The 7 Best Pacifiers for Newborns

The MAM Newborn Pacifier is our top pick for soothing and reducing risk of SIDS

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Among the long list of must-have items for newborns: pacifiers. They’re good for soothing fussy babies and also recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for use during naps and bedtime to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Reviewed & Approved

The MAM Newborn Pacifier has a uniquely designed shield that allows for air circulation, and is safe to use immediately after birth. For a pacifier that mimics breastfeeding, we recommend the Philips AVENT Soothie Pacifier.

However, you can’t toss just any pacifier into your cart—it needs to be newborn-specific. Jennifer Horne, a consultant relations manager and international board certified lactation consultant at The Lactation Network, tells Verywell Family that it’s important to purchase pacifiers for newborns with the “correct age range that is recommended on the packaging from the manufacturer.”

Pacifiers come in a variety of different shapes, and some newborns may require a little trial and error to find the right one. We carefully considered design, material, value, age recommendations, and pacifier safety when reviewing products.

Here are the best pacifiers for newborns to help everyone rest easier.

Recall Update

On January 19th, 2022, Mushie & Co announced a recall of their FRIGG Silicone Pacifiers citing a potential choking hazard. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), "Mushie & Co has received eight reports of the silicone nipple detaching from the plastic shield of the pacifier. In addition, the manufacturer has received about 200 reports from outside the U.S. of the silicone nipple detaching from the plastic shield of the pacifier. No injuries have been reported".

For more information on the recall and what to do if you have a FRIGG Silicone Pacifier, visit the CPSC website to review the official recall letter.

Best Overall: MAM Newborn Pacifier

5
MAM Newborn Pacifier

Source: MAM

Who else recommends it? Babylist and Mom Loves Best both picked the MAM Newborn Pacifier.

What do buyers say? 86% of 16,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

The MAM Newborn Pacifier is our top pick because it's designed specifically with newborns in mind; from its young age recommendation to special design for the tiniest of babies. This pacifier is safe to use from birth to 2 months old. It’s super lightweight and has a uniquely designed shield that allows for air circulation, won’t irritate the skin, and keeps the nose free for baby's breathing.

The pacifier orthodontic nipple is made from silicone that is soft and flexible and has an anti-slip texture to help the pacifier stay in place. Unfortunately, this pacifier isn’t dishwasher-safe. However, it can be sterilized in the microwave with the reusable storage case (which is included with purchase). 

Best for Soothing: Nanobebe Baby Pacifier

Nanobebe Baby Pacifier

Source: Nanobebe

For fussy babies that need some soothing, the Nanobebe pacifier is an excellent option. It’s lightweight, soft, and flexible, making it extremely comfortable for little ones, and it has an ergonomic shape to help it stay in the mouth.

The pacifier nipple is orthodontically shaped to support mouth development and is made from super-soft silicone that is designed to avoid nipple confusion. Finally, this pacifier is dishwasher-safe (top rack) and is safe for babies from birth to 3 months old. 

Best for Breastfeeding Babies: Philips AVENT Soothie Pacifier

Philips AVENT Soothie Pacifier, 0-3 Months, 2-Pack, Pink/Purple

Courtesy of Amazon

Horne says there is no research that has definitively proven one type of pacifier to be better for nursing babies than others. However, she does recommend the Soothie because its wide base more closely mimics a breast and a baby is more likely to keep its tongue in a natural position with it because of its straight nipple.

The pacifier is all one-piece, made from silicone, and dishwasher-safe. The Philips AVENT Soothie is what many hospitals provide to new parents, and the newborn size is safe for babies from birth to 3 months old.

What Our Experts Say

"If you are breastfeeding or planning on breastfeeding, it’s best to avoid giving a newborn a pacifier in the early days. Brand new babies want to suck a lot, which helps establish milk supply. Frequent feeding also helps minimize newborn weight loss. It is best to wait a few weeks until breastfeeding is going well before you introduce a pacifier to a baby."
—Jennifer Horne, IBCLC, a consultant relations manager and lactation consultant at The Lactation Network

Best Design: Boon Jewl Pacifier

Boon Jewl Pacifier

Source: Boon

Not only are these pacifiers super cute, but they’re also well made (and dishwasher safe!). The stage one is safe for newborns and up, is all one piece, and made from 100% silicone. What makes it stand out from other pacifiers is its unique gem-shaped nipple that’s designed for a more comfortable fit and to encourage proper tongue placement.

Best Silicone: Chicco PhysioForma Silicone Pacifier

Chicco PhysioForma Silicone Pacifier

Courtesy of Amazon

This one-piece pacifier is made from 100% silicone and is BPA- and latex-free. It’s designed to support oral development with its nipple that has a slight curve to help evenly distribute a baby’s tongue pressure against the roof of its mouth.

In addition to its orthodontic shape, the nipple also has a satin-like texture to help it stay in place and provide even more comfort. Finally, its shield is designed to prevent saliva build-up as well as allow air circulation.

Best for Colic: BIBS Assorted Try-It Pack

BIBS Assorted Try-It Pack

Source: BIBS

A lot of babies require some pacifier trial and error before they find the one that’s right for them, but parents of colicky babies will especially benefit from this “try-it pack” because it will allow them to quickly switch styles up as needed (to hopefully calm the baby down faster).

It comes with four pacifiers with different designs, all of which are safe for newborns, including round, symmetric, and anatomical-shaped nipples. The “Colour” and “Couture” pacifiers are made from natural rubber latex, while the “De Luxe” and “Supreme” are made from silicone. While this “try-it” four-pack is exclusively sold at Nordstrom, you can purchase the different pacifiers individually at a variety of retailers.

Best Orthodontic: NUK Orthodontic Pacifier

NUK Orthodontic Pacifier

Source: NUK

This pacifier has an orthodontic design, which means the nipple is specifically shaped to support the development of babies' mouths. The nipples are made from silicone, so they’re soft and flexible to mimic a breast’s nipple. It also has a heart-shaped shield that sits right under the baby’s nose to offer easy breathing as well as comfort.

Plus, parents and caregivers will love how easy to clean these pacifiers are. To clean these pacifiers, simply run the dishwasher with them on the top rack.

Final Verdict

Newborns can be very picky when it comes to their pacifiers, so what is best for one baby may not be a good fit for another. That being said, we ranked the MAM Pacifier (view on Amazon) highest on our list because of its softness and flexibility, shape, and light weight. There's also the Philips AVENT Soothie Pacifier (view on Amazon), which was designed to closely mimic a breast. These pacifiers are what many hospitals provide to new parents, and the newborn size is safe for babies from birth to 3 months old.

What to Look for in Newborn Pacifiers 

Shape

Pacifiers come in a variety of different shapes, and some newborns may require a little trial and error to find the right one (just like with bottle nipples). While there is no single pacifier shape that has proven to be better for breastfeeding babies than others, some shapes more closely mimic the shape of a breast/nipple than others.

Pacifier nipples that are straight, flat, orthodontic, and bulb-shaped are perfectly safe for newborns. An orthodontic pacifier is designed like a natural nipple, flatter and slightly square, and is intended to accommodate the motion a baby makes with their tongue when nursing. Non-orthodontic options have the classic bulb shape. So if you have concerns about nipple confusion, you may opt for the orthodontic style.

Lactation consultant Jennifer Horne, ICBLC, says she recommends "finding a pacifier that helps babies latch and use their tongue in the same way they do when breastfeeding," such as the Soothie (view on Amazon) which has a wide base. Horne explains, “Wide-base pacifiers will keep the baby’s lips and mouth open during pacifier suckling, which is how it should be at the breast." Another shape Horne says is good for nursing babies is straight, because this design is “more likely to keep the baby’s tongue in a natural position.”

Design and Materials

Many pacifiers are made from silicone, which is what Horne suggests, but natural rubber and latex are also options. All of these materials are BPA-free. Natural rubber pacifiers are also free of PVC, phthalates, parabens, and other chemicals, but they are much less flexible than latex and silicone. Be aware that some babies (and parents) may have latex allergies.

In addition to the materials of the pacifier, parents should also pay attention to its design. “Consider pacifiers that are one whole piece rather than pacifiers made of multiple parts, as these may pose a choking hazard,” says Horne. Additionally, she suggests purchasing pacifiers that are dishwasher-safe since it’s important to “wash them regularly to reduce bacteria growth.” 

Size

Whatever pacifier you offer your newborn should be made for their small size. The pacifier packaging should be clearly marked as either “0+ Months,” “NB to 3M,” or some other variation that makes it clear that it is safe for newborns. Pacifiers that are too large can pose a choking hazard.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What makes a pacifier newborn-specific?

    The pacifier size, weight, and design are what make it newborn-specific. The standard nipple shapes of pacifiers that are safe for newborns are also safe for older babies, but some pacifier shapes/designs are safe for older babies and toddlers, but not for newborns, such as teething or feeding pacifiers. Additionally, newborn pacifiers are smaller in size and are typically more lightweight to better support developing mouths.

  • Can a newborn use a regular pacifier?

    No. Pacifiers for older babies are a choking hazard for newborns. Likewise, an older baby or toddler should not use a newborn-sized pacifier because a too-small pacifier that a child can fit entirely into its mouth is also a choking hazard. Parents should always follow the age recommendation on pacifier packaging for safety.

  • How long should a newborn use a pacifier?

    Unless your baby’s pacifier is affecting their ability to feed or speak (and provided that you replace it with a new, age-appropriate one as they grow), your little one can use a pacifier until they reach 3 years old. Pediatricians, dentists, and speech therapists point out that using a pacifier beyond this age can result in incorrect teeth alignment and, subsequently, cause problems with speech development.

  • Do pacifiers help with gas?

    While sucking on a pacifier won’t help your baby pass any trapped gas, it can help soothe their symptoms. Pacifiers are a source of comfort to babies, with studies indicating that non-nutritive sucking (which means sucking without feeding) can help them manage pain or discomfort.

    However, a pacifier that is too big or too small can actually cause your baby to swallow air, which could end up becoming trapped and uncomfortable. As such, ensure that your baby’s pacifier is the right size in relation to their age.

  • Do pacifiers help with hiccups?

    Yes, pacifiers can help quell hiccups by relaxing the diaphragm muscle that involuntarily contracts during a bout. However, as annoying as hiccups can be for both you and your baby, they could actually play an important role in your baby’s brain development. A 2019 study that explored why newborns hiccup so frequently discovered a link between the diaphragm muscle contracting (the hiccup) and brain growth. The study authors believe that hiccups could be your baby's way of learning how to regulate their own breathing.

  • Should I remove the pacifier once my newborn is asleep?

    No, you should not remove your baby's pacifier once they have fallen asleep. Not only can a pacifier help soothe a baby back to sleep should they wake, multiple studies have also found that pacifiers can reduce the risk of SIDS. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a pacifier still offers some layer of protection against SIDS even if it falls out once your baby has nodded off.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a full-time parenting writer, and mom to a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. When choosing the pacifiers for this roundup, Ashley considered her personal experience (both of her children used pacifiers as newborns), product safety and design, and user reviews. She also consulted with breastfeeding expert Jennifer Horne, a consultant relations manager and international board certified lactation consultant at The Lactation Network, on the best pacifiers for nursing babies.

11 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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