: It can transition into a teether once your baby moves past the pacifier stage. The nipple, which is available in either a round or orthodontic flat shape, can collapse and tuck into the rest of the pacifier when the baby starts to teeth. For older babies, the pacifier is also offered in a stage two version that is made of harder silicone to better withstand biting.
Helpful review: “The only pacifier my son seems to like. The nipple isn’t too long for his mouth and the circle design helps to mimic the breast and allows for that natural flange of his upper lip. It’s a little pricey but worth it!”