Whether you're making a list of baby supplies for your baby registry or waking up to your baby crying at night, baby pacifiers are lifesavers for new parents and parenting vets alike. Pacifiers are the perfect way to calm your baby during fussy days or learn a gentle soothing technique that goes beyond how to make a baby stop crying on restless nights.
But first, you have to find the best baby pacifier for your little one. Because pacifiers for infants come in many pacifier types, shapes, and styles, we'll help simplify your search so you bring the best binky home.
When to Introduce Pacifiers: Is There a Pacifier Age?
The truth is, the right time to introduce a baby soother to your little isn't one pacifier size fits all. Throughout infancy, baby pacifiers satisfy your little one's natural need to suck, a principle of the 5 S's on how to soothe a baby, especially a colicky baby.
During hospital births, you will often receive hospital pacifiers before you even leave the ward. This is especially true in the NICU, where preemie pacifiers are given to preterm babies to help calm heart rates, provide comfort, and develop their ability to suckle.
But this timeline is a little trickier for breastfeeding newborns. The American Association of Pediatrics suggests waiting up to 4 weeks before you introduce a pacifier for a breastfeeding baby. This allows you to first establish a breastfeeding routine, before bringing out the binky.
However, if you are bottle feeding from the beginning then introducing a baby pacifier is much simpler. You should be able to transition your newborn between a baby bottle and a baby pacifier early on.
Choosing the Best Pacifier Style & Type
When it comes to baby binkies, there are enough options to build a city of baby soothers. But you don't need a city—you need the right pacifiers for babies to calm your infant when they need it most.
The key to how to get a baby to take a pacifier is finding a binky with the features your little one wants. Learning more about the most common pacifier types and materials below will help you make the right decision:
Ever woken up to the cries of your fussy baby at night, only to scramble for their pacifier in the dark? Well, glow-in-the dark pacifiers are here to shine so you can stop breaking a sweat. Because the glow of this pacifier at night makes it easy to locate, you can quickly soothe your little one.
When your baby has already had a night feed or if you are night weaning, a glow-in-the-dark pacifier is a great way to soothe a baby outside of nursing. This is because the glow makes it easier for you to locate the pacifier and help your little one to self soothe when upset.
Silicone baby pacifiers are one of the most common pacifier types in the market. The best silicone binkies contain 100% medical-grade silicone, which is what makes them so durable. Silicone baby soothers are more likely to keep their shape, to age slower, and to handle high temperatures. So, when it comes to silicone vs. latex pacifiers, silicone pacifiers last longer.
Plus, silicone is a great option if your little one is sensitive to latex. Be sure to confirm with your pediatrician if you suspect your baby may have a latex allergy.
But if you're looking for a more cushiony, soft pacifier, then a natural rubber pacifier or latex baby pacifier is your best bet. Because of their softness, latex pacifiers have a flexible feel that makes them more comfortable for your baby’s gums.
What's the Best Pacifier for a Breastfed Baby?
When it comes to a pacifier for breastfed baby, it's all about the pacifier shape. The main feature to look for in a pacifier for breastfeeding babies is a pacifier that mimics a mom's nipple while breastfeeding. So, when you alternate between pacifiers and breastfeeding, both pacifier nipples will still feel familiar to your little one.
Finding the right pacifier brand can take some time, so don’t worry if your baby won’t take pacifiers from a certain line. Instead, try out different breastfeeding pacifiers that you like and let your baby’s reactions tell you which binky wins out. That way you and your little one will settle on the perfect pacifier type together in no time.
What's the Best Pacifier for Newborn Babies?
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Can I give my newborn a pacifier in the first place?” The answer is yes. In fact, the AAP recommends soothers during your baby's first year of life. This is because studies show that infant pacifiers can help prevent the risk of sudden infant death syndrome—the number one cause of infant mortality.
But there are many pacifier brands with newborn pacifiers. So how do you choose the best newborn pacifier for your baby?
Like breastfeeding pacifiers, the best pacifier for a newborn baby is one that mimics a nursing nipple. This construction of newborn pacifiers encourages your little one to latch, so breastfeeding newborns will find it easier to transition between suckling a breast and a binky.
How to Sterilize Pacifiers
Sterilizing pacifiers is a lot like sterilizing your baby bottles. When you need to clean and sterilize a pacifier, follow these steps for a thorough sterilizing:
- Wash your pacifiers with hot, soapy water. Fill a clean sink or bowl with dish soap and use your hands or a sterile sponge to wash away the grime.
- Check your baby binky for cracks or damage. If these are present, throw it away to avoid your baby coming into contact with them.
- Heat water on the stove until boiling and place the baby pacifier in water for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let pacifier cool before touching, then air dry pacifier on a clean surface. Be sure to squeeze out any excess water still in the pacifier nipple.
- Give the pacifier to your baby or store it in a sterile pacifier holder case.
In short, sterilizing pacifiers isn't complex. If you’d rather cut down on time, you can opt for the high-tech option of pacifier sterilizers. Still, classic pacifier cleaning methods have the same effect: a bacteria-free baby binky to calm your baby.
Find the Best Baby Binky for Your Little One
No matter if you call them baby pacifiers, binkies, or baby soothers, they're a great way to learn how to soothe newborns, breastfeeding babies, and bottle feeding babies alike. Pacifiers are a tried-and-true method of safely calming babies via their natural need to suck.
If you have any questions on pacifier safety, please reach out to us here so we can further support you and your little one.