Calming your baby can be done easily with a pacifier. Basically, this item has a nipple at the tip where your baby can suck for comfort or entertainment. It is made up of a nipple, guard and ring. The nipple is should be soft to be sucked on. The guard prevents the whole pacifier to be swallowed, thereby reducing a choking hazard. Lastly, the ring features a drool-free grip that adults can use to remove it from the mouth.
A baby is in need of a pacifier if he shows the following signs:
- Sucks on his thumb or fingers
- Sucks on toys or corners
- Suckles on an empty bottle without a care in the world
- Doesn’t want to draw away from your breast
If you plan on feeding your baby with a bottle, you can give the pacifier at any age. However, you must already recognize your baby’s cues for hunger, pain, need for sleep and gas before introducing a pacifier. However, if you pursue breastfeeding, you should wait until 6 weeks before giving a baby pacifier. This will reduce the likelihood of nipple confusion, since the baby will already be familiar with the breastfeeding routine.
Replacing a baby pacifier should not be a question. If the following signals can be observed, it is time for a replacement:
- Tears and holes in the nipple
- Nipple feels sticky despite regular washing
- Stretched nipple
- The handle or guard is dented
- Loose parts
Cleaning a baby pacifier should be as thorough as cleaning feeding bottles. The sterilization process must be appropriate to reduce germ breeding and the accumulation of gunk. Condensation and a bit of water after the cleaning process is normal, but it is best to squeeze them out until they are completely dry. Leave the baby pacifiers in a ventilated and sanitized area. Using multiple pacifiers is recommended so you won’t need to rush the cleaning.
Types of Baby Pacifiers
Multiple Piece Pacifier
- Most common type in the market
- Individual components that are assembled and disassembled
- Poses choking hazards
Single Piece Pacifier
- Does not come apart
- Made from a combination of hard plastic, latex or silicon, or just from one or two materials
- Has a standard construction that is safe and durable
Stuffed Animal Pacifier
- Appealing to kids
- Comes in different designs
- Hard to wash
- Has unique and funny designs, like crooked teeth or mustaches
- Great for Halloween or dress-ups
- Entertaining for adults
- Designed for warmer months
- Can accommodate liquid food and bits of fruits
- Less mess during feeding time
- Great for night use
- Its glow helps the baby to sleep
- Easy to spot at night when it is dropped
Factors to Consider in Buying One
Baby pacifiers pose a choking hazard if they are made from separate materials. Tug it and see if it comes apart, because if it does, the baby might also get them to loosen up. Single-piece constructions are highly recommended since it is the safest type.
Choose a small-sized pacifier for babies aged 6 months and younger. Within 6 to 18 months, the baby can suck on a medium-sized piece. A large piece would be great for 18-month old babies and older.
Silicone is the most common because it is easily cleaned and odor-free. Latex is more flexible and softer, but it wears out fast. Hard plastic is the least common and preferred. While these are easy to clean, it might have jagged edges from excessive use, which can injure your baby’s mouth.
Brightly-colored pacifiers are easier to spot than plain-looking ones. If you had your share of lost pacifiers, make sure to choose another that is bright and colorful as possible.
Choose a pacifier that is dishwasher-friendly. This will save you from the hassle of cleaning the pacifier and keeping it sterile for baby use.
The ideal measurement of a pacifier guard or shield is at least 1.5 inches. It should also contain ventilation holes to prevent moisture rash and improve air circulation.
The best baby pacifiers in the Market
Best single piece pacifier
1. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier
Colors: Blue, Green, yellow, Pink, purple
Ages: 0-3 months and 3+ months
- Easily cleaned
- Uses hospital-grade silicone
- Features a single-piece construction
- Adheres to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Soft feel
Best stuffed animal pacifier
2. WubbaNub Animal Pacifier
Styles: many different animals to choose from.
Age: Up to 6 months.
- Can be used up to 6 months
- Uses medical-grade silicone
- Easy to clean
- Lots of animal designs to choose from
- Has a one-piece construction
- A bit expensive
Best multiple piece pacifier
3. Nuk Pacifier
Styles: many different styles to choose from.
- Top multiple-piece pacifier trusted by mothers
- Hassle-free cleaning
- Features a medical-grade silicone construction
- Up to 4 different sizes to accommodate your baby’s growth
Tips and Tricks to Pacify Babies
- Dropping a pacifier should not be a cause of panic and immediate replacement. It can be used again after being rinsed with hot water. If it is dropped outside the house, make sure to rinse it using soapy and hot water to rid the germs.
- Pacifiers can be easily misplaced because of their size, so make sure to dedicate a location for its storage. It should be kept out of reach of children.
- During the summer, submerge the pacifier in water and let it slowly be sucked inside. Freeze the pacifier upside down, so the formation of the ice starts at the tip. Give to your baby for a calming and refreshing treat.
- Buy a pacifier without extra features. Gimmicks, like glitter, tassel and beads, may seem interesting at first, but they might hinder a comfortable use. Furthermore, some detachable materials can harm the baby.
- Strangulation hazards can be avoided if you don’t attach the pacifier on the crib, stroller or baby with a string.
- DO not invent your own pacifier, even when you want to be practical. It might result to choking hazards, or might poison the baby with unapproved materials.
- Coating the pacifier with jam or honey might be a good idea if you want to ensure that the baby is enjoying his sucking sessions. However, this might lead to the early formation of cavities in your baby’s developing teeth.