From the moment of birth to long into their adolescent years, children have the urge and need to suck. Sucking is a natural, instinctive part of their development. Whether it's their fingers and thumbs or just about any item they can manage to wrap their little hands around, they will place it in their mouths and saliva it all up. With newborns, the base reasons are three-fold.
First, very simply, they need to make the contents of their bowels move. That dark, sticky mess that they poo out in the first day or so is called meconium. Sucking stimulates the intestine to move that out of their body.
The second reason and most obvious is to feed. The sucking motion on a pregnant woman’s breast helps to bring the milk forward, especially that all important and nutritious colostrum that baby needs so badly in the first few hours.
Thirdly, babies find the action of sucking soothing and often this can be construed as, for many new mothers, a signal that baby is hungry. This is not necessarily the case. This is where the possibility of giving your baby a pacifier comes in. Let us explore the good, the bad and the ugly’s of the best pacifiers on the market.
How Did Pacifiers Come To Be?
As early as the 17th Century, mothers were coming up with ideas on how to “still” or “pacify” their babies. While pacifiers, or dummies as they are known in the UK, originally were spawned from teething rings, they developed into something quite different from their rubber or plastic counterparts.
The first pacifier was made from linen filled with sandy sugar and tied in such a fashion as to represent a teat or nipple. Thereby earning the name sugar tits, sugar treats or sugar-rags.
Today, the pacifier has been developed over and over so that there are so many varieties it becomes quite confusing as to which is best for your baby.
Why Even Bother To Introduce A Pacifier To Your Baby?
Take the word Pacifier in its fundamental and base meaning.
It is something or someone that pacifies another. To pacify means to restore a state of peace or tranquility.
And who doesn’t want peace and tranquility?
Synonyms of Pacifier:
Mediator Alleviator Stabilizer
Referee Peacemaker Soother
So, for any mother or caregiver, it becomes quite obvious why a pacifier is something to consider when it comes to finding methods to soothe and calm your baby. Many mothers will tell you that the Pacifier has been a Godsend as their breasts were beginning to feel like one.
While there are many mixed feelings on whether a pacifier is a good or bad thing, there is no denying that it has brought many a peaceful nights sleep for many a household. Having said that, not all babies take to pacifiers. Some will not have anything else but the boob. (Hand Up!) Others will only have the bottle and are often seen chewing and sucking on the teat of a baby bottle, even though the bottle has been empty for a long time.
We believe that you need to look out for the signs that your baby may just need a pacifier and it is important not to force a child to take the pacifier. Even if you claim that you used one, your mother and grandmother before you too. Sure signs that your baby needs a little-added sucking time:
- they suck on anything and everything (although, depending on age, this could be a sign of the onset of first teeth)
- they are not satisfied with your breast after feeding time is over
- they suck on their fingers, toes, thumbs or entire hand all the time (again, this could be a teething thing)
- they root constantly even though you know they must be full
The Pros And Cons Of Pacifiers
Here are a few of the drawbacks and benefits of allowing your baby to use a Pacifier:
|CON||There is belief that pacifiers mess with breastfeeding, in that because the baby may not suckle as much as they would, the milk won't flow as naturally|
|PRO||Researchers show that the pacifier may have reduced the possibility of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)|
|CON||Some say that a child who sucks on a pacifier will develop more ear infections|
|PRO||Some prefers that, instead of sucking their thumb or fingers, or in fact any other item, a child suck on a pacifier|
|CON||Some dentists claim that the use of a pacifier can affect a child’s natural teeth development|
|PRO||Research does show that the use of a pacifier may reduce bruxism (which is teeth grinding) and thereby prevent further teeth issues|
|CON||Connected to the teeth belief, there are those who state that because a child has a pacifier in their mouth it may affect their speech in the long run|
So you can see that, like with any other baby product, there are many Pros and Cons. We will let you make up your mind as to what is nonsense and what makes sense.
The Types Of Pacifiers
As mentioned before, pacifiers have come a long way from their early beginnings, and now you can choose from over 200 varieties, brands and colors. We have chosen our firm favorites and to make it simpler have decided to present these best pacifiers under certain categories;
Old School Best Pacifiers
Some swear by the old fashioned, simple rubber pacifier and some prefer the new-age ones. But we quite like this rubber range from Ecopacifier.
Ecopiggy Rounded Natural Pacifier
The Rounded Natural Rubber version comes in a naturally rounded, quite large nipple or you can go with the Orthodontic Natural Rubber Option which has a slightly smaller nipple. They both cater for ages 0-6 months as well as 6 months and up size.
Ecopacifier promises that these pacifiers are BPA, PVC, Phthalate and Paraben Free. Further, they are made from 100% natural rubber (from the Havea Brasillensi Tree) without using chemicals softeners or colorants.
Unlike most modern pacifiers this soother is completely made from rubber, in that the nipple, guard, and ring are all rubber. Most pacifiers, nowadays, have a hard shell guard and ring. The difference between the two, i.e. the natural and the orthodontic, is that the latter has a smaller nipple and comes in a three pack, whilst the natural has a larger nipple and is only available in a single pack.
New-Age Best Pacifiers
In this day and age, we expect the authorities on all that is the baby to come up with the right everything. And they have.
Chicco Pacifier Hard Shield
Chicco has brought us great products from strollers to car seats. They bring us now a lovely little duo of pacifiers, developed by leading orthodontists and made to feel like a real breast nipple.
With them being BPA and Latex Free, we give them a gold star for this. With a variety of very cool colors and designs, as well as sizes from newborn and up to 12 months plus, you are spoilt for choice.
We quite like the fact that the guard or shield, which sits against baby’s mouth, has ventilation holes and is ergonomically shaped for comfort. In addition, Chicco provides a sterilized case to hold the two pacifiers. Which will come in very handy when on the go? We are very stoked over this range as well as the price of $5.99.
Gimmicky Best Pacifiers
Ok, so we have to admit we are not a fan of the gimmicky, funny pacifiers on the market, but if you want to just purchase one for a laugh or dress-up, here are a few options.
Mustachifier - The Cowboy Mustache Pacifier
Made from silicone and plastic, Mustachifier brings us a novelty pacifier for those young-at-heart parents. They have ensured that it is BPA, PVC, Phthalate, Latex, and Lead-Free. In addition, this pacifier comes with a snap-on hygienic cap for when baby has had enough. They have covered all the bases here and designed the nipple to orthodontic specifications.
A little on the pricey side at $99.38, but reviews show that there have been no disappointments the following purchase.
Snuggle Soother Best Pacifiers
Manufacturers are constantly thinking of unique ways to sell their products and it appears that soft stuffed animals are the in thing. Not only is it a pacifier but a cuddly little animal to boot.
Mary Meyer Wubbanub Little Stretch Giraffe Pacifier
Mary Meyer has brought us a cute giraffe to hang on to which duals as a pacifier. Baby will just love to hold their new friend while they suck away.The Giraffe is made from ultra soft and plush polyester while the nipple material is medical grade soothie brand silicone and latex free.
Mary Meyer has also brought out a few other designs, namely Ella Elephant, Wags Puppy, Jasmine Giraffe (who is bright pink), Oatmeal Bunny, Okey Dokey Dino and Cutsie Caterpillar. All very adorable!
We would like to make a suggestion to this range of innovative pacifiers, though, in that it would be a great idea if the pacifier could be removed for easy cleaning and to make it possible to replace with another brand of pacifier if baby doesn’t like this one. Other than that, we love this! Priced right at $13.60, we know your baby will love any of the sweet designs.
Medical Magic Best Pacifiers
For those hair-raising moments when you need to take baby’s temperature it's good to know you can pop a pacifier into their mouth and do the job without fuss.
Munchkin The Medicator Pacifier
Munchkin has brought us a medical duo in this combo. First, you get a pacifier that duals as a thermometer as well as a medicine dispenser pacifier. What a charm!
We all know how difficult it can be to administer medicine to a sick baby and while it will be a bit of a cloak and dagger move, at least you can be assured of getting that medicine down. Sticking thermometers under arms and other not so savory areas will be traumatic for baby and you, so just slip this pacifier in, wait for the allotted time and Walla!
Not only does it measure the temperature but it will also tell you if there is a fever alert by glowing. We are presently surprised by the price of $11.50 and urge everyone to purchase this unique and innovative double pack.
You Light Up My Life
Making a close 2nd with the gimmicky pacifiers, the light up and glow in the dark options can be a real hit, as well as practical.
LED Pacifier Rave Blinkie Light Up Toy
GloFX brings us a super bright LED strobing pacifier that shines in Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow. While not ideal for sleep time, this novelty pacifier could provide some additional entertainment for baby and visitors alike.
In addition, it comes equipped with a bright lanyard and ring. GloFX advertises this pacifier for adults mostly but for a fun play item for your toddler, it is worth it at $6.99.
MAM Night Glow in the Dark Silicone Pacifier
Ever tried to find the pacifier in the dark whilst baby is screaming blue murder? No fret. This glow in the dark double pacifier pack will sort that right out. Made from silicone and is BPA free, we quite like these colorful pacifiers. Available in pink or blue and with a curved, ventilated shield or guard, the baby will have not only comfort but also a cute, practical pacifier. MAM boast a nipple design that has an anti-slip texture and symmetrical nipple ideal for baby’s jaw development. With an amazing price of $4.26, we rate these on our top buy list.
When moving baby from milk to solids, it's nice to know that you can use a pacifier as a feeding tool.
Rorychen 1pc Baby Fruit Juice Feeding Pacifier
Made from silicone and food grade plastic this nifty feeding pacifier will have baby eating all sorts of fruits, veggies, and meats in no time. Simply cut the food item to size so it fits neatly into the nipple holder. Screw on the cap/handle and let baby suck away.
For some reason, Rorychen, unfortunately, cannot guarantee the color that you will receive but you are assured of a bright dual color pacifier, which baby will love. With it's easy-to-hold handle, we are sure you will be considering this feeding pacifier, especially with a nice price of $4.06.
Whether from a need to temper baby’s mood or because the baby needs to suck, and often, we are sure you will find the right pacifier.