Soother, dummy, binky, sucky - a pacifier goes by many names. But whatever you like to call it, it’s important to get the right one for your little one. Pacifiers now come in a growing variety of different colours, designs, sizes and shapes, which means figuring out which one is best for your bub can be a little tricky. We’ve bought our personal experiences, top tips and research together to help you find the winning pacifier for your little one.
Trial and error
There is no better judge on which pacifier is best for your little one, than your little one themselves. Your baby will likely let you know pretty quickly if she isn’t liking the current style of pacifier you have chosen and which one she likes best. It’s best to be prepared to go through a bit of a trial and error phase to test out a few to see which one passes the baby approved test.
Natural Baby Shower’s aim is to provide parents with natural and sustainable products to help families bring up their children in a world that is a little bit greener. With this promise, we go on the hunt for the safest, most stylish and sustainable baby and parenting products on the planet, so you don’t have to. This of course means we have a range of eco and natural pacifiers that are safe for your baby but also safe for the environment.
Pacifiers have a very short life span, with experts recommending they are replaced as quickly as every two months for hygienic reasons. This can therefore make pacifiers quite the waste producer for our special planet. Brands are paying attention and a new wave of eco natural alternatives are coming thick and fast to take the place of the original plastic alternatives.
Hevea are taking the lead on this natural initiative and leading the way with their natural rubber pacifiers. Their whole range of beautiful and sustainable pacifiers are 100% plastic free and made out of 100% natural rubber with natural colour pigments. The best news of all, is once it comes to the time to throw your Hevea pacifier away, you can simply dispose them as organic waste which will then naturally biodegrade over time.
Different shape and sizes
There are so many different shapes and sizes of pacifiers out there, but which one is best for your little one? As with most baby products, it’s important to get the right pacifier for their stage and age of development.
Essentially every dummy is made from 3 key parts, the nipple, shield and ring. The nipple is designed to be soft and comfortable for your little one to suckle on to help soothe them. The shield is there to stop the pacifier from being sucked into the mouth, so it doesn’t become a choking hazard. The ring part is there to act as a handle so you can easily remove the pacifier from their mouth. It is also handy for attaching a clip to, so it doesn’t fall onto the floor or easily lost.
Orthodontic nipple pacifiers are flat on the bottom and rounded on the top, to conform to baby's tongue and the roof of her mouth. This style of pacifier is claimed to be better at preventing tooth misalignment or orthodontic issues later in life by interfering less with the oral development.
Rounded nipple pacifiers have the shape of a small round ball sort of like the shape of a cherry. It is often a very similar shape you find on baby bottles. It can sometimes be perfectly round, but there are also some that are a slightly elongated rounded shape. These are designed to be more like the shape of a female nipple.
Both shapes are safe for babies and toddlers, so choose whichever shape is most comfortable or preferred by your baby. They may find one style more soothing than another because of the shape or material. Some babies prefer a certain nipple shape or texture; some aren’t picky at all, but it’s best for them to be the judge to let you know which they prefer.
Pacifiers are generally sold in 2 different sizes according to your little one’s stage and age. Giving your baby a pacifier that isn’t right for their age could mean it is too big or too small for their mouth which may affect how well they are soothed and can become a safety hazard.
Because each pacifier brand’s sizing will differ depending on the material and shape of the nipple, be sure to check the sizing on the product page first to make sure it is suitable for your little one’s age.
Whatever size and style your baby prefers, be sure the model you buy is sturdy and cannot possibly come apart. Those moulded out of one piece of material are best, with a shield that's 1 1/2 inches or larger, so that your baby can't put the entire pacifier into their mouth.
It’s also best to pick a pacifier that has holes in the shield to allow for air circulation. Sounds a little odd, we know, but without these holes a baby’s saliva can easily collect behind the shield which can then cause to skin irritation or rashes.
Pacifiers have been found to cause bite and dental problems when used past the age of 2. So, it’s a good idea to wean your little off their pacifier around the age of two to avoid any oral development issues.
It’s also important to ensure you keep it clean and sterilised. Clean before first use and when needed simply with soap in warm water, and rinse well. Some pacifiers can be washed in the dishwasher, we recommend checking the packaging to make sure your specific one is dishwasher safe.
When you find the winner that everyone is happy with, especially your little one, we suggest on stocking up! After all that trial and error, research and shopping, you wouldn’t want to lose it or find it out of stock next time you urgently need it. Having spares means you’ve always got one on hand in case you lose it, it starts to wear out or if it’s simply time to update it to a newer one.
Don’t lose it!
We’ve all been there, out at a café with a crying baby that won’t settle and somewhere on the journey to the café you’ve dropped or lost your little one’s dummy and nothing else will settle them. Either always carry a spare or get a pacifier clip which can be used to attach the pacifier to your little one’s clothes. We suggest using only a specially designed clip that is intended for use as a pacifier clip as these are safe. Do not use a ribbon or make a DIY clip as this can become a hazard.
Check out our whole range of pacifiers here full of different sizes, eco options, stylish options and of course all handpicked by us here at Natural Baby Shower.