What is the best kind of pacifier to buy?

Before you buy a pacifier, take a look at these common pacifier features and pacifier safety tips to be sure you’re choosing the right pacifier for your baby.

Don’t Buy Too Many Pacifiers

It can be tempting to buy several boxes of those cute little pacifiers when you are stocking your baby’s nursery and even though buying a few pacifiers in different styles is a good idea, wait until you know your baby will take a pacifier before buying too many. There are some babies who just don’t like pacifiers and others are very particular about which types of pacifiers they will take. Try a few pacifier styles with your baby before buying a year’s supply.

Buy One-Piece Pacifiers Only

Most of the new pacifiers are one-piece and they are either made of molded silicone or a combination of plastic and silicone or latex. Make sure that the nipple is firmly attached to the base of the pacifier. If you can detach the nipple with a tug, you can be sure that your baby will eventually detach it. You should also avoid pacifiers that have liquid or gel inside the nipple. Liquid-filled pacifiers may look cool, but they can be messy and possibly harmful when baby bites through and releases the liquid.

Don’t Wing It

There are many baby products can be recreated at home, but pacifiers are not in that category. Do not improvise by using bottle nipples and caps as pacifiers. They can come apart easily and cause choking. Homemade pacifiers are usually not sturdy enough to hold up to repeated use without breaking down or causing other health risks to your baby.

Orthodontic Pacifiers vs. Rounded Pacifiers

Orthodontic pacifier nipples have a rounded top and a flat bottom, and they were designed to prevent tooth troubles later in your baby’s life. However, if your baby seems to prefer a rounded traditional pacifier nipple, then go with what works. Both types of pacifier nipples have been found to increase bite problems, like overbite, later in life. To prevent this you can limit the amount of time your baby spends with the pacifier and take the pacifier away after his first year to minimize dental damage.

Silicone or Latex Pacifiers?

Both silicone and latex pacifier nipples have advantages, but the choice usually comes down to your baby’s preference. Silicone is sturdy, it doesn’t retain odors, it cleans up easily and it is harder for your baby to bite through. Silicone is will not be as soft on your baby’s mouth as latex will though. Your baby may also like the way latex retains scents. However, latex doesn’t hold up as well as silicone does to repeated cleanings and little teeth can quickly chew through it.

Must-Have Pacifier Features

Your baby’s pacifier should be at least 1.5 inches across to prevent choking. Many babies develop rashes from the constant moisture under the pacifier shield. Look for pacifiers that have vent holes in the shield to let air get to your baby’s skin. Color and style are totally up to you, but brightly colored pacifiers are generally easier to spot under vehicle seats and in diaper bags. Glow-in-the-dark pacifiers are easy to find at bedtime. Also, be sure the pacifier can be boiled or put in the dishwasher for cleaning.

Don’t Strap It On!

No matter how tempting it is to tie a pacifier to your baby, don’t do it! Pacifiers get lost a lot, but putting a ribbon or string around baby’s neck or tying the pacifier to clothing carries with it a great a risk of strangulation! If your baby keeps losing pacifiers, keep small stashes of baby’s favorite style in the diaper bag, car, nursery, etc. so that you always have one at the ready, or look for a strong pacifier clip at the store.

Check for Pacifier Recalls

This It doesn’t happen very often, but there are times when baby pacifiers are recalled for safety issues. Please pay close attention when you hear news about this, because with something that is in your baby’s mouth so often, it’s important to know if a flaw poses a choking hazard or other danger.

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One Response to “What is the best kind of pacifier to buy?”

  1. Emily Says:

    Thanks for this helpful post. I’m expecting my 3rd child next month and I am hoping for a pacifier baby! My first 2 kids were/are avid thumb suckers and THAT is a hard habit to break! I have seen how their thumb sucking has messed up their teeth. I’ve found some helpful tooth care tips on this Mom’s Guide, if you want to check it out. I’m glad you mentioned to take the pacifier away at 1 yr old. I’ve seen so many 2, 3, 4 year olds using pacifiers! That’s not a good thing!

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