Types of Pacifiers: Everything You Need To Know!

You’re considering pacifiers to help comfort your baby.

The usual tricks, like rocking or feeding, don’t seem to be soothing the little one.

When you step into the baby section’s pacifier aisle, however, you’re overwhelmed by all of the options. How do you choose the right type of pacifier for your baby?

Although it has evolved into a gazillion options, keep reading for a break down of the most popular types of pacifiers.

In this article, you’ll find out:

Before we get into the types of pacifiers, let’s discuss whether it’s time for your baby to use a pacifier.

How Do I Know If My Baby Wants a Pacifier?

When your baby is ready to be introduced to a pacifier, you may notice them giving you a few telltale signs.

  • They continue sucking on a bottle, even when empty.
  • Doesn’t draw milk during breastfeeding but doesn’t want to be pulled away from suckling.
  • Sucks on thumbs, fingers, toys, or other items.
  • Won’t be comforted by other means.

Once you feel that a pacifier might do the trick to soothe your baby, it’s important to figure out the pacifier’s size based on their age.

The Pacifier’s Size

There are different pacifiers sold on the market according to the baby’s age. You’ll first have to figure out the right pacifier size before selecting from the different types of pacifiers.

Going a size too big (or too small) is a safety risk, and it might feel uncomfortable for your baby. Here is a quick guide to nailing down the pacifier size:

  • Small is for 6 months or younger.
  • Medium is for 6-18 months.
  • Large is for 18 months or older.

Afterward, you can decide on the pacifier material you prefer.

Silicone or Latex Nipples?

The most popular material for pacifier nipples is either latex or silicone and both are BPA-free. Silicone is the modern version and has gradually become more popular over latex nipples.

You’ll notice that silicone is usually clear or slightly cloudy with a smoother texture, while latex is yellow, orange, or brown. The latter has a slightly inoffensive taste, though. As both pacifier nipple types get older, latex grows darker in color while silicone appears cloudier.

Most silicone pacifier nipples are dishwasher safe and don’t retain scent. Latex, on the other hand, must be hand-washed, wears out faster, and retains odors. Do be careful: Some babies are allergic to latex. Make sure that you stay away from latex pacifiers if your baby is allergic.

Which Pacifier Shape is Best?

The two basic types of pacifier shape are orthodontic and rounded-nipple.

Rounded nipple pacifiers are either ball-shaped or slightly elongated. They are closest in shape to moms’.

Orthodontic nipple pacifiers can be rounded on top or flat at the bottom. This shape best follows your baby’s tongue and the roof of their mouth. The makers of orthodontic pacifiers also say that it doesn’t hinder the baby’s oral development.

Which Pacifier Shape is Best?

The two basic types of pacifier shape are orthodontic and rounded-nipple.

Rounded nipple pacifiers are either ball-shaped or slightly elongated. They are closest in shape to moms’.

Orthodontic nipple pacifiers can be rounded on top or flat at the bottom. This shape best follows your baby’s tongue and the roof of their mouth. The makers of orthodontic pacifiers also say that it doesn’t hinder the baby’s oral development.

Type of Pacifier for Babies Needs

Pacifier manufacturers constantly come up with new types for every situation and need, from the classic pacifiers to stuffed animals and feeding pacifiers. When it comes to design, you’re sure to find one that is perfect for your baby’s needs–and that they’ll like.

1. For All-Around Pacifiers

Classic, three-piece, or basic pacifiers are great, everyday all-rounders.

The most common model is the three-piece pacifier made of silicone or latex. Their shield is available in a wide variety of patterns and colors. Pretty durable, they are up to withstand heavy use. You should still, however, make sure to check the nipple and shield weekly for any signs of looseness or damage. Replace any sticky, old, and torn pacifiers.

The stuffed animal pacifier is hugely popular and an offshoot of the classic soother. It has a silicone one-piece nipple that comes attached with a plushie. This makes it easier to hold and the various animals and plush dolls they come with can be amusing for your baby. Wash the stuffed animal pacifier in a washing machine and then air dry to clean.

The mini pacifier is just the type of pacifier for newborns. If everything else seems a bit oversized, the extra small and lightweight size of the pacifier is perfect for newborns who are 0 to 2 months old. And don’t worry, the shield won’t touch their cute button nose.

2. For Extra Comfort

A soothie is a one-piece pacifier (see below) that are best for parents who want a medical grade pacifier that provides extra comfort for their newborn or older baby. With a hole on the front, it lets you provide the comfort of your finger at the same time.

3. For Sensitive Skin

Some babies’ skin is more sensitive. If your mini-me has sensitive skin, the freeflow pacifier keeps them dry and comfortable through large air holes in the pacifier’s shield.

The ultra soft pacifier has a flexible and soft shield with more airflow to prevent your baby’s skin from irritation and marks. It’s ideal for both newborns and older babies.

4. For Minimizing Choking Hazard

A one-piece pacifier is made from a single piece of material that rarely breaks apart. This minimizes their risk of choking. They come in all varieties and materials.

5. For 6 Months and Up

Once your baby hits 6 months, you might want to start introducing them to new foods and flavors. The feeding pacifier has a mesh pouch that is fixed to the base. You can place fruit inside the mesh for your baby to suck and gum. Most of these mesh feeders are also dishwasher safe.

One Last Thing…

Every baby is unique. You may find that one pacifier is popular with babies, but not with yours. That’s okay.

Hold on before you totally give up. Experiment with a few different types of pacifiers to find one that your baby will love. When you do, stock up on spares.

Don’t force a pacifier if your baby happens to reject it. You may try another time when they’re ready. However, if they never take to any pacifier, you’ll have to find another way to keep your baby calm and content.

What type of pacifier do you prefer for your baby? Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments below. Share this article with other parents who need help choosing a pacifier.

Sarah Morgan
 

Chief editor of WellBeingKid.com and striving mom-extraordinaire.Let me share and inspire you with my daily struggles to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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