The 7 Best Pacifiers of 2021

Find the right fit for your little one

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Our Top Picks
Designed to fit snugly around your baby's nose and cheeks for a super comfortable and soothing fit
WubbaNubs are connected to a Philips Avent Soothie so you'll get everything you love, but with an added furry friend
Best for Breastfed Babies:
Evenflo Feeding Balance Pacifier at Amazon
This pacifier has a cylindrical shape that is designed to mimic the tongue shape that baby has while nursing
These top-rated orthodontic pacifiers come in packs of two, are very reasonably priced, and can be purchased in multiple colors
This extra-soft paci was designed to help prevent nipple confusion, easing your baby's transition to a pacifier
The pacifier is also lightweight and easy for even the youngest babies to use and features a breathable heart-shaped design
This one-piece pacifier made of BPA-free, medical-grade silicone allows baby to comfortably suck

Picking out a pacifier for your little one can be a tough choice since your baby will decide which soother they like best. From pacifiers aimed at mimicking breastfeeding to soothers with a friend, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some parents and caregivers are even looking for a pacifier that will last their baby beyond the newborn months. 

While picking the perfect pacifier can come down to a few different factors, Board-Certified Pediatrician Jen Trachtenberg, MD tells Verywell Family that whichever you choose, it should be "BPA free, dishwasher safe and without pieces that can come off, posing a choking hazard."

Here are the best pacifiers for your little one to try out. 

Best Overall: Dr. Brown's HappyPaci Silicone Pacifiers 3-Pack

Dr. Brown's Newborn Pacifier

With a shape mimicking a bottle nipple, Dr. Brown's Newborn Pacifier helps ease the transition to a pacifier for infants. Designed for babies 0 months and older, this dishwasher-safe binky is contoured to fit the shape of your baby's nose and cheeks, giving them a comfortable fit. It's made out of 100 percent medical-grade silicone and is BPA-free.

Best Soothing: WubbaNub Baby Yellow Duck Pacifier

If you are a new parent you may have noticed these funny-looking pacifiers around and never really thought about them. This must-have registry item is a pacifier that has an attached stuffed animal which will not only help keep the pacifier in their mouth, but it'll also be easier for baby (or parents) to find when it slips out in the middle of the night.

WubbaNubs are connected to a Philips Avent Soothie so you'll get everything you love about the Soothie but with an added furry friend. These come in an endless array of animals from a lobster, to a unicorn, and more.

This pacifier is suited for newborns until 6 months old or once they start getting teeth, which can damage the Soothie part of the pacifier. Technically speaking, the brand says that the entire product can be machine washed on gentle with an additional hand cleaning of the Soothie required. However, they suggest cleaning the plush and pacifier by hand if possible to preserve it as long as possible.

Good to Know

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should be placed into a bare crib to sleep, free of loose blankets, toys, and any other soft product. The Wubbanub should only be used during observed napping time and use during awake time.

Best for Breastfed Babies: Evenflo Feeding Balance Pacifier

With accurate shape and flexibility, we found the Evenflo Feeding Balance pacifier to be one of the best pacifiers for breastfed babies between newborn and 6 months old. According to the brand, the pacifier has a cylindrical shape that is designed to mimic the tongue shape that baby has while nursing.

This similarity will help reduce nipple confusion, allowing you to effectively establish breastfeeding without having to wait too long to introduce the pacifier (which can reduce the likelihood that your baby will accept a pacifier). We also love that these silicone pacifiers are one piece, making them easy to clean and less likely to fall apart.

Best for Newborns: Philips AVENT Soothie Pacifier

The Philips Avent Soothie is the one you’ll schlep home with you from the hospital after the baby’s born and there’s a reason for that—not only are these excellent soothers for babies but they’re made from medical-grade BPA-free silicone.

These top-rated orthodontic pacifiers come in packs of two, are very reasonably priced, and can be purchased in multiple colors. They’re durable, easy to handle, and easy to clean, too. The nipple is shaped similarly to the breast, which reduces nipple confusion.

What Experts Say

“I would recommend a [pacifier that is] BPA-free, dishwasher safe and without pieces that can come off, posing a choking hazard," —Jen Trachtenberg, MD, Board-Certified Pediatrician, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Spokesdoctor for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Best for Older Babies: NANOBÉBÉ 3+ Month Pacifier

If you have a baby over 3 months on your hands, the Nanobebe 3+ Month Pacifier is a great choice. This extra-soft paci was designed to help prevent nipple confusion, easing your baby's transition to a pacifier. The ergonomic shape is made to fit comfortably around your baby's mouth, promoting healthy oral development. These binkies are BPA- and Phthalate-free and come in four fun colors.

Easiest to Clean: NUK Comfy Orthodontic Pacifier 3-Pack

We love the NUK one-piece silicone pacifier for its unique, heart-shaped design. This allows it to sit comfortably under your baby’s nose, allowing proper airflow. The pacifier is also lightweight and easy for even the youngest babies to use. And we love that these are easy to clean, with a shape that resists moisture from getting stuck inside, thus resisting mold growth.

Best Silicone: The First Years Gumdrop Newborn Pacifiers

Similar to but slightly smaller than the Philips Avent Soothie is the First Years GumDrop silicone pacifier. It’s our choice for the best silicone pacifier for its breastfeeding-friendly, unique shape that allows the baby to comfortably suck without it covering his little nose.

This is a one-piece pacifier made of BPA-free, medical-grade silicone. And if the First Years GumDrop becomes baby’s favorite, you’re in luck, since these come in larger sizes for older babies as well.

Final Verdict

From the newborn stage and up to six months, Dr. Brown’s HappyPaci (view at BuyBuyBaby), which earned our Best Overall pick, would be a great choice as your baby’s soother. It’s made from BPA-free silicone, lightweight, and safe for the sterilizer and dishwasher.

For families looking for a pacifier that’s easy to clean, check out the Nuk Comfy Orthodontic Pacifier (view at Amazon). The pacifier’s shape resists moisture from getting stuck inside, leaving behind the possibility of
mold setting in.  

What To Look For When Shopping For Pacifiers

Age Appropriateness

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies are born with the instinct to suck, since that is how they will get food, which means that you can start offering a pacifier to your baby as soon as they are born. In fact, the AAP encourages parents to offer a pacifier for their baby at nap and bedtime throughout their first year in order to reduce the risk of SIDS.

All of that being said, babies grow at a rapid pace and a pacifier that works for a newborn will be too small for a six-month-old. You’ll want to pay careful attention to pacifier packaging to ensure you’re getting the appropriate size for your baby. The pacifier’s base should have a soft nipple and be wide enough that your child cannot stick the whole thing in its mouth.

Nursing-Friendliness

While you can introduce a pacifier to your baby as soon as they are born, the AAP recommends moms who are nursing wait until breastfeeding is “going well” first. Pediatrician Jen Trachtenberg, MD, adds on to this, saying, “Nursing moms often feel more comfortable introducing a pacifier after the baby has gained back the weight it’s lost since birth,” she tells Verywell Family, “which usually occurs by two weeks of age.” 

If you’re nursing and shopping for pacifiers, you’ll likely need to try a few options and be extra patient because there will be some trial and error. There are a lot of options out there but look for pacifiers that have a soft, flexible nipple that will somewhat mold to the baby’s mouth while it’s sucking on it. Orthodontic pacifiers are designed to flatten in a baby’s mouth, the way an actual nipple does while nursing, so a breastfed baby may prefer this style. With that said, there is no hard rule and many breastfed babies take rounded tip pacifiers just fine. 

Design

When shopping for a pacifier, you’ll first want to consider which type of tip you think your baby would prefer. Orthodontic pacifiers have a flattened tip that feels similar in a baby’s mouth to what mom’s nipple feels like when the baby is feeding, whereas traditional pacifiers have a rounded tip that tends to be a little easier for babies to firmly suck on.

A major benefit of orthodontic pacifiers is that they are ergonomically designed to support a baby’s mouth while the palate and jaw develop, however, they can also be a little harder for a newborn baby to firmly grasp, which isn’t ideal for soothing. Alternatively, while they may not go as flat in the baby’s mouth like an orthodontic pacifier, rounded pacifiers are typically still flexible enough to get somewhat flat, however, they do not offer the same ergonomic, developmental support. 

Another important aspect of the pacifier’s design is what it is made out of. For the most part, pacifiers are made from either silicone, natural rubber, or latex. Latex pacifiers are the softest and most flexible but are quicker to wear down (and eventually bite through). Pacifiers made from natural rubber are usually very durable and are a great option for parents who want baby products to be as free of synthetic chemicals as possible, however, they often have a higher price tag than other pacifiers. Finally, silicone pacifiers are durable while still being super soft, however, they can be a little stiff.

You should also look at the overall construction of the pacifier, and opt for one that is one-piece rather than two because they are safer, according to the AAP. Additionally, they recommend thoroughly cleaning the pacifier frequently until the baby is at least six months old, and then still somewhat regularly, so pacifiers that are dishwasher safe are ideal. 

FAQ

What kind of pacifier is best for nursing babies?

“There is no one right pacifier for babies,” says Dr. Trachtenberg, “you may have to try a few different pacifiers to see what your baby prefers.” This is true whether your baby is bottle or breastfed. However, caregivers with a nursing baby may want to try introducing an orthodontic pacifier with a silicone tip first because its flat design will likely feel similar to how mom’s breast feels during feeding.

If this isn’t working, then there is no reason not to try other materials and styles, and if the baby just won’t take a pacifier at all, the AAP says parents should not try to force it and instead explore other safe soothing options. 

When should I wean my baby from the pacifier? 

According to Dr. Trachtenberg, “there is no exact, specific time” parents should wean their baby from the pacifier, however, she encourages caregivers to start the process between 6 to 12 months because at that point the baby no longer has “as much of an urge for non-nutritive sucking” and it’s not yet “attached to it for comfort as compared to toddler years." If your child has frequent ear infections, studies show that weaning around six months can help to reduce frequency. 

Weaning between six and 12 months old may not be an option for your child, and that’s okay. The AAP notes that kids who are still using pacifiers (or sucking their thumbs) by the time they are between 2 and 4 years old are more likely to have issues with their mouth shape or teeth alignment. However, the AAP also says that as long as a child kicks the habit before their permanent teeth come in, their bite may still correct itself on its own without a need for orthodontics work.

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Christin Perry has been writing for Verywell since October of 2018. Her work has also been published on Parents The Bump, The Knot, Qeepsake, LittleThings, Dwell, Scary Mommy, and more. 

Additional reporting by Ashley Ziegler.

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce content for a variety of platforms. She’s a mom to 1-year-old and 4-year-old daughters and an aunt to 3 nieces and 2 nephews ranging from 5 to 11 years old. In addition to regularly scouring the internet to find the best things for herself, Ashley spends multiple hours a week researching, comparing, and writing about products specifically for kids and families.

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4 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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