How To Choose a Pacifier For Your Baby

Sucking on a pacifier can works wonders in soothing babies, and can often help them to fall asleep. When considering how to choose a pacifier for your baby, there are many factors to take into account, including size, general shape, and material components.

By far, the most important consideration is size. All the major brands of pacifiers come in a range of sizes, including birth to six months, six months to eighteen months, and a larger toddler size. Make sure to choose a pacifier from the appropriate size range and update it as the child grows older. Since children can become very attached to a specific pacifier, it is a good idea to buy the same pacifier in different sizes. Using a pacifier that is appropriate to a child’s age and developmental stage also minimizes the incidence of orthodontic issues.

General shape and style is also of importance when considering how to choose a pacifier for your baby. A simple single piece pacifier with a wide shield and a soft, pliable nipple is the best option. A wide shield or base that covers the baby’s mouth allows them to hold on to the pacifier with greater ease. This is especially important for infants who cannot retrieve and replace a dropped pacifier on their own. A single piece pacifier is essential as it cannot come apart and pose a choking hazard to your baby. Soft nipples simulate the mother’s breast and evoke the comfort a baby associates with nursing. They are far more soothing to a baby that less pliable nipples. Many brands offer this general style in a range of sizes and colors.

Make sure to choose a pacifier for your baby that is BPA free. BPA is a compound that is commonly found in plastics and that is known to leach out as the plastic degrades over time. BPA is found in a wide range of products, although most manufacturers of children’s products have banned the use of plastics containing BPA. It is advisable to check the packaging to ensure that the pacifier you choose is labeled as being BPA free.

Keeping a pacifier clean and sanitized is crucial to your baby’s well-being. While you can wash pacifiers by hand, it is advisable to get ones that are dishwasher safe. Cleaning pacifiers in the dishwasher is the best way to ensure that they are well sterilized between uses.

Some companies offer orthodontic pacifiers, which purport to support the healthy development of a child’s teeth. While some mothers prefer these pacifiers, there is no proven link between their use and dental development.

The most important consideration in determining how to choose a pacifier for your baby is whether or not your baby likes it. No amount of coaxing can make a child take to a pacifier that feels unnatural or uncomfortable. Choose a few pacifiers that are acceptable to you and let your child try them out. Ultimately, your child will make the final decision as to which pacifier is best for them.