The 11 Best Pacifiers to Buy in 2019

As parents, it’s our natural instinct to calm and soothe our babies, and the naturally comforting suckling reflex that pacifiers encourage makes them a favorite of most little ones.

There’s a lot of hearsay about pacifiers being dangerous, and it’s not totally without merit – the wrong picks aren’t great for baby, which makes it that much more important that you know how to choose a safe pacifier.

We took a look at the 11 best pacifiers of 2019 to give you a rundown of what’s out there and what informed shoppers should know.

Editor's Choice

Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier

A doctor-recommended pick for soothing babies from birth to three months, it allows infant gums and teeth to develop normally at that stage.

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What are pacifiers? Why do babies want them?

Pacifiers are pieces of mouth-safe material that are designed to mimic the shape of mother’s nipple for suckling. The reason babies want pacifiers is right there in the name – they’re a soothing tool, as the suckling reflex is naturally calming to babies whether they’re feeding or not. Wondering what types of pacifiers exist?

  • Round nipple: Often described as “most like mother” in their branding, these pacifiers have a rounded nipple tip that forms a bulb. It’s true that this most naturally mimics the sensation they’re used to, but it can also lead to orthodontic issues, especially with prolonged use.
  • Flat or Orthodontic nipple:Many newer pacifiers have adapted the flat nipple design, which is more conducive to good developing orthodontic health for babies as it accommodates the natural shape of their growing jaw and palate.

What are some advantages of using pacifiers for baby?

There is no substitution for love and attention, but as all parents know, sometimes babies simply fuss for no reason. It’s actually important that they learn to comfort themselves, which is where pacifiers come in. Wondering why they’re advantageous for both parents and babies?

  • Babies are able to self-soothe naturally via their suckling reflex
  • It helps to quiet fussy-but-otherwise-fine babies on the go, letting parents get through meals and shopping trips peacefully
  • Babies have the natural urge to put things in their mouths, and pacifiers are designed with safe, easy to clean materials in shapes and sizes that prevent choking

What are some disadvantages of using pacifiers for baby?

While there are plenty of advantages to using a pacifier safely and correctly, there are some circumstances in which pacifiers can be problematic. Here’s what they are and how to deal:

  • Using pacifiers for too long: Continuous use of pacifiers, even picks designed for orthodontic health, isn’t great for baby’s oral development. By nine months, it’s time to start slowly reducing time with the pacifier and introduce other methods of self-soothing.
  • Over-attachment: If you’re quick to hand baby their pacifier when they’re fussy, the chances that they’ll be demanding it frequently are high, as are the chances that the demands will include some fussing for dramatic effect. Giving your growing baby opportunities to self soothe without their paci is a good way to prevent them from becoming obsessed, which can make eventual weaning easier.

When is the correct time to introduce a pacifier to my baby?

Many parents wonder if there’s such a thing as too soon to start using a pacifier for their infant. There are pacifiers on the market designed to be used by newborns, but if you’re planning to breast feed, it’s best to wait at least a month before introducing a pacifier to your baby. Once they’ve established a healthy and productive nursing routine, they’ll be less likely to experience confusion when soothing with their pacifier. One pro-tip for introducing a pacifier?

Choose a pacifier that’s age-appropriate: Pacifiers are usually designed by age, and younger babies do better with picks that are designed for their size and capabilities

Related reading
How Pacifiers Affect Babies’ Teeth: Facts vs. Myths

What features should savvy shoppers look for in a great pacifier?

When we’re shopping for baby toys and gear, safety is always our primary focus. The best pacifiers are safe, healthy for baby and easy for parents to clean. Wondering what makes great pacifiers great?

  • Their size: They should be just the right size for baby to suckle on while also being large and wide enough to make choking impossible
  • Their material: They should be made out of food-safe rubber or silicone that’s non-toxic, easy to sterilize and won’t harm baby
  • Their design: Pacifiers with flat nipples encourage good orthodontic health for baby, and those with open handles prevent choking while also allowing airflow, preventing irritation to baby’s delicate and sensitive facial skin

What is the best way to sterilize and store my baby’s pacifiers?

Since pacifiers go in your baby’s mouth, it’s easy to imagine just how quickly they can get gross. In the name of keeping our kiddos healthy, regularly cleaning pacifiers is essential. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to thoroughly sterilize your baby’s soothers. Remember to always check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that pacifiers are dishwasher/sterilizer safe, as those that aren’t may melt if cleaned in an environment that’s too hot. Wondering how to sterilize and store baby’s pacifiers the old fashioned way?

  • Give all the pacifiers a gentle scrub down with mild soap, rinsing with warm water, and inspect them. Pull out any that are damaged or broken, as those pacifiers are no longer safe for your baby.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, and boil the pacifiers for about five minutes. Drain the pot and transfer the pacifiers to a clean, dry towel.
  • As they cool, shake and pat them dry. Once they are completely dry, transfer them to an air-tight container for storage.
Related reading
Best Nipple Creams of 2019 (Ouch to Aaah)

Our Top Picks

#1 The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier

Editors Choice

Age Range: 0 – 3 months
Special Features: Perfect for newborns
Nipple Shape: Round
Materials: Hospital-grade silicone

The fact that the Soothie by Phillips Avent (check price on Amazon) is a top choice of hospitals speaks volumes about the quality and safety of this newborn pacifier. It’s a doctor-recommended pick for soothing babies from birth to three months, and it allows infant gums and teeth to develop normally at that stage.

It’s a pick that’s easy to clean, as it’s top-rack dishwasher safe and can be used in a sterilizer or boiled. It’s made of hospital-grade silicone and contains no latex or BPA. The strong, smooth nipple is ideal for baby’s oral development in early infancy, and it won’t become sticky and unusable like softer pacifiers.

What We Love

  • It’s the newborn pacifier that many hospitals choose, because it’s safe, durable, and developmentally healthy for little ones
  • It’s easy to clean, because it’s dishwasher safe and can be sanitized or boiled

Watch Out For:

  • Silicone tends to be a magnet for dust, so keep an eye out and clean these regularly

Check Price on Amazon

 

#2 The Ryan and Rose Cutie PAT Pacifier

Upgrade Choice  Best Baby Teething Pacifier

Age Range: 0 – 6 months
Special Features: Nipple retracts, handle becomes teething ring
Nipple Shape: Round
Materials: Medical-grade silicone

If you didn’t know newborn pacifiers were a thing until you had a newborn, you’re not alone – neither did we! It was a serious learning moment – newborn pacifiers, like the Cutie PAT by Ryan and Rose (check price on Amazon), are designed for younger babies to use before teething starts. They’re designed to minimize impact to baby’s orthodontic development, but when babies get older, they should be replaced by flat nipple pacifiers.

The Cutie PAT is unique in that when babies age out of using it as a pacifier, the nipple retracts inward and the easy-to-grip textured ring handle can be used as a teething toy. It’s convenient to clean, too, thanks to its 100% medical grade silicone construction which is dishwasher safe and can be sterilized or boiled.

What We Love

  • It’s a safe, effective infant pacifier that turns into a convenient teething toy once they grow
  • Thanks to a durable silicone build, it’s dishwasher safe and can be boiled or sterilized

Watch Out For:

  • The nipple is very soft, so as soon as they start cutting teeth, it’s time to switch to teething-toy-only mode

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#3 The Chicco PhysioForma Orthodontic Pacifier

Best Budget Buy  Best One-Piece Pacifier

Age Range: 0 – 6 months
Special Features: Orthodontic
Nipple Shape: Flat
Materials: Silicone

If you didn’t know newborn pacifiers were a thing until you had a newborn, you’re not alone – neither did we! It was a serious learning moment – newborn pacifiers, like the Cutie PAT by Ryan and Rose (check price on Amazon), are designed for younger babies to use before teething starts. They’re designed to minimize impact to baby’s orthodontic development, but when babies get older, they should be replaced by flat nipple pacifiers.

What We Love

  • It comes with a sterilizing case that keeps the pacifier clean and free from dirt and debris
  • It’s designed to support orthodontic development and healthy breathing by maintaining a forward position for baby’s tongue

Watch Out For:

  • This pick is made of clear silicone, which may discolor and become yellowed after repeated runs through the dishwasher or sterilizer

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#4 The HEVEA Star & Moon Orthodontic Pacifier

Best Orthodontic Pacifier

Age Range: 3 – 36 months
Special Features: Orthodontic
Nipple Shape: Flat
Materials: Rubber

Orthodontic pacifiers with flat nipples are great picks for babies as they grow, because they don’t inhibit their normal, natural oral development. Bright and cheerful, the HEVEA Star & Moon Orthodontic Pacifier (check price on Amazon) comes in a bright tangerine shade that makes it easy to spot, even at the bottom of the diaper bag.

It has unique ventilation holes for air flow, and the natural rubber construction is gentle against baby’s delicate facial skin. While this pick can and should be cleaned with mild soap and water, parents should know it’s NOT dishwasher safe, nor should it be sterilized or boiled, as it may warp or discolor the pacifier.

What We Love

  • It promotes healthy orthodontic development in growing babies
  • It’s bright orange, which makes it easy to find, and cute star and moon shapes double as ventilation holes

Watch Out For:

  • It can’t be washed in the dishwasher, sterilized or boiled, as it may warp or become discolored.

Check Price on Amazon

#5 The NUK Newborn Orthodontic Pacifier

Best Pacifier For Three Month Olds

Age Range: 0 – 3 months
Special Features: Orthodontic
Nipple Shape: Flat
Materials: Silicone

NUK pacifiers are some of the most popular picks out there – they’re affordable, durable, and they come from a trusted brand. This cute and convenient two pack in vivid pink and green Newborn Orthodontic Pacifier (check price on Amazon) checks all the basic boxes, including flat nipples for orthodontic health, ventilation holes to promote healthy breathing and safe silicone construction that’s non-toxic for baby and can be sterilized or put in the dishwasher. These soothers are great for babies around three months, as they’re conducive to healthy oral development in infancy but are a little too soft for babies with teeth.

What We Love

  • It’s a brightly colored two pack, so you have a backup and they’re easy to spot
  • They’re picks from a trusted brand, and they’re made of 100% silicone, so they’re easy to clean and sterilize

Watch Out For:They’re too soft for older babies once they’ve started seriously teething

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#6 MAM Newborn Pacifier

Best Pacifier For Newborn Babies

Age Range: 0 – 2 months
Special Features: Perfect for newborns
Nipple shape: Flat
Materials: Silicone

Cute designs might not make pacifiers more effective, but they certainly make them more fun. These animal themed blue and white pacifiers are fun and sweet, and their unique construction features large air holes which provide ventilation to your baby’s sensitive facial skin and prevent irritation. MAM’s Newborn Pacifier (check price on Amazon) are extra easy to clean thanks to the unique case that’s enclosed, which can be used to sterilize the pacifiers in the microwave in only three minutes. The case is also great for carrying the adorable two-pack, keeping them clean and safe in transit.


What We Love

  • They come with a case that’s not only convenient for carrying, but can be used to sterilize the pacifiers with only three minutes in the microwave
  • The unique construction of the pacifiers includes large air holes, letting air reach baby’s delicate facial skin to prevent rashes

Watch Out For:Water can become trapped inside the pacifier’s nipple when washing, so take caution

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#7 NUK Orthodontic Pacifier Value Pack

Best Pacifier For Six Month Olds

Colors: White, green, red, blue
Theme: Multipack – kites, space/rockets, hot air balloons
Age Range: 6 – 18 months
Special Features: Orthodontic
Nipple Shape: Flat
Materials: Non-toxic plastic, silicone

Multi-packs are a lifesaver when it comes to small, frequently used baby gear like pacifiers that need to be replaced frequently and are easily misplaced. NUK makes picks parents trust, and this Orthodontic Pacifier Value Pack (check price on Amazon) encourage healthy breathing and an easy transition between breastfeeding and pacifier use. Themes like space travel, kites and hot air balloons make these great travel companions even cuter, and the easy to clean silicone nipples mean they’re a pick that’s dishwasher safe.


What We Love

  • They’re designed with orthodontic health in mind, encourage easy breathing and promote a smooth transition between breastfeeding and pacifier use
  • They’re dishwasher safe, so cleaning is easy, and they feature cute travel themes

Watch Out For:

  • One of the enclosed pacifiers features a glow in the dark feature, which parents might overlook because the glow isn’t very strong

Check Price on Amazon
Related reading
Using a Pacifier While Breastfeeding (Truth Bomb!)

#8 The Wee Thumbie Philips Clear Preemie Pacifier

Best Pacifier For Preemies

Colors: White, clear
Theme: None
Age Range: Premature babies born at under 30 weeks gestation
Special Features: Modeled after the shape and size of a preemie baby’s thumb
Nipple Shape: Flat
Materials: Silicone, non-toxic plastic

The days and weeks after a premie is born can be very stressful for parents. The last thing that should be a concern during those moments is preventable safety hazards, which is why hospitals often recommend the Wee Thumbie by Philips (check price on Amazon) for babies under 30 weeks gestation. It encourages babies to continue learning and executing essential suckling behavior, which normally happens during their intrauterine development. It’s just the right size for tiny premature babies, and the flat nipple is even modeled after the size and shape of their little thumbs.


What We Love

  • It’s specifically designed to be safe for premature babies, teaching them to suckle, which is crucial to their development and is usually learned in utero
  • It’s dishwasher safe and can be sterilized or boiled, so cleaning is easy

Watch Out For:

  • They’re quite small – this sounds like an obvious statement, but not all early babies are tiny enough to need a pacifier this small and some may do better with a standard newborn pacifier

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#9 The BIBS Natural Rubber Baby Pacifier

Best Classic Pacifier

Colors: Black, white
Theme: None
Age Range: 0 – 6 months
Special Features: Made of natural rubber
Nipple Shape: Round
Materials: Rubber, non-toxic plastic

Of all the picks on our list, the BIBS Natural Rubber Baby Pacifier (check price on Amazon) is BPA-free and the closest to the picks that most parents remember from childhood. Babies find the old-school nipple shape soothing, as it more realistically mimics the feeling of breastfeeding than orthodontic pacifiers. As we’ve already mentioned, the downside is that prolonged use of this nipple style is less than ideal for baby’s oral development.

We’ll focus on the positives, though: this cute, classic pacifier is durable, and it’s made with 100% natural, non-toxic materials. Parents should note that this pick shouldn’t be sterilized, boiled or put in the dishwasher, but it can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water to keep things hygienic.


What We Love

  • The round nipple shape more accurately mimics the sensation of breastfeeding, which may make some babies less likely to reject it
  • It holds up to prolonged use and is made with 100% natural rubber and non-toxic plastic

Watch Out For:

  • The round nipple shape isn’t ideal for baby’s orthodontic development, plus this pick can’t go in the dishwasher or be sterilized or boiled

Check Price on Amazon

#10 The MAM Sensitive Skin Pacifier

Best Pacifier For Breastfed Babies

Colors: Pink, white, blue, grey
Theme: Multipack animals, otter and bunny
Age Range: 6 – 36 months
Special Features: Open handles to minimize skin irritation on sensitive baby faces
Nipple Shape: Flat
Materials: Silicone

If you have sensitive skin, or have a child who does, you’re already well aware that some reactions seem like they’ve materialized out of thin air. While some triggers are hard to identify, it’s easy to see why pacifiers that cover baby’s delicate facial skin combine with the excess saliva they produce as they begin teething to create big time irritation. MAM knows their stuff when it comes to pacifiers, and their air design Sensitive Skin Pacifier (check price on Amazon) has extra large ventilation holes that encourage healthy breathing and prevent skin irritation. Not only can these pacifiers be boiled or put in the dishwasher, they can also be sterilized in minutes via the microwave right in their convenient storage case.


What We Love

  • The unique Air design features minimal bordering to allow for maximum ventilation during use, encouraging good breathing and preventing rashes
  • They’re dishwasher safe, can be boiled, and come with a convenient carrying case that’s also a microwave sterilization pouch

Watch Out For:

  • Water can become trapped inside the pacifier’s nipple when washing, so take caution

Check Price on Amazon

#11 The NUK Baby Talk Puller Pacifier

Best Pacifier For Tongue-Tied Babies

Colors: White, pink, purple, teal
Theme: First words / baby talk
Age Range: 0 – 6 months
Special Features: Orthodontic
Nipple Shape: Flat
Materials: Silicone, non-toxic plastic

Tongue-tie is a relatively common issue in babies in which the lingual frenulum is connected at a point that’s close to the tip of the tongue. This can restrict baby’s tongue motion, leading to issues with breastfeeding and, inevitably, lack of weight gain and crankiness. While surgery is sometimes recommended in severe cases, some doctors feel that natural growth softens the tissue of the lingual frenulum, negating the issue. Pacifiers like the NUK Baby Talk Puller (check price on Amazon) are great for tongue-tied babies, as they encourage tongue movement and exploration. They’re sturdy, easy to clean picks that promote good orthodontic development, and the heart shaped shield and ventilation holes make it easy for baby to breathe.


What We Love

  • They’re great for tongue tied babies, because the nipple design encourages tongue motion and exploration
  • They’re made with orthodontic health in mind

Watch Out For:

  • Water can become trapped inside the pacifier’s nipple when washing, so take caution

Check Price on Amazon

And Our Winner is…

When something is an industry-standard, you can be sure it’s done a lot to earn the accolade. The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier (check price on Amazon) is the favorite newborn pacifier of hospitals because it’s designed to be safe, healthy and comforting for new babies across the board. The materials are non-toxic, the nipple is sturdy, smooth and just the right size, and it encourages suckling in a healthy way that may make latching easier. It’s hard to overlook the ubiquitous presence of these near-universally loved pacifiers, which is why they’re our editor’s choice.

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