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Whether you call it a binky, soother, dummy, or bo-bo, a pacifier can be absolutely essential in the first year. Babies have an innate need to suck, and a pacifier has the power to help calm and drift your baby off to sleep, giving new parents and caregivers a moment to come up for air.

With so many options, though, you may wonder what size, shape, and material is best for your little one. That’s where we come in.

What is a pacifier?

The most common type of pacifier in the United States has been around since the early 1900s. It was designed by Christian W. Meinecke and called a baby comforter.

These days, you can find a pacifier in nearly any size, shape, color, or material you could want. But they’re still designed with the same use in mind: to help mimic the sucking babies do and to calm them between their normal feedings or when they’re upset.

The following pacifiers earn high marks for quality, safety, and style. Some were designed by dental professionals and pediatric specialists. Others are, well, just darn cute.

We also weighed reviews by parents and caregivers who use these pacifiers with their babies. It’s important to note that little ones use different pacifiers for different reasons. So, what works for one baby may or may not work for another.

Other features we considered include size and shape, color choices, ease of cleaning, construction, and material choice. There are a lot of options out there, so you’re likely to find something on this list that meets your baby’s needs.

Most importantly, the pacifiers on this list have been vetted by our team of medical experts. As a bonus, the companies that manufacture these pacifiers are known to follow best practices and to thoroughly test their products to meet industry standards.

Pricing guide

While some pacifiers listed below are sold in multi-packs, we based pricing on the cost for one paci:

  • $ = under $5
  • $$ = $5–$10
  • $$$ = over $10

Best pacifier for newborns

Philips Avent Soothie

Price: $

Key features: There’s a reason this pacifier looks familiar. It’s probably the one you received at the hospital. (It also happens to be a bestseller, with rave reviews on Amazon.) The silicone, one-piece design is BPA-free, as well as durable and easy to clean.

Reviewers like that there’s a space in the nipple where you can place a finger for added comfort. A few note that this pacifier isn’t fancy, but it’s safe, affordable, and easy to find at most stores.

Considerations: Some reviewers say that these pacifiers don’t stay in a tiny baby’s mouth very well. Others say this pacifier is “just OK” and that their babies seem to prefer other models on the market.

Overall, this newborn pick is easy to find at most stores and is a budget-friendly option.

Pros and cons of the Philips Avent Soothie

  • Pro: durable and easy to clean
  • Con: may not work well for the smallest newborns

Best pacifier for breastfed babies

Nanobébé Pacifier

Price: $

Key features: The Nanobébé was designed specifically to decrease nipple confusion. It’s shaped so that it will stay in baby’s mouth, and the silicone is flexible so it forms to your child’s face. The one-piece construction is simple and effective, and reviewers like that it’s compact and fits even the smallest babies well.

Considerations: A few people say the nipple on this paci is somewhat hard and firm compared with options like the Soothie. Other reviewers share that the nipple is shorter than on other pacifiers, so it’s kind of hit or miss whether or not baby will immediately accept it.

Overall, this pick may be a solid option for breastfed babies to avoid nipple confusion.

Pros and cons of the Nanobébé Pacifier

  • Pro: natural nipple-like shape, flexible face shield
  • Con: not all babies take to the unique shape

Best pacifier for bottle-fed babies

Dr. Brown’s HappyPaci

Price: $

Key features: Do you use Dr. Brown’s bottles? The HappyPaci’s nipple is shaped like the nipples on their bottles, so your baby may be more apt to take something that’s familiar. This option is silicone and all one piece. It also features a butterfly-shaped face shield that is meant to curve away from baby’s nose.

Considerations: Some reviewers share that this pacifier tends to pop out of their babies’ mouths because it’s somewhat heavy. Others say that the base of the nipple is wider than the bottle nipples, so whether your little one accepts it may not be such a sure thing.

Overall, bottle-fed babies may take to this familiar shape more easily than other pacifiers.

Pros and cons of the Dr. Brown’s HappyPaci

  • Pro: one piece, nipple is same as Dr. Brown bottle nipples
  • Con: heavy pacifier, pops out easily

Best pacifier for nights

MAM Perfect Night

Price: $

Key features: What makes this MAM paci good for overnights is its glow-in-the-dark design that makes it oh-so-easy for you (and older babies) to find. The nipple on this paci is also more flexible and thinner than most, so it may put less pressure on baby’s developing mouth and jaw.

Considerations: Some reviewers say the silicone may be too thin on these pacifiers and that they break easily (especially if your child has teeth), which could be a potential choking hazard overnight.

Overall, this nighttime pick is easy to find in a dark room, which is a major plus.

Pros and cons of the MAM Perfect Night

  • Pro: glows in the dark, flexible and thin
  • Con: breaks easily

Best orthodontic pacifier

Chicco PhysioForma

Price: $

Key features: The PhysioForma is a popular orthodontic choice. The nipple is slightly curved to facilitate better positioning of the tongue against the palate. It also has small ridges and a shape that helps guide the tongue into proper placement.

It’s made from silicone and is one piece for ease of cleaning and safety. Bonus: This paci was developed by a panel of neonatologists, pediatricians, and orthodontists.

Considerations: Reviewers share that the ring of this pacifier is quite large and can be cumbersome for babies, especially during sleep. Others say the shape isn’t a hit with breastfed babies. Another common complaint is that the material attracts lint and fuzz.

Overall, this pacifier is designed with baby’s developing palate and teeth in mind.

Pros and cons of the Chicco PhysioForma

  • Pro: developed by orthodontic experts
  • Con: heavy

Best pacifier for sensitive skin

MAM Air

Price: $

Key features: If your bub’s skin gets irritated easily, you might want to try this pacifier. The face shield is mostly open, which allows the skin underneath to breathe more than traditional pacis. The front features a cute design, and the symmetrical orthodontic silicone nipple is textured to feel more like the breast. It even comes with a bonus sterilizing case.

Considerations: This paci is highly rated, but some customers share that the silicone cracks and tears easily. Others say that the design is smart for skin but hard for little ones to grasp. With regard to cleaning, some reviewers say that the nipple traps water.

Overall, this pacifier is a good choice for avoiding face irritation on your baby’s sensitive skin.

Pros and cons of the MAM Air

  • Pro: minimalist face shield
  • Con: silicone may not hold up over time

Best all-natural pacifier

Natursutten Original Pacifier

Price: $$

Key features: Unlike many silicone models on the market, the Natursutten is made from the rubber of Hevea brasiliensis trees. The manufacturer notes that it’s free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, chemical softeners, and artificial coloring. This pacifier is also available in both rounded nipple and orthodontic options.

Considerations: Reviewers say this paci is a hit with breastfeeding babies and that they like the one-piece design. But critics say that it lacks longevity for the price. Others cite that it tends to crack when boiling to sterilize. In addition, quite a few people said they have trouble keeping this pacifier in their babies’ mouths due to the size.

Overall, this pacifier is about as all-natural as you can get and offers two different nipple shapes.

Pros and cons of the Natursutten Original Pacifier

  • Pro: natural rubber
  • Con: more expensive than many other pacifiers

Best pacifier for teething babies

RaZbaby RaZ-berry Teether

Price: $$

Key features: Is your little one cutting teeth? They may want to switch from sucking to gnawing. The RaZ-berry teether is a familiar shape, but it replaces the nipple with a textured silicone nub for chewing. The shape lets babies chew without having to hold something.

Considerations: Some people say that this teether is too big for babies under 6 months old. Others say to watch carefully because it’s not all one piece. This means it can potentially break and become a choking hazard. Although the manufacturer says this paci can be frozen, it’s generally recommended not to freeze teething objects for babies. Consider chilling it in the refrigerator instead.

Overall, teething babies and toddlers may appreciate this pick, but use it under supervision.

Pros and cons of the RaZbaby RaZ-berry Teether

  • Pro: unique experience for babies who need to chew
  • Con: not suitable for younger babies

Best pacifier for toddlers

NUK Orthodontic

Price: $

Key features: Most pacifiers come in larger sizes to suit older babies, so be sure to read your labels. The NUK Orthodontic paci comes in a size that fits ages 18 to 36 months comfortably. Its nipple is designed to support healthy tooth alignment and a natural sucking motion. This option also has cute designs and an easy-to-grasp handle.

Considerations: Some reviewers don’t like the two-part design, explaining that water can collect in the nipple. Others share that the sizing may not be consistent with other types of NUK pacifiers.

Overall, toddlers up to 3 years old can use this pacifier comfortably.

Pros and cons of the NUK Orthodontic

  • Pro: easy handle for toddlers to grasp independently
  • Con: water collects in nipple

Most stylish pacifier

Itzy Ritzy Sweetie Soother

Price: $

Key features: The one-piece silicone construction of this paci is easy to clean and sterilize and comes in a wide variety of coordinating colors. In addition, the handle comes in either a braided or bow design for extra flair. The nipple itself is rounded and appropriate for teething babies as well.

Considerations: Most of the reviews for this pacifier are positive for both looks and function. A few people say the silicone seemed too thin to work for teething. A couple of people note that theirs had an odd musty odor out of the box.

Overall, reviewers like this pacifier for its basic function and stylish look.

Pros and cons of the Itzy Ritzy Sweetie Soother

  • Pro: chic design, lots of color options
  • Con: thin silicone may not hold up to teething

Most unique pacifier

Boon Jewl

Price: $

Key features: Developed by a pediatric dentist, the Jewl is designed for budding oral development. Its silicone nipple is shaped like a gem to help coax your baby’s tongue into proper placement. Its face shield is flared with a narrow neck that allows baby’s jaw to move naturally. Its one-piece body makes cleaning and sanitizing simple, and it also comes in fun jewel tones.

Considerations: Most reviewers share that this pacifier is constructed of quality materials and looks cool. However, many are also quick to say that the Jewl isn’t a great choice for young or smaller infants, as it makes some babies gag because it’s much bigger than other types of pacifiers they might be used to.

Overall, this unique pacifier facilitates natural jaw movement and looks interesting.

Pros and cons of the Boon Jewl pacifier

  • Pro: awkward size for smaller babies
  • Con: gem-shaped nipple

Best pacifier with clip

Dr. Brown’s Advantage with Clip

Price: $

Key features: The Advantage pacifier has a symmetrical design, so it can be positioned easily by your baby. The rounded nipple is made from silicone, and the plastic face shield is open enough to let your little one’s skin breathe. The included strap loops onto the paci, and the metal clasp secures to bibs or clothing.

Considerations: Pacifiers with clips are somewhat controversial. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t rule out clips, but notes to never tie a pacifier to your child or crib (seriously — don’t!). The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC) says to not use them at all. If you do use a clip, make sure it’s under your supervision.

As for this product, reviewers say that water and soap can easily get caught in the nipple of this pacifier since it’s not all one piece. A couple others share that the clip broke soon after using it.

Overall, this clip-on pacifier delivers what it promises, but the clip should be used under supervision.

Pros and cons of the Dr. Brown’s Advantage with Clip

  • Pro: clips onto clothing
  • Con: water gets trapped in nipple

Best pacifier for traveling

Doddle & Co. Pop & Go Pacifier

Price: $$

Key features: This Pop & Go pacifier folds into itself to create a built-in case — super helpful if you’re out and about and don’t want to constantly wash dropped nipples. Recommended for ages 3 months and up, the one-piece, silicone construction is easy to clean and dishwasher safe. The nipple is also thick and firm — great for teething babies.

Considerations: Some reviewers say their babies didn’t like this pacifier, possibly because it’s thicker and larger than other models on the market. Note that the Pop & Go is supposed to stay open, as opposed to their stage 1 model, which pops in when dropped.

Overall, if you’re often on the go, this pacifier may stay cleaner than other options.

Pros and cons of the Doddle & Co. Pop & Go Pacifier

  • Pro: built-in case, great for teething babies
  • Con: larger than other pacifiers

Best dual-purpose pacifier

WubbaNub Pacifier

Price: $$$

Key features: You’ve probably seen a super cute pacifier with a stuffed animal attached to it — and chances are, it’s a WubbaNub. The included lovey, which helps the pacifier stay in baby’s mouth, makes this pacifier a great gift to give and receive. You’ll be happy to know that the included pacifier is actually the trusted Philips Avent Soothie.

Considerations: While highly rated, the main beef with this product is the ease of cleaning. You can’t take the pacifier off the stuffed animal to wash in your dishwasher, which means you’ll need to replace the whole thing frequently. A few reviewers also say that the stuffed animal doesn’t keep the paci in place as well as they would have hoped.

Overall, this dual-purpose pacifier offers the best of both worlds — a tried-and-trusted pacifier and a lovey.

Pros and cons of the WubbaNub Pacifier

  • Pro: cute, stays in baby’s mouth
  • Con: difficult to clean

Best dual-purpose pacifier runner-up

Ryan & Rose Cutie Pat

Price: $$$

Key features: The Cutie Pat is both a pacifier and teether ring in one. The silicone body is one piece and has a nubby handle designed for chewing. The nipple can also be tucked away if your baby wants to use it exclusively as a teether. This paci also comes in a wide variety of beautiful colors.

Considerations: This pacifier is a bit more expensive than others on the market, and some reviewers share that the nipple itself seems thin. A few others say that their babies didn’t take to sucking this pacifier like they did to less expensive ones.

Overall, this dual-purpose pacifier is useful if your baby is teething and needs options.

Pros and cons of the Ryan & Rose Cutie Pat

  • Pro: handle is teething ring
  • Con: expensive

PacifiersBest forPrice MaterialConstructionProCon
Philips Avent Soothienewborns$siliconeone piecestandard pacifier given away at most hospitalsmay not work well for preemies/smaller newborns
Nanobébébreastfed$siliconeone pieceworks against nipple confusionnipple can be harder/firmer than others on the market
Dr. Brown’s HappyPacibottle-fed$siliconeone piecenipple matches nipple on Dr. Brown bottlespacifier is heavy overall
MAM Perfect Nightnights$silicone nipple, plastic bodymultipieceglows in the darksilicone is thin, breaks easily
Chicco PhysioFormaorthodontic$siliconeone piecedesigned to guide tongue into proper placementpacifier is large and difficult to suck during sleep
MAM Airsensitive skin$silicone nipple, plastic bodymultipieceminimal face shield protects skin from irritationsilicone is thin and breaks easily
Natursuttenall-natural $$$natural rubberone pieceavailable in rounded and orthodontic optionsexpensive
RaZ-berryteething$$textured siliconemultipieceunique texture is inviting for teething babiestwo-piece construction may be a choking concern
NUK Orthodontictoddlers$silicone nipple, plastic bodymultipiecehandle is easy for toddlers to graspwater may collect in nipple after cleaning
Itzy Ritzystylish$siliconeone piecebeautiful design and color optionssilicone seems thin
Boon Jewlunique$siliconeone piecegem-shaped nipple designlarge, so smaller babies may gag
Dr. Brown’s Advantagewith clip$silicone nipple, plastic bodymultipiececlips to bibs or clothing so it won’t get lost easily water may collect in nipple after cleaning
Doddle & Co. Pop & Gotravel$$siliconeone piecefolds into itself to keep nipple clean while on the gothicker and larger than many other pacifiers
WubbaNubdual purpose$$$silicone paci, attached stuffed animalone piece, but attached to stuffed animalgives baby a soothing friend along with the classic Philips Avent Soothiehard to sanitize adequately
Ryan & Rose Cutie Patdual purpose$$$siliconeone piecepacifier and teether in onenipple is thin

There are pros and cons to using pacifiers. Here’s some help sorting out the benefits versus the potential risks of popping a paci.

Pros

  • Soothes cranky babies. Sucking can help provide some calm in those witching hours.
  • A good distraction tactic. Need to get shots or another medical procedure? A binky may help draw your babe’s attention away long enough to get it done sans tears.
  • Lulls little ones to sleep. With all the soothing action, your baby may even settle down better while sucking. Notice how they get groggy at the breast or bottle? Same idea applies here. Note that pacifier use doesn’t necessarily help with length of sleep or nighttime wakings — just calming down to sleep.
  • Reduces risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The AAP says that pacifier use — along with placing your baby on their back to sleep — during nap times and at night lowers the risk of SIDS, which tends to be highest in the first 6 months.
  • Helps with ear discomfort during air travel. Is your baby ready for takeoff? Sucking on a pacifier may help them relieve pressure buildup during flights (you can’t exactly tell them to yawn or swallow to pop their ears otherwise).
  • Can be tossed. Unlike your baby’s thumb or fingers, you can simply throw away a pacifier when it’s time to break the habit. Of course, it’s not always quite that easy — but you get the idea.

Cons

  • May lead to nipple confusion. Some babies may get accustomed to an artificial nipple over the breast, which can interfere with breastfeeding. If you’re concerned, experts recommend waiting until your baby reaches 3 to 4 weeks old before offering a pacifier.
  • May lead to dependency. All those soothing and sleeping benefits are great — unless your toddler can’t sleep or soothe any other way.
  • May increase risk of middle ear infections. The AAP notes that reducing pacifier use after 6 months may also reduce the number of ear infections. Though this may only be a problem if you have a recurring issue with infections.
  • May lead to dental issues. The American Dental Association (ADA) notes that both thumb sucking and pacifier use can lead to improper growth of the mouth and teeth alignment. The ADA says parents should discourage thumb sucking by age 4, and it’s a good idea to ditch the binky by then.

Head still dizzy with options? Break it down by what you need versus what you want (or do both!). There are certain features that many pacifiers share. Others differ in other ways.

Consider the following features:

Shape

There’s the classic rounded, the orthodontic, and even more unique shapes. Some brands share shapes with bottle nipples. Others might work better for breastfed babies. And others may just be your baby’s preference. Finding the right shape for your baby may take time.

Material

Pacifiers tend to be made of a few materials: silicone, rubber, or latex. Silicone is most common. Some babies may be allergic to latex. Rubber is natural, but it may break down faster. As well, some materials are translucent, while others are opaque.

Safety

The AAP notes that the safest pacifiers can’t come apart. Face shields should be ventilated, and they should be large enough so baby can’t take the entire thing in their mouth.

Size

Most pacifiers come in different sizes to suit the size and shape of your baby’s mouth as she grows. Try to choose the one that corresponds with your baby’s age or as otherwise directed by your pediatrician.

Construction

While all pacifiers sold on the market must be safe, those that are made of only one-piece construction may be less likely to break. The concern with pacifiers made of two or more pieces is with choking, particularly if your baby or toddler is sucking or teething unattended (for example, during naptime or nighttime sleep).

Other stuff

On the flip side, if the extras excite you, go with it. Features like open face shields to help with sensitive skin or glow-in-the-dark images may actually be practical for your lifestyle.

Some pacifiers are all one piece and material. Others are a blend of two. One piece may be easier to clean and is less of a choking risk.

Price

There’s a wide range here. Don’t break the bank by buying different pacifiers with unique features if you think the basic nipple shape will work. In the end, it’s more about the function than the fashion.

What can I do when my baby won’t take a pacifier?

If you want to give it your best shot, Dr. Harvey Karp at Happiest Baby suggests a “sneaky” way of getting your little one to stay sucking their pacifier. While your instinct may be to push the paci back into your baby’s mouth, try the reverse. Every time your baby does suck, gently pull the pacifier out. You may find they suck harder and keep going.

You may even want to try a bait-and-switch approach to get them started. If you breastfeed, attempt to switch over to the paci at the very end of a feeding.

Do all babies like pacifiers?

No. Not all babies like pacifiers. You may have one child who can’t live without sucking on one and another who won’t even try it. The key is to find what works best for your individual baby. If you have tried a few kinds or haven’t had success with bait and switch or other approaches, you may want to cool off and let your child develop other self-soothing skills.

Are silicone or latex pacifiers better?

Silicone tends to be a better material for pacifiers. First, it’s sturdier and holds up better without breaking. Second, studies show that latex may more easily become colonized by fungus or bacteria like Candida and Staphylococcus.

What is an orthodontic pacifier?

You may have noticed that the pacifiers on this list have different nipple shapes and sizes. Orthodontic pacifiers have flatter nipples that are intended to help guide the tongue, jaw, and soft palate so things will be in proper alignment when teeth eventually come in.

Are pacifiers bad for newborns?

You can give your baby a pacifier from the start. In fact, your hospital may even bring you one soon after you give birth. Breastfeeding? The AAP recommends waiting until your baby is around 4 weeks old to introduce a pacifier. This timeframe is intended to help avoid nipple confusion.

Should babies sleep with pacifiers?

Pacifiers are recognized as a potential safeguard against SIDS. So, yes, babies can sleep with pacifiers. It may even be safer to do so, though researchers are still studying exactly what role a pacifier plays in decreasing risk.

Here’s the thing: You may need to try a few different types of pacifiers before you find a match. And some babies may never take to sucking on a pacifier. That’s OK, too.

Whatever the case, aim to wean your kiddo from pacifier use before they reach age 4. You can try to quit cold turkey, provide an alternative comfort approach (like a stuffed animal or blanket), or try other methods, like having paci-free days or places, to wean more gradually.